The Jacksonville Jaguars are a bad football team. Regardless of what happens from now until the end of the season, that won’t change. Fans may not like it, but in the long run, an implosion by the Jacksonville Jaguars is the best case scenario.
When Shahid Khan purchased the Jaguars, the card castle, which was never that great anyway, was already falling down. The team was stocked with cheap players that didn’t bring much to the table, and that hasn’t changed much. The decision makers, however, have changed.
First-year general manager David Caldwell understands that there’s a lot of dead weight on the team. He’s also willing to unload the few talented players on the team to acquire more draft picks. It’s a dangerous strategy, but it’s also the right course of action.
Maurice Jones-Drew has become the center of a running debate in Jacksonville. The running back is almost certainly the best player on the team, but Caldwell may be tempted to unload Jones-Drew in an effort to pick up extra draft picks. It’s a move that would be unpopular, but again, it strengthens the team in the long run.
By trading Jones-Drew, the Jaguars add ammunition for the draft, and get worse now at the same time. This ensures a better draft position as well as gaining compensation for a player about to head into free agency anyway. It’s a win-win scenario for the team.
David Caldwell has the support of ownership too. Shahid Khan knew this wouldn’t be an instant turnaround when he brought Caldwell on board, and he understands that stability is key. Because Caldwell has the confidence of Khan, he may be more willing to openly trade off current assets.
In the NFL, we often see the worst teams in the league flounder about for years on end. To turn a losing team around, head decision makers have to be willing to take some calculated risks, and trading assets is one such risk. The Jaguars will likely target a young quarterback in the 2014 draft, but they need to position other pieces around that quarterback to succeed moving forward. By gaining additional draft picks, the Jaguars give themselves a fighting chance to get back to playoff form down the road.