A line has been drawn in the sand.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cleaned house this week, getting rid of its head coach, wide receivers coach and starting wide receiver. Oh, the Jaguars were also sold to Shahid Kahn.
One man that came out of the upheaval intact is general manager Gene Smith. Actually, Smith is better off now than he was before this week began, as he signed a three-year contract extension on Tuesday.
Since he was promoted from the scouting department in 2009, Smith's tenure as the Jaguars' GM has been filled with some serious ups and downs, like any personnel director.
The Jaguars fan base seemingly puts Smith on a pedestal, which seems a bit odd considering he's had his fair share of flops.
Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton–his first two draft picks as the team's GM in 2009–haven't lived up to their draft-day billing yet and time is running out for them. Aside from the gutsy selection Tyson Alualu in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, that class has been a flop up to date. And this year's first-round pick, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, has struggled, but the jury is still out on him. Heading into this season without a strong group of receivers has hurt the team mightily as well.
With that being said, Smith has had some real good moments too. Taking Terrance Knighton and Derek Cox in the third round of the 2009 Draft represents tremendous value. That class in general has been pretty good. And when given the chance to spend money, Smith made all the right moves this offseason in upgrading the team's defense.
Credit the Jaguars for giving Smith the opportunity to finish what he started. Despite some significant offensive struggles, this Jacksonville team isn't far off from being a playoff contender. If Smith can use his solid judgment in free agency to add some offensive firepower this offseason, the move to re-sign Smith would be well worth it.
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