Jaguars Paying Porter

The Jaguars struck again on the first official day of free agency as they came to terms with former Raiders wide receiver, Jerry Porter. According to Adam Schefter, the deal is reported to be a six-year, $30 million deal that includes $10 million worth of guaranteed money.

Jerry Porter is a eight-year veteran who has spent every season of his career in Oakland, toiling for the last two years in what can only be termed as hell for skill position players. The Raiders have finished no better than 31st in passing over the last two years, and next to last in scoring. Despite his team's offensive woes, Porter has averaged better than 833 yards receiving per season when able to play all 16 games.

At 6'2", 220 lbs., Porter is strong enough to beat the jam at the line of scrimmage, and has deep speed. He runs solid routes and has carried an offense before. In Porter's best season of 2004, the year prior to Randy Moss' arrival, he caught 64 passes for 998 yards, and 9 touchdowns. This was on a team that finished 5-11, and 18th overall in scoring.

NFL Films producer Greg Cosell is obviously an NFL film buff, and this is what he had to say about Porter–

"Jerry Porter is someone I struggled with for years because I think ability-wise he's like T.O. , but it's never happened," Cosell said. "I'm not with him every day, but you hear reports that he's not a wonderful guy and all of that. I can't speak to that. So I struggle with (evaluating) him because when he's at his best, he's big, he's fast, he's physical, he's quick. "

"He almost seems to be a guy that has everything and it's never been put together – except for a very short stretch I guess. I guess he did real well the year they went to the Super Bowl, which goes back now five or six years. And he's had brief stretches where you thought, ‘Wow, this guy has a chance to be really good,' but it's never happened on a consistent basis." Cosell went on about Porter– "I think Porter could be anything, just like (Terrell Owens) could be anything. I think he's that kind of guy physically. In an ideal situation, if Porter ever were to put it together physically and mentally, I think Porter could play in any system and be a No. 1 receiver," he said. "My guess is it won't happen at this point because he's been in the league now seven or eight years. I guess I still hold out hope because I thought the guy had a real chance."

With the Jaguars adding both Porter and former Vikings speedster Troy Williamson, the Jacksonville receiving corps could look very different from the unit that finished seventh overall in offense a year ago. The team will likely enter training camp with their two new additions (Porter and Williamson), along with Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt, John Broussard, Mike Walker, Charles Sharon, and Matt Jones.

Although we at JagNation have no say in the final roster decisions, we're pretty sure that the Jaguars aren't going to keep eight wide receivers. That would seem to put each player in an all-out competition for their roster spot, and the cream will rise to the top. To put it simply, none of them should feel safe. Depending on the contract terms that Porter received, it may not be a slam-dunk that he makes the team. The Jaguars only have a sixth-round pick invested in Troy Williamson, who has had problems with his hands and vision, two deficiencies that you don't like to see in receivers. Reggie Williams has the best chance of making the roster, being that he's coming off a franchise record 10 receiving touchdown season, but even that may not be enough. Northcutt is due over $3.5 million in 2008, and the lasting memory that many have about Northcutt is his drop in the playoff loss at New England. Broussard has four career receptions and is a seventh-round pick, Walker has tons of potential, but is yet to play in a game that counts. The team has nothing invested in Charles Sharon, and Matt Jones has been in and out of head coach Jack Del Rio's doghouse for his entire career, due to his poor work ethic and lack of blocking skills.

The wide receiver competition in training camp this year should be the most exciting in franchise history, and it is likely that the Jaguars could part ways with a former first-round pick. Stay tuned.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.



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