It is February.
Time to suspend logic and throw caution to the wind.
Trudging through blogs, message boards, and talk radio, it is clear that we have landed at that point in the calendar when normally rational people will suddenly set aside what they understand to be true, especially where the Jacksonville Jaguarsare concerned. In lieu of logic and common sense, fans jump on the bandwagon of any player with a name they recognize, even if it is clear that the fit is not what is best for this team.
The Bob Sanders situation is a perfect example of how this thing works.
It is well documented how phenomenally talented the undersized Safety is when he is healthy and on the field. Having him out there contributing changed the entire complexion of the Coltsdefense, particularly during the 2007 season when Indianapolis won the Super Bowl, and Sanders was awarded defensive player of the year honors. He is a legitimate force when he is on the field.
That is the problem.
People look at what he does when he is healthy, and they wish away the fact that he has missed the majority of his regular season starts because of injury by saying the Jaguars should just sign him to an incentive laden contract to factor in his injury history.
I have yet to see a valid explanation about why that is a good approach to managing a roster, especially when it is almost an absolute certainty based on history that Sanders will wind up injured at some point during the season.
How does an incentive laden contract fill the hole in your secondary when Sanders goes down with the inevitable injury that sees him sidelined for the bulk of the season?
People lean on the signing of Aaron Kampmanto use that as the basis for pursuing Sanders. Kampman is certainly a guy who came to Jacksonville for a smaller contract than he would have had he been healthy. But, the Jaguars did not exactly pinch pennies in signing Kampman, and they certainly didn't attach a ton of incentives to the deal in order to make it more reasonable should he suffer another injury.
They did not go cheap with the Kampman signing. They simply got better value for a talented player. It still required a guaranteed $11 million, and a contract worth $26 million over 4 years.
That is not cheap.
Nobody seems to be willing to answer a simple question in considering Sanders. Is it better to pinch pennies to pursue a player you can almost guarantee will miss playing time by throwing an incentive laden contract in his direction. Or, does it make more sense to look at other options? Especially if there is a player out there who can provide you with a significant upgrade at the Safety spot while costing the team more?
I would be more willing to accept the team spending more money to sign a player they are confident will at least give them the possibility of contributing for an entire season.
Is it better to go cheap and try to fix a major issue on your defense with a band aid player who might or might not get you 8 games, or is it better advised to target a player who might be more expensive, but equally productive and on the field for 16 games?
Is an incentive laden contract really beneficial to the team if the player receiving the pay check is sidelined by injury? Has anything been fixed if that is the end result?
If the team is serious about fixing the situation at Safety, being frugal is not the best approach.