Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 3/7/13
Sentiment has not been part of the Jacksonville Jaguars playbook ever since owner Shad Khan took control of the franchise less than two years ago. That much is clear whenever speculation arises on whether hometown hero Tim Tebow could come to a team with a quarterback quandary every bit as muddled as that of the New York Jets. And while Rashean Mathis had a fraction of Tebows national recognition, the decision earlier this week by Jaguars management not to re-sign a native son who put in 10 largely productive seasons for them at cornerback sent a message days before the NFLs free agent signing period begins. If Mathis services are no longer needed, that doesnt appear to bode well for other over-30 mainstays who were also severely limited by injuries during a season to forget. New general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley can begin addressing some of the many areas of concern well before the Jaguars choose what to do with the No. 2 pick in next months draft. They are one of eight teams with at least 25 million in cap space available. Which free agents should be re-signed? OLB Daryl Smith He missed all but two games last season because of a groin injury but was remarkably durable throughout his career before that. Teaming him with MLB Paul Posluszny should bring stability to this part of the defense. FB Greg Jones A healthy Maurice Jones-Drew is going to need a good lead blocker. Even at his age (31), Jones is among the best at his position. WRKR Jordan Shipley He made enough of an impression over the final six games to merit a closer look, especially given the concussion concerns at the wide receiver position. OL Eben Britton He can play both tackle and guard spots, and the Jaguars need someone that versatile up front. Which free agents should be set free? CB Derek Cox This is the toughest call the Jaguars have to make. Bradley loves cover corners like him, but other teams are more likely to pay him accordingly and overlook his health issues of the past three seasons. DT Terrance Knighton C.J. Mosley took over for him in the starting lineup as Knightons play tapered off. C Brad Meester At 35, it's time for the Jaguars to get a younger man at this position. His situation is similar to Mathis. RBKR Rashad Jennings It shouldnt be difficult to find someone more qualified to back up Jones-Drew, either in the draft or free agency. What are the positions of need? Defensive line The Jaguars finished at or near the bottom of the league in sacks and rushing defense. So it comes as no surprise that this position jumps out more than any other. Offensive line Except for LT Eugene Monroe, no ones job is safe. Cornerback Mathis is gone, Cox may soon follow, and Aaron Ross was a major disappointment. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert hasnt won over many skeptics. But there arent any free agents who stand out at this position, and there isnt an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III in the draft. Who should their top targets be on the free agent market? G Andy Levitre, Buffalo The decision by the Bills to apply the franchise tag to S Jairus Byrd makes it unlikely for the 26-year-old Levitre to return. Not a sexy choice, but he addresses a glaring need. DE Cliff Avril, Detroit Jason Babin was signed toward the end of the season in an effort to shore up the pass rush. He might be a short-term solution, but Avril would be more of a long-term answer. QB Matt Moore, Miami It might seem as if the Jaguars are going down the same road they did last year with Chad Henne backing up Gabbert. Not necessarily. CB Dunta Robinson, Atlanta The Falcons already let him go halfway through his six-year, 57 million deal. The Jaguars have plenty of others to choose from at this position. Who might be tempting but should be avoided? DE Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Hes got name recognition but was slipping toward the end of his time with the Colts. Playing outdoors on grass wouldnt help him either. CB Aqib Talib, New England Supremely talented but not worth the aggravation off the field. Just ask the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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