In light of Jack Del Rio’s comments last week about the Jacksonville Jaguars being spenders when free agency begins, I feel it is appropriate to reflect back on some of the franchise’s best and worst free agent signings of all time.
Today I’ll start off with the team’s five worst free agent signings…
5. Tony Pashos, Offensive Line, 2007- It was a tough choice between Pashos and quarterback Cle Lemon (2008), who signed a three-year, $9 million contract and played in just one game with the Jaguars. However, Pashos passes Lemon because of the sheer magnitude of his contract, which was reported to be five years, $24 million with at least a $10 million signing bonus. Pashos did start 31 games for the Jaguars in two seasons but he was awfully ineffective for most of his tenure with the team and was cut after two seasons. Pashos was certainly not worth his fairly lofty contract.
4. Jerry Porter, Wide Receiver, 2008- Jacksonville needed a deep-threat at receiver and Porter was supposed to fill that role. He signed a six-year, $30 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus but made minimal contributions with the team, recording just 11 receptions in an injury-plagued season. He was cut after the season.
3. Drayton Florence, Cornerback, 2008- This signing could easily be No.1 but there weren’t super high expectations in the community for Florence, who had lost his starting spot in San Diego the year before. In fact, it seemed like everyone had a feeling this guy would be a bust after he inked a six-year, $36 million deal with a $13 million signing bonus. Sure enough Florence came in and eventually was moved to nickel back. He was cut at the season’s end and made next to no impact.
2. Hugh Douglas, Defensive End, 2003- The Jaguars desperately needed a pass-rusher and Douglas seemed to be a huge addition coming off of three consecutive Pro Bowl trips. He signed a five-year, $27 million contract with a $5 million signing bonus. It was a bit of a surprise that the Jaguars were able to obtain him considering he was such an elite target, but it turned out that Douglas was past his prime once he made it to Jacksonville. Douglas logged just 3.5 sacks (after totaling 37 the previous three seasons) in one year and Jacksonville before being cut in the following preseason.
1. Bryce Paup, Linebacker, 1998- He was one of the franchise’s first big free agent acquisitions and proved to also be the biggest free agent bust. The expectation was that Paup, who had just made four consecutive Pro Bowls, would be a pass-rush linebacker for an upstart team. He had 6.5 sacks in 1998 but then had just one in 1999 when the team went 14-2. The Jaguars ended up cutting Paup after the season and he never lived up to his $21 million contract.
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