Session signing will be panned if Allen wins Jaguars' WLB spot

Posted July 08, 2012 @ 11:35 a.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

Jaguars GM Gene Smith last offseason shelled out a combined $26.5 million guaranteed to a pair of linebackers, Paul Posluszny and Clint Session, and was met with plenty of criticism. The value of linebackers has decreased in recent seasons and “Poz” and Session both came to Jacksonville with their fair share of durability concerns.

Fast-forward 12 months and the decision by Smith has to be viewed as a mixed bag. “Poz” was arguably the Jaguars' best defender a season ago, a three-down linebacker and tackling machine who brought great leadership and toughness to the unit. But Session’s season was derailed by multiple concussions after Week 11. (It’s worth noting that, even when healthy, Session was replaced in the Jaguars' sub-packages, prompting some sources at the time to question the large contract he was given.)

Making the signing look potentially worse is the fact that new head coach Mike Mularkey trumpeted LB Russell Allen this offseason, saying he is going to give Session a run for his money at the weak-side position. It will be interesting to see how the battle shakes out, as Allen has been the opposite of Session during his brief career: extremely durable and a very consistent performer.

We hear Mularkey won’t be hamstrung by contracts, instead expected to start his best 22 players on Sundays. That said, it is fair to say Smith will quietly be hoping that Session qualifies as one of those players, rather than Allen, a former undrafted free agent, whose second contract this offseason was a bargain at $6 million for three years.