Jaguar Skinny

A look at the latest rumors floating around the Jag camp, including the latest word on the futures of quarterback Mark Brunell and defensive end Tony Brackens.

It's likely the Jacksonville Jaguars have quarterback Mark Brunell in their future plans.

Word is new head coach Jack Del Rio wants to keep the veteran quarterback to run their new West Coast offense.

Del Rio, who is known for being a players coach - much unlike former Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin - has met with the team's eight-year starting quarterback to discuss the Jags' offensive philosophy. Brunell also has said he feels comfortable with Del Rio coming aboard, even though his background is on defense.

While there has been rumors the Jags might trade or release Brunell for a $4 million cap savings, sources have indicated that new front-office chief James Harris would only make a move with Brunell as a last resort. Not helping matters is rookie David Garrard looked shaky in his only start last season.

The type of offense isn't as important as the philosophy and how you use your talent," Brunell said recently. "I'm open for whatever Jack brings."

Brunell also has ties to the Jacksonville community. Last month, investors - including the Jags' quarterback - signed an agreement to build 28 Whataburger restaurants in the Jacksonville area. It will be one of the largest franchise agreements in the company's 53-year history.

In other news, the Jaguars will probably cut defensive end Tony Brackens, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee in November. Cutting Brackens after June 1 would save the team $5.5 million against the salary cap, which is his base salary. They have to bite the bullet on $2.7 million this season and $7 million for next year for money already paid to Brackens, but they desperately need the cap room.

The Jaguars have around eight unrestricted free agents. It also looks like they will be trying to resign running back Fred Taylor to a long-term contract. Taylor is in his last year of his original six-year deal. Sources have indicated that Harris will get creative with salaries and he will build the team mainly through the draft.

Del Rio plans to holds his first minicamp April 11-13 at the Alltel Stadium practice fields. The Jaguars' other minicamp is set for May 2-4, followed by separate passing camps May 12-15, June 2-4 and June 9-11. The Jaguars' offseason workout program under new strength and conditioning coach Mark Asanovich begins March 24 and ends June 11.

The May 2-4 practice session, coming one week after the NFL Draft, is the only offseason workout that players are required to attend.


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