After-hours mission

Let's get to it . . . Craig from Jacksonville:
Why don't teams include clauses in contracts where the player can't hold out? See Darrelle Revis. This holdout stuff is sickening and it really does hurt the team. Hurting the team to make your point – great idea. I love MJD, but he's not the player he was two years ago.
John: The clause against the holdout is the contract itself. There is also a fine system that punishes the player for holding out, but there's only so much you can do to force a man to do something. Think of it this way: if there was a clause in Jones-Drew's contract saying he couldn't hold out, why would he pay any more attention to that clause right now than he is to the part where he said he was going to be in training camp?
Robert from Jacksonville:
I have never seen a paddle boat with a windshield. So I have to ask, exactly how fast can you paddle that you would need a windshield? Could you have gone pro?
John: Oh, I can paddle, baby. I can paddle. How do you think it got cracked? Speed. Pure speed.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
I thought there was a process where rookies could sign a waiver or something and still report to camp even if they aren't under contract. Was I mistaken or does Blackmon feel he's above being here also? I understand saying Mo can afford to lose a few days, although I disagree, but it seems to me that it is crucial for Blackmon to be at every single practice.
John: Rookies can sign a waiver to attend offseason workouts. Unsigned rookies may not participate in training camp. Blackmon does have an advantage in that he attended organized team activities and minicamp, so he is familiar with the offense, but absolutely he needs to be here soon.
Charles from Orange Park, FL:
I think it's time the head coach sends a message to his team by fining MJD every day he's absent. If he doesn't, he stands to lose respect of players. Your thoughts, O-man.
John: I don't expect Mike Mularkey to talk about it, but I think that's exactly what he'll do.
Michael from Kentwood, MI:
Couldn't we have MJD play out his last two years and let someone else sign him? Wouldn't that net us a third- or fourth-round selection for losing him in free agency? What do you think the chances are we're thinking of taking that that route?
John: Slim. Yes, the Jaguars could probably get a supplementary draft selection under your scenario, but no, I don't think that's factoring into the decision-making at this point.
Kevin from Republic, MO:
O-Man, I saw a bumper sticker today that said hard work pays off for the future but laziness pays off now. It made me think of you.
John: Good point. It's great to be thought of.
Mark from Ponte Vedra, FL:
What happens if Maurice decides to come in and has a very productive (top 5 running back) year again? Will the Jags be likely to redo his deal with one year left or will they force him to finish his current deal and then use the franchise tag the following year? I'd say it's somewhat more likely next year, but not guaranteed.
John: Philosophically, the problem with redoing the deal and extending the contract is the uncertainty over how long he can play at his current level. Also, remember: there are players such as linebacker Daryl Smith on the roster with one year remaining on their deals. There is a such thing as an operating philosophy under which teams don't renegotiate until the end of contracts with the exception of a player who is approaching the end of a rookie contract. I'm not sure you're going to see this team re-up players who are on their second contract before that contract is expired anymore. In general, that's a pretty solid operating philosophy in this league.
Joey from Middleburg, FL:
O-man, regarding your new office... pull-out sofa or Murphy bed? Inquiring minds want to know...
John: I'll take a stained cot on a creaky metal frame in the corner.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Mularkey wasn't considered the "sexy" hire, and I know what will really count is the wins and losses, but everything I read and everything I hear causes me to be more and more impressed and excited about our future. Am I overreacting to a coach who hasn't even led this team through a preseason game yet?
John: You're overreacting a little, I suppose, but my first instinct is that I'm with you: there's a lot to like about Mularkey's approach. In the NFL, a steady hand at the head coaching position is necessary to create a structure that can eventually lead to results. I have no idea how effective Mularkey's offense will be, but I do know this team is much more organized and disciplined now than a year ago. That's a significant start. Also, Mularkey says what he means and means what he says, and players typically respond to that.
John from San Antonio, TX:
So will Knighton start the season with one of those black visors? I always thought they looked rather menacing.
John: I don't know that he'll have a black visor, but he has been approved to wear goggles.
Jon from Durham, NC:
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, supposedly made the visitor locker room at the American Airlines Center as nice as the home team's. The idea was to show visiting players how well Dallas takes care of its own, so they might be swayed towards the Mavericks during free agency. Not exactly the best reason to sign with a team, but do you know if Khan has made any changes to the visitor locker room at Everbank? Or do teams purposely make it unpleasant to psyche the other team out?
John: The visiting locker room was not renovated. I don't know that there was much reason except that the Jaguars' players use the locker room every day. It's essentially their office and Khan wanted to make it the best in the NFL.
Jason from Section 149:
I know there's been a lot of talk about the locker room, and I know there's a lot more to cover now that camp has started, but I just really think that the new Locker Room (I feel the need to Capitalize it) really just sets the tone on how Mr. Khan wants to run this organization. First class! I love it - hope it leads to more free agents wanting to come here and just the overall reputation of the franchise. Well done Mr. Khan...
John: You know what? You're right on a lot of fronts. With the locker room getting unveiled on the day players reported, if the locker room didn't get overshadowed at the very least it shared the spotlight. That's really too bad, because as many players have said, the facility truly is first class and sets the tone for where Shad Khan wants to take this organization. I don't know how many free agents it will lure, and we obviously will never have an exact number. I see it more as part of the bigger picture. The locker room is the most visible, obvious change, but the team is doing things differently now, and in time, there will be more evidence than oversized locker room chairs and computer work stations.
Sonny from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Not sure if I missed this but did the Jags ever find a replacement for the equipment manager?
John: Yes. The Jaguars' Head Equipment Manager is now John Hillebrand, formerly the assistant equipment manager in New England.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Why do the media outlets focus on the current yearly pay when it comes to contracts? The contracts of players like MJD and Revis were front-loaded, but that seems to get left out when comparing them to other players. I know the players don't want back-loaded contracts, so how can clubs protect themselves from this type of situation?
John: By not renegotiating contracts with two years remaining.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
In reference to Chris from Jacksonville's question about Rashad Jennings' ability to play 16 games consistently, isn't this true of any player that hasn't started a full season? You weren't covering the team when Jones-Drew took over and Fred left, but the same exact questions were asked about Jones Drew, with your buddy Mr. Prisco leading the charge because of his Fred Taylor man-crush. Fortunately, Jones Drew has proven him and everyone else wrong. The fact is the only way to really know if anyone can do it is to play them. All this said, it will be a non-issue when MoJo shows up and all is forgiven. Also, what is so different between toilets in America and Europe?
John: As for the first part of your question, you're exactly right, but it is the proven commodity part that makes Jones-Drew particularly valuable. As for the difference between toilets in America and Europe, I purposely haven't done a lot of research, but goodness, am I looking forward to sneaking into the locker room after hours to find out.

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