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A deal that makes sense

Dustin from Jacksonville:
I like the Mathis deal. It's not a huge contract for a good cornerback, it gives Mathis one more year of security because even he doesn't know how he'll heal up and it keeps the Jags out of a long-term commitment. If he heals up and plays well (which I hope he does) then I think he'll retire a Jaguar.
John: I like it, too. Because he has not signed the contract and therefor it is not official yet, we haven't reported on it officially on as of early Thursday, but today cornerback Rashean Mathis will sign a one-year deal to remain with the Jaguars. Indications thus far are that it is an incentive-based deal worth about $5 million, which makes sense for both sides because Mathis is coming off of a torn ACL. Mathis wanted to stay in Jacksonville, and the Jaguars wanted to give him a chance to stay. All signs are that it's a deal that makes sense.
Nick from Fleming Island, FL:
With Rashean Mathis being resigned does that eliminate us drafting a cornerback first round? It looks as if we will go defensive end or GUP – i.e., Gene's Unexpected Pick.
John: I don't know that it eliminates any possibility in the first round, and I don't know that it indicates what the Jaguars will do in free agency, either. First off, the Jaguars will do everything possible to go Best Available Player in the draft. Second, I'd say there's still a possibility of looking at cornerback in free agency. With Mathis being on a one-year deal and entering his ninth season, you wouldn't ignore the possibility of drafting a player to develop there or signing the right veteran to be the future at the spot.
George from Savannah, GA:
Peyton makes sense on multiple accounts, including filling the seats using the Tebow factor we missed out on, also letting Gabbert learn from the best QB on how to read defenses and lastly, our defense was ranked 6th. We could get a few receivers and be a serious contender. Our cap space and not having to give up any draft picks make this a no brainer- remember Brees and how Miami missed the ball.
John: You make good points, but it's not going to happen. I've said in recent days that the Jaguars and any team needed to explore Manning because this situation of him being available is that unique and potentially that much of a franchise-changer. As it stands now, the Jaguars are not one of the reported 10-12 teams planning to pursue Manning. I don't necessarily care about the Tebow factor you mentioned or about him mentoring Gabbert. All that matters in this decision is whether Manning at his age is worth the money and health risk and whether a relatively short-term solution is the right move for your franchise at this point. The Jaguars, like many teams, have decided it's not.
Joy from Section 103:
Pay the man. Besides being a badass kicker Scooobie Do is a fan favorite. A lot of the few bright spots last year belonged to him. PAY THE KICKER.
John: You're right. If Scobee is demanding $10 million a year, they should go ahead and pay him. I needed the sarcasm font there, but remember that from the Jaguars' perspective there is no negative to franchising Scobee. The sides were far enough apart on a deal that they didn't want to get it done now, there was no one else to franchise, so they applied the tag with the idea of coming back and getting a long-term deal done later. It's pretty common, and it's drawing far more worry about fans than it is inside EverBank.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Mario Williams and Peyton Manning are superb talents, I just don't think any player would be worth the contracts they are going to sign. Am I the only Jaguar fan thinking this way? Kind of seems like it.
John: Right now, it seems that may be the case.
Filip from Jacksonville:
Am I the only one who doesn't see a problem with the "bounty" system the Saints implemented? It's not like Vilma or Sharper can know the exact location a receiver/runner will be running at full game speed. If they get a good hit on them, then so be it. This league, and the people involved with it are becoming so sensitive that the defenses have no leeway to play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Of course we all know that the transition to an attacking-style, air-it-out league is what the people want, but let's not be so sensitive, please.
John: I think you're missing the point here. The problem people and the league have with the Saints is it's apparent that there was an intent to injure. I'm not sure you can watch the footage of the Saints playing the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game following the 2009 season and not believe there was something outside the rules going on. I agree with you that the league may be straying a bit too far toward favoring the offenses, but I don't agree that it's OK to encourage injuring opponents. If that has been the norm in the past, it's OK in this case to get away from the norm.
Jeff from Wake Forest, NC:
Would there be any benefit, or is it even a possibility, to sign both Colston and Meachem? Seems that it would benefit both to be on the same team as far as route-running – not to mention the possible bounty for scoring touchdowns. Oh wait, never mind.
John: I don't know how much benefit there would be in terms of route-running, but a combination like that makes sense – i.e., a front-line receiver in Colston and a potential No. 2 or complementary receiver in Meachem. I don't know that Coltson-Meachem is the correct combination, exactly, but that's the general idea.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Brandon Lloyd. What order to you pursue them as the Jags?
John: Using your list, I'd say Colston, Wayne and Garcon in that order. I'm not sure about Vincent Jackson, because it sounds like he's going to draw between $10 or $12 million a year, and that's a lot more than many believe he's worth. As far as Lloyd goes, I'm not even sure he's on the list.
Andy from Lake City, FL:
Considering the new coaching staff in Indy, is there any chance they are even thinking of RG3 with the first pick?
John: Not if Jim Irsay wants Luck. Irsay lets football people make nearly all of the football decisions. But in big-picture cases, he will step in. It sounds as if he wants Luck. I'd be stunned if the Colts don't take him.
James from Charlottesville, VA:
I think everyone needs a reality check here before free agency. There are 32 teams in this league, and among wide outs and defensive ends, only Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, and Mario Williams should be considered the elite answers to those needs. Simply, the odds indicate that probably none of the three will be in teal next season. More likely, Mincey and Roth are brought back, and some duo of Manningham/Douglas/Meachem/Robinson is brought in at receiver. Certainly, that won't meet fans' "expectations."
John: I like the Jaguars' chances with at least one of the elite players better than you, but the gist of what you're saying is right on. There's this perception that because the Jaguars have cap space that they can throw money at every free agent and sign a fantasy-football free agent class. More likely, I think the Jaguars have a chance at one premier free agent with a chance to follow that with a veteran or two to improve the roster.
Andrew from Norcross, GA:
I was listening to ESPN radio in Savannah, Ga., and the host was talking about how the Jaguars draft poorly and are a horrible team because they franchised Scobee. I tweeted him and he tweeted me back something sarcastic. Why is the perception that we are a bad team instead of a team on the rise?
John: Because the Jaguars have missed the playoffs the last four seasons and because they went 5-11 last season after going 9-7 and 8-8 the two seasons before that. Those close to the team can see the roster is building and that there are a few positions that must improve. Those not close to the team see a franchise that struggled last season and see an easy target.
Dennis from Springfield, MO:
Hey O-man, I enjoy your column almost every day and appreciate your continued hard work at it. My question is how long does it take you to do your daily O-Zone?
John: About six hours, but that includes five hours, 25 minutes for napping.
Chris from Jagsonville:
As a daily reader of articles on as well as other Jag-related sites, over the last several years during the offseason it has been frustrating to listen to some fans' seemingly daily insistence that the organization go out and sign every decrepit, once-upon-a-time, formerly-productive player. As Vic liked to say, "football is a young man's game" and "this isn't Madden, this is the NFL." I just wish that one day these misguided souls would wake up and realize it is just not wise to make a habit of signing a bunch of geriatrics who were Pro Bowlers when in their 20s! Stay calm, people. Draft and develop, and don't forget to breathe.
John: I haven't said this in a while, but you have been heard.

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