Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
March 11th…2014…A day that will live in infamy. Oh my goodness gracious!!! Today already started great for me as it is my birthday (I’m registered at Football Fanatics…I wear XXL). I enjoyed my day resting up and preparing for 4 PM when free agency period began. I was anticipating a tight game with cards held close to the vest by my Jags. I know they had money to spend but for most years, we let the market play out and paid accordingly. I had already had a little celebration with the release of Justin Forsett. A never-was that never even showed up. You cut bait with a useless player while building up the confidence of a youngster (Jordan Todman). It’s a win-win. Coming on the heels of the Red Bryant signing a few days ago, I wasn’t expecting too much excitement. The Jags don’t rush the stage. We’re scared we’ll make a mistake. Our franchise dealt with free agency like a dog that cowers constantly from being beaten too much. I was anticipating a slow day and hoped for excitement tomorrow.
LORD…was I wrong!! Less than 5 minutes after four o’clock, it was announced that we had signed Zane Beadles, an offensive guard from the AFC champion Denver Broncos. OH…now I see why Uche was expendable. But something is different here. Yeah Beadles is only 27 years old. He also is only a four year veteran. And sure he specializes in zone blocking which our offensive line is still trying to get down. What really struck me is this is a guy that was coveted by other teams. He’s not coming off a weak or injured 2013. He was quite good actually. Has been for four years. This guy is not a project. He was a college All American. He scored a 36 on the Wonderlic exam. He was drafted in the second round. He has been an All-Pro and has played in a Super Bowl. HOLY SHNIKEY!!! He is one of the better at his position in the entire NFL and now he’s a FREAKIN’ JAGUAR!!! My heart swells with pride! The Jags were aggressive and got their guy!
I figured that was enough excitement and went with my wife and kids for an early birthday dinner. Shortly after sitting down, my phone alerted me something was up. I opened my screen and about fell out of my seat. “Blaine Gabbert traded to the San Francisco 49ers”! No Way…Impossible! We were probably going to cut Gabbert during training camp. Maybe the GM at San Fran REALLY hates the coach because he just sent us a sixth round pick for a QB who plays more scared than Jim Everett did, who throws a prettier interception than Eli, and lost more games than David Carr did with an expansion team. This is one of those situations where you just say thank you, don’t make eye contact, and walk slowly away hoping they don’t figure out that they just got SCREWED! When I told my wife the news, a man at the next table asked me if what I just said was true. I showed him my phone and I could have sworn he looked like he wanted to give me a hug. Blaine Gabbert was a nice young man. I was excited when he was brought in. I didn’t mind the lost picks because he had to be good…Right? He wasn’t. Not even close. This team is moving in a new direction. One of constant positivity. A winning attitude. It’s hard to cement those philosophies when a down-right symbol of failure is in the room. Failure for the past management. Failure for the player. Failure for the organization. He needed to go. He is gone…and Caldwell got another precious pick. I still can’t believe it. In the Jags past, WE WERE THE ONES ON THE SCREWED SIDE OF A TRADE! Caldwell could retire tomorrow and he is still the best GM in team history.
I had a wonderful dinner. Got home and put my kids to bed. Hung out with the wife a little until she went to bed. I sat a few minutes in a quiet room and reflected on the day. I then pulled up my computer and saw that the Jags had re-signed Will Blackmon for two years. Damn good retention of a player who earned that contract. Good guy on the field. Good guy in the locker room. Has reclaimed a career that was almost killed by two knee injuries. That makes him inspiring also. I love that guy.
OK…That’s all. I’m going to write up this article and then go get some rest. With all the fireworks today, I hope I won’t be hungover tomorrow!
So yes…this is easily one of the greatest days in Jaguar history. I’m just so glad I got to witne…Hold on. My phone is alerting me again. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!! We just signed Toby Gerhart. Another excellent signing!! Makes the pending possible loss of MJD a lot less painful. Another young guy who just played out his rookie contract. A running back who has played sparingly behind “All Day” Pederson up in Minnesota. He’s the cliche’…The RB with “a lot of tread still on his tires.” When he was allowed to play, he met the challenge and exceeded expectations. He has a chance to be our version of Darren Sproles…or Danny Woodhead. I can’t wait to see this guy at OTAs.
So let’s summarize the day. We started the very important project of strengthening our interior offensive line. We signed a great compliment running back who could potentially start while ridding ourselves of a RB mistake. We re-signed an outstanding CB who knows our defensive scheme and is grateful enough to come back. We got rid of a walking, talking, interception throwing symbol of past management mistakes. And we got another sought after pick in May’s draft. Damn good day…DAMN GOOD DAY!!!!
Loving his Jacksonville Jaguars….Michael McDonald.
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