The former Jaguars general manager went too far in steering away from big conferences. He liked guys from off the beaten path with nice stories.
He missed on a lot of guys who fit that.
He didn’t miss on Cox of William & Mary and Knighton of Temple, though Cox was hurt too much and Knighton didn’t play well at the end of his rookie contract.
The two were seen as valuable by other teams, and won’t be part of the David Caldwell-Gus Bradley regime.
Despite his injury history, Cox signed with San Diego for four years and $20 million, with a $5.2 million signing bonus and $10.25 million fully guaranteed in the first two years, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Knighton, despite questions about a season in which he was demoted from the starting lineup, got two years and $4.5 million from Denver, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
C.J. Mosely overtook Knighton and could start again for Bradley’s Jaguars. Cox’s replacement is not on the roster. The Jaguars like second-year cornerback Mike Harris, but three veteran corners from last season -- Cox, Rashean Mathis (not offered new deal) and Aaron Ross (released) -- are now gone.
Jacksonville needs corners, badly. Two guys who seemed to fit the sort of defense Bradley oversaw as coordinator in Seattle have already disappeared. Greg Toler signed with the Colts and Bradley Fletcher signed with the Eagles.
Alan Ball played poorly for the Texans last season, but was scheduled to visit the Jaguars. So were Washington right Tyler Polumbus and Houston running back Justin Forsett, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
Other Jaguars free agents have not been tied to any suitors yet in free agency.
Linebacker Daryl Smith is the best of the lot, but the lone addition the Jaguars have made so far is an outside linebacker, Geno Hayes. Does that tell us anything about the Jaguars' interest in retaining Smith?
Greg Jones is an aging fullback, and aging fullbacks aren’t generally going to be talked about early in free agency.
The team apparently wants center Brad Meester back, but he’s not yet happy with the money available. He turns 36 on March 23.