Update [2008-3-1 13:22:42 by River City Rage]:: Defensive End Justin Smith has signed with the San Francisco 49ers. He received a 45 million dollar contract with 20 million guaranteed. No wonder Jacksonville stayed away.
What do we know?
Day one of Free Agency is behind us and things are already becoming more clear for the Jaguars. First off, we've found our number one receiver in Jerry Porter and we've backed up David Garrard with Cleo Lemon. Two big needs addressed in the first day, not too shabby.
There were some losses as well. Safety Gibril Wilson, who I was absolutely convinced that the team would sign took the big money out of the Oakland Raiders. 16 million in guaranteed money, six million more than Porter received from the Jaguars. Un-Real. The Raiders are filling the void that the Redskins usually occupy with giant contracts for middle grade players.
So far the Jaguars are 2 for 2 on visits. This seems to be pretty normal for the front office as we don't like to see players leave. Keep that in mind.
Who is our next signing:
It's going to be Cornerback Drayton Florence, formerly of the San Diego Chargers. I reported this earlier and the more I think about it, the more excited I get. The San Diego Union Tribune says it's a done deal, though Pro Football Talk says it's "premature". Either way, Drayton is visiting with the Jaguars on Saturday, and we tend to sign everyone that visits.
As far as I know, he's the only visit tomorrow.
Marcus visited the Buffalo Bills on Friday and is likely to be traded there sometime soon. The going rate for large and established defensive tackles is a 3rd round pick and something else, ether a 5th round pick or a player. Shaun Rogers went to the Cleveland Browns for a 3rd and a DB. Buffalo just happens to have an extra 3rd and 5th, and made a pretty significant cap cut in Larry Tripplett which seems a clear precursor to the trade. If we got a 3rd and 5th round for Marcus Stroud as well as relieved the Jaguars of the 5 million dollar salary and the disappointment of a player past his prime, I'd sing from the rooftops. Other Suitors for Stroud include the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants. Tom Coughlin drafted Stroud, Mike Smith coached him, it just makes sense.
How are we doing:
Here is my dream situation. The team starts Monday having signed Jerry Porter, signed Cleo Lemon, signed Drayton Florence, traded for Troy Williamson, and traded Marcus Stroud for a 3rd and 5th round pick. We instantly improve our offense, remedy a big part of our secondary, and increase our ability to move in the draft to grab the big defensive guys that we're clearly going to target. Jacksonville, provided that we pull all this off, will have made a dramatic improvement to their team that has to be in the top 2 or 3 of all NFL teams in the early free agent period.
There are some out there criticizing our front office, but if all these things shake out, they deserve a big hug, simply because they've already started the process of taking our Jaguars to the next level. Drayton Florence will be a fantastic addition, especially when we play the pass heavy teams like the Colts and Patriots. If we're going to beat the big boys, we have to match them.
And forever more, we'll never see another mock draft that shows the Jaguars picking up a wide receiver in the first round.
Crazy Rumor of the Night:(That's been confirmed!)
Garry Cobb, a Philladelphia Radio guy, reported on air that the Jaguars had an offer on the table for Randy Moss. Ugh.
Not so crazy rumor of the night:
The Agent for DE Justin Smith says that he's talking to the Jaguars. Not surprising, but I don't think he'll sign with us unless he wants to leave money on the table.
Who's leaving the Team:
- Michael Wright of the Florida Times-Union says that the Atlanta Falcons are going after OT Maurice Williams, as well as other unnamed teams.
- As we know, Ernest Wilford went to the Dolphins.
- I've heard that Quinn Gray is being targeted by the Vikings, but I can't find anything to verify that.
I'm very pleased with free agency so far, though we're two moves away from me being giddy and overjoyed with what we've accomplished. Thanks to everyone who followed along with me today, expect this sort of coverage for the next few days!