JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Howard from Homestead, FL
I don't get it. Wouldn't Jawaan Taylor's contract be the tougher one to negotiate because of the market for a quality starting tackle? And if so, wouldn't they want to use the franchise tag on him and not Engram? Is it possible the Jags are threatening to use the tag on Engram so they can get him signed and then use it on Taylor at the last minute? Do the machinations go that deep?
You're perhaps underestimating a bit the difference between $18.2 million and $11.3 million. And the difference between an offensive tackle's value – and cost – and that of a tight end. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor and tight end Evan Engram indeed are the most high-profile – and expensive – Jaguars players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on the March 15 start of the 2023 NFL League Year. But while the Jaguars want to re-sign both players, it's a financial NFL reality that a big-time right tackle will cost more than a big-time tight end. The Jaguars are expected to place the franchise tag on Engram if they can't get a long-term deal because the $11.3 million tag for a tight end is manageable under the salary cap. It is also expected that a long-term deal can be reached with Engram that is manageable under the cap. The $18.3 million that it will cost to place the franchise tag on Taylor is not as manageable, and a long-term deal with Taylor also could be very difficult to manage. That's the reason for the Jaguars' reported plan. Either way, and they're not using the tag as "threat." It's more about managing the negotiations to get some tricky machinations done as the start of the league year approaches.
Robert from Elkton
If cap space wasn't an issue, would the team still want to release and replace Shaquill Griffin? I thought he played fine his first year here, and anyone who played fine in that environment maybe had a great year! And thought he was a good locker room guy. Is it only the cap?
Decisions are rarely based on one particular thing in the NFL. If cornerback Shaq Griffin cost the Jaguars nothing, would they keep him? I suppose. But Griffin really struggled last season and is really expensive on the cap. You can't really ignore that reality.
Marty from Jacksonville
_John, you described the ideal nickel corner as a good tackler, more physical than an outside corner, but doesn't the nickel corner have to cover slot guys like Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk? It seems like you were describing a safety like Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James more than a nickel corner. We saw what happened to Derwin James when he tried to cover Christian Kirk. _
I guess I didn't describe the ideal nickel corner well. He ideally won't be built like a safety, though he ideally would be able to play a bit more physically than a pure cover corner. He has to be able to cover quick wide receivers and play the middle of the field, which can mean more contact. It's a tough position.
Bradley from Sparks, NV
Will replacements or competition for Jaguars wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew and kicker Riley Patterson be drafted or brought in or do you expect that one or both will retain their jobs?
I expect Agnew to be the returner and have a similar role offensively next season. I expect Patterson to be the Jaguars' kicker, though I also would expect some level of competition.
Jason from Da 'Hass
Hi John, I really don't understand capenomics so two questions. Is all of the money converted into signing bonuses considered "dead money" if and when the team decides to release one of these players? What challenges will the team face in the next 2-3 years to ensure these restructured contracts don't adversely affect maintaining a competitive team?
There are a lot of complexities within the answer, but I'll keep it as simple as possible. First, because a signing bonus is spread out over the life of a contract, all the cap hit for years the player doesn't play with the team is dead money. If you pay Player X a $10 million bonus on a five-year contract and he plays two seasons, he would count $6 million dead money in the third year of the contract because the final three years would roll into that year as dead money. The challenge for the Jaguars is to extend the correct players' contracts so that the players play as much of the contracts as possible to reduce the amount of dead money on the cap.
Darrick from Jacksonville
I hope he doesn't take this the wrong way, but am I the only person who's excited that we finally have offseasons where Jaguars President Mark Lamping is not the star attraction?
I can confidently say no one is happier about this than Lamping.
Richard from Jacksonville
Currently, do we have any cap available dollars if you remove Ridley and a draft class expected contracts?
I'm not sure what this question means. The Jaguars are planning their salary cap around wide receiver Calvin Ridley's $11 million one-year cap hit and they are planning it around the draft class. Would they have more cap room without those players? Sure. But they have to plan for those players because there's no reason to expect they won't be on the roster in 2023.
Big on Blake from Philly
The Schein 9 told me as a Jags fan that I'd love to see former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey back in teal. I don't know who this guy hangs around, but it's clearly not real Jags fans. Sure, former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, former Head Coach Doug Marrone and former General Manager David Caldwell are gone, but the Khans are still here. No way he's ever coming or welcome back. The only thing I'd trade for that toxin is a bologna sandwich.
What's a "Schein 9?"
Tom from Fruit Cove on St Johns
Big "O," with your keen sense of objectivity, your absurd ability to lurk about and your plethora of inside sources I feel confident in asking: How in the world did our esteemed General Manager Trent Baalke pull off what I think will be benchmark of this franchise's rise to sustained relevance in the NFL: Notably the two biggest coups of last year's free agent season - the signing of linebacker Foye Oluokun and apparently stealing Ridley. Both from the Falcons!!!
Baalke appears to have had a very good 2022, and not just because of the players you cite. The free-agency class of Oluokun, wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, Engram, right guard Brandon Scherff and others contributed on a remarkable level to the 2022 season – and the signing of Ridley has a chance to be a steal. How did he do it? Research and calculated risk, both of which are always a part of player acquisition.
Joyce from Jacksonville
What about Evan? I see lots of extensions but not much about him. I sure hope they keep him.
The Jaguars want to re-sign Engram to a long-term extension. They reportedly will place the franchise tag on him if they can't reach a deal. I would expect them to still reach a long-term deal sometime this offseason and I can't see a scenario where he is not with the Jaguars in 2023.
Boxcutter Bill from MA
Looks like we'll be getting at least one compensation pick, that all the fans been clamoring for. I hope we use it to draft the punter of the future. Go Jags.
If the Jaguars don't re-sign Taylor, it indeed appears likely they would receive a compensatory draft selection next offseason. They likely won't be active in first-tier free agency, and Taylor would be considered a first-tier free-agency loss. It's difficult to project what round selection that would yield. Perhaps a third-or-fourth-rounder. I've never been as obsessed with compensatory selections as a lot of observers and fans. They're valuable, but would I rather have Taylor than a fourth-round compensatory selection? Absolutely. Plus, you know what you have in the free agent. The draft selection is an unknown. I'm not knocking the system. I just think some people overrate its importance.
Brad from The Avenues
Alternative ending: Doug Pederson, unavailable in 2021, we hire any of the other HC candidates not Urban Meyer. Probability, that hire is still our HC in 2022, Doug is coaching somewhere else. We miss one or more of our key acquisitions in free agency. We maybe finish with the 5 or 6 wins originally projected. Maybe not. "Serendipity Baby."
Sean from Jacksonville
You know what's good about not picking in the top 10? Not having to deal with all the inner sanctum details and the minutiae of who's one percent better than the next guy. What are your thoughts on not having to pick so high this year?