JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Aqeel from Toronto, Canada
Wow. This was the year of snubs for the Jags. First, quarterback Gardner Minshew II with both Pepsi and regular Offensive Rookie of the Year, then defensive end Josh Allen for Defensive Rookie of the Year – and once again, Big Bo. This is another year where this just doesn't make sense. Next year will be even tougher because you will have quarterback Peyton Manning – among others – who will be eligible. It really felt this was the year and now it just makes you feel like something fishy is going on. Boselli is being held to a different standard for sure and it stinks.
This indeed was a year of snubs for the Jaguars, with Allen and Minshew overlooked to various degrees. We've discussed those oversights a lot recently, and I've mentioned I believe both players were wronged. The franchise's recent struggles undoubtedly played a large role, causing the Jaguars to slip from the national radar. But while I agree wholeheartedly former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, my sense remains that this is less a Jaguars snub and more about the machinations of the Hall voting process. Boselli for a fourth consecutive year was a Hall finalist, and he was in the Top 10 for a fourth consecutive year. Anyone involved in Hall voting will tell you a player in the Top 10 that often is almost certain to be elected at some point. So, why not Boselli yet? One theory: Hall voters seem to have locked in on the idea that they will vote one offensive lineman per year to alleviate what was considered a backlog at the position. That idea started following the 2018 vote when Boselli, guard Steve Hutchinson, guard Alan Faneca and center Kevin Mawae were all unelected despite heavy support for all four. Many Hall voters talked after that of wanting to get at least one of those players in each year until all four players were enshrined. Mawae was elected in 2019 and Hutchinson will be enshrined this year. Faneca, Hutchinson and Boselli all were in the final 10 this year – indicating Hall voters believe all three are Hall of Famers. Only Hutchinson was elected – indicating voters wanted to make sure they got one elected in this year. The guess here is either Boselli or Faneca will get in next year with the other to follow in 2022. Time will tell if that's how it plays out.
Jon from Ocala, FL
Hi, O. Of course Boselli didn't get selected for the Hall of Fame this year ... they're not going to select a Jags player for the centennial class. Not "high-profile" enough of a player for them. Thoughts?
Incorrect. It doesn't work that way. Forty-six media members and two players select the hall inductees. They're not connected with the NFL.
Paul from Jacksonville
I feel like if Tony had played for a team in one of the NFL's larger or more-established markets, he would already be a member of the HOF. Yes, I know his career was relatively short, but no one was more dominant at the position.
There's truth here. I don't believe it holds true that Boselli would be in had he played in, say, Nashville or Atlanta or Tampa Bay. But had he played in New York, Dallas, Chicago? Yeah, he probably would be in.
Brett from Canton, MS
Happiest moment of the season for me is seeing Calais Campbell win Walter Payton Man of the Year. Don't know him personally but everything you read and hear about Calais is that he is pure class – a great football player but an even better man away from the game. Congratulations to a true role model for the game's viewers, and a man who is very much deserving of this award. I hope to see him in teal next year, but regardless, he will always be one of my favorites to watch.
Well put. The Man of the Year Award Campbell received Saturday is one of the NFL's most-prestigious honors. It encompasses both volunteer and charity work, as well as on-field performance. Campbell absolutely is deserving.
Rob from Pittsburgh, PA
John, the Jags have a lot of picks with the next two drafts – including four first round picks. Do you see them returning to the playoffs in the 2021 season?
Sure. Why not? It's not remotely out of the realm of possibility.
David from Maplewood, NJ
If Boselli doesn't have the votes this year, it seems possible he may never have them. Hope I'm wrong but this really seemed like his shot.
This theory has been floated, but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. While the 2020 Hall class will be difficult because it figures to feature quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and cornerback Charles Woodson, the classes the following two years aren't so packed with "first-ballot locks" that Boselli won't be able to be elected.
Charles from Savannah, GA
Tony gets passed over again. This is beyond exasperating. If Tony played and retired for any other team other than the Jaguars, he would be in.
Not any other team. Some other teams? Yes, probably.
Dewey from Valli
I'm sorry but you just can't possibly release the Walter Payton Man of the Year, right? That can't be a thing?
The Jaguars will have a salary-cap decision to make regarding Campbell. It won't be an easy decision, and the Jaguars won't want to release him. Stay tuned.
John from Jacksonville
Is next year Tony's last chance?
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Why keep Norwell and drop Bouye? I know it might not necessarily be one or the other, but I was a bit surprised to have read that.
The Jaguars wouldn't be keeping guard Andrew Norwell over cornerback A.J. Bouye, because this wouldn't be an if-then scenario. But you keep Norwell because he for the most part outside of some high-profile bad plays played OK last season. Bouye really struggled much of the season and realistically didn't play as well as Norwell last season.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Tony over Steve. Fred over Edgerrin. Jimmy over Isaac.
Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.
Tom from Charleston, SC
It has become obvious that postseason awards have become a popularity contest rather than being judged for their on-field and off-field body of work. You never have agreed with what I write, but we have to be looking through the same lens on this one.
This isn't a recent thing. Postseason awards always have been flawed, and always have been based more on fame, recognition and flawed criteria than level of play. It's why I minimize them as much as possible when assessing reality.
Jonathan from Mechanicsville
Can you explain how trading Foles would only be a $3 million saving? Does some part of his contract go to dead money in 2020? Can't it be split into '20 and '21?
Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles would be a $3 million cap savings if traded this offseason because he would count $18.5 million in "dead money" on the cap if traded compared to about $22 million on the cap if he remains on the team. The primary positive for the Jaguars to trading Foles as opposed to keeping him is if you trade him, 2020 is the final year you would have to worry about him on the cap. If you keep him, then you're dealing with his cap situation again in 2021.
Matt from Bartow, FL
John, when I found out the Tony Boselli had been snubbed from the HOF again, I was prepared to be outraged (as fans do). He was an absolute masterclass at one of the most important positions in football and is continually left out. Then I saw his reaction: just taking it in stride and pointing all of the good things he has in his life. Even going a step farther, relating how happy he is for the guys who did make it. A true class act. He deserves the Hall, though I'm not so sure the Hall deserves him.
I spent much of Saturday afternoon leading to the Hall voting with Boselli and his family, and I can tell you he was saying these same things before the announcement. Boselli admitted that he was so worried in 2018 and 2019 leading to the vote that he really didn't enjoy Super Bowl week – and that he really didn't appreciate enough the honor of being one of 15 people being considered for Pro Football's biggest honor. He made a conscious effort to take a more positive approach this year and he was able to do so. That's not to say he and his family weren't disappointed Saturday. That's not to say it wasn't a difficult day. But yes … Boselli exhibited class, grace and humility Saturday – as he has throughout his Hall candidacy. History tells us not every candidate takes this approach. Credit to him.