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NFL Confidential: Stakes are high for teams and their top soon-to-be-free agents

Posted: February 22, 2014 - 11:08pm  |  Updated: February 23, 2014 - 12:51am

NFL teams and top free agent players will be playing what amounts to high-stakes poker games in the next two weeks before free agency begins on March 11.

The teams must decide how much they are willing to pay to keep their high-priced free agents off the market. And the players have to decide whether to turn down the offer and seek more on the free agent market, but risk getting less if the market isn’t as robust as anticipated.

Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril, a Green Cove Springs native, learned that lesson two years ago when he turned down Detroit’s three-year, $30 million offer.

The Lions put a non-exclusive $10.6 million tag on him in 2012. He hit the open market last year, but the best he could do was a two-year, $13 million offer from the Seahawks.

Avril has few regrets because the Seahawks won the Super Bowl and he will become a free agent again at the end of the 2014 season.

One of the most intriguing negotiations in the next two weeks could involve former Jaguars offensive tackle Eugene Monroe. The Ravens gambled last season, trading fourth- and fifth-round picks to the Jaguars without Monroe agreeing to a contract extension first. He started the last 11 games and is believed to be the Ravens’ long-term answer at left tackle.

Monroe said in a radio interview last week that he will not take a hometown discount to stay in Baltimore. He said he’s not into being a “Costco or Walmart.’’

He added, “There are absolutely no discounts. It’s interesting, wanting to be here but also knowing there could be possibilities everywhere and just waiting patiently to see how these opportunities unfold.’’

For the Jaguars, there’s not likely to be much drama with running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Chad Henne the team’s two top free agents. They’ve already said they will let Jones-Drew hit the market and hope to sign Henne, who has incentive to stay. If he signs, Henne will likely open the season as the starter because general manager Dave Caldwell believes most rookie quarterbacks aren’t ready to start the season.

OTHER AFC SOUTH QBS

Assuming that Henne remains the Jaguars’ starter, the AFC South will have three of the four starting quarterbacks back from last year.

Andrew Luck remains the incumbent in Indianapolis, and the Titans are committed to sticking with Jake Locker, though he has missed 14 games due to injuries the last two years.

The team with the unsettled quarterback situation is Houston.

Matt Schaub seems to have worn out his welcome, and Case Keenum showed last year that he’s not the answer. Odds are the Texans will draft a quarterback with the first pick and name him the opening day starter.

THEN AND NOW

Former Jaguar Esera Tuaolo, who went public that he was gay in 2002 after he retired, said he couldn’t have gone public with his sexual orientation when he was playing the way Michael Sam has.

“We’re living in different times,’’ Sam told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “It was 20 years ago when I came into the league, and it was not an environment where I could come out. The homophobia and the words and language back then was absolutely ridiculous, and nobody would be held accountable for it.’’

He added, “In the last 10 years, it hasn’t been like that. Any time now, when a player lashes out, they are held accountable for their words. If there’s a time a player could/should come out, this is the time.’’

Tuaolo played nine years in the NFL, including 1997 with the Jaguars.

QUOTABLE

“If you ask me ‘Do I think we can win games with Mike Glennon?’ I’m going to say, ‘Yeah.’ If you ask me ‘Would you like to upgrade the position?’ That’s a ‘yes,’ too.’’ New Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith on the possibility of drafting a quarterback with the seventh pick.

vito.stellino@jacksonville.com,

(904) 359-4279

Comments (1)

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Beacher Retort
1941
Points
Beacher Retort 02/23/14 - 06:19 am
0
0

Coming out of what? Don't you

Coming out of what? Don't you mean being honest with yourself. Times have not changed because a few in society have always had to deal with a loved one's direction as they make decisions contrary to their own (demonstrated as parenting the child ). Owning up to your alternative ( to parent: see authority )lifestyle decision, of let's say alcoholism, and admitting it is a problem physically and mentally that adversely affects your life ( work, health, functionality, happiness ),should lead one to figure out they need help. Maybe it takes a friendwhose chronic drinking caused him liver failure or kidney problems. Maybe it takes seeing a co worker losing his job for constantly being absent (see JB). With smoking substituted for alcohol, you will pay more for insurance and that habit can't be done in a public building, restraunts, on hospital property, and many hotel rooms or lobbies.

It's odd that supporting an alcoholic to drink or encouraging someone to smoke would be considered taboo by our society and government. I could understand why a group like population zero may encourage and teach homosexuality or why other alcoholics want drinking buddies. What is not correct thinking is that someone whose beliefs are that smoking is OK, by being overly verbous, ferocious, and outspoken can make everyone else accept it and support those that do it. While it is still a free country people can smoke in private or designated areas.

Most everywhere drinking and public drunkeness in public is against the law. Are smokers rights being violated by the American Lung Association? Are we to change laws to accomodate
drunk driving, after all, it's a choice, right? OK, maybe just allow drunkeness in public?

Do not fool yourself, the vast majority still believe it is destructive to oneself to smoke, do hard drugs, and drink excessively on a regular basis. These things affect ones ability to
function like the average Joe and are frowned upon by most people. There are still laws on the books in many states that outlaw Sam's behavior ( if engaged in homosexuality). I and the majority don't like seeing the same sex kissing and groping each other ( in public), especially in front of my grandchildren. Is this what coming out means?

When Tim Tebow expresses his religion, not trying to convert anyone or condemning any for not abiding in his beliefs, it offends the LOUD media and citizens that want everyone else to just shut up.

If the NFL admonishs(blackball) TT for his way of life while admonishing others (making them responsible: fine?) if they voice the belief Sam is practicing perversion, then I will not be an NFL fan anymore.

The NFL has joined our public schools in showing children, by not being honest, that it is a normal behavior. It is not. It is deviant to human sexuality. You see, to a child, if you don't forbid it youcondone it by default.

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