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Gene Smith was unable, or unwilling, to part ways with John Henderson for less than his perceived value prior to the draft. Make no mistake, a team would have swooped in and grabbed Hen for a 5th easily prior to the draft. He was only scheduled to make 5 million and was coming off an excellent year.
John Henderson was the rock of the defense, and getting nothing for him is clearly Gene's first blatant error as GM.The Jaguars' stuck to their philosophy of going with the best guy on their board, something I respect. However, they lost all leverage to trade Henderson when they spent their first four picks on the defensive line; keep in mind these picks were in addition to the signing of Aaron Kampman and the extension of Ellison.
Every team in the league knew that John was going to be released after the conclusion of the third day of the draft. It's a sheer numbers game. Should Gene have reached and grabbed a player of need (GASP!) instead of so many defensive linemen?
Had the Jaguars' not so heavily invested in their defensive line then they would've had the leverage to actually convince a team that they were going to keep John. By the way, You had to know Hen was done as a Jaguar when we picked Alualu at the dime-spot. Although there clearly would've been interest had we kept John and waited for the inevitable injuries that occur during training-camps to find a team desperate enough to trade for him.
Hopefully we don't suffer too many injuries to our defensive tackles, because there is now a HUGE drop-off in talent after Alualu and "Pot-Roast". Please don't try to tell me that A. Ellison is anything close to what John Henderson is either. You've got to stop the run, and we just released, without compensation mind you, a top-5 run stopper who was signed to a reasonable contract that wasn't back-loaded.
Gene, I think you just made your first documented error, and it came because you showed kindness.... Better known as weakness. You released John early enough for him to find another team, rather than pay his initial salary (He had no bonus coming),, and waiting for another team's DT to go down. Kindness is weakness Gene...