There is one thing that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan needs to be sure he has learned from watching owners of other teams build a successful franchise.
You must have a franchise quarterback to build your team around.
And right now, the Jaguars are about as far from having that as they can be.
Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne are not going to inspire any greatness on this team, nor will they draw any great players to want to come play in Jacksonville.
Khan must do anything he can to secure himself a centerpiece at the quarterback position, or the tarps over the upper deck and the calls for Tim Tebow to please come home to Jax will continue for years. But to accomplish this goal, the Jaguars are going to have to hurdle a few obstacles, and will take some careful planning.
Luring a top free agent quarterback is going to be next to impossible (as seen over the past two seasons), so Khan can put away his checkbook and lifetime memberships to the Timuquana Country Club. Time to move on to Plan B.
Unfortunately, Plan B might not be any more liquid than Plan A.
Take a could-be premier franchise quarterback with a high draft pick and let the baptism by fire ensue.
Sounds like a good plan, but what do the Jags have to choose from in 2013–Matt Barkley? Geno Smith? Ryan Nassib? EJ Manuel?
Not likely. Nothing screams franchise quarterback about any of those names. Any one of those guys could be a decent quarterback, but barring one of them coming into the NFL and pulling out a whole new bag of tricks or going through some sort of mystical transformation, they are all just same dog–different fleas. Plan C, anyone?
Plan C is where far too many teams find themselves. You find a “name”; a guy who was once lauded as the next big thing, or who fell out of favor for one reason or another, and you make him into a reclamation project by plastering his likeness all over your marketing materials and you give great PR opportunities for him to show he’s going to make it work this time.
Success rate? Maybe one out of a thousand. So I guess Vince Young, Donovan McNabb, John Beck, Joey Harrington and JaMarcus Russell can stop waiting for the phone to ring.
Every team’s Plan D is Tim Tebow.
It’s kind of sad that it might actually be the Jaguars’ best option in 2013.
Trust me Jags fans, you don’t want it. Just go ahead and Google “Tebow, Jets” and that will put any thought of wanting him out of your mind.
Plan E? I’ll offer this up to the Jaguars. Try Craigslist, in the Help Wanted ads:
Wanted: Starting quarterback to save southern professional football franchise. No experience necessary, will train. Pay commensurate with experience. Please email resume, video clips and physical exam results to – firstname.lastname@example.org.
(yes, that’s a parody email, so don’t blame me if your spam filter kicks it back)