JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sean from Jacksonville
Dang it. It's going to be weird seeing Calais Campbell in a Falcons uniform. *Sigh*
Former Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who visited the Jaguars as a free agent last week, indeed signed instead with the Atlanta Falcons Wednesday. Jaguars fans understandably wanted him to re-sign with the franchise where he played from 2017-2019 and they just as understandably were saddened he did not. I, too, was disappointed. Campbell is as likeable and professional as any athlete I've ever covered, and it would have been great to have him back around the Jaguars. But the story about Campbell and the Jaguars this offseason was always more about emotion and sentiment than football. Campbell, who played for the Baltimore Ravens the past three seasons, is 36 and not the dominant player he was when he led the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game following the 2017 season. He certainly could have been effective and helped the Jaguars in 2023. But him signing elsewhere shouldn't be cause for panic among Jaguars fans.
Cliff from Orange Park, FL
Sad, the Mayor is not coming back. Maybe just as well there can only be one Mayor and Trevor is the Mayor now. Right?
Campbell, known as the "Mayor of Sacksonville" during his three seasons with the Jaguars, always will be the "Mayor." I don't know that quarterback Trevor Lawrence needs that nickname. He seems sort of above that.
Fred from Naples, FL
I was sad to see that Calais Campbell signed with the Falcons. It would have been nice to see him get his 100thcareer sack in our uniform. I just hope he doesn't do it against us in Jacksonville this year. Biggest dollar wins again … so much for sentimentality!
Why shouldn't the biggest dollar win? It's professional football.
Steve from Nashville, TN
The Atlanta Falcons (Calais Campbell's new team) are +7000 to win the Super Bowl this year. Clearly a championship is not on Mr. Campbell's mind to finish out his Hall of Fame career. So, what is?
Fit? Money? Opportunity? Role? And perhaps Campbell sees the Falcons' Super Bowl chances differently than the oddsmakers?
David from Orlando, FL
O - Do you remember that play against the Tennessee Titans when Titans running back Derrick Henry was running to the left and was prepared to deliver another highlight-reel stiff arm? Do you remember when Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker grabbed him around the shoulders and dragged him to the ground? It appeared that Walker's arms were so long that Henry's stiff arm came up short. That was awesome!
That was cool.
Stephen From 113 and Jacksonville via Pennsauken NJ
John, both Josh Allen and Travon Walker are listed as outside linebackers. We keep hearing that the Jaguars need more sacks and quarterback pressures from Josh and Travon. Aren't sacks and pressures stats you get from defensive ends and not outside linebackers? Finally, from a salary perspective, which costs more elite, outside linebackers or elite defensive ends? Thanks.
This is more of a scheme thing than a position thing. Allen and Walker played outside linebacker in the Jaguars' three-lineman, four-linebacker scheme in 2022. Had the Jaguars played a four-lineman, three-linebacker scheme, the two players likely would have been defensive ends. Pass-rushing specialists typically play outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in a 4-3, though that's something of a generality. Finally, the elite outside linebackers in a 3-4 and elite defensive ends in a 4-3 are both premium players and both get paid very well.
Mario from West Kelowna, BC
Phew. At least we're not talking about Arden Key anymore.
Marlin from Greenway Palms, FL
Hi John, I have seen speculation on the internet that the 2026 Super Bowl could be played in London. Do you know if there is any truth to that? For some reason that I can't define I am not thrilled with that idea at all. How do you feel about the big game possibly being played overseas?
There indeed have been reports that the Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur Football Club want to bid to host the Super Bowl in 2026 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. I've heard nothing to make me think the bid would be successful and I would be surprised if the Super Bowl was outside of the United States anywhere near that soon. I could see it happening someday, but in the next decade or so? Probably not. How would I feel about it? Weird, I guess.
Al from Orange Park, FL
Hoping to retain Smoot. With his specific injury so late last season, when would he be likely to be fully healthy?
Former Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot, currently an unsigned unrestricted free agent, sustained a torn Achilles in a Week 16 victory over the New York Jets. When he will return to full health is a tricky question. Medical advances have players returning from this injury far more quickly than was the case even four or five years ago. Former Jaguars running back James Robinson, for example, returned for the start of the 2022 regular season after sustaining the injury the previous season. When a player returns to full effectiveness from the injury is a different question and can depend on the individual, age, etc.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
I'm with you. If 100 years from now, football is still a thing and mankind hasn't blown itself up, the Jaguars' many teams and coaches might achieve win multiple Super Bowls but former Head Coach Tom Coughlin will still be important to the Jaguars' history because of what he accomplished in founding the franchise and the success he enjoyed. He rose to meet the occasion. Some of it was timing, some of it was luck but certainly time and chance happen to all. He deserves a spot and will always deserve a spot for what he did for the franchise.
I suppose I'm glad you're with me. I also suppose I'm still a bit surprised that there is any serious question that Coughlin should be in the Pride of the Jaguars. I suppose perhaps all that's left to say is there isn't all that much to discuss. Coughlin, who coached the Jaguars and built the organization from 1993-2002, at some point almost certainly will be in the Pride. I can't imagine a scenario in which it doesn't happen. Anyone who believes he shouldn't be there lacks an understanding of the makeup of the franchise in the late 1990s and what it accomplished. The Jaguars' four playoff appearances, two AFC Championship Game appearances and two AFC Central titles remain the most successful first five seasons of any expansion franchise in NFL history. Yes, it fell apart too quickly after that. Yes, Coughlin's ensuing tenure as executive vice president of football operations from 2017-2019 ended poorly. But the thought here is the Pride is incomplete without Coughlin. Here's hoping he is inducted soon.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
Not to beat the dead horse, but Chark signs with the Carolina Panthers for one-year, $5 million. Seriously. We couldn't do that? That is less than what he made last year. Still think not pursuing him is a mistake, having him and Calvin Ridley in a four-receiver set with Ridley, Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Chark would have been so sick and formidable. Not to mention tight end Evan Engram and running back Travis Etienne Jr. Oh, well … nothing now but to hope it doesn't bite us. Something tells me our injury luck is going to run out this year. Hope not. One question, would you REALLY want wide receiver Jamal Agnew out there playing receiver given he is SUCH a crucial part of the return game? I mean he is the return game, let's be honest. This offense I think will be top 3 if we can shore up the O-Line.
Your loyalty to/obsession with/curiosity about former Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. is real, not to mention a bit impressive/concerning/somewhat odd. Either way, $5 million is not a tiny number on the salary cap. That's particularly true considering that the Jaguars' other front-line wide receivers – Jones, Kirk and Ridley – consumed a combined $27.5 million or so on the cap, with Engram also currently carrying an $11.35 million figure. The Jaguars have front-line money in four wide receivers, two offensive linemen (left tackle Cam Robinson and right guard Brandon Scherff) and they also have first-round equity in Lawrence and Etienne. If the Jaguars' offense isn't one of the better units in the NFL in 2023, it won't be because of a lack of resources.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
When the Los Angeles Rams paid a ba-jillion dollars to stack their team and win the Super Bowl, I was mad at how they can just pay their way to victory. Now I'm mad that the cap exists because I had change. That's just how it be.
Fans fan. It's what they do.