Marcus Stroud was arguably the best defensive player in Jacksonville Jaguars history as he was unbelievable athletic and massive at 6'6", 310 lbs. Stroud was able to be disruptive on nearly every play when healthy, as he was simply too big and athletic for most interior offensive lineman to handle. Playing next to John Henderson, the second of the Jaguars twin towers, teams couldn't double both and either one of the two diminished opponents chances of running the football up the middle.
The Marcus Stroud of the last two years was a shell of his former self as ankle and knee injuries seemed to cost him of much of his athleticism, and he wasn't able to beat blocks with any kind of consistency. Stroud had microfracture surgery, and appears to be just a big guy instead of the dominating athlete he was before. To add to his health issues, Stroud tested positive for performance enhancing drugs last season and was forced to sit out four games. While he was out, the Jaguars defensive rankings rose across the board while facing three playoff teams.
With Stroud approaching 30 years old, there should be some gas left in the tank, but not many players have recovered from the microfracture procedure that Stroud underwent.
If the Jaguars were to have not traded him, it's possible that he would've been asked to take a pay-cut due to his $5 million salary and mediocre performances of the last two seasons. It's impossible to tell what Stroud may or may not have left, but he's a solid community guy, and a change of scenery was necessary. With the Bills strong pass rushers on the edge (Schobel and Kelsey), opposing teams shouldn't double team Stroud, and hopefully he can revive his career.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer.