Stuck In Between A Rock And Jacksonville
By Troy Graham
The trade deadline is now long gone and all the big name players who were speculated to change jerseys midway through the season stayed with their respectable teams, at least for now. With no immediate moves, the level of optimism for the Jaguars this season decreases and the road to rebuilding yet again comes to the forefront.
The only noteworthy assets Jacksonville has after sending away Eugene Monroe, who seemed to be the only one they should have kept, are Jason Babin, Maurice Jones-Drew, Paul Posluszny and Marcedes Lewis. Babin was of course a tough sell with $4 million left on his contract, but MJD should have been the most marketable with the 2011 rushing title on his resume, despite it seeming nearly a decade ago since he’s made an offensive impact worth mentioning.
According to NFL.com’s top ten most likely to be traded players by Chirs Wessling, Babin ranked 5th and MJD ranked 7th. The relevancy of this report surely has went down with the trade deadline past us, but now what does the team do at the end of the season when these guys can possibly become free agents and the team gets nothing in return for them?
Cleveland Browns were scrutinized for getting rid of Trent Richardson, but they were modest and admitted they were still rebuilding and got something for their asset. What is so ironic about the whole ordeal is that they started winning after the transaction.
To add on top of receiving a feasible prize for one of their top commodities in Richardson, they were honest with their fan base and made public that they do not think Brandon Weeden is their quarterback of the future. The Buccaneers did the same by cutting Josh Freeman, and the Vikings admitted their faults too by signing him.
Thus bringing me to my poin. If you know the guys on your roster are not the correct instruments to take your team where you want to be in the future, why prolong their fate? Everybody but the Jags has no idea why they put the weight of the team on Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert’s shoulders, unless they’re certain this is a lost cause of season and they have no desirs to win a game before season’s end. They are not franchise guys and that is never going to change, only logical reasoning for the Jags passive performance in the market for players is to free up cap space and lock down the best pick.
Owner Shahid Khan openly admitted "operation rebuild" for the Jaguars is long overdue.
"Obviously, if you're a Jaguars fan, we want to do better," Khan told The Florida Times-Union. “But we know the process we started, which is pretty much starting from the ground up, cleaning house and doing something ... we probably should have started earlier."
Only General Manager David Caldwell and Khan have a rough draft of the team’s blueprint down the road. Question is, now do you build around these guys that you did not trade? Lewis and Posluszny are already signed, but MJD and Babin may have some contract disparities. They could always sign and trade, but none of these players are getting younger and how much juice ia left in their tanks is not certain.
As their current record reflects, the Jags are in no man’s land in the market for acquiring new talent, at least until the end of the season.