JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Dave from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, Sam Bradford signed a $76 million rookie contract in 2011. In 2012, Andrew Luck's rookie contract earned him a fraction of that, at $22.5 million. In your opinion, how would the NFL be different if the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement to cap rookie contracts didn't exist?
John: I don't know that you would see a significant on-field difference – at least not to casual observers. But to NFL front offices, the difference is extremely important. The main thing the 2011 CBA rookie salary cap did was limit the long-term damage a team absorbed when it missed on an early-drafted quarterback. There was a time missing on a Top 3 quarterback would send a team into a very difficult cap situation for multiple seasons; a contract such as Bradford's is crippling if the player isn't a foundation piece. Now, it's still damaging to miss on an early-drafted player because you never get that selection or that time back. But it is significantly easier to somewhat minimize the cap damage and move forward.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
If one could not appreciate Monday's O-Zone, then there's no helping them. To the obvious, unasked question though, I believe the answer to be "Verily."
John: Yes. Very much so.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, my wife insists the best football movie ever was "Jerry Maguire." I assert that "Jerry Maguire" may be as good a movie ever made to appeal equally to both women and men, and it may be among Cameron Crowe's most beautiful pieces of art, but it simply does not qualify as a football movie. Please settle the argument.
John: You're both sort of right because there's no right or wrong answer to such things. If she wants it to be a football movie, it's a football movie. If you don't want it to be, then it's not. Me? I probably would consider it a football movie. The uniforms and personalities were authentic, and I thought it actually did a pretty decent job portraying at least a slice of the NFL.
Mark from Charlotte, NC:
Perception is reality, especially outside of Jacksonville and in another NFL city. Don't know what becomes easier for them to poke at ... the record of late or the helmets. If you look like a clown and lose, you're a clown...look like a clown and win you're ... well I don't know … do you?
John: You're a winner, which is sort of what matters.
Baby Boi from Duval:
Hey, O boy!! Just curious when you think the NFL will have an 18-game regular season? BTW, did you see HBO's "Ballers?" Pilot show and our Jagz are getting our acorns busted! What's up with that, O gangsta??
John: I imagine the NFL will have an 18-game regular season sometime in the next couple of decades, maybe sooner. That's not inside information – just a thought that at some point they'll experiment with it, particularly if it makes financial sense. As for "Ballers," I haven't seen it; I canceled HBO and Comcast television after "Veep" went off the air earlier this summer. It had nothing to do with either show and everything to do with me being really, really cheap.
Richard from Jacksonville:
Oman, you should post the same question twice just to see if people pay attention.
Jeremy from Jacksonville:
Bro, do you think it would be a bad idea to bring Wes Welker in for a visit? I know we aren't running a clinic, but the man was near-dominant in the slot for most of his career after going undrafted. Even if he can't contribute on the field like past years, he seems to know how to play the position with great route running and seems to have an understanding what to do for what defense he sees. He's also a guy that when I watched him, you could tell he gave every play his all. Smells like veteran leadership to me for a small cost. Low risk, high reward? What's the boss think?
John: If you look around the Jaguars' roster, players whose primary role is "veteran leadership" aren't really there. The team's approach is to have players playing because they're the best possible player at their position – and if that means mostly young players, then that's what it means. Besides, I don't know that you will want to necessarily burn a roster spot for Welker at the expense of, say, Ace Sanders/Tandon Doss. One of those two probably will return punts. You also wouldn't want to have Welker at this stage of his career at the expense of, say, Allen Hurns or Rashad Greene. And certainly not at the expense of Allen Robinson or Marqise Lee. If we were discussing the Welker of a few years ago … sure, you would want him. But that's not the Welker we're discussing, so I'd be surprised if the Jaguars went in this direction.
Richard from Jacksonville:
Oman, You should post the same question twice just to see if people pay attention.
Tom from Virginia Beach, VA:
When the questions are questionable, do you go back a few days to find a good one you did not answer?
John: At the risk of pulling a curtain that no one wants pulled back too far back, yeah, sometimes on slower times such as these you go back. And you usually find there's a reason you didn't answer that question in the first place.
Morgan from Jacksonville:
Oh dear, John do you have a fever? I think I know the prescription. Bow cell? Bell Cow? Hmmm...
John: Yeah, it was a whole thing.
Paul from Jacksonville:
Hey, John! Bloom County is back!
John: I heard. I heard. College Me would have been ecstatic about this. I'm curious to see what Current Version of Me thinks. I also imagine the Current Version of Pretty Much Everyone Else cares pretty much not at all about what either version thinks.
David from Section 234:
I realize Justin Blackmon is likely never going to play again, but if you had to guess, when will we hear definitively, one way or the other?
John: I have no idea.
Tom from Section 141 and the Mean Streets of Nocatee:
John, I was relieved to learn it was merely an error with the app updating and not the end of your Ripkenesque efforts ... Oh and onefer "Necessary Roughness"...they had a great kicker!
John: You're one fer "Necessary Roughness" almost certainly will be the only one fer that one. As for Cal Ripken, he played in a lot of baseball games in succession and all I've done is write for a lot of days in succession, so you can't really compare … well, maybe you can.
Jim from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Hi John. Ignore all the critics. The O-Zone has been very entertaining over the dead zone. But two and a half weeks seems like FOREVER. Have a great day.
John: Breathe, Jim, breathe. It will be here soon enough.
Bryan from Portland, OR:
Why are reporting dates for training camp not standardized? Some teams (the Patriots) have rookies reporting a full week ahead of veterans, while others have rookies and vets reporting on the same day. Shouldn't the league stipulate how much camp time each team has? Seems like an advantage is to be had by having another rookie minicamp prior to camp.
John: Teams can report 15 days before their first preseason game.
Mike from Irvine, CA:
Has Gus Bradley cooled off a bit over the years? I stumbled across an apparently notorious You Tube video, "Do your job," in which then Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was very angrily ripping into his defense for not being on the same page against Peyton Manning. It was still definitely Gus -- even while red-hot angry, he still closed with "You'll never be great if you don't do your job," which was so player-focused and centered on realizing goals. But apparently when Gus Bradley was getting hired as a replacement for Mike Mularkey, people expected a bit more anger and fire. I haven't really ever noticed him like that during a Jags game.
John: Being a head coach isn't about anger and fire. It's about leading a team, making decisions and being cool enough in the moment to make those decisions correctly and lead effectively. There's no reason for fire and brimstone. It's the National Football League. It's OK for a coach to behave … professionally.
Robert from Jacksonville:
I just want you to know how dissed I feel because this "free" service you guys provide has gotten so bad in the last couple of days. Hardly any football questions? If readers don't provide any, can't you just make some up? You're a "writer" aren't you? I like what you do 99.99 percent of the time, but now that I don't for two days, I'm going to give it to you! Now do better work and let me go back to my miserable life...
John: Welcome to the O-Zone readership. You should feel right at home here.
O-Zone: Les Miserables
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Dave from Oviedo, FL: