If you’re a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you are all too used to offseasons that can only be describes as being as painful and futile as their regular seasons. That being said, this offseason in Jacksonville has been just a little more... pungent than the rest. They have either lost or are in the process of losing every player worth keeping - as hard as it is to believe there were any on the 2-14 Jaguars - to free agency. If that doesn’t have season ticket holders excited the release of Aaron Ross, Dawan Landry and Laurent Robinson surely has them giddy.
If you are noticing a theme here, it’s that the Jaguars are doing very little to escape the sea of mediocrity they have wallowed in seemingly forever. If anything they are only making things harder on themselves. To this point in the offseason the only good move they’ve made is opting not to make the trade for Tebow - Unless you’re a huge fan of their new logo or bringing Gus Bradley on board as the new head coach.
I understand the mentality of management in this scenario to a certain degree and can’t be overly critical. They are clearly not in a position to win in this upcoming season, or any soon after. There is no point in hampering the ability of this team to compete long term by spending money like a drunken sailor now. By that same token, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair for any professional sports franchise to essentially throw in the towel on a season in which they will make gargantuan profits at the expense of the fans. I’m not saying they should have countered Miami’s $12M ish a year offer to Mike Wallace with one that had an annual value of $14M, but they could have done something.
That just hasn’t been the case though. With exorbitant amounts of cap space, somewhere in the neighbourhood of $30M, the Jaguars have invested only about $7.5M in free agency. In case you’re wondering, they had $37M or so in cap space before those moves. If you don’t know how they spent that money, be prepared for a world of disappointment. It went to Justin Forsett, Roy Miller and Geno Hayes.
So to this point in this offseason the Jaguars have created roster spaces they couldn’t immediately fill and added third string quality talent. They also have brought nobody into what is shaping up to be the NFL’s least interesting competition at quarterback. At this point I think forecasting another 2-14 season for this team is almost optimistic.
It’s not like there is no shortage of options. They could trade for Seattle’s backup Matt Flynn who has a working rapport with new coach Gus Bradley, or maybe even Ryan Mallett out of New England. They could have signed one of Drew Stanton, Matt Hasselbeck, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Kevin Kolb for cheap. Why stop on offense? There’s a seemingly endless list of quality free agent cornerbacks that would help their 22nd ranked pass defense; or defensive linemen for their atrocious run defense. Whatever their need if they look hard enough they can find a way to alleviate it. The Jaguars just need to start looking period.