Caldwell said that the talent on the current roster will be evaluated. He is a man of his word. On Friday, the Jacksonville Jaguars released safety Dawan Landry and cornerback Aaron Ross. As you can read, both were more Gene Smith free agency signings that did not work out. If you aren’t familiar with how their seasons went, just click the links (Thanks, Luke!).
Most Jaguars fans, however, are familiar with just how bad our secondary was. Wait, not just our secondary, but our entire defense was bad. I shouldn’t have to post numbers and stats for you to understand just how bad it was, so I won’t. You didn’t need numbers to see the proof in 2012.
November 8, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end George Selvie (91) during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier in the week, I posted an article discussing what the Jaguars might do with their own free agents. What I didn’t talk about was who under contract might be released. The Jaguars are eating $3.9 million, and Caldwell has been very open about how moves like this will be “performance based” which is great. We as fans deserve much better than what we’ve fielded the last five years.The Jaguars also did not extend tenders to RFAs DE George Selvie, FB Brock Bolen, LB Kyle Bosworth, TE Zach Potter, C John Estes, and WR Jordan Shipley. Selvie is a journeyman who didn’t have much left to offer, Brock Bolen wasn’t on the field in 2012, Bosworth was, well, Bosworth, and we never really saw much of John Estes but yet there he was on the roster for the last two years albeit on IR most of the time.
I’m somewhat surprised about the other two. I thought Potter did pretty decent as a blocking TE, but he’s more than replaceable. The one that is truly shocking is Jordan Shipley. He showed something towards the end of last season with 23 catches for 244 and a TD after joining the team in late November, but this new regime obviously wants to go in a new direction.
Guy Whimper was shown the door last week. Rashean Mathis was notified he won’t receive a contract on Monday. Could this just be the beginning?
Free agency is inching closer and closer. Derek Cox, Terrance Knighton, Brad Meester, Greg Jones, Daryl Smith…only Meester and Jones look as if they have a chance of returning.
Gene Smith had a roster mainly comprised of journeymen cast-offs like Selvie, projects like Estes, UDFAs with low ceilings like Potter, free agent busts like Ross and Landry, and small school prospects drafted high like Cox and Knighton.
I’m a fan of college free agency. I’m a fan of developing players with pro potential. I’m a fan of small school prospects with big time game, but you cannot build an NFL roster full of players like that. I think players who fall in this category are important because every team needs role players and quality depth, but when you’re starting Kyle Bosworth in lieu of Daryl Smith, something has gone terribly wrong.
This is the make over fans have been waiting for. Expect more of these moves in the coming days. Soon we’ll have a much clearer vision of who Caldwell and Bradley consider to be the core of this team, and how the new roster will be constructed.
-David R. Johns