JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Justin from New York City:
Do you think that if Allen Robinson or Aaron Colvin were to re-sign with the Jaguars that it would happen before or after the start of free agency?
John: I'll start by saying that players usually don't re-sign with their former teams once free agency begins; teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their players until two days before free agency begins at the start of the new league year, so typically if a deal was going to be reached it would have been done by that date. I think that theory fits this year with Colvin; I expect if he re-signs with the Jaguars it will happen before Wednesday (March 14) – and perhaps before the start of the free-agency negotiating period Monday (March 12) at 4 p.m. Robinson's situation is a bit unusual on this front; it certainly appears the team will let him test the market – and therefore, it appears that the only way he would return to the Jaguars is if he doesn't get the level of contract he and his agent expect. If that happens, then I suppose he could agree to a deal more along the lines of what the Jaguars are prepared to offer. There seems a relatively low chance of this happening, but I believe that's the best opportunity for Robinson to return.
Steven from Charlotte, NC:
John, I definitely understand the argument regarding Robinson and the benefit of making the entire roster better. If you were general manager of this team, would you be making the same decision?
John: If I were absolutely sure I could upgrade tight end and offensive line, then yes.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
It seems to me as if you think you can give ridiculous answers to questions and it's fine as long as you drop the silly reminder to us that the Jags won the AFC South last year and came within a few plays of making the Super Bowl. Last year was last year and only an idiot would hang their hat on it. Go and run through the list of teams that went to the Super Bowl and see how many of them took giant steps back the next year or two. Seattle, Broncos, Carolina, San Francisco, Ravens, etc., etc. The list is endless. Stop with this "they won last year" crap. It is idiotic. Last year is done and buried. I will not be shocked if this team goes right back to winning just four games next year.
John: The Jaguars winning the AFC South last season isn't why I think I can give ridiculous answers, and I don't do it because it annoys you. I give them because it's fun. The part about it annoying you is a bonus.
Chris from Goodnight, TX:
Two points. First, everyone else in the AFC South has a significant amount of cap room. Allen Robinson could very easily end up on one of those teams. That would hurt, though I bet he ends up with Jimmy G in San Francisco. Second, with the Jaguars apparently letting Robinson walk, do you expect the Jaguars to explore inexpensive veterans in free agency to give this team more depth? Signing LeGarrette Blount would provide good insurance in the event Leonard Fournette goes down. Similarly, Josh McCown would provide the Jaguars a steady veteran option at a relatively inexpensive price--perhaps $6-8 million--in the event Blake Bortles regresses.
John: I assume this answer is ridiculous, but I would encourage people fretting about where Robinson will end up to frame it like this: while he is a very good player, I don't know that his presence on another division team necessarily has to haunt the Jaguars for the next half decade. If the Jaguars were that worried about that scenario, they probably would re-sign him. As for how the Jaguars will approach free agency, I do expect them to try to delve into the second-tier market – but I expect the focus there to be special teams. I don't think the Jaguars will spend $6-8 million on a backup quarterback. That's not inexpensive for that role.
Duke from Jacksonville:
What's the stupidest question that you ever received?
John: I was going to say Kevin's, but that would be ridiculous.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL:
How do you think the Jags will use money not spend on A-Rob to "improve other areas of the offense." I would expect an interior lineman or tight end in free agency at this point, so we can draft a receiver but I'm curious about available offensive lineman. Anyone worth signing who would improve the group we have?
John: I wouldn't be surprised if the Jaguars made a serious run at Carolina guard Andrew Norwell and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
John, how much of an upgrade would you consider Trey Burton at the tight-end position from any of the tight ends on the Jags' roster?
John: He has potential to be a big upgrade over any of the Jaguars' tight ends in terms of a receiver.
Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL:
Hey, O ... lots of A-Rob talk, but there two other things that I've expected to hear more "noise" about. Those are Aaron Colvin and Allen Hurns - the first around a signing and the other about a release or some restructure. What's up?
John: Deadlines are a funny thing; they spark action. The deadline for Colvin and the Jaguars to reach an agreement is approaching with the opening of the NFL's unrestricted free agency period next Wednesday. Hurns has a clause in his contract that guarantees $4 million of his $7 million two days later; that's a deadline. There will be a flurry of news around the Jaguars and the rest of the NFL next week. I would imagine Hurns/Colvin will have a place in the flurry.
Tim from Section 123:
Regarding A-Rob: Fans gotta fan, but they are forgetting we are no longer the Jaguars of old where we could afford to overpay for talent in free agency to get better talent on the field. This year, some other team gets to overpay for one of our quality players as opposed to prior years where we did overpay out of desperation to get better. This is a good time to be a Jaguars fan where we actually have to let good talent walk because we have enough talent that we actually have to not overspend anymore. DTWD!
Mike from Jacksonville:
Since when is Lee considered a better player than Allen Robinson? Lee is short and drops way too many passes.
John: The decision to not franchise or possibly not retain Allen Robinson is not about anyone saying Marqise Lee is better than Robinson.
Richard from Orange Park, FL:
What you might mean when you say things don't always become public is a lot of things. Perhaps this is one of those things; with a group of young ascending wide receivers, the team has actually done its job of finding talent. This puts us in a position of saying, "Do we want a second (expensive) contract of a wide receiver who is going to play hardball because during his time here the second-best wide receiver got $10 million a year and he did not; he is NOT a speedster and will now even have more trouble creating separation from defensive backs; he was an APEX ball catcher and there are some reports and videos that he is not where he should be right now coming back from his ACL." OR, "Do we get Blake Bortles a shiny new tight end to throw to … Blake and Leonard Fournette … a new offensive lineman … still have the wide receiver we used to minus Allen Hurns with a surprise re-sign of Marqise Lee all because you let emotion go and made a business decision and let an unknown, after an ACL, walk … stick with what you had … if we get better in three ways with that money instead of one way MAYBE because of the ACL. Let him walk. Use his money elsewhere to make us better in the way that will make us win now."
John: Actually, all I meant when I wrote that things don't always become public was that sometimes when agents and teams negotiate contracts the details of those negotiations don't become public, but sure … those other things, too … all of them … yeah.
Alan from Middleburg, FL:
You know, I thought you were nuts when you said the Jaguars wouldn't tag A-Rob. I wanted you to be nuts. You weren't nuts. I bow to you. #Iwaswrongyouwereright
John: I never got a single vibe throughout the offseason that the Jaguars planned to tag Robinson, just as I have gotten very little vibe the sides will agree on a deal. I hope I'm wrong on the second vibe; I doubt I am. As for bowing, I'm not asking you to do so … but if you feel you should, by all means … bow, my son. Bow.
O-Zone: Bow wow wow
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Justin from New York City: