JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 24: Jeremy Mincey #94 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after the game against the Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Field on October 24, 2011 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
In many Jacksonville Jaguars fans eyes, defensive end Jeremy Mincey is a key free agent the team needs to focus on bringing back. He certainly is, but the questions arises to as what he's worth. Mincey had a break out year in 2011 with a career high 8 sacks (aided by 2.5 sacks in the final game), 57 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, and 16 starts. Mincey isn't going to take a hometown discount however, according to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.
The skinny: The Jaguars want him back because pass rushers are at a premium and he wants to remain a Jaguar. But he says he won't give the team a hometown discount so the question is whether the Jaguars will make a good enough offer to prevent him from testing the free agent market.
I have no idea what kind of contract Mincey is looking for, but when you see that a player has said they won't be taking a "hometown discount" it usually means they won't come cheap. Mincey is a very good football player and reminds me a lot of new assistant defensive line coach Paul Spicer, but I'm not sure if I'd hand the 28-year old defensive end a big contract.Mincey was a good spot player prior to 2011 and took over in 2010 for draft bust Derrick Harvey, but he's still not that dominant pass rusher the Jaguars need. In my personal opinion, I think the Jaguars should let Mincey hit the free agent market and see what kind of money other team's think he's worth. For one, Mincey has been injury prone in his career and has played in just a single full 16-game season. He's a late bloomer, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it took him bouncing around on practice squads and six seasons to really become an impact player. He also padded his sack total a bit in the final game of the season, picking up 2.5 sacks to push his season's total from 5.5 to 8.0. Is Mincey a good pass rusher, or is he just the best of the worst on a team that's been trying to find a pass rush since the days of Tony Brackens?
The Jaguars have dealt with something similar like this, opting to let Bobby McCray hit the open market two seasons after he tried to cash in following a 10 sack season in 2006, but in the following season with the Jaguars he had just 3 sacks and then hit free agency. McCray signed a 5-year $20 million contract in free agency with the New Orleans Saints, but was released after two seasons netting only 7.5 sacks and starting just 8 games. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010 and played in just one game.
Am I saying Jeremy Mincey is another Bobby McCray? Absolutely not, but it's a reminder about being careful about paying a guy based on a single season's work, which is something Jaguars fans should know quite a bit about. Mincey is a player the Jaguars should look to keep if the money is right, but that's the ultimate question.
What do you pay Jeremy Mincey?