JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jason from Salem, OR
With all the craziness and some bad feelings with how the Jaguars have conducted business this season and offseason, I believe they should invest their money with players in the organization that have been instrumental in being positive for the Jaguars – namely, defensive end Calais Campbell. He has been an outstanding role model and person of class for this organization. I could care less if his production has dropped off a bit and his salary is valued too high to keep. The Jaguars have fumbled so many player relationships and I think they should carry forward those that are a true impact on and off the field. As a Jaguars fan, I have had my fair share of disappointment and losses. I know it's a business, but if the Jaguars don't come off as a good destination for players, then we will be stuck for a lot longer …
No recent Jaguars player has been as respected within the organization or around Jacksonville as much as Campbell, and few players in franchise history have been thusly respected. As such, fans are intensely loyal to Campbell. At the same time, Campbell's salary-cap figure for 2020 is $17.5 million – the third-highest figure on the team behind defensive tackle Marcell Dareus ($22.5 million) and quarterback Nick Foles ($21.8 million). While Campbell played well enough to make a third consecutive Pro Bowl this past season, it's very fair to wonder if he can play at a level high enough to merit his cap figure for next season. If it's decided that it's not likely, then the Jaguars must make that tough decision – or try to restructure Campbell's contract. The latter is very possible. This is a common NFL late-career scenario. It's a business – even for the most respected players. NFL players understand this. While the Jaguars have had their share of missteps of late, this wouldn't damage their image.
Chris from Roseville, TX
I understand why we drafted running back Leonard Fournette over quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. I think the bigger mistake was selecting defensive tackle Taven Bryan over quarterback Lamar Jackson the following year. Also, franchise quarterbacks are hard to find, but out of the 16 playoff teams this season, the Jaguars passed on all of them at least once in the draft and a couple in free agency again, except for Josh Allen (Buffalo) and Carson Wentz (Philadelphia). Seems like they're there, we just don't select them.
There are many reasons the Jaguars have selected the players they have selected in recent drafts, and many were valid at the time. The big-picture reality is they're still looking for a franchise-defining quarterback. That reality makes your points very valid.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
When we were blessed to have Josh Allen fall to us, I was ecstatic. It was a home run. However, I didn't even expect to see the level of dominance he showed often this season. He is going to be a perennial Pro Bowler and will be an All-Pro multiple times for the Jaguars. When his name was called last April, did you have any intuition that he would be THIS good THIS early?
I have low expectations for rookies. Even players who go on to have great careers often have average rookie seasons. But there are traits that help a rookie adapt and perform at a high level quickly, and chief among those traits is maturity. Rookie defensive end Josh Allen was and is very impressive on this front, so in that sense … yes, I thought maybe Allen would be very good very quickly.
ABC from ABCTown
How do bonuses influence the cap space of a season?
It's important to remember when discussing salary-cap ramifications that bonuses can be structured multiple ways. A performance, workout or reporting bonus generally would be counted against the cap in the year awarded. A signing bonus is trickier; it is typically prorated over the life of the contract. If a player signs a four-year contract with a $20 million signing bonus, then the salary-cap impact of that bonus typically is spread out at $5 million per season over the four-year life of the contract.
George from Harrisburg, VA
John, are saying the Nick Foles experiment is over with and would you characterize it as a success or failure or is the verdict still out? I don't know if I would be so quick to pull the plug.
I'm not saying the Foles experiment is over; this is very much yet to be determined. Because of his contract, there is a very real chance he will be on the roster next season – either as the starter or the backup quarterback. If the Jaguars were to trade (possible) or release (unlikely) Foles this offseason, Foles' time in Jacksonville would have to be considered a failure. As it stands currently, it's an incomplete.
James from Upper Marlboro, MD
Zone, isn't this the week when we find out Tony Boselli makes it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I am thinking positive about this year. I believe he's in there. I will be going to Canton to see this great part of Jaguars history when it happens.
Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. This is Boselli's fourth year as a finalist, and Hall voting will happen Saturday morning with an announcement coming that evening. I also believe Boselli has a good chance this year. He has been among the Top 10 finalists the past three years, and players who make the Top 10 are getting enough votes that they often get elected in future seasons. I believe Boselli still has a lot of support among voters. Here's hoping this is the year.
Bob from Sumter, SC
If Yannick prices himself more than the team thinks he is worth and another team offers a similar package to the Frank Clark deal do you think the team would do that instead of the franchise tag?
The Jaguars' first priority is signing defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to a long-term deal. If that doesn't happen, would they trade Ngakoue for a first- and second-round selection? Yeah, I would say they absolutely would consider that.
Ferguson from San Diego, CA
Do you see Yannick getting franchise tagged so we have a defensive line of Yan and Allen on the outside with Calais and either Derrick Brown/Javon Kinlaw working inside?
I could see the Jaguars applying the franchise tag to Ngakoue, and I could see the Jaguars drafting a first-round defensive tackle – such as Brown (Auburn) or Kinlaw (South Carolina). I don't see a scenario with Campbell playing a full-time role inside; he has been effective at times rushing from the interior, but he's not a starting defensive tackle.
Ed from Jacksonville
I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas where I saw the Raiders' new stadium under construction. Since Vegas has millions of hotel rooms and entertainment options, how can any city compare favorably to that? No other city would host a Super Bowl and the average team revenue would increase. Small teams are in trouble. Can you provide insight into the NFL economics here?
Small-market teams absolutely have major challenges when it comes to keeping pace with larger-market teams – and teams in situations that produce a lot of local revenue. It is why the Jaguars continually look for creative ways – London, Daily's Place and Lot J, for example – to increase local revenue.
Fred from Naples, FL
I guess now that Calais was just named MVP Defense for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, negotiations with him just became tougher?
Nah. The Pro Bowl is entertaining. It's an honor. How a player plays there is not a factor in negotiations.
Seamus from Vancouver, BC
Hi John, now with Jay Gruden running the offense, when do Gardner Minshew II and Foles get their playbooks? Offseason training program or sooner? It seems unfair that Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Tannehill get almost six weeks extra time to study their playbooks owing to the Collective Bargaining Agreement …
Players can receive playbooks from Gruden and the coaching staff at any time. They can't receive explanatory video along with it and they can't discuss it with coaches until the offseason program begins in April.
John from Jacksonville
If the Jaguars donated Dante Fowler's $750,000 fines to charity do they ask the charities for their money back since they have to pay it back to Dante?
Fines remain in escrow until approved by the league and the NFL Players Association.
Sean from New Port Richey, FL
If we can only get a $3 million cap savings via trading Foles, sounds like the better option is to open cake with both quarterbacks. Are there other options which could provide a better cap return moving Foles?
If we're opening cake, someone better tell Boselli. A hungry Big Bo is a feisty Big Bo.