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No 'money;' deal with it


Mike Logan signed with the Steelers this past weekend and there is dismay among Jaguars fans that the team let Logan go.

Umhh! Do we have to go through this again?

Such is the plight of the most cap-strapped team in salary cap history. The Jaguars, and several other teams in the NFL, have no room under their salary caps to do anything about their rosters until the draft. In Jacksonville, cap restraints are going to be a fact of life for the next few years, so we better understand the reality of the situation.

The reality is that players are going to leave. The reality is that free agency is going to pass without the Jaguars doing much more than taking a look in the window of the candy shop.

It's this way because for too many years not enough players were permitted to leave, and because for too many free agency periods the Jaguars tried to eat everything in the candy shop.

Here's some advice: The next time you see a player cut by another team and you wonder if the Jaguars might try to sign him, don't. The door at Alltel Stadium swings one way, out.

Come on, folks, this isn't too difficult to understand and you're plenty tough enough to deal with the consequences. The league isn't going to run away and hide from the Jaguars. Eventually, the Jaguars will recover from this mess and professional football will assume a more stable position in Jacksonville, with some players going and some players coming. That's the balance the system requires. We must accept that.

The reason free agency isn't yielding the windfall contracts of the past is that the market has been depleted by so many capped-out teams who can't participate in the bidding. The Jaguars are just one of those teams.

As a result, free agency in 2001 is a real buyer's market, which is great news for teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, who should now begin reaping the rewards of having been the worst team in professional sports over the last 10-plus years.

If the Jaguars had taken a Bengals-like approach to their first six seasons, Wayne Weaver would've been accused of being cheap, just as Bengals owner Mike Brown has been accused. The irony is that Brown's frugal ways may make him look like a genius, if the Bengals are able to build something long-term in this buyer's-market period.

Weaver took anything but the cheap way out. He gave his team an unlimited budget and it overspent. Now, it has no "money" to spend.

We've all been there. We can deal with it.

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