Understanding Dave Caldwell’s Free Agent Strategy
Dave Caldwell is doing an amazing job. This is so far above Gene Smith it isn’t even in the same league. If Gus Bradley is eventually fired, David Caldwell will retain his position. He is amazing and Greg Olson is smiling!
Let’s take a look at what he has done in free agency:
Think about what Blake Bortles has had to deal with. The rookies WR’s running wrong routes. Cecil Shorts dropping passes. Marcedes Lewis is so slow and lethargic that he is not a threat. Blake needs a supporting staff. There is no better Tight End available in football for receiving than Julius Thomas. This is an amazingly good signing. If I am right, Julius Thomas will be in the ring of honor. He is young and good and better than anyone available. He needs to stay healthy. I loved that he said “Where is Blake, I need to be there on Monday working with him”. This is an over the top amazing signing. He is not a replacement for Marcedes Lewis. Both will be on the line in various formations and will work well together. Marcedes needs to earn his pay, but he is still a valuable member of the team.
This is a good risk by David Caldwell. We needed a Right Tackle in the worst way. Austin Paznor was acceptable, but Jermey Parnell is potentially much bigger and more powerful. He held on in Dallas when thrust into service when Doug Free went down. This guy was a free agent un-drafted signing that Dallas invested in to develop. He cashed in but has yet to prove it. I think he is a real football player who wants to succeed. If he works out, the running game is in great shape and Blake is well protected. I know he is drawing a lot of money, but I think he is worth it. We needed a pass catching Tight End and a run/pass blocking right tackle and we got both.
This guy is a pass rusher, not a run stopper. He will be on the defensive line and was hired to disrupt the passer. Red Bryant is getting old, Sen’Derrick Marks may not recover and Ziggy Hood may not ever develop, therefore Jared Odrick makes sense. We need to disrupt the passer, not just sack him, but make him nervous. We don’t have that and therefore we needed someone who can be that person. I have less hope in Jared Odrick than any other free agent signing, but David did right in bringing him in. The line must stay fresh and young. I expect this to be a yearly activity of finding the right talent to be a top defensive team. I wish it was Suh, but he was over the top expensive and I understand not fighting for him. I don’t know if Jared Odrick will be good or not, but David does and we can only hope for the best.
Devon is a Corner back from Green Bay who has a lot of confidence. I love that about him. When you look at the corner-backs on our team, Aaron Colvin is top shelf good, Demetrius McCray is serviceable, but Dwayne Gratz is close to a failure. The reason Devon House was brought in was because of Dwayne Gratz. I don’t know why Dwayne Gratz is not a Safety? That is his natural position, a run stopping powerhouse. Dwayne is good if used right, but corner-back is not where he exceeds. Devon House might win the starting corner-back slot from McCray and Dwayne will be second string. Watch and see if I am not right.
This guy is the free safety we needed but never had. He is an emerging talent who played well in the playoffs. I don’t know how David Caldwell got away with signing him for a guaranteed $1 Million. I rate this signing as the third most important behind Julius Thomas and Jermey Pernell. If this kid can play, then he will be paid royally in three years. This is a top selection by David Caldwell.
Dan plays right outside linebacker, which is typically the strong side. Dan is considered an upgrade to J.T. Thomas who played both strong side and middle linebacker for us but was let go. To be honest, I am not sure he is an upgrade to J.T. Thomas. If Dan is better than J.T. Thomas, then David Caldwell has improved the line backing corps. J.T. Thomas got $4.5 million guaranteed from the Giants, Dan Skuta got 4 years $20 million from the Jaguars, about the same. I am not sure I see this signing clearly. We will have to watch and see what Dan develops into as a player.
Overall, the Jaguars got a lot better. How much better depends on Jermey Parnell and Sergio Brown. Chances are three of these guys don’t pan out. Let’s hope the right three do.
Next: Tracking the Jaguars Free Agency Moves
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