What Game are the Jaguars Playing?
By Luke Sims
Either the Jaguars have some master plan in the works, or they are becoming the big losers in free agency.
Or we, the fans, are completely aloof as to the needs of the team.
John Oehser had it right when he wrote,
"Outside owner Shad Khan and General Manager Gene Smith, no one knows for sure – and that’s pretty much par for the NFL course."
It was, and still is, the opinion of this writer that the Jaguars are going to pursue a better receiving corps in free agency. That said a number of very good receivers have come off the board. Of these, Stevie Johnson (resigned with Bills a week before free agency), Marques Colston (signed hours before free agency began), Vincent Jackson (signed with Tampa Bay), Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan (signed with the Washington Redskins), Randy Moss (signed with San Francisco), and a surprise Brandon Marshall trade from Miami to Chicago for two third round picks in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
The Jags have hardly been mentioned amongst all of this hullabaloo.
ESPN’s AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky recently mentioned that he thinks the Jags will still try to make a play for Mario Williams. Not only does he think that they will, he thinks that they should. Who else thinks that they should? All of Jaguar nation. Except maybe the front office.
While no word has come out of Shahid Khan or Gene Smith yet (after all, they like to keep things quiet), we, the Jaguars faithful, have got to begin wondering just what game the Jaguars are playing at.
It’s common knowledge that the goal for the team is to build through the draft. But to what end? Consistently, Gene Smith has traded up with picks to grab players he finds alluring. I agree with the strategy on the whole, but none of the players being developed with those picks have any market value to trade for more picks to add more blood and more development to the young Jaguars roster.
And beyond all that, at the Jaguars’ greatest position of need, Gene Smith has not performed well. Here at B&T, we outlined just how poorly he has done. Are we to assume that the Jaguars are actually pleased with their current receiving corps? Has Jarrett Dillard made his way off the injury cart enough make a play? Will Mike Thomas be forced out of the slot due to underperformance yet again? What about past attempts? Did Jason Hill suddenly become the deep threat we all dreamed of?
The only assumption I can make based on the complete lack of depth, and action to fit that depth, at wide receiver is that the Jaguars are going to make “plays” again in the draft. Plays for the likes of Justin Blackmon perhaps?
But at what cost?
It’s assumed picks will probably be involved in order to trade up an nab the star wide receiver from Oklahoma State. Or perhaps there will be a move to trade back and acquire as many mediocre talents at wide out that we possibly can?
I’m not really certain.
In fact I’m straight up confused.
If anybody has any light whatsoever on this, please, please shine it my way. Nay, shine it toward all of the fans. Because as much as I’m behind Gene Smith, I just can’t make heads nor tails of his actions in free agency thus far.
– Luke N. Sims