Well the season sure ended a lot earlier than I would have liked or even expected, but that just means that much needs to be done. I have compiled a to do list of what I think the Jaguars need to do to get themselves back on track and put themselves in good position to be playing at a high level sooner than later.
1. Get a premium LT
We've all talked about it and we know it's definitely the biggest priority for the team this offseason. Whether the position is addressed in free agency or the draft it needs to be done in a big way. I'd personally prefer that the Jaguars draft which ever of the big 4 prospects that falls the farthest after trading back. The big 4 OTs look to be Michael Oher of Ole Miss, Andre Smith of Alabama, Jason Smith of Baylor, and Eugene Monroe of Virginia.
2. Sign Maurice Jones-Drew to a long term contract
Do I really need to explain the importance of this? Maurice is obviously a franchise player and deserves to get much more money than he's getting right now and needs to be locked up for the future. There's been speculation that the Jaguars will have more time than originally expected to get a contract finalized because of the new collective-bargaining agreement that would postpone Maurice's eligibility for free agency until after the 2011 season. Regardless of this, his future is not one to be playing around with and he needs to get the contract before he starts to get antsy about the issue.
3. Trade down whenever possible to load up on new talent
We saw first hand how well this drafting philosophy works 2 years ago and how risky the opposite philosophy can be the following year. In the 2007 draft the Jaguars traded down several times and enjoyed the luxury of an 11 man draft class including: Reggie Nelson, Justin Durant, Mike Walker, Adam Podlesh, Uche Nwaneri, Derek Landri, John Broussard, and Chad Nkang. The Jaguars need to have a similar draft and bring in many new contributors.
4. Get a stadium sponsor already!
I'll be honest, I don't see this happening this offseason and I expect the stadium to be named Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for another season. If the team couldn't sell the naming rights after the 2006 season the only way they'll be able to after the 2007 season is by dropping the asking price by a pretty decent amount. It still needs to be a top priority of the organization this summer and I'm looking forward to the day when "The Jack" is an extinct nickname.
5. Have a healthy Training Camp, Preseason, Workouts, and OTAs
This team just can not afford to continue to lose player after player in times when it doesn't count for anything. Hopefully the new training staff hired by Del Rio will provide the players with a safe offseason and the team can enter the regular season with the team that the organization had in mind when they built the program.
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