Youth Paving Way for Northcutt's Departure

For all you Jaguars' fans that have been wondering how Jacksonville's wide receivers look, the answer has become pretty obvious: good. News of Dennis Northcutt being on the trade block indicates that the team is confident with the rest of the receivers it brought in this offseason.

After letting go of former first-rounders Reggie Williams and Matt Jones, as well as last year's "big" free-agent acquisition Jerry Porter, the team reloaded with Torry Holt and three rookie receivers, Mike Thomas (fourth-round selection), Jarett Dillard (fifth-round), and Tiquan Underwood (seventh-round.)

With an aging veteran like Holt, who saw a major decline in production last year, three untested rookies, the oft-injured Mike Walker and the man trying to save his career, Troy Williamson, there is reason for concern amongst fans. However recent reports of Jacksonville looking to trade Dennis Northcutt indicate that the rest of the receivers are coming along.

Last year, Northcutt was one of the team's most productive receivers, logging 545 receiving yards. At 31, Northcutt's best years behind him and the team is reluctant to pay his 2009 base salary of $2.45 million. It is unlikely that a team will find a suitor for Northcutt, so the Jaguars will probably release him sooner than later.

Although Northcutt has been far from a go-to receiver, he has been a solid target for David Garrard, logging over 1,100 receiving yards the past two seasons, which is more than any other Jacksonville receiver during that period.

So for the Jaguars to now make it clear that they intend to part ways with the only player on the roster that has really contributed at receiver, it must mean some other guys are erasing question marks and turning them into exclamation points. At the very least, the aging veteran and unproven youngsters are adding some solid periods to the end of sentences.

Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has been impressed with all of Jacksonville's receivers and gave nothing but rave review to CBSSports.com when talking about Holt, Walker, and the three rookies.

"He gets chemistry, he gets swagger, he gets concepts and the combination of all that stuff is valuable," said Koetter in regards to Holt. "The fact that we re-did the receiving corps and added a bunch of young guys sort of made him a mentor to them, which is also huge."

Koetter also described Walker as "confident and healthy," Thomas as compact and strong, Underwood as a guy who has "stood out," and Dillard as impressive.

All the receivers looked good earlier this summer during mini-camps. While Jacksonville fans may not get a good look at these players again until August, the likely release of the team's most productive receiver has to give you the indication that the staff is happy with the players that it's keeping.


Jags Illustrated Top Stories