AFC South: Brandon Carr

A large portion of the 320 players that participated in an NFL Nation confidential survey about which non-teammate they’d like to see play in a Super Bowl didn’t get their wish.

Three Jaguars players did, though.

Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson topped the survey with 59 votes, narrowly edging out Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez (56 votes), who retired last month after 17 years in the NFL.

Obviously neither was able to make to the Super Bowl this year, but three of the players named by the 10 Jaguars players polled did: Denver’s Terrance Knighton and Demaryius Thomas and Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch. It’s not a surprise that someone named Knighton because he was the Jaguars’ third-round pick in 2009 and one of the most well-liked players in the locker room during his four seasons in Jacksonville.

The interesting thing about the Jaguars’ responses was that no player was named more than once. In addition to Knighton, Thomas and Lynch, seven other players were named: Jake Long, Brandon Carr, Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Peterson and Michael Vick.
How the 21 franchise tags from around the NFL affect the teams of the AFC South.

Houston Texans

Salary cap limitations likely mean the Texans are not active in free agency. The market may have shifted on a guy like Reggie Wayne, who could have been attractive with Dwayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson and Wes Welker out of the unrestricted free agent picture.

More significantly, the price defensive end/outside linebacker Mario Williams will be able to attract if he gets to free agency is likely up. The Colts tagged Robert Mathis, the Lions tagged Cliff Avril and the Cardinals tagged Calais Campbell, and they were the next-best pass-rushers for needy teams to target.

Indianapolis Colts

Those three receivers -- Bowe, Jackson and Welker -- disappearing from the market mean that two Colts unrestricted free agents to-be probably fare a bit better. Pierre Garcon has speed and youth to sell and Wayne has veteran wiles and reliability.

The Colts could make another charge at signing Garcon before March 13th, but he may be determined to see what free agency can bring him.

I don’t think they will have much money to spend on free agents, but the offensive line and defensive tackles pools -- their biggest positions of need beyond receiver -- are unchanged.

Jacksonville Jaguars

No one needs a big-time, team-leading wide receiver more than the Jaguars do. I don’t believe they would have been players for Jackson or Welker. But Bowe could have been a guy they were interested in.

Whether or not they will be players for Williams, plan B should have been Mathis. The hit to the potential defensive end market hurts as a big-time pass-rusher is the big defensive need. Cornerback could still be OK with Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan, Kansas City’s Brandon Carr and San Francisco's Carlos Rogers on track to reach free agency.

Tennessee Titans

That San Francisco tagged Dashon Goldson and Oakland franchised Tyvon Branch severely thinned the safety market, which helped prompt Tennessee to tag Michael Griffin. I would have loved to have seen their approach is the two guys from the West Coast were heading for unrestricted free agency.

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reported that Mathis would have been a target and general manager Ruston Webster had said a special, pass-rushing defensive end was one position for which the team might have been willing to overpay. He didn’t say overpay by a gigantic degree, however. With a bid for Williams unlikely, who’s the next best rusher now?

The Jaguars won’t be as active in free agency this year as they were last year, according to general manager Gene Smith, writes Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union.

I hope that doesn’t prove to be the case. The team could go a long way toward solving at least two of its three primary issues -- receiver, end, cornerback -- in free agency and it has the money.
Smith: "I think [owner Shahid Khan] understands the philosophy is to build your team through the draft. I think most teams have figured that out. Where you don’t want to be is in pro free agency year in and year out. That’s not our philosophy. It’s to supplement the college draft."

Sure, the philosophy is to build through the draft. But the core players you need on your roster left from the drafts before Smith got control aren’t really around. So now you get those guy in free agency, the way the Jaguars got Paul Posluszny, Clint Session and Dawan Landry last year.

I hope the Jaguars don’t avoid free agency on principle, to prove they are centered on building though the draft. Mario Williams or Robert Mathis or Vincent Jackson or Brandon Carr -- better yet a couple of those guys -- can help transform the Jaguars.

Smith can have the semantics.

Emphasize that free agency is supplemental all you like.

Just so long as you’re not going forward thinking a good draft can do the bulk of the work to get Blaine Gabbert the weapons he needs and to give the Jaguars the special pass-rusher they covet.

Khan’s pushed his chips to the middle for the table and has said he’s all in.

All in means at least a couple big moves in free agency.
The Kansas City Chiefs' signing of cornerback Stanford Routt will likely wind up hurting the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Stay with me here.

By signing Routt, the Chiefs no longer need to re-sign Brandon Carr, their solid No. 2 corner. That gives them the freedom to use their franchise tag, if they so desire, on receiver Dwayne Bowe.

If Bowe doesn’t hit the market, there is one less good receiver available. Whether or not he’s the one the Jaguars covet, they should be as big a courter of receivers as we see when free agency opens March 13.

The more that are out there the better for Jacksonville.

So the AFC West has messed with at least one AFC South team — with Oakland releasing Routt and the Chiefs snatching him up.

Although the Jaguars also need a corner, and Carr's now out there.

AFC South Week 6 decisive moment

October, 19, 2010
10/19/10
1:00
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NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

On second-and-8 from the Kansas City 11-yard line, Matt Schaub was flushed out of the pocket and rolled left. Andre Johnson started the play wide left, ran just into the end zone and broke sharply right.

He stopped and left two defenders behind, spun and headed to the back-left corner of the end zone.

Schaub’s lateral movement bought the time for Johnson to break free, and he easily hauled in the pass ahead of Brandon Carr for a touchdown that put Houston ahead with 28 seconds left.

There wasn’t a more decisive play in the AFC South in Week 6.

The link-up between the Texans' quarterback and Johnson, the team’s best player, produced Houston’s fourth win and kept it at the head of the AFC South, where it is even with Indianapolis and Tennessee but has a tiebreaking edge.

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