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Small Market Rountable: Free Agency

As usual, Big Blue Shoe utilizes his dead pan observation in the next edition of the SB Nation Small Market Roundtable.  Josh from Cincy Jungle was a bit distracted by pending legal action against the team and couldn't participate so BBS stepped up.

This week's discussion is Free Agency attraction.  

The issue, I think, is that if a player has nearly identical offers from a Small Market like Jacksonville and a big market like New York, the players will tend to go the big market.  And that's understandable, the Jacksonville Nightlife can't compare to New York's.  But then again, do I want a player that makes their decision to join a team based off of the clubs?  Last I checked, not much good seems to come out of NFL Players and the night life.  And I don't mean to sound like Herm Edwards or something, but with all that money the players are targets for trouble.  Perhaps a "backwater" like Jacksonville is a smart move because the chances to ruin your career through stupid choices is lower.

Or perhaps the location is irrelevent.  Players have an off-season to cause trouble.  Right now we're entering the "Dead Zone" when OTA's end before training camp starts.  Coaches go on vacation, staffs rediscover their families, and every player knows that once Camp starts, they're in for the long haul.  So the parties get a little bigger, the money spends a little looser, and the players take more chances knowing that they have to enjoy it while they can.  

For Jacksonville, I don't know that the attraction is hurt by the small market.  We're a few hours or a very short flight to Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Panama Beach.  It's certainly better than Green Bay, Buffalo, or Indanapolis.

Speaking of Indanapolis.  Don't ever try and get a drink on sunday.  It can't be done.  Though, Indy provides another example of a city that overcomes being a "small market", because who wouldn't want to play with Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy.  Smart players who want to get better know that their numbers can only go up, even if Polian is a bit of a tight wad.  Vinitari left the big city to small town Indy knowing full and well what it would do for his stats and his bank account.

I think Jacksonville offers the best situation for the "shallow reasons" of all the small markets, given their location in regards to everything else.  Also, I don't know about the other cities, but Florida does not have a state income tax, so the players can keep more of their signing bonuses, another perk.  

Of course, all of these factors depend on the player and their familiy/agent making a smart decision.  The bright lights of the big city might be enticing, but a deeper look should level the playing field.

At least for Jacksonville.