- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville’s offensive makeover is just getting starting.

The Jaguars signed former Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart and former Denver Broncos guard Zane Beadles to contracts Wednesday, bringing the free agents in to replace longtime starters Maurice Jones-Drew and Uche Nwaneri.

And former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders visited the facility Wednesday. Signing Sanders would give Jacksonville a potential replacement for wideout Justin Blackmon, who is suspended for repeated violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

“They know the pieces they want to put together,” Beadles said. “They want to build this thing for the long haul and plug in some guys in certain areas that can really help bring this team along. Hopefully I can be one of those guys for this organization.”

The moves might not be the one Jacksonville really needs - finding a franchise quarterback - but they could help improve one of the league’s worst offenses in recent years. The Jaguars ranked 31st in total offense last season, 29th in 2012 and 32nd in 2011.

General manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley did little to tweak the offense in their first season, outside of drafting left tackle Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick.

But it’s clear they’re focused on revamping the offense this year. They let Jones-Drew walk, cut Nwaneri and traded quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, to San Francisco in exchange for a sixth-round selection. Throw in longtime center Brad Meester’s retirement, and the Jaguars had plenty of holes.

The already filled two in free agency.

Gerhart signed a three-year deal worth $10.5 million that includes $4.5 million guaranteed. Beadles‘ signed a five-year, $30 million contract that includes $12.5 million guaranteed.

The team also re-signed quarterback Chad Henne and cornerback Will Blackmon, and signed free-agent defensive end Red Bryant and free-agent linebacker Dekoda Watson.

The Jaguars aren’t done, either.

Sanders and former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Ziggy Hood could be next. Hood also visited Jacksonville on Wednesday.

Clearly, the Jaguars are intent on spending some of the roughly $60 million of salary-cap space they opened free agency with. And the wisest investments could come on offense.

Gerhart, a second-round pick by Minnesota in 2010, played in 61 games with six starts for the Vikings over four seasons. He has a modest 276 carries for 1,305 yards (4.7 yards a carry) and five touchdowns. He also had 77 receptions for 600 yards and three scores.

His arrival likely shuts the door on Jones-Drew returning to Jacksonville.

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