Tide Turning In River City?
By: Robert Craft
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded Nick Foles, the Super Bowl 52 MVP, to the Chicago Bears for the Bears’ fourth round compensatory pick. Foles, who signed a four year, $88-million contract with the Jaguars a year ago, will now compete with Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears starting job.
The Foles trade qualifies as a disaster for General Manager Dave Caldwell and Coach Doug Marrone. He only played four games last season because of a shoulder injury and earned 30.5 million dollars.
Gardner Minshew, a 2019 sixth round pick out of Washington State, for now, becomes the Jags’ starting quarterback. Minshew went 6-6 as a starter with 21 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and a 91.2 passer rating.
The Foles trade is another move in a busy offseason that saw the Jags trade defensive lineman Calais Campbell to Baltimore, cornerback A.J. Bouye to Denver, placing the franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue ($19.3 million this season) and declining the option on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
The Jags signed former Cleveland linebacker Joe Schobert to a 5-year $53 million deal and former Cincinnati cornerback Darqueze Dennard to a 3-year deal worth 13.5 million dollars.
The Jags will have 12 selections in the 2020 NFL Draft: two in the first round (#9 & #20), one in the second round (#42), one in the third round (#73), four in the fourth round (#116, #137, #140), two in the fifth round (#157 & #165), two in the sixth round (#189 & #206) and one in the seventh round (#223).
If you are panicking, thinking the Jags are “Tanking for Trevor”, let’s take a closer look at the trades. Bouye wasn’t the Jags’ best corner last season (Tre Herndon) and my guess is they will address the cornerback position in the draft.
Dareus only played six games last year, and after 9 seasons the wear and tear is taking its toll on Dareus.
Campbell made the Pro Bowl last season but his production has slipped from the previous two seasons.
No matter how you feel about Dave Caldwell, the reality is, he and Doug Marrone are the ones making the moves this offseason. The further reality is the Jags are having a very good offseason.
The Jags are stockpiling draft capital for a lot of players many believed might have to be released.
Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone are running out of time in Jacksonville unless they turn it around in 2020. It’s hard to envision such a turnaround with Minshew.
The best hope for Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone to keep their jobs beyond this season is to sign Cam Newton.