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Life After the Salary Cap, Part 1: Smart Scouting

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Will these be the Jaguars "Minor League Affiliates"

This is going to be a subject I dive deeper into later on in the offseason, however, I feel this is a good a time as any to speak on this subject. The NFL will almost certainly not have a salary cap when all is said and done with the new CBA. Hell, creative teams already operate as if there is no salary cap.

The main fear of fans is that it will become like baseball, where a team like the Redskins will be like the Yankees and essentially buy a Super Bowl. I can understand those fears, especially for the Jaguars.. However, I am here to try and show you how the Jaguars can still field a competitive team and not be the Kansas City Royals of the NFL(Sorry to any Royals fans reading this.)

This first part is scouting. The beauty of Division 1-A college football is that it churns out a crop of NFL ready players yearly. The additional beauty of being a team in Florida is............

Per CBS Sportsline, the top 8 schools among active NFL players are

Miami - 55
Georgia - 54
LSU - 50
Michigan - 50
Ohio State - 47
Florida - 43
USC - 42
Florida State - 42

The Jaguars are a day's drive away from being able to scout four of the biggest football factories in the US. Assuming the draft stays the way it is, a team like Jacksonville would be at an advantage because they could get more time to scout those top programs.

Am I saying by 2012 the Jaguars will become the Jacksonville Hurri-nole-tor-dogs? No. What I'm saying is that the Jaguars will have a better chance to get NFL ready prospects coming out of college and using that to their advantage. Rookies are always cheaper than free agents, and we're close to four schools that would provide a good return for the money.

As Vic Ketchman says, if the cap goes, teams are going to have to think creatively. Here's my first idea, make sure you know the talent in your own backyard very well.

-John