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Jacksonville Jaguars Free Agency: Jags Should Re-Sign Defensive End Matt Roth

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:   Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs past  Matt Roth #90 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the season opener game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
David LevinSenior Writer IIMarch 26, 2012

Imagine having all your friends in high school to a party, except for one. While the night seems pretty cool and you are enjoying the time you are spending, talking, laughing and dancing, there is something missing—it just is not the same without your friend being there.

Is that what could happen to the Jacksonville Jaguars if they do not re-sign defensive end Matt Roth?

The free agent has been declared healthy after sustaining a season-ending concussion against Indianapolis and is looking to find a home in the NFL again. Maybe in Jacksonville, where he was an important part of the team’s sixth-ranked defense before being injured, or with some other team who can use his services.

It was reported last week that Roth, who played football at Iowa, had been in Cincinnati to meet with the Bengals about their openings on the defensive front. Frostee Rucker and Jonathon Fanene departed to Cleveland and New England, respectively, via free agency.

But the Jaguars, who signed Roth to a one-year, $3 million contact last year, are still in need of defensive line help. The team re-signed Jeremy Mincey and are hoping to get contributions from Aaron Kampman and Austen Lane, two members of the unit who either spent all season on injured reserve or otherwise off the field.

A healthy Kampman goes a long way to solving the issues the Jaguars have with needing a strong pass rusher opposite Mincey. But a healthy Roth also means this team would return all 11 starters from last season and there would be depth with players like Lane, D’Anthony Smith, Leger Douzable and possibly someone from the draft.

This is a defensive unit, under the guidance of Mel Tucker, that can be the best in the NFL if everyone is healthy.

But for now, the one thing it is lacking is a solid pass rusher to compliment Mincey and his eight sacks last season, the most on the team.

As Tania Ganguli reported in the Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville didn't make a push to re-sign him before free agency opened and haven't appeared to be pursuing that. But, still in need of another pass-rusher, it is possible Roth returns.

As of today, they have not signed a defensive end in free agency and could possibly be looking at Quinton Coples of North Carolina or Melvin Ingram from South Carolina to fill the open void.

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