Taking A Look Ahead- QB's
The first position we're going to look at is of course the most important position in sports, quarterback. Jaguars starter David Garrard played in 14 games and set a new franchise record for touchdown passes. Unfortunately, an all too familiar sight for Jaguars fans has become David Garrard folding down the stretch and their team falling out of playoff contention.
Is a change necessary? If you have any playoff aspirations, the short answer is yes. Garrard will be 33 years old next month and he hasn't shown nearly enough improvement to justify his lofty salary. If David takes a significant pay cut, he would be a solid option as a caretaker for the position as the Jaguars are likely to draft a new quarterback.
Are there any solutions currently on the roster? Probably not. Trent Edwards was given his shot in the Jaguars season ending loss at Houston and Edwards showed himself to be tentative and not equipped to be a starter. Edwards will be a free agent as his contract expires next month and it's highly unlikely that Jacksonville retains him.
A potential answer as a caretaker for the position is Luke McCown. McCown played well in the preseason, but was injured in his first regular season game subbing for the ineffective Garrard. Had McCown not been injured, it would've been likely that he could've had a few starts this season to further showcase his talent. If the Jaguars can't come to terms with Garrard on a salary cut, McCown could be a perfect quarterback to take over until a younger player is ready. McCown, like Edwards, is scheduled to be a free agent.
What options for an upgrade are available? Wayne Weaver gave Jack Del Rio a "playoffs or else" type of ultimatum and with that comes speculation that Jacksonville could potentially trade for a new starter. The most likely name thrown about is Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb, but the Jaguars and Eagles don't have a great front office relationship and pulling off a deal would be tough. Another veteran option is Donovan McNabb, who will likely be released or traded by the Redskins. A long-shot would be Vince Young, who is a very talented quarterback but appears to be mentally unstable. It's possible that the Broncos could deal Kyle Orton who had a very good statistical season for a terrible team. Orton will be 29 years old and appears to be improving each year.
The most likely scenario would involve Jacksonville finding their new signal caller in the draft. The Jaguars haven't drafted a quarterback in any round since 2003 (Byron Leftwich) and calling a quarterback to the podium is long overdue. With the 16th overall pick in the draft, the Jaguars may have to jockey up the board to acquire a Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker or Cam Newton. At this moment, second round prospects include the likes of Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder.
Whether Jacksonville finds their answer in the draft or via a trade or free agency, it is likely that they can't go into the season with David Garrard as their starter at his current salary and no younger option. Eight million dollars is a big number for a small market team to pay for a quarterback that has proven time and time again to be completely inconsistent, on the wrong side of 30 and not improving.
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