ESPN is reporting this morning, Monday, February 21, that former Colts safety Bob Sanders has started his free-agent conquest in Jacksonville, visiting the Jaguars. Anyone who knows anything about the AFC South knows that the key to making the playoffs is beating Peyton Manning, something that hasn't happened much in several years.
Yes, I'm sure that all of you Jags fans out there are screaming about the history of Sanders' injuries. And rightfully so; he has played in only 48 of the possible 112 games over his career. However, I think this would be a huge move for the Jags for several reasons:
- He carries a nickname: "The Hitman." He would ring a hard hitting safety to the Jags as well as an excellent tackler. He has a Donovan Darius feel to him, for all you Jags fans out there.
- He was also nicknamed years ago by former head coach Tony Dungy "The Eraser." Coach Dungy gave him this name because he erases his teammates' mistakes, a problem for the Jags secondary all year.
- Even hurt, Sanders is just as good of a coach as player. The Colts are in the playoffs every year, and on the defensive side, it is in part because of Bob Sanders whether he is playing or not. He could coach up this juvenile Jags secondary and make them better NFL players.
- Last and most importantly, as I mentioned before you have to beat Peyton Manning to win the AFC south.
Question: Who has practiced with and against Peyton Manning since 2004? Answer: Bob Sanders. He know his tendencies more than any defensive player for the Colts because he has been able to watch Manning both on and off the field.
So, while he may be injury prone, the upside is a lot higher than his downside. It would be nice for the city of Jacksonville to close the Jacksonville International Airport until a deal is done with Sanders. Jags fans will remember a year ago when Darren Sharper was visiting Jacksonville. He left and ended up re-signing with the New Orleans Saints. With the fear of a lockout, it will be a tough decision for the organization on spending the money.
My message is this: Take a chance. You did it with DE Aaron Campman and he was a beast, and will be back next year giving quarterbacks weekly nightmares. Even a one- or two-year deal would be a huge step in the right direction for this football team.