The fundamental problem with an advertising campaign that incorporates a statement like "All In", is that not only does it carry with it a lot of expectations, but if anything/anyone falters in their commitment to the team, it could represent a lot of instability and then your advertising campaign has a lot of holes in it.The recent contract dispute between the Jaguars and Maurice Jones-Drew is probably the last thing that the Jaguars wanted from a personnel and a business standpoint. This does, however, shed some light on how flawed that advertising campaign is. You had a young man who led all the NFL in rushing this past year by a significant margin, and he will obviously want to renegotiate his contract in light of being omitted from the top paid players at his position. In short, you really should have seen this coming.
I don't fault Jones-Drew one bit for wanting to renegotiate. He's 27. He's in the prime of his career and a franchise player, playing a position with a very short shelf-life. He's the face of the franchise and receiving mediocre pay. Aside from that, Jacksonville could use more marquis players that spend their careers exclusively in Jacksonville, a la the beloved Fred Taylor. Jacksonville could be the new Mecca for runningbacks the way that Penn State markets themselves as Linebacker U or the way my alma mater, Southern Illinois University markets the defensive effort put forth by their tenacious defense on the basketball court as "Floor Burn U".
Gene Smith, as general manager, is granted an enormous amount of clemency due to the fact that we have a novice owner, and he can leverage his knowledge and experience in his favor. Not only would releasing or trading MOJO result in poor fan reaction and possibly turnout, but it would change the culture of football in Jacksonville, and that's a very dicey thing to do. Without being too heavy-handed with the econometrics, it makes financial sense to give MOJO the contract extension he seeks (around 4 years with elevated salary and some performance incentives should do). You can even include in the contract that he MUST always appear at mini-camp and other optional team activities.
This blog is meant to be two-fold...shedding light on a flawed advertising campaign, and for me, as a 3rd party to parlay my wisdom to the business public and pray to the football Gods that Gene Smith or other top executives within the Jaguar organization read this and elect to alter their perceptions of the current situation facing our beloved Jaguars. Come what may, I will always be a Jags fan to the end.