The Jacksonville Jaguars are all in for the future, which means that they are likely going to move on from some key veterans who are not going to be a part of the future of the franchise in 2013.
The first major domino fell on Tuesday night when the team traded starting left tackle and former first-round pick Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens for “multiple draft picks”. Monroe is widely considered a top-10 left tackle in the league, but he was in the final year of his rookie deal and the Jaguars just spent a first-round pick on Luke Joeckel back in April.
While Monroe is one of the better players currently on the Jaguars roster, the presence of Joeckel coupled with the fact that the Jaguars are at least two years away from being competitive made him an expendable piece. The fact that the Jaguars are getting a return of multiple draft picks for Monroe should help accelerate general manager Dave Caldwell’s rebuilding process.
It was unlikely that Monroe was going to be with the Jaguars in 2014 anyways as he is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason. The Jaguars were not winning football games with Monroe, so having him for the final 12 games of 2013 would not have made a major difference.
With Monroe gone, the rookie Joeckel will get to slide back to his natural position at left tackle. Joeckel had been playing at right tackle for the first four games of the season. The Jaguars will now likely slide Cameron Bradfield in at right tackle where he was the starter last season.
This is a bold and wise move for Caldwell, who has said several times that he would like to build this team through the draft. With the Jaguars on a collision course with the first overall pick in next year’s draft, it would not surprise me if the team moves on from other veterans like running back Maurice Jones-Drew and linebacker Paul Posluszny before the season is over if there are more draft picks to be had.
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