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Christian Kirk Figures to See Plenty of Work in Jacksonville

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The next stop on Christian Kirk’s NFL journey is officially Jacksonville, as the veteran receiver agree to what NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport is calling a “large deal.” Kirk was expected to fetch north of $15 million per year, which would position him among the 20 highest-paid wide receivers in the league.

(Follow along with all of the big free agency reactions here!)

Kirk spent his first four seasons with the Cardinals and is coming off career-bests in catches (77) and receiving yards (982) while also scoring five times. Of course, in his time with Arizona, Kirk has largely been a No. 2 receiving option at best. Given the current Jaguars’ depth chart, that may not be the case in Jacksonville. 

 

Besides Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault, the Jags have a whole lot of nothing currently on the roster at wide receiver. It’s a bit of a stretch to suggest Kirk will step into the clear-cut No. 1 role, but we certainly could be looking at ta 1 and 1A situation with Jones and Kirk. The Jaguars offense will look different this season with Doug Peterson pulling the strings, but overall, this is a quality landing spot for Kirk from an opportunity standpoint.

Of course, we do have a glaring question in Jacksonville: will we see Trevor Lawrence take a step forward in Year 2? At this point, it’s really impossible to take anything away from Lawrence’s rookie campaign. Urban Meyer’s presence is a stain on the history of this organization. So we essentially have to hit the reset button with Lawrence. 

While we can’t say one way or the other if Lawrence will improve, things really can’t be worse than they were last season. Even with all of that mess in place, Jones still managed a WR3 fantasy season, finishing 33rd at the position in fantasy scoring. He led the Jags wide receiver corps with 120 targets. Shenault ranked second with 100 targets, two shy of what Kirk saw in Arizona. 

This signing is certainly not what you want to see if you have dynasty shares of Shenault, as a big contract for Kirk would likely indicate a higher position in the pecking order. For Kirk, that certainly puts WR3 production in play, but we still need to see what else the Jags do in free agency and the draft. Jacksonville is flush with picks and cap space, so there’s a distinct possibility more moves are made at wideout.

Kirk’s departure from Arizona has been widely anticipated for weeks, and there has been a lot of recent chatter about Rondale Moore’s role expanding in 2022. The ­2021 rookie was often the odd man out in his rookie season with DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Kirk serving as the top three receiver options when all were healthy. With Kirk officially gone and Green heading into free agency, Moore figures to step into an abundance of vacated targets. 

 

Green and Kirk accounted for nearly 200 targets last season (194 to be precise). It’s farfetched for Moore to even seen 50% of those vacated targets, but even just 25% of them shifting Moore’s way would put him up over 100 targets. Last season, only one receiver who saw more than 100 targets finished outside of the top-40 fantasy wide receivers: Robby Anderson. Otherwise, 32 of the top 40 and all of the top 26 fantasy wideouts topped triple-digit targets. That group includes Kirk, who ranked 26th at the position. While we don’t want to get too carried away here, Moore’s arrow is pointing up in a big way.

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