Sources: Jags near deal for Holt
ESPN.com news services
Updated: April 18, 2009, 3:03 PM ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars are nearing a deal for free agent wide receiver Torry Holt, but it has not yet been finalized, sources tell ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Holt was released by the St. Louis Rams on March 13 shortly before he was due a $1.25 million roster bonus on the 17th.

Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, ranks 11th on the league's all-time reception list with 869 catches.

The 10-year veteran caught just 64 passes last year for 796 yards and three touchdowns, the fewest scoring catches of his career. His total receptions and total yards were the second-lowest of his career, ahead of only his rookie season of 1999.

The Jaguars are in need of a veteran receiver. The team released troubled receiver Matt Jones last month after he violated a plea agreement from an earlier drug charge. They also released Jerry Porter and didn't re-sign free agent Reggie Williams.
If the Jaguars add Holt and then are able to add a top receiver with their first round pick, that would give them a pretty potent offensive line-up with MJD also available to run or catch out of the backfield and Marcedes Lewis at tight end.

A lot of people have the Jaguars penciled in for a quarterback like Mark Sanchez, but I'm really having a hard time buying it. They went after a tackle in William Thomas who is towards the twilight of his career, they're pursuing Holt who is a short term solution. They've got Jack Del Rio as their head coach, and he's probably on the hot seat. Chances are the Jags coaching staff wants to win now, and a first round QB doesn't help them do that.

If I'm Jacksonville, I'm taking the best WR or defensive player available. Someone for the secondary might not hurt, and I could also see them going after a defensive tackle in Raji to pair with John Henderson. I wouldn't completely rule out a tackle, because they could draft someone to challenge Tony Pashos on the right side immediately before eventually sliding over to take over for William Thomas.