Jaguars must make choices about keeping free agents
The Jaguars made it obvious they will be on the sidelines when the free agency signing period starts March 12. New general manager Dave Caldwell’s policy is to build through the draft and avoid the high-priced free agents. He provided an example when the Jaguars declined to bid for quarterback Alex Smith, who was traded this week to Kansas City. For the Jaguars, the immediate focus of free agency — free agents can begin negotiating with other teams March 9 and sign deals March 12 — is determining how many of their 13 unrestricted free agents they want to keep. It appears likely that they will lose starting cornerback Derek Cox and linebacker Daryl Smith, the team’s all-time leading tackler. Cox has missed 17 games the past three years with injuries. Smith played in only the final two games of the 2012 season because of a groin injury, and he turns 31 later this month. Cox’s agent, David Sullivan, said last week he expects a vigorous market for Cox. And the New York Giants, who are looking for linebackers, could be a new home for Smith. Paying big money to your own players whose contracts are expiring doesn’t always pay big dividends. The Jaguars gave Marcedes Lewis a five-year, $35 million deal in 2011 after he caught 10 TD passes in 2010. He has caught four touchdowns the last two years. And they gave defensive end Jeremy Mincey a four-year, $20 million deal in 2012 after he had eight sacks in 2011. He dropped to three last year. Another starter who could be on the way out is defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, who lost his starting job last season to C.J. Mosley. Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/sports/football/jaguars/2013-03-01/story/jaguars-must-make-choices-about-keeping-free-agents#ixzz2MJAxodVj
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