Crazy Idea: Maybe the Jaguars Should Sign Mark Brunell?
Mark Brunell has been in the news today because of his announcement that he's being forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to a series of bad real estate investments.
So here's a crazy idea that might just make some sense for everyone involved.
Why don't the Jaguars pick Brunell out of the bargain bin and use him as a second or third string backup quarterback on Sundays, and a mentor and instructor for the team during the rest of the week?
I know people will say they don't need him, he's over-the-hill, etc. But hear me out for a minute. There are a lot of reasons this might make sense...
1. The team is doing well with ticket sales, but could use a little final boost to put them over the top. And Brunell could get some significant playing time in the preseason and give fans a reason to come out for those otherwise unimportant early games.
2. He could generate some spark in sales of Jaguars merchandise.
3. He could provide actual football value for the team in helping to mentor and encourage younger players, particularly the very mediocre Luke McCown.
This might sound kind of crazy, but why not consider it? After all, the NY Jets took a hard look at Brunell for backup quarterback a few months ago. And some in New Orleans are suggesting the team might even consider resigning him if they could get him cheaply enough.
So he's apparently got some gas left in the tank.
Brunell was picked-up by the Jaguars in 1995 and that year he started 13 games, completed 201 out of 346 passes for 2,168 yards, with 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also rushed for 480 yards.
During his years in Jacksonville, Brunell went to the Pro Bowl three times, led the team to an AFC Central Division title and helped the Jags become the first NFL expansion team to make the playoffs three times in its first four seasons of play.
As we all remember, he was benched in favor of Byron Leftwich following halftime of a game early in the 2003 season. It was the final time Brunell took the field as a member of the Jaguars.
In 2004, Brunell was traded to the Redskins but was limited by a hamstring injury and struggled to bounce back. In 2005, he led the team to a 10-6 record. In 2006, he broke the NFL record for most consecutive completions in a single game when he completed his first 22 passes against the Houston Texans. He set the Redskins franchise record for highest completion percentage in a single game (88.9%).
But he struggled and was benched later in the season, only to sit out 2007 after a surgery.
In 2008, he was signed to the New Orleans Saints but didn't appear in any games. Last season, Brunell was again the backup to quarterback Drew Brees. He was also the holder on the 40 yard field goal kicked by Garrett Hartley in overtime that sent the Saints to the team's first ever Super Bowl.
Honestly, I would ask you... what would be better for lighting a little fire under the team's fanbase right now than signing Mark Brunell? Talk about reviving the pride!
The team passed on Tim Tebow because they didn't think he was the franchise quarterback that they need for the long-haul. That's fine, we'll find one next year.
Mark Brunell has got a Super Bowl ring and a bunch of records. Really, there isn't much left for him to prove in the NFL. His deal would likely be for one year and with no real intention of ever starting him in a game, unless something happens to Garrard.
But would Brunell want to do it? After all, it might not be great for the ego to come back to a team where he was once a superstar and now serve in a very secondary position. On the positive side, it would allow him to earn some much needed income, retire as a Jaguar and stay close to his family during the season.
The bottomline is that Mark Brunell has invested a lot into Jacksonville, and if the team's ownership wants to give the Jaguars fanbase a little bit of extra excitement -- why the heck wouldn't they give him a chance to suit up?