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History kind to those who wait

Let's get to it . . . John from Jacksonville:
I'm happy we finally signed a receiver, and I'm even okay with the price, considering the circumstances. But I would still love to hear your opinion, considering you spent a page yesterday trying to play down spending big on risky free agents . . .
John: Obviously the acquisition of Laurent Robinson is a risk, but the same is true of any free agent, particularly a wide receiver. The Jaguars don't appear to have paid nearly as much for Robinson as, say, the Redskins did for Pierre Garcon or the Buccaneers did for Vincent Jackson, so it's not as much of a risk financially, but he also isn't as accomplished as the other two. My point Wednesday was that while there was panic because the Jaguars Hadn't Done Anything on the First Day of Free Agency, many teams had taken the approach in the past and come out better in the long run because of it. I have heard the argument this week that this team or that team has had success signing this or that free agent. Obviously, that is true. The Jaguars had success doing that on defense last year. My point is that as a rule, that's not a good way, and Tuesday's foray felt like one of those in which a lot of teams are spending a lot of money for a lot of players who are going to be off rosters in two seasons. The more you lean toward building through the draft and staying away from first-day free agents, the better. I wrote that often before the Jaguars spent big – and did so successfully – on defense last season. I believe I wrote it before this year's free agency period, even though I thought they might spend quicker, bigger the last couple of days. I'll continue to write it until teams that spend big in free agency start consistently contending for the Super Bowl.
Adam from Jacksonville:
There are far too many people who think we signed Chad Henne to be our starter. Please enlighten these individuals. Gabbert is our guy. Besides, if we were really trying to replace Gabbert, we would have been in the Manning sweepstakes, right?
John: Gabbert is the starter, and Henne's signing doesn't change that. Obviously no one's dim enough to think that if Gabbert struggles for an extended period that couldn't change, but the perception that Henne has been brought in to start over Gabbert is, like a lot of national views on the Jaguars, wrong.
Jordan from Edwardsville:
What is your opinion on the price tag attached to Robinson? Considering the contracts that other receivers of his caliber (who have done it for more than one year) received as much or less than him. I feel we overpaid a good amount for him. I would rather have spent that much or more on Steve Johnson. Thoughts?
John: I think the Bills would have had a huge problem with the Jaguars trying to sign Johnson. He was under contract before free agency began.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
Why doesn't have a free agency blog or update what's going on? After knowing about Henne and Robinson yesterday, there's still no update as of 9:30am today?
John: It is the long-standing policy of the site to not announce player signings or visits until a player officially is signed. This is because until a player is signed anything can theoretically happen. From a fan's perspective, we understand this is frustrating, but this is one of those decisions that's based on the football side of things. I got an email from someone in the last day or so saying this was lazy. I am by nature lazy, but in this rare instance, laziness had nothing to do with it.
William from Jacksonville:
How's this for a no-brainer? Since 2001, the following teams have won the Super Bowl: Ravens, Patriots, Bucs, Steelers, Colts, Giants, Saints, and Packers. That is only eight teams out of 32. In that same time period, we have seen outrageous spending in the early days of Free Agency. Can you remember any signings from these teams in the lead up to their Championships that were crazy money deals? Can you name ANY outrageous WR deals? All of these teams got there through draft and develop with prudent Free Agent patches. They let the Redskins, Cowboys and other suckers dole out the big money. So how does our fan base want us to roll? Should we go Dan Snyder/Jerry Jones or take the Rooney/Kraft/Mara approach?
John: Your points are dead on, and I should have done a better job clarifying and reclarifying that point leading to free agency. As I've said, the one free agent I believe the Jaguars really should have gone early for was Mario Williams in the sense that I believe he clearly will make you better. He also is pretty low risk in that you KNOW how he will play barring injury. The Bills struck first and Williams seems unwilling or unable to leave Buffalo, so a lot of teams are waiting that one out. As far as wide receivers and cornerbacks, I just don't know that history will show the Jaguars as having missed out on too much. History is usually kind to teams that sit out the early days of free agency, and pretty unkind to those who don't.
TD from Jacksonville:
The packers gave of draft pics for Charles Woodson and he has done well. Giants Draft like there suppose to. Not taking second day players on the first day. Thank You. By the way New England did it, how did that go?
John: Okey-doke.
Chuck from Jacksonville:
This was the post on an SI site: Losers: Jacksonville Jaguars. As much as any team out there — possibly even more so given last year's commitment to Blaine Gabbert — the Jaguars needed to get in on a big-time wide receiver. Not only did the Jags miss out on the top-flight guys, they didn't even seem to be in the mix. That has to be frustrating for a team that is majorly lacking in talent. Honestly John, I have to agree. Mr. Kahn and Smith are not doing much at this point to get me excited about next season. Yes, I know they want to build with the draft, but the general consensus is that it takes a couple years to develop a WR. Your thoughts?
John: My thoughts are pretty unchanged. I've done enough winners and losers charts to know their true value, and I'm not surprised that's the perception of Jacksonville. My main contention would be with the idea that the Jaguars missed out on big-time wide receivers. I'm not sure anyone – even those most excited about free agency – think there were many "big-time" wide receivers available through free agency. Many were excited about Vincent Jackson; I wasn't. As for the others, we'll see. I agree with the consensus that it takes a couple of years to develop a wide receiver, and I agree that that will be a challenge next season. I agree that it's critical and I agree that it will be difficult. What I don't agree with is that there was a cure-all available in free agency. And yes: I still believe the Jaguars will be better at wide receiver next season.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Patience is a virtue, even in free agency. I'm stunned at the outrage on Day 1, thought teams overpaid on the wideouts, Marshall's got issues, Jackson the same and Garcon is a 3 at best, I was glad we took care of our own first. What say you?
John: I say: patience is a virtue because it's difficult. I completely understand fans being upset. I'm not panicked after two days of free agency in part because I spent a decade covering the Colts during a time when they didn't believe in first-day free agency and I've seen many, many examples of solid franchises who don't believe in first-day free agency. I also believe that the Jaguars will be improved because of players developing and a new coaching staff. I have the benefit of being around these people and seeing them work, and fans so far have no evidence of this. That's what I say.
Travis from St. Mary's, GA:
Let's just say we do trade Denver for Tebow. They will want a big name in return. Who do we give up for him?
John: The Broncos likely wouldn't want a big name. They likely would want draft selections, which are more valuable than big names. I don't see the Jaguars giving up either for Tebow.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
Hypothetically if the Jags were to reach a long term deal could they then reuse the franchise tag on another player?
John: Not until next off-season.
Jason from Jacksonville and Section 240:
O-man, do you think the way the Jaguars front office handled the releases of Byron Leftwich and David Garrard has had any impact on luring free agents? Last year we were successful in signing some good players prior to Garrard being cut. This year it seems as if a lot of free agents that Jaguars would be interested in have signed with other teams and didn't even consider the Jaguars even with all their cap space.
John: I doubt that has much to do with anything. Players get released from teams every year, and whatever the circumstance, players never like it. There's a perception out there that the Jaguars are having trouble luring free agents because they haven't brought receivers in for visits. The market for players such as Pierre Garcon got out of control in a hurry – well beyond what many teams thought he was worth. Good for him that he got what he wanted, but I wouldn't necessarily make the assumption that he turned down dramatic overtures from the Jaguars.
Steve from Hudson, FL:
How has everyone become an expert on running a NFL team without ever having to worry about writing out one check for one dime to any of these players? Does playing Fantasy Football make you that smart?
John: No, it just makes you think you are.

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