What have we accomplished?:
Today, as expected, was a slow day as far as signings. Jacksonville did extend an offer to Bears Defensive Tackle Jimmy Kennedy, but a very small one ($755,000, $50K signing bonus). Chicago will have seven days to match or the Jaguars get the player. Two points: One, how crazy is it that three quarters of a million dollars in salary is considered "very small", and two, Kennedy is a depth signing, possibly even a camp body. I don't regard this as a signing of note.
The release of Chris Naeole was interesting but not surprising. Jacksonville is going to have to do a pretty significant amount of work on the offensive and defensive line, but holding onto a player that is pretty badly hurt isn't going to help us.
Free Agent News of Note:
The Tenneesee Titans are getting eviscerated on their defensive line through Free Agency:
- Defensive Tackle Randy Starks: Signed by the Dolphins
- Defensive End Antwan Odom: Signed by Cincinnati
- Defensive End Travis LaBoy: Signed by Arizona
The downside is that the Titans pick before the Jaguars in the draft and could snag one of the last first round Defensive Ends just before we get to pick. It's a good thing we have just enough firepower in our draft picks to move up a spot or three if we need to.
This is completely unrelated to the Jaguars, but did you know that DE Justin Smith got the same guaranteed money ($20 Million) as Dwight Freeney? In-sane. I'm glad the Jaguars stayed away from that guy once the money got insane.
Big Ben signs Big Contract:
Big Ben Roethlisberger signed an insane contract today, 8 years, $102 Million Dollars, $36 Million in Guaranteed Money. With David Garrard in the market for an extension we've moved from "do we pay him like Tony Romo and Marc Bulger" to "I hope we pay him like Tony and Marc and not Roethlisberger!". David and his agent have to be pleased at Ben's contract.
It's too bad Ben couldn't swallow his pride for a bit and leave a little money for the Steelers to sign any offensive linemen though, he got pounded last season, and with Fanaca gone to the Jets, that trend is going to continue.
Odds and Ends:
You might have noticed that I was featured on JagNation today with an article about Marcus Stroud. First off, if you don't read JagNation, you're missing out on a great site for Jaguars News, a perfect compliment to reading this site, of course. Robb and Charlie run a nice site over there and you'll see me contributing over there more often. There's just not that much Jaguars content on the internet, and we're better off working together.
I'm also working with New Era Scouting to write NFL related articles. It's a little more "journalistic" and will have a broader view than the Jaguars, and should be a once a week feature.
I updated the Mock Draft Tracker today. There are less drafts because I only used ones that reflected the post-Combine/Free Agency period. No use in using a mock draft from January that has the Jaguars picking a Wide Receiver, is there?
That said, my focus is still 100% Jacksonville Jaguars and Big Cat Country. I'm amazingly proud of how this site has developed and the recent rise in comments and participation. Nothing makes me happier than to post something and see a few hours later that it's generated more than a couple comments. It makes me want to work harder, and that's good for everyone.
Since we're talking about the community, I'd like to remind anyone and everyone that if they'd like to write for Big Cat Country, they should email me (absurdpolitiks[at]gmail[dot]com).
Finally, I'll be doing a bit of traveling in about a week. I'm going on a cruise with my fiancee, and will be sort of limited from Sunday March 9th until Saturday March 15th. I will have my laptop and wireless internet, but won't have the attention span to be as assertive as normal. If anyone would like to help out as a guest blogger while I'm gone, please let me know!
Tomorrow we return to our "State of the Roster" series as well as start looking toward the draft.