No one can argue with the immediate impact of Gene Smith's draft class last season, nor can anyone attest that this class won't have the same impact (In Gene we trust). However, that's not to say he's papally infallible, or incapable of erring. As such, when seeing something we don't like, we should critique it legitimately.
This offseason in particular, there are two personnel "mistakes" I see worth mentioning. Perhaps you'll feel the same about these somewhat minor issues involving two long-time Jaguars.
For some inexplicable reason, Clint Ingram refused to sign his original-round tender, feeling he was being underpaid. He waited until the deadline passed, and the Jaguars had the opportunity had he continued to hold out to reduce the offer to a 10% increase over last year's salary, even less then his tender would have paid him.
The Jaguars' acquired Kirk Morrison from the Raiders in what can only be described as a coup. Ingram was now expendable, coupled with the fact that he obviously did not want to play in Jacksonville. We all know Gene has a black heart, so why wasn't he more ruthless in dealing with Ingram? He could have reduced his salary and given him the option to either play or exit the NFL. Clint would have blinked and we'd have excellent trade bait because Clint Ingram's salary would be so low. When team's start losing players to injuries in training camp, they start to pick up the phone.
Big Hen has been a staple of the Jaguars' defensive line for years, and for years he's had unexplainable absences and other issues, although no legal troubles. That all stopped last season and we saw a rededicated Henderson. He doesn't have a job now because he is likely asking for too much money. He'll do what the Jaguars' could have done... Wait until a team has a severe injury to one (or more) of their defensive tackles in training camp, and suddenly his value skyrockets.
Gene could have taken this same approach. Henderson was do to make roughly 5 million, and although that is not chump change, it isn't a king's ransom either. When a team gets blasted with multiple d-linemen getting high ankle sprains and acl issues (what if it is our team?) , then they'll call looking, and suddenly we'll have an extra sixth-rounder. If it doesn't happen before the deadline, release him then and owe him nothing.
Gene has been around long enough to know how this business works, he's shown he's an expert scout and talent evaluator... EXPERT. There is No arguing his ability to make draft selections. However, his handling of these two personnel issues is worth questioning.
How do you feel about the handling of Ingram and Henderson?
I'm fine with it and follow Gene with blind faith. (160 votes)
I think both should've been kept up until the season, and then released if no trade was capable. (169 votes)
Not sure... (48 votes)
NEW OPTION - Fine with both the moves, and the concept of critiquing Gene Smith (221 votes)
598 total votes