Spicer's Decision

The talks first surfaced the day the Jaguars drafted defensive ends with their first two picks in the NFL draft. Not only did the Jaguars draft Derrick Harvey out of Florida and Quentin Groves from Auburn, but Jacksonville gave up four draft picks in order to get in position in the first and second rounds to grab the two defensive ends.

It was shortly after that when the question popped up: "What's this mean for Paul Spicer?"

Spicer will become a 10-year veteran this season. He spent the last nine with the Jaguars. He's been reliable and fairly consistent, but no where near Pro-Bowl material, until a year ago when he turned in perhaps his finest season. He led the team and matched his career high with 7.5 sacks and ranked tied for 13th in the AFC and 29th in the NFL. With Reggie Hayward still showing the affects of the ACL injury that caused him to miss nearly all of the 2006 season, and defensive end Bobby McCray up one game, down the next, and tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson both turning in sub-par seasons, Spicer was the lone bright spot along the 2008 defensive line.

The solid year by Spicer came at the age of 32, nearing retirement age for many defensive linemen. But the former Saginaw Valley State product feels he's still got a couple good years left. He's entering the final year of his contract scheduled to make $2.5 million.

Spicer gave the first indication that he's looking for a better deal when he was a no-show at the Jaguars' first OTAs (organized team activities) this week. Jack Del Rio said he had spoken with Spicer earlier in the day and expressed disappointment that the veteran wouldn't be with the team, though it is considered a voluntary session.

"You're never OK with everybody not being here. You'd rather have everyone here," Del Rio said. "But we did communicate. I understand why he's not here and the fact he wasn't going to be here."

Neither Spicer nor his agent has said much about the situation. On Thursday, it was reported that the Jaguars had resigned defensive tackle Rob Meier to a new four-year extension. Meier, 30, will be a starter this year, replacing Stroud.

But the same day Meier's contract was being inked by both parties, Del Rio indicated that Spicer had rejected the club's latest contract proposal.

"From our standpoint, we feel like we've made a fair legitimate proposal to these guys and one guy (Meier) is happy and one guy (Spicer) is out there waiting," the Jaguars coach said.


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