Going into training camp next week, here are some observations about the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL at large.
1. Eugene Monroe retires
The player that the Jaguars selected with the No. 8 overall pick in 2009, and the player that most can honestly say is one of the most respected and commendable players to walk through that locker room in recent history, has retired.
Monroe lays out his reasoning here, in a well thought out piece on The Players Tribune. Walking away from the game at only 29 because of fear not only for yourself but for your peers is something that can be admired. Going against the grain and the establishment to push for new studies that some deem controversial but ultimately may improve lives, should be respected. Everything Monroe has done in recent years has been for players all over the NFL. Though many may not know it now, they may very well one day owe him a great deal.
Monroe will almost certainly be remembered more for the path he sets for himself off the field than the one he set on the field. And, for once, that is a good thing.
2. And so does Dr. Elliot Pellman...
There was another retirement in the NFL this week, but this one will be viewed very differently than Monroe's.
Dr. Elliot Pellman retired as an NFL Medical advisor. A retirement that was reportedly brought down from Commissioner Goodell himself, but one that Pellman agreed with.
If you are not aware who Dr. Pellman is, he's the former head of the NFL's Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, a committee that for years has been linked to the NFL's denial of a connection between CTE, and other brain injuries, and football.
Pellman being escorted out of the NFL's public eye is more significant as a symbol of moving on more than anything. But, it is moving on nonetheless.
3. How much did the Jaguars win the Monroe trade?
When Dave Caldwell traded Eugene Monroe in 2013, he netted a fourth round pick and a fifth round pick from the Baltimore Ravens. He used those picks to select cornerback Aaron Colvin and defensive end Chris Smith.
Colvin has been a solid slot corner who was miscast as an outside corner in 2015. Smith flashed some in 2014 but fell down the pecking order in 2015 and is not a lock to make the team in 2015.
If Colvin returns from his four-game suspension in 2016 and slides back to his more natural position and flourishes, then this deal will look even better.
It will never look like a bad deal, Monroe was never an elite tackle in Jacksonville and thus was never going to command a high asking price. But one has to wonder how much more the Jaguars could have got if they had made more attempts to trade Monroe around the draft instead of waiting several weeks into the season?
Either way, just how much the Jaguars won the deal depends on how well Colvin plays in 2016.
4. How do the Cowboys keep doing this?
If you missed it earlier this week, the Cowboys SB Nation affiliate, Blogging The Boys, posted their 3rd uncovering of a Cowboys draft board since 2010.
I am not sure how they keep doing this, but it is incredible.
5. Follow suggestion!
With the Jaguars kicking off training camp next week, there are not many people that will be better follows for Jaguar fans than Mike Kaye of First Coast News (@mike_e_kaye).
Mike killed last season's coverage of training camp. Look for him to do the same this year.