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Jaguars defensive back Tre Herndon appears to be headed back to Jacksonville as the first week of free agency begins to come to a close.
According to a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Jaguars are set to re-sign Herndon to a one-year, $2.6 million contract that is guaranteed. Herndon brings special teams ability and versatility to Jacksonville’s defense as he’s played both outside on the boundary and inside in nickel situations.
Herndon has been with the team since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt in 2018. He has been on a, seemingly, year-to-year contract with the team since becoming a restricted free agent in 2021.
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Last season, when Jacksonville was tasked with finding a replacement for CB Shaq Griffin due to injuries, the team eventually settled on Herndon playing the slot with CB Darious Williams manning the outside.
In five years with Jacksonville, Herndon has played in 67 games, starting 30, and has accounted for 23 pass breakups and three interceptions. Herndon had five pass breakups last year to go along with 36 tackles.
The Jaguars are in need of depth at the position after cutting Griffin prior to free agency starting. The team struggled with depth last year, forced to play a variety of corners including 2022 seventh-round rookie Montaric ‘Buster’ Brown.
Though there were reports that the Jaguars and Herndon were likely going their separate ways, it appears the team and player were able to come to an agreement after the market opened and cooled a bit.
While Herndon’s return adds some depth, the Jaguars are still expected to further address the defensive backs room through free agency as the draft approaches and/or through the draft in April.
Jacksonville now has five unrestricted free agents that remain on the market, including tight end Dan Arnold, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and defensive linemen Dawuane Smoot and Adam Gotsis and Corey Peters.
Both Jones and Peters are not expected to return to the team, likely headed for another squad for the former and potential retirement for the latter. Jacksonville has already lost three in-house free agents, including OL Jawaan Taylor, TE Chris Manhertz and DL Arden Key.
They recently re-signed safety Andrew Wingard and applied the franchise tag to TE Evan Engram, while re-signing QB C.J. Beathard.
One in-house free agent to watch will be Gotsis, who would like to remain with the team. Gotsis has been in Jacksonville for three years and has accounted for 4.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hits to go along with 83 tackles. He also plays a key role on special teams as a big man.
Demetrius Harvey is the Jacksonville Jaguars reporter for the Florida Times-Union. You can follow him on Twitter at @Demetrius82.