JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Don from Marshall, NC
There seems to be a trend of star players behaving badly to force their team to trade them. What do you think should be done about it? I am pretty sure that's not what they mean when they say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." If you cannot pledge some loyalty to your team, then I don't want you playing for me. Backstabbing seems to be popular. Great teams keep it tight. Go Jaguars!
Teams can stop the trend by not trading players just because players want to be traded. NFL players are paid a lot of money, and I never have said or written that players shouldn't be paid a lot of money. They play a brutal, dangerous sport with an incredibly short time to take advantage of a unique skillset. They should be able to maximize that skillset and earn life-changing money because the NFL is the ultimate capital sport. The players have a skill that makes them well paid because people will pay to watch them use that skill. The flip side is if a player signs a contract and makes life-changing money, he should play for the team that committed to pay him that life-changing money. That's particularly true if the player has signed a second contract that shapes a team's salary cap. That remains true even if something happens that a player happens not to like. It also remains true if the player is not consulted about what's going on with the organization. It's even true if a player is "just not happy." Not everyone gets to be happy all the time. Cope with it. Now, get off my lawn.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX
KOAF: I have solution for the 17thgame being equitable to all teams. What if the NFL gave each team seven traditional home and seven traditional away games and played three games in a neutral stadium? Perhaps one of the neutral games would be a city without an NFL team and two games played in a non-conference NFL stadium, which would give fans a chance to see teams other than the local home team. This allows for greater fan buy-in to the league as a whole, which in turn would strengthen the NFL. This is a good compromise with the fans getting more football in exchange for losing one home game with the possibility of seeing two other teams play in their stadium.
This won't happen. I doubt having teams play neutral-site games in other NFL cities would draw enough crowds consistently enough to make the venture worthwhile. And home games are too important to teams' local revenue to expect most teams to willingly relinquish one.
Chris from Tampa, FL
Kyle Brandt from NFL Network thinks we make the playoffs this year, which immediately made me think of Jim Mora's awesome answer about the playoffs two decades ago. We know you were in the room when that day, but that wasn't your question, was it?
I indeed was in the room. It was not my question. As is often the case with legendary soundbites, the question actually was a fairly innocent one – with a reporter asking about the Indianapolis Colts' fading postseason hopes in that 2001 season. Mora's response, "Playoffs?!!!" was amusing and notable, but I don't know that anyone in the room knew they had witnessed a "historical response." I sure didn't. It turned out I was wrong that day. Once every two decades isn't bad.
Rusty from New Iberia, LA
Forget about where the 17thgame will be played. What about the who? Meaning who will be the 17thopponent? The current system is so perfectly set up to prevent cries of "unfairness."
A team's 17th game will be against an opponent from the opposing conference that finished in the corresponding spot in its division the previous season. So, the fourth-place Jaguars last season would play a team from the NFC that finished fourth in its division last season.
Brian from Round Rock, TX
Will they manage the cap wisely so we can have a long run of success? I mean, spending wildly with a rookie quarterback would be stupid.
I expect the Jaguars to be active in free agency. I can't yet predict the wisdom of their moves.
John from Jacksonville
I heard somewhere that Andrew Norwell was asked to rework his contract and take a pay cut. If true, did his play warrant that? It would be one thing if the Jaguars were tight against the cap but they are not. I'd be a little ticked off.
Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback indeed reported that the Jaguars want Norwell to take a pay cut. Whether his play warranted that is difficult to say. He played well last season and was perhaps the Jaguars' most consistent offensive lineman. At the same time, he will take up the most cap space of any Jaguars player under his current salary structure – and the contract he signed before the 2018 season was such that it would be difficult for any player, particularly a guard, to play well enough to "warrant" the figure. In that respect, it makes sense a new regime would want to rework the deal and get it more cap friendly. As for whether Norwell is "ticked off…" sure, that's possible. Who wants to earn less when they expected to earn more?
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
I hope quarterback Gardner Minshew II stays around, even though every time (presumed) starter Trevor Lawrence stumbled, fans will call for the 'Stache. But realistically, do you see any other teams who think Minshew could be their starter? The New England Patriots for example?
I wouldn't expect many calls from Jaguars fans for a backup quarterback for the foreseeable future – and I certainly wouldn't expect those calls to be answered. Either way, I doubt another NFL team will try to acquire Minshew to anoint him his starter. I would think a team trading for Minshew would do so with the idea he could push for a starting job in an uncertain quarterback situation and be a backup if he doesn't start.
Alan from Jacksonville
I'm not sold on all this talk about bringing in a veteran quarterback to mentor young master Trevor Lawrence. Any quarterback worth his salt will be vying for the starting job since it might be their last opportunity to shine. I would imagine teaching the new guy to take his job would be far down the list of personal goals. Since we will probably have one more year of getting our act together, I think keeping Gardner Minshew II one more year would be the optimum play. It would be interesting to see what he could do with some ammunition and if he does well, he might be worth more as trade bait when Trevor takes over. If you had your druthers (I'm not using mine, btw), what would you do?
I would sign a veteran quarterback as a backup.
David from Broward
So, you did a feature on the offensive line saying in part that Norwell was good to go (my words not yours). Now reports say the Jags asked Norwell to take a pay cut and he said no. Doesn't bode well for him as a Jag going forward. Also reports that they will now try to trade him. Don't think the Jags think too highly of him.
Or maybe they like him, but just not enough to have him as the highest-paid player on the team. We'll see.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
I'm tired of you.
You and me both.
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF, I keep reading rumblings of the franchise tag getting pushed to the right. Is this bad news for the Jaguars and other teams with a lot of cap space? Do you think it will get moved; and if you do, do you think it will be a floating date based upon whenever the salary cap gets finalized? It sure looks like there are a lot of issues to figure out before the new year starts on the 17th.
The deadline for the franchise tag indeed is expected to get pushed back; whereas the deadline originally was Tuesday, March 9, it could be moved closer to the March 17 start of the NFL's 2021 League year. This is because the NFL and NFL Players Association are still negotiating the 2021 salary cap, with the delay being caused by the unusual economic situation last season created by COVID-19. I do believe it will get moved, but the delay itself isn't "bad news" for any team – particularly not the Jaguars. Teams have a relative idea of the ranges where the salary cap will fall for 2021 and they have plenty of people preparing contingency plans. Moving the cap deadline will change the news cycle a bit, but it shouldn't hurt teams so long as they are prepared.
O-Zone fans from O-Zone
When will your autobiography be published?
When every existing publishing house has exhausted all other options.