Clyde Simmons, Leon Searcy, & Will Blackmon. All were free agents that were not getting a lot of attention while in free agency. The Jags swept in late and brought them in on a bargain and were rewarded generously. Championships have been won with these kind of signings. The Jags have an opportunity to bring guys in with the “open competition” that Coach Bradley instills. You might find a diamond in the rough like Will Blackmon proved. Some of these players could just be bridges to carry us through another year as the team learns not only the system, but how to win. Here are a few players the Jags should keep in mind and watch their interest.
- Danario Alexander/WR – (25 yrs old) His category would be “Fragile Product“, which is normally a negative. It actually is a negative. But in this capacity it’s a positive. When healthy, Danario is an amazing talent. In four years, Danario has only managed to play 28 games, including missing all of 2013. In those 28 games played though, he’s had 83 catches for 1395 yds and 10 TDs. He has averaged 16.8 yds per catch. That’s major production. The Jags should just wait it out and if he hasn’t signed with another team by reporting time, sign him for the veteran’s minimum and see if he can stay healthy. If so, he would be money in the bank!
- Damian Williams/WR – (25 yrs old) “Potential Unreached“…This guy came into the NFL as the third round pick of the Titans at #77. He has started since his rookie season and only missed 10 games to injury. Yet he only managed 106 catches for 1,313 yds and 5 TDs. That’s really poor, especially when you consider his senior year at Southern Cal (including his bowl game) he caught 58 balls for 869 yds and 9 TDs. The only excuse I can make for him is he’s had some poor QB play. Matt Hasselbeck, Chris Simms, Kerry Collins, Rusty Smith, Jake Locker, and Ryan Fitzpatrick have all thrown passes to him. That’s a motley crew!! So maybe a new start would do him some good. He’s young and we could get him CHEAP!!!
- Marshall Newhouse/OT - (25 yrs old) “Discarded Talent“…In 2011 and 2012, Marshall started 31 games (including playoffs) at LT for the Packers. Then last year, he lost his position and reportedly lost his edge also. I see a young tackle, 6-4, 319 lbs, with a lot of experience including a World Championship. Young, lots of “tread on the tire“, and playoff experience. We must look into him…NOW!
- J’Marcus Webb/OT – (25 yrs old) Even though J’Marcus was a seventh round pick, he has managed 46 games played with 44 of them starts. The issue appeared to begin with a confrontation with Jay Cutler over a sack in 2012. By the next year, the Bears drafted a LT and shifted J’Marcus to right tackle. Before the season begun, he was released. He was claimed by the Vikings but didn’t play significant minutes. Those first three years, he only missed two games. He’s 6-7 and 333 lbs. I categorize Webb as “Personality Clash” as his downfall began with whining from a notoriously spoiled QB. You could probably get him for vet minimum. Take a chance.
- John Jerry/G – (27 yrs old) Let me give you some numbers. John is 6-5 and 335 lbs. Nice. In five years in the NFL, he has played 57 games and started 45 of them. Good size and experience…Why isn’t he high on people’s lists? “Damaged Reputation“. You see, Jerry was implicated as being an accessory in the Miami “Bullying” situation. Maybe the guy likes Florida and wants to prove he’s more than what is cited on an independent investigation. He should come cheap and because he will be properly motivated, he should pay off like the lottery!
- Brian de la Puente/C – (28 yrs old) As you can see, when it comes to the center or guard position, age is not an issue to me. Check this out…Brian has been in the NFL for six years. Yet he has only participated in 48 games. That’s awesome! All the games have come in the last three years. Late bloomer! “Discarded Talent” and “tread on the tire” all in one. The more time that passes and no one makes him an offer, the better the Jags chances. This guy was a battery mate for three years with Drew Brees. He must have the stuff and we could use it now!
- E.J. Biggers/CB – (26 yrs old) Yes…there are some defenders out there too. “Misunderstood Talent“. Biggers is 6-0 and 185 lbs. He should be getting more attention. I think the issue is that he only has four INTs in a five year career. I agree that is underwhelming. BUT…He does have 30 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, one QB sack and 203 TACKLES! Bring him in on non-throwing downs if the INT situation bothers you. Convert him to FS because he appears to be a sure tackler. He is also a Florida native, so maybe he would give us a “home state” discount. Go get ‘em!
- Major Wright/SS – (25 yrs old) This player could start for many teams in this league. He’s 5-11, 204 lbs, has been in the league for four years and has played in 54 games. He has 253 career tackles, 9 INTs, and has returned an INT for a TD THREE YEARS IN A ROW!!! Yet he is still available ten days after free agency period began. “Discarded Talent“. As more time passes, he may be willing to come to Jacksonville and back-up Cyprien. What insurance to have. Him still being out there is perplexing. I’d wait about three more days and then give the full court press. Another Florida boy, he’s been held hostage in frigid Chicago for four years. He may come cheap just for the weather!
Some of these players will be gone very soon, but I feel that a few will be there with a “Blue Light Special” going. (For you youngsters, that was something that K-mart used to do to indicate a big in-store sale item…K-mart was what Walmart is now and…Oh…Google it!) I would love for a few more affordable free agents be brought in so we can truly be open to any possibility come draft time.
Thanks for the read!!
In depth talent and sales experience…Michael McDonald.
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