As has been pointed out many times, the goal is not, and should not be, to win more games now. The goal should be to establish a system that affords you the opportunity to be a contender and competitive for a sustainable period of time. The harsh reality is that the are devoid of talent, and signing big name free agents for huge sums of money is not going to suddenly make them a playoff team.
When you look at free agency in general there is a high rate of players not living up to the contracts that they sign. In certain situations it makes sense to spend the money and roll the dice, such as a team like the Seahawks who are young, filled with talent, have some cap space, and were a very successful team last year. In the case of the Jaguars, say they go out and sign a couple of big name free agents to huge contracts, what is the return on the investment in terms of wins? Do they go from being a 4-12 team to maybe winning 8 games? Some may argue that this is what they should do, because you should always be trying to win as much as possible.
I agree with that statement, but not at the expense of sustainability. Signing big name free agents means increasing your cap number which in turn means making it more difficult to re-sign the talented players who you do have on the roster. You may see a one or two year bump in wins, but ultimately you are making it less likely to be able to hold on to some of the "homegrown" talent. That is not always such a big deal for a team that is very deep, but I think one thing we can all agree upon is the fact that the Jags are far from that at this point. I would suspect that in a couple of years, if everything goes according to plan they will gradually become more active in free agency, but doing so now simply does not make any sense given the circumstances.
Another argument could be that there is also a high risk of a draft pick being a total bust (Gene Smith… cough, cough). This is very true, but the one big difference is that thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, you are not shelling out tens of millions of dollars to take that risk. One of the advantages to building primarily though the draft is that in letting some of the people go in free agency now, we are picking up more draft picks in the form of compensatory picks. They may not all pan out, but the more opportunities you have, the more likely you are to find that diamond in the rough on draft day, and all the while hopefully adding depth to your football team.
I realize it is very difficult to sit back, and be patient, because if you are on this site it means you are very passionate about the Jaguars. I think we all need to give this time to play itself out. In the end, the truth is we will never know what could have been, only what will be, and the only way to get there is through time and patience.
"The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up." ― Chuck Palahniuk
"Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be." ― George Carlin