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Clearing the calendar

Let's get to it . . . Armand from Jacksonville, FL:
Do the Jags franchise Scobee or take a chance to see what other teams think his value is?
John: I expect Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee to be franchised if the sides don't agree to a long-term deal by Monday. The team wants to sign him to an extension, and so far the sides haven't agreed. Until they do, the franchise tag is the way to make sure Scobee doesn't hit the open market.
Chuck from DeLand, FL:
Why all the hype with Vincent Jackson? In his best year, he only had 68 catches.
John: Why the hype? Simple. Jackson is hitting free agency, and in the NFL, it's relatively rare that a productive player – wide receiver or otherwise – who can truly help a team becomes free. There also are several teams in need of a wide receiver, and with DeSean Jackson being franchised and several other receivers likely to be re-signed or franchised, the scenario is taking place in which Vincent Jackson is being perceived as the best option on the market. That means March 13 could be a very good day to be Vincent Jackson.
Stuart from St. Louis:
Do people still think that the NFL doesn't find out eventually if coaches and teams do things against the CBA and act unethically? Sheesh, the Saints and Greg Williams are going to pay for this one. What is your opinion on the situation and do you know of anything that linked his bounties to his lone year in Jacksonville? Might this be a reason he was with the Jags just one year?
John: The Saints indeed will pay for this. No question. As for what Williams did with the Jaguars, not covering the team I know nothing first-hand and had have heard nothing to indicate it occurred. NFL history is littered with stories of bounties, and I doubt the Saints are the only team guilty of such activity. It seems their biggest misstep was continuing the practice and being relatively blatant about it following a warning. There's a mistake and then there's belligerence and defiance. The latter is far less forgivable.
Gigantor from Jacksonville:
Got a scenario I'd like your opinion on. I know it's early, but let's say that Claiborne falls to the Jags at No. 7. A team calls up and offers a "fair" trade back scenario and a chance to add an extra pick or two. Do you pick Claiborne or trade back and acquire more picks? Personally, I'd trade back.
John: I'd take Claiborne. He seems to be a player who is pretty close to can't miss. There's no such thing as a sure thing, but if you get a chance at something very, very close in the draft you take it and move forward.
Daniel from Howell, MI:
Should anything be gleaned from the Jaguars meeting for a fifteen-minute interview at the Combine with MSU's Kirk Cousins?
John: No. Teams can interview 60 players on an official basis at the combine. It means nothing except they are scouting Cousins and doing due diligence.
Andrew from Toledo, OH:
How come the Jaguars haven't re-signed any of their players? Do you usually wait or should we be concerned about this? I would like to see Mincey, Lowery, Roth and Scobee play with the team next year?
John: Free agency is like anything else: deals usually don't get done until deadlines approach. While I expect Scobee to be franchised Monday barring a long-team deal, it seems the others will be news one way or the other next week. The Jaguars would like to have Mincey, Lowery and cornerback Rashean Mathis back, and likely will make a push regarding those players next week. How successful the push will be will depend on what those players are expecting. Stay tuned.
Jason from Jacksonville:
A name that isn't getting a lot of play around here for possible receiver is Rueben Randle. His play at LSU and his ability to get open and make plays with the ball should merit a serious consideration from the Jags in the second or third round. His combine 40 times aside, his game speed shows that he can separate and be a deep threat for an offense. What say you John?
John: I say he'll probably be someone to consider in the second or third round. As you said, he didn't help himself at the combine, but Gene Smith and the Jaguars consider the combine just a small part of the evaluation process, and considering how he played in college, he certainly is a possibility.
Austin from Middleburg, FL:
Redskins decide to NOT use franchise tag on LaRon Landry. Could you see the Jaguars targeting him?
John: Not likely. Landry plays essentially the same position as Dawan Landry. Free agency for the Jaguars is about filling needs when absolutely necessary, and that doesn't fit in this case.
Alfie from Jacksonville:
John, when are you finally going to man up and drink some porters?
John: I've had plenty of porters, and now I'm more of an IPA guy. I . . . I . . . I guess what I'm saying is I used to be man enough, but perhaps no more.
Antony from Columbia, SC:
I greatly appreciate your level-headedness and your insights as you cover the Jags. I watched Ingram a lot this season as he played for the school I graduated from, and as much as I like the guy, he should not be drafted in the top 10 in my opinion. The guy is a phenomenal athlete, but your suspicions are correct. He doesn't have the first-step explosiveness of a Von Miller or Aldon Smith in my opinion. I expect him to be a quality starter for years, but I don't think he will be elite.
John: That was sort of the buzz regarding Ingram around the combine. There's nothing wrong with being a very, very good long-term player. Ingram seems to be that. But that doesn't always mean being selected in the Top 10.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
WHY won't Mo Claiborne be falling to the Jaguars???? That would be because of that "feel-good" win at the end of the season, John. That "feel good" win that you described literally moved us out of the elite level players in the draft. But hey, we ended the awful season on a good note. It sure does give us a good feeling during the offseason.
John: Not sure I called it a "feel-good victory." I said in the NFL you play to win. Whatever impact it had on the draft, I don't want a team of players who don't want to win, and in the NFL – with the exception of quarterback, perhaps – one player doesn't make the difference. The draft is too much of a crapshoot and as good as Claiborne is, there's no guarantee of his success – or that the player the Jaguars get at No. 7 will be worse or better than the player who goes No. 5.
Nick from Fleming Island, FL:
I just read that Jimmy Smith had 291 receiving yards in one game. It made me think we really need another Jimmy smith-Keenan McCardell combination. I think of Stevie Johnson as Keenan. Hopefully we can find our Jimmy smith this upcoming draft.
John: I wholeheartedly agree. The Jaguars without question need a player who can get 291 yards receiving in one game.
Mark from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I am fascinated by how much emphasis fans put on free agency in the NFL as compared to MLB or NBA. Of the last five Super Bowl champions, Drew Brees is the only free agent I can recall that made the team a Super Bowl contender instead of an also-ran and his situation was probably a fluke due to his injury. Am I missing something?
John: No. But the NFL is the most popular league in the world and has done a great job of staggering the off-season and season so that it is essentially a year-round sport. This is the time of year for free agency, so this is the time of year it will dominate the headlines.
Brad from Orange Park, FL:
If we don't go get Ward, Moss and Owens, I'm going to a hypnotist to forget I was ever a Jaguars fan. Think about how much cumulative experience at the receiver position that will be for us for next season! All we'll need then is to get the NFL on board to sign off on the use of canes, to help our veteran triumvirate get up and down the field. You or I could be under center, O, and those touchdowns will score themselves with all that talent at wideout. We'll sit Gabbert so that he'll be able to absorb the shock of seeing what NFL receivers are actually supposed to be capable of, and he can mentor whichever one of us earns the starting job in camp. I would be willing to do it for the league minimum, too, as to not hurt our salary cap situation. Let Khan and Smith know they can contact me directly, I represent myself. We'll be unstoppable, John. Unstoppable.
John: I'll pass along your email, and when I do, I'll clear my calendar early next February.

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