Ace Sanders released: Dave Caldwell shows maturity


Ace Sanders found himself released by the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday after failing to impress during his sophomore season both as a wide receiver and as a punt returner. Others on the team have surpassed him as a receiver and his work as a punt returner wasn’t vital enough to justify keeping him around for another season.

With the lackluster performance of Sanders, general manager Dave Caldwell showed him the door.

This move is both bold and shows the maturity of the first-time general manager for the Jags. Caldwell’s dismissal of Ace Sanders is the first time he has released a player he drafted in one of the three drafts he has overseen. With just two seasons of work from those players, Caldwell already knew it was time to move on.

Many general managers in the NFL get caught up with the players they draft and don’t want to cut them. Whether it’s because they think that the guys they draft are superior in some way, they just fall in love with a certain attribute with the player, or the GM simply isn’t mature enough to know a lost cause when he sees one.

While some organizations are excellent at retaining draft picks, especially teams like the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, most teams go through a mix of free agent additions and draft picks in any given year. Long-term GMs have to know when to cut a player – even one he drafted – for the betterment of the team. Staying attached to an underperforming cog in this business is a good way to get fired. Most teams don’t have an Ozzie Newsome heading up the front office, but the guys in that role don’t know that they aren’t.

I’m not saying that Caldwell is the next Newsome and will knock it out of the park on so many draft picks. His maturity to move past a player who turned out to be a mistake should be noted, however. I’m impressed with Caldwell’s willingness to improve this team, even if means getting rid of a player he liked. He’s a mature GM and hopefully that yields positive results for the Jaguars.

Next: 4 questions for Allen Hurns

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