With the onset of free-agency in the coming weeks, speculation about certain players the Jaguars could acquire is building. At first glance, the free-agent market looks very deep, but unfortunately for a team like the Jaguars, who have some pretty glaring holes at wide receiver and defensive end, some players will be franchised or resign with their team. If a players leaves his team however, there are a handful of strategies the Jaguars can use to lure them here. They are outlined below.
- More money.
- Also, money.
Sidney Rice got his money. Who cares if Tarvaris Jackson throws it to the other team?
Make no mistake about it, a player is going to go where he is compensated the most. The quality of the team and the situation is absolutely secondary, especially if you’re talking about a player who is looking for his first big contract after his rookie contract (see: Sidney Rice). NFL careers are short, and if a player is lucky they get one big contract with guaranteed money. If a player is elite and can stay healthy, they can sometimes manage to get a second big contract.
With all that said, I don’t think this will be a problem for the Jaguars. With about $45 million in cap room, the Jaguars should be able to offer as much as any other team if they really want a certain player. So let’s say a certain free-agent has two teams offering comparable contracts – how does he decide where to go? In no particular order, some factors are
- Familiarity – coaches, players.
- System – will they succeed?
- Personnel – are there good players in place?
We saw the Jaguars sign Paul Pozlusny last year, partly because they were going feature him at his natural position of MLB. The Jaguars signed Drew Coleman with the idea that he was purely a nickel corner and ensuring he wouldn’t play over his head at the outside corner spot.
Adam Stites over at Big Cat Country recently had a great catch about an interview with Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd basically said the Jaguars were a team on his radar because of his familiarity with wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and because Blaine Gabbert is a great talent at quarterback.
Wait, what? Most Jaguar fans have expressed concern about Blaine Gabbert’s effect on free agent wide receivers and whether or not a receiver would want to go to a situation where most of the national media have already written off the quarterback.
But Brandon Lloyd specifically said, “They have a potentially, great quarterback who’s developing down there.” Does Brandon Lloyd really do his own scouting? This blogger doesn’t think so. I think what we’re seeing is an ancillary effect of hiring a solid coaching staff with a wealth of experience.
The Jaguars could have used some catches from Brandon last year.
Jerry Sullivan said he would only come out of retirement for a good situation and he probably had his choice of several places with all the head coach openings this offseason. He chose the Jaguars, and to free agent receivers who know Jerry Sullivan that means a lot. The same applies for new QB coach Greg Olsen and new RB coach Sylvester Croom. These are coaches who definitely had other options and they chose to come to Jacksonville. A lot of these coaches aren’t looking for a big contract as an assistant coach – they’re looking for the best situation to help catapult them to the next level of jobs.
With the assembly of such a solid coaching staff, the Jaguars have sent a message to the rest of the league that something special is brewing in Jacksonville. Hopefully that will be enough to lure some big time free-agents this offseason.
- Daniel Lago