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Caldwell: Roster not in fire sale


JACKSONVILLE – One trade one day doesn't mean more will follow.

David Caldwell, the Jaguars' first-year general manager, on Thursday afternoon made his first public comments since trading left tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens earlier this week, and that was among his messages:

Yes, the Jaguars traded a well-known veteran player this week.

But that doesn't mean more trades are pending, and when asked Thursday if the Monroe trade was the start of a "fire sale," his response was quick and certain.

"No, absolutely not," Caldwell said Thursday as the Jaguars (0-4) prepared to play the St. Louis Rams (1-3) at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We have no intention of trading anybody on our roster right now," he added shortly thereafter.

Caldwell specifically said middle linebacker Paul Posluszny and running back Maurice Jones-Drew will not be traded, adding that he talked to each player this week and that he liked their ability and leadership.

"We feel good about those guys being here," Caldwell said. "I really like both of them as players and leaders on this team."

Caldwell said the Ravens trade came about quickly, with casual conversations with Baltimore turning into a trade opportunity because Baltimore had draft picks available. The Ravens expect to get multiple mid-to-late-round selections as compensatory selections this offseason.

"Everything kind of aligned perfectly," Caldwell said. "He was going to a good spot. They were getting a good player in Eugene, and it's really going to help us in the future.

"They're in a different state than a lot of teams. They have a good football team and a lot of draft picks this year. They're able to afford to do that. I think it was a very fair offer from them."

The Jaguars now have 10 selections in the 2014 NFL Draft – one each in the first, second and third rounds, two in the fourth round, three in the fifth round, one in the sixth round and one in the seventh round. The Jaguars received a fourth- and fifth-round selection in the Monroe trade and a fifth-rounder for former wide receiver Mike Thomas.

"When you make a commitment to build through the draft, having as many picks as possible is a key," Caldwell said. "It gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of what you can do in terms of trading up and back."

Caldwell said while the 0-4 start is frustrating, the team remains committed to its approach of building through the draft with a focus on building a sustainable long-term roster.

"We stay convicted," Caldwell said. "(Head) Coach (Gus) Bradley, myself and Shad Khan, we came into this on the same page. We want immediate results, but we're realistic about how we gauge our improvement. We're comfortable with where we are."

Of the start, Caldwell added, "You learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. That's one thing I feel really good about is this team is still very positive. They go out and prepare like we're 4-0. They still believe and I still believe in them."

Caldwell also said:

*The most surprising aspect of the 0-4 start has been offensive injuries, with quarterback Blaine Gabbert missing two games, wide receiver Mike Brown missing three and tight end Marcedes Lewis missing all but a series. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon also has missed the first four games with a suspension, but is expected to play Sunday.

*Praised running back Maurice Jones-Drew for playing through an ankle injury sustained against the Raiders in Week 2. "It would have been very easy for him to tap out in the Seattle game (in Week 3)," Caldwell said. "He wanted to go out there and tough it out, and he did."

*Said he expected the offense to improve with Cecil Shorts III, Blackmon and Ace Sanders at outside, outside and slot receivers, respectively. That was the lineup the team envisioned entering the season, but Blackmon's suspension has meant playing Sanders on the outside. "This is the first week that our quarterbacks are going to have the three receivers we anticipated having at the beginning of the year," Caldwell said.

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