The deal didn't get done for three easy-to-understand reasons:
- Buffalo didn't want to trade Travis Henry to the Jaguars.
- In trading Henry to Tennessee for a third-round pick, the Bills believe they have received a draft choice that will ultimately turn out to be higher in the draft order than the Jaguars' third-round pick.
- The Jaguars were reluctant to part with a second-round pick.
There are reports the Jaguars attempted to sweeten the deal with an 11th-hour offer of a second-round pick, but those reports remain unsubstantiated and it's possible a second-rounder wouldn't have gotten the deal done either. Go back to reason number one. It's the overbearing consideration in all of this. Buffalo didn't want to trade Henry to the Jaguars. That's the bottom line.
It was all in the original story jaguars.com posted on Thursday. Somehow, the information got distorted. Somehow, the information was interpreted to mean the Jaguars and Bills were close to getting the deal done.
Here's what Jack Del Rio said: "The fact that we have an opportunity to acquire a running back of this kind of talent is something we have to look at, so we're looking at it. This may or may not happen, but we're protecting our interests and any time we think we can acquire somebody who can help us we're going to do that. It looks like it's coming to a head in the next few days or week."
That is his exact quote. So, tell me, where is the misrepresentation? He said it "may or may not happen." It didn't. He said "it's coming to a head in the next few days or week." It did. Nowhere in that statement did Del Rio mislead the reader.
Del Rio's remarks about the Jaguars' pursuit of Henry were an accurate portrayal of what was occurring. He was completely open and honest with his team's fans. He even predicted the timeline correctly.
In talking with this reporter last Thursday, Del Rio expressed doubt the deal would get done, and the story that appeared on jaguars.com went to considerable length to explain why the deal might not get done. It explained that of the three teams believed to be interested in Henry, the Jaguars were the last one with whom the Bills wanted to do the trade. Very simply, the Bills didn't want to trade Henry to a team with which the Bills would have to compete for a wild-card playoff spot. The Bills believe the Jaguars are most likely to be that team.
The Jaguars' only chance of getting this deal done would've required the Titans to back out of it, which seemed to be a reasonable expectation. Look at what the Titans have been doing in the last two drafts; trading down to get more picks. It's what you would expect of a team with one of the worst salary cap messes in history. By trading down, you add players and decrease cost. You end up getting two players for the price of one, so to speak. It's a sound formula for rebuilding your roster and repairing your cap.
Trading for Henry flies in the face of that philosophy. In doing the Henry deal, the Titans have traded away a draft choice that would've produced an inexpensive player, to acquire a player with one year left on his contract and a strong interest to negotiate a new, more expensive contract.
When you look at it that way, the trade is kind of shocking. Do the Titans really believe Henry's going to put them over the top? What about that cap problem? This isn't going to make matters better.
Well, obviously, the Titans don't see it that way. They made that clear when they decided to make an offer for Henry, and when the Titans did that they effectively ended the Jaguars' pursuit.
Much has been said about whether or not the Jaguars made a formal offer to the Bills. What does that matter? The Jaguars knew the Bills didn't wanna do the deal with them. The Jaguars knew it would take a third-rounder to do the deal and that if the Titans and Jaguars each offered a third-round pick, the Bills would take the Titans'.
What should the Jaguars have done? Bid against themselves? That's what they would have been doing because the only way they were going to do the deal with Buffalo is if the Jaguars were the only team making an offer. Frankly speaking, the Bills think the Jaguars' second-round pick probably won't be much higher than the Titans' third-rounder. The incentive for trading Henry to a team that could use the running back to keep them out of the playoffs just wasn't good enough.
Had this been 2003, the results would be in reverse. The Jaguars would be the team Buffalo would've favored, and Tennessee would be the team with whom Buffalo didn't want to do the deal.
Very simply, all of those preseason playoff predictions are what killed this deal for the Jaguars.