JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Looks like we have tagged Cam Robinson. I don't hate it at all, but I sure would have rather PAID Trent Williams. Older and established veteran playing fantastic football at the position. What would you have done there, Johnny O?
The Jaguars on Tuesday indeed officially placed the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson. It wasn't a particularly surprising move, with Head Coach Urban Meyer saying he likes Robinson – and that the team hopes to sign him to a long-term deal. What would I have done? In an ideal world I might have wanted to sign and pay Williams, who is one of the NFL's best left tackles – and a proven, experienced one. While Robinson hasn't struggled nearly as much as many fans believe, it's not accurate to say he's at Williams' level. But here are two important questions about Williams. What will it cost to sign him? And do you know for sure you will sign him? The latter question is very real when it comes to acquiring players through free agency. You can want them all you want. You can offer them as much money as you want. But until a player is signed, there's always a possibility he will sign elsewhere. Franchising Robinson was a sure thing by NFL standards. Pursuing Williams was anything but.
Bob from Sumter, SC
I was impressed by three things from Urban Meyer's press conference. He doesn't do CoachSpeak but answers pretty directly. He has a rare quality of having a big vision yet is also very detail oriented. The role that position coaches will have in determining the roster I thought was very interesting.
Good eye. Meyer indeed was strikingly detailed when speaking to the media via videoconference Tuesday. That's the second time I have heard him address issues since he has had time to study the Jaguars' roster and get his bearings in the position – and he has been notably insightful, candid and straightforward on both occasions. That's not surprising in one sense; if you ask anyone close to Meyer about him, the first trait they discuss is an off-the-charts ability to communicate. I, too, was struck when he discussed his position coaches and when he talked about "the power of the unit." Meyer essentially said the position coaches are responsible for their positions – while using the head coach, coordinator, general manager and scouting department as resources. Now, that probably doesn't mean a position coach would have the power to release a certain No. 1 overall draft selection if they disagreed about the lunch order, but it does speak to the importance Meyer places on the coaching staff and the accountability he expects. The approach is unique by NFL standards and has a little bit of a college feel. But it's intriguing and I'll be interested to see how it works.
Steve from Jacksonville
Hi, John. Seems like putting the tag on Robinson is a smart move to protect the integrity and consistency of the offensive line. My question is what happens if Robinson doesn't sign the tag and the Jags were to sign a left tackle in free agency. Could the team rescind the tag at that point and make him a free agent?
Steve from Woodbine, GA
I just hope Cam Robinson doesn't get Trevor Lawrence killed ... or worse.
Somehow, somewhere, the struggles of Robinson have been exaggerated to an unbelievable extent. He hasn't been an All-Pro or Pro-Bowl player in four NFL seasons. He needs to improve. But at worst, he is average. The idea that he is somehow a disaster at the position is ridiculously out of proportion.
Steve from Wallingford, CT
What is the punishment for going over the salary cap? It seems really strange to me that teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and New York Giants can all sign players and use franchise tags even though they're projecting over the salary cap. I would have thought teams couldn't offer money until they managed to have enough cleared under the cap to offer whatever amount. It makes the whole free agency period now feel like a scam when teams can spend money that isn't available and figure it out later.
There is no punishment for going over the NFL salary cap because teams realistically can't go over the cap. If a team isn't under the cap once the league year begins, the league essentially begins eliminating players from the bottom of its roster until it is back in line with the cap. The 2021 League Year begins March 17, at which point all teams will be under the cap. Teams applying the tag on Tuesday still have eight days to restructure contracts and get under the cap. But you're right that free agency sometimes feels like a scam. Teams typically re-sign or find a way to retain elite and big-name players. It's why drafting well, developing and re-signing your own players remains so important.
Howard from Homestead, FL
You are probably getting inundated with this question, but should the Jags go after Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry?
Henry seems like a good option in free agency and the Jaguars have a need at the position, so probably. Sure.
Kendall from New Zealand
Seems we're getting pretty close to running dry on the news cycle until the league year opens next week, so in the meantime - what's your favourite animal and who's your favourite All Black?
Otter and Zinzan Brooke – though I waffled between Brooke and Sid Going (obviously).
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
When people are talking about playoffs and the Jaguars chances, it seems the stars are aligning in our favor. Hear me out. Indy just had their starting quarterback retire with no real replacement in sight or planned for. The Texans are dealing with their starting quarterback wanting out, which is looking like leading to another Jalen Ramsey-like situation in Houston if he doesn't get traded. And they would never entertain trading him within the AFC South to the Colts. That leaves the Titans, who we have shown through recent history can be stopped if you shut down Derrick Henry. Ryan Tannehill isn't going to probably beat you. So, given the theoretical signings we could acquire in free agency and the fact our new quarterback is coming in like a modern-day Avenger to save our franchise. This really is the year to say and believe "Why not us?". Go Jags, come 2021, let's shock the WORLD baby.
I'm all about world-shocking, and I do believe the Jaguars should enter the 2021 season with their goals as lofty as possible; if a team such as the Indianapolis Colts can go from 2-14 in 2011 to 11-5 the following year by adding a generational quarterback such as Andrew Luck, then perhaps the Jaguars can go from 1-15 to contention by selecting a quarterback No. 1 overall. But the old man in me tends to want to counsel caution. That same old man also would point out that the AFC South's current quarterback situation perhaps isn't quite so barren as you believe. The Colts are acquiring Carson Wentz, I'll believe the Texans are trading Deshaun Watson when I see it and the Tennessee Titans' offense is a lot more balanced – and quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a lot better – than many observers believe. Can the Jaguars contend next season? Sure, if a loooooot goes right, but the AFC South – particularly Indianapolis and Tennessee – isn't going to be easy in any sense.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Hi, John. A few years ago, a guy named Florio said the Jags were moving to London. When they didn't move, he said, "Call me in 2021." I don't have his phone number, but I did Twitter him and surprisingly I have gotten no response. Is Florio right? Are the Jags moving this year? Or is Florio wrong and unable to admit his mistakes? p.s., Jaxson with the KO in the first round, doesn't matter if they're three-minute or five-minute rounds.
If memory serves, I believe it was Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports – and not Mike Florio of NBC Sports and Pro Football Talk – who (in)famously predicted the Jaguars would move to London in 2021. So, try LaCanfora. He loves hearing from Jaguars fans.
David from The Island
Cable networks are full of talking heads with very firm opinions about things they don't understand. I wonder sometimes why networks pay them for some the stuff they say. There are many stories about players being disgruntled, getting cut, traded, etc. Many of those stories eventually prove false or incorrect. Are there sports reporters (besides obviously Mike Bianchi), that when you see their report, you question how well it's been vetted?
Mike Bianchi is a close friend and has been for nearly three decades. I don't question how well a story of his has been vetted, though I don't read Mike as I did in days gone by. As far as if there are other reporters who I question …
Your Ex from Exville
You still a broken mess?
You have no idea.