There was great angst. How could they do this? How could they get rid of our favorite players?
But there are no such cries today, as the Jaguars sit 3-1 and tied with the Colts for the AFC South lead. No one is mentioning the names Tony Boselli and Keenan McCardell any more. There are no great cries of outrage, as there was at a fan forum last spring when a fan rose and made an impassioned appeal to Wayne Weaver to not cut McCardell. The fan's appeal was delivered in an "or else" tone of voice.
So, where is that fan today? Would he make the same speech at a fan forum this week?
Yes, the Jaguars learned a lesson about the salary cap, but so did their fans. This is the way it is. You don't tell the salary cap; the salary cap tells you.
What we learned this year is that this is not a game of maintenance; it is a game of replacement. Players come and players go. Get used to it. If you can't accept that fact, then this isn't the game for you.
Fortunately, Weaver came to understand the severity of his team's salary cap situation long before last season came to a painful conclusion. He knew it was time to gut the roster. He knew he had major problems that would directly decide the future of the franchise. He only hoped the expansion Houston Texans would help relieve the Jaguars' burden.
Eight months removed from that expansion draft, we can't help but scratch our head and wonder what the Texans were thinking. Why were they so intent on relieving one of their AFC South counterparts of $17 million of remaining amortization? The Texans could've turned this into a three-team division for years to come. With all of that time to do nothing but sit and think, how could they do something so stupid?
Had they not selected Boselli, Gary Walker and Seth Payne from the Jaguars, Weaver's team would not be where it is today. There is absolutely no question about that. But the fall-out would've been much more devastating than just this season.
Without the major cap relief they got from the Texans, the Jaguars would've had no choice but to re-structure all of its contracts again and push even more money into the future. It would've ruined another current season and, in the process, delayed recovery another couple of years. This team would've been dead for a long time.
The Jaguars' cap recovery hinged on one event, the expansion draft, and the Texans played Mr. Fixit. As a result, the Jaguars have a present and a future, and the Texans' ascent in the AFC South will be blocked by a team they could've left in the dust. What were they thinking? Didn't they understand that it's all about the salary cap. You play this game in your accountant's office.
How about you? Do you, now, understand?
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.