Signing for Future Accomplishments, Not Past

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are focusing on the future projections of a player rather than past accomplishments when selecting Free Agents whom they will sign.

On the April 3rd edition of the Rich Eisen Podcast, Maurice Jones-Drew was speaking about his free agent process this summer. Jones-Drew said that the Raiders were the only team that was willing to give him a chance.

Often times, fans become so attached to players who are among the franchise's best that the fans will forget that NFL contracts are, and should be, given to players based on projection for future accomplishments rather than past successes. When players are rewarded and signed based on their past accomplishments, teams overpay in free agency.

Two seemingly opposite ends of that spectrum are the contracts that the Indianapolis Colts gave D'Qwell Jackson set against the contract that the Jacksonville Jaguars gave Ziggy Hood. Both contracts will run for the next four years. D'Qwell Jackson's contract is for 22 million dollars with 11 million in guarantees, whereas Ziggy Hood's contract is for 16 million dollars with 5.5 million in guarantees.

On the surface it appears that the Jackson contract would be better than the contract the Jaguars signed Hood to early in the free agency period. The Colts, however, appear to be paying players more on their past merits rather than their future projections.

Many pundits have called Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson a great closer. Sure, but any job that is offering MILLIONS over the competition is going to have the edge.

The Jaguars, on the other hand, are signing players who seemingly have not accomplished much in their short careers. Ziggy Hood, DeKoda Watson, Toby Gerhart,  Sen'Derrick Marks, and Alan Ball are all prime examples of the Jaguars paying players based on future projections in Head Coach Gus Bradley's system rather than past performances.

"Get to the point, Chaps." Ok. The Jaguars appear to be poised to pounce on transition tagged Alex Mack. If the Jaguars were to sign Mack, the Jaguars would do so while still keeping an eye on the future. It is very doubtful that the poised Dave Caldwell would be willing to start making it rain on free agents just because his fancy is tickled a month and a day from the draft.

Dave Caldwell and company have been discerning in all of their contracts thus far; Alex Mack, should he be signed, won't be any different. Alex Mack will be signed because the Jaguars view him as a player who will be productive for many years.

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