Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Fans, Enjoy Process of Rebuilding

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Fans, Enjoy Process of Rebuilding

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette

It's understandable that some Jaguars fans might be watching this flurry of NFL free-agency shopping and other transactions with a sense of despair.

Thus far, general manager Dave Caldwell has engaged in a lot more subtractions (Aaron Ross, Dawan Landry, Laurent Robinson, Derek Cox, Terrance Knighton, Rashean Mathis, Guy Whimper) than additions. It's safe to say signing outside linebacker Geno Hayes, who will compete for a starting job without any guarantee of winning one, has yet to spark an uptick of season-ticket sales.

Unless coach Gus Bradley gets his wish of re-signing center Brad Meester and fullback Greg Jones, or if Daryl Smith lands elsewhere, it's going to look like a tornado hit the Jaguars' roster.

So what's the problem? It's not like Caldwell didn't forewarn everybody that major changes were coming. Or that the Jaguars were expected to be any more than bit players in free agency. The rookie GM is doing exactly what owner Shad Khan entrusted him to do: making decisive moves to alter the direction of a franchise that bottomed out in 2012.

This is what happens when the new regime everybody wanted conducts a housecleaning. Things are gutted. Some players get the message to take a walk into the market. Others are forced out for being unproductive or ill-suited to the Caldwell/Bradley vision of a rebuild.

I know, you see a lot of the Jaguars' 2013 opponents fortifying their rosters with proven commodities and think: "Why can't our team start building with a greater sense of urgency?" The answer is because Caldwell and Bradley have time on their side.

Yes, the Denver Broncos signed receiver Wes Welker, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, guard Louis Vasquez and Knighton. But they also have a future Hall of Fame quarterback, almost-37-year-old Peyton Manning, who has maybe two more runs at a Super Bowl in him.

The Seattle Seahawks added valuable pieces in pass-rusher Cliff Avril, a Clay High graduate, and receiver Percy Harvin, as did the San Francisco 49ers (receiver Anquan Boldin, defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey). …

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