The Jacksonville Jaguars have so many holes on their roster right now that it may seem counterintuitive to let a superb fullback like Greg Jones walk and let a veteran center like Brad Meester with no certain replacement leave. But, with the approach of GM Dave Caldwell, the team may not want to pay too much to keep either.
The Jags are going to let veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis leave during free agency this offseason. While it’s tough to watch him go, this is a time of transition. Reportedly the team is in talks with both Jones and Meester. While Meester has definitely lost a step, he is still the best option for the Jags at center. Jones is one of the best – if the not the best – fullbacks in the league. The two of them could command some serious money. But, like the decision to let Mathis walk, the decision to keep Meester and Jones will be performance based.
Our very own Jason Love rightly pointed out that the zone blocking scheme the Jags are looking to employ for 2013 and beyond could very well extend the length of Meester’s career. This, coupled with his ability to lead the offense (he was calling coverages and directing traffic in 2011), could be enough to keep him. If the Jags can play to his strengths, then they could find that they still have a capable center for at least another season while they fill other holes around him.
Jones is in a more intriguing situation. He has shown that he can still be one of the best lead blockers in the league and has a couple more years of good football in him at least. Knowing this, Jones could command a big pay day by leaving the Jaguars for the first time in his career. If the Jags aren’t willing to compete with his potential salary, then this could mean the Jags are looking for a fullback for next season.
I would really love to see Jones stick around as I think he is a highly intelligent player and a much better blocker than other options available. I think Meester could be expendable at this point, but could be worth keeping around if the new regime wants some continuity and buy-in from the younger players. The question will inevitably come down to price, but for the right price the team can retain two long-time Jaguars which could help them in the locker room. Is that worth it though?
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims