Shortly after being hired by the Jaguars, G.M. Dave Caldwell slammed the door on a Jacksonville homecoming for Tim Tebow.
Caldwell now seems to be keeping the door wide open for 2011 first-rounder Blaine Gabbert.
“That was his second year,” Caldwell recently said of Gabbert, via Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. “What were they saying about other quarterbacks after their second year? We’re looking for improvement [in his third year]. We need to build around him. We’ll upgrade whenever we can upgrade.”
It’s a bit surprising; a new G.M. usually wants a new coach, and a new coach usually wants a new quarterback. Caldwell got his new coach in Gus Bradley, but Bradley seems to be sold on Gabbert.
“He’s been very impressive so far in our conversations,” Bradley said of Gabbert.
But Gabbert hasn’t been impressive on the field in two seasons. And Gabbert played in only 10 games during the 2012 campaign, allowing Chad Henne to make a case for a shot at becoming the 2013 starter.
Of course, there’s a chance the Jaguars are blowing smoke, either to create a trade market for Gabbert (not likely) or to conceal their true plans for free agency or the draft (more likely). Really, if the Jaguars hope to pursue Matt Flynn or Alex Smith or Mike Vick or anyone else in free agency, or perhaps to finagle the draft board to land a new quarterback of the future without having to trade up or free from fear of a last-minute leapfrogging, it makes no sense to show their cards now.
When it comes to the offseason, actions always speak louder than words. And, for the smart teams, words are nothing more than a way to conceal intended actions.