COMMENTARY – The Rolling Stones may have said it best when it comes to NFL contracts. No you can’t always get what you want… But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and leading receiver Cecil Shorts must decide if they both can follow that mantra, come to some agreement and carry on with a contract that suits both sides’ needs.
While this is not an issue right now for the 4012 team and their leading receiver the past two seasons, the fact Shorts is in his final year of a rookie contract means at some point the two sides will meet come together and hopefully work it all out.
Right now, the Mount Union star needs to concentrate on two things; staying healthy and getting into the end zone more often. But in making the leap to get Shorts signed, team general manager Dave Caldwell must decide on a contract that is fair and reasonable, but fans have to wonder will Shorts be paid as a No. 1 receiver or as a receiver in line with his production the past two seasons?
Shorts has led the team in receptions in 2012 and 2013 – but he has not been able to play in all 32 games in that time span.
Based on his production, which is nothing to laugh at, his numbers compare with Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks. Last time I checked, Baldwin was a second or third option in the Seattle Seahawks lineup. Shorts is the go to guy for this franchise and if you take into consideration the injuries not only to himself but to other receivers on the roster and the loss of Justin Blackmon to league suspension, Shorts’ importance to this franchise becomes even greater.
Shorts and Baldwin have had similar careers thus far. In three years in the NFL, Baldwin has made 130 receptions for 1,932 yards and 12 touchdowns while Shorts had made 123 catches for 1,786 yards and 11 touchdowns despite playing in nine less games.
The Seahawks signed Baldwin to a three-year, $13 million contract that includes $8.5 million guaranteed.
Also take into consideration the Jaguars receiving corps are better this season with veterans Mike Brown and Ace Sanders on the roster, but the addition of both Marquis Lee and Allen Robinson from last month’s NFL Draft and things not only could get exciting, they could also spell less opportunities for Shorts in the lineup.
This is a conversation that should continue through the off season and into the preseason should the team not reach terms with their star. The fact he needed not only for his playmaking ability but also his leadership with the younger players on the roster. Those factors alone may be worth a little more in the dollar column for years to come.