Spending tons of money rarely leads to success in the NFL.
In 2012, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan learned the hard way that committing millions of dollars to your roster does not necessarily equal a satisfactory result. In his first season as Jaguars owner, Khan had the fourth highest payroll in the league, but all that money only bought him two wins.
Given how unsuccessful the Jaguars were last season spending all of that money, Khan has fully endorsed the plan of new general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley to avoid the crazy spending to land big-name free agents and build the roster largely through the draft. The plan likely means that the Jaguars struggles to win games will remain in the short term, but they are hoping to build a successful franchise in the long term that will enjoy a more sustainable success that has them in the playoff discussion every season.
While the Jaguars decision makers have an easy time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, fans are having a harder time seeing how the puzzle pieces are going to fit together. Over the past week, a vocal fan base has questioned some of the moves that the Jaguars have made and bemoaned the fact that the team did not throw money at any “name” free agents.
The truth is that there is no such thing as an elite free agent and the Jaguars are now starting to realize this. If an NFL player is reaching free agency, then his team does not believe he is truly a franchise player and that player is flawed. Yet, those guys still get signed to big money deals and most of the time end up not even coming close to living up to those contracts.
Yes, the Jaguars have been dreadful for years, so asking the fans to be patient while they rebuild is not going to be popular message. However, if the pieces do come together two or three years down the road fans will be glad they were patient.