JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
If we keep spending like this how will we ever afford second contracts for Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon?! Not to knock either of those guys or any current players, just wanted to point out that what people think free agency will look like three years from now is often remarkably different from how it plays out. Trust the front office and enjoy the team we have now.
John: The Jaguars indeed have many players who currently look like they're going to be really good players. History tells us that some of those guys will be as good as expected, and that others won't. History also suggests that some guys who no one's discussing now will turn out to be pretty good. The bottom line on this issue is the Jaguars will have cap room to sign enough core players to remain competitive and win. The first step is to … you know, get competitive and win.
Paul from Jacksonville:
So, Greg Olson is confident we'll be mooing da chay? #moodachay #neverforget
David from Loch Ness:
How much do the players (and officials and media) enjoy their visits to London? Also, as the UK's adopted team now, would they ever consider playing a game in Wales (Millennium Stadium in Cardiff) or the beautiful Scotland (Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh)? The UK is a lot more than London and I'm sure all involved would be entranced with Scotland's natural beauty. If so, I fully expect to see all the media wearing kilts.
John: I can't speak for all media, but I've enjoyed my three trips to London; this is notable considering that as a Crotchety Old Sportswriter I am predisposed to not enjoying anything – or at the very least not admitting to it. I do doubt that I have enjoyed the trips as much as Shadrick, who after his first trough of Shephard's Pie in 2013 steadfastly announced, "Give away my seat on the plane home … This guy's stayin!!" As for the Jaguars playing in various venues around the United Kingdom, I don't see that for the foreseeable future. They're committed to playing in Wembley Stadium every year through 2020, and the idea of being Wembley/London's team is a strong one for now.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL:
Glad to hear some former 'Noles are coming back to town later this month. We're planning to move that day; think the guys would be willing to help move a couch or two?
John: How much ya got?
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, I understand A-Rob was drafted and thus started with a much more lucrative contract, but why is it necessarily an automatic that he will be paid more than Hurns? If A-Rob is WR 1, Hurns is WR 1.25 at worst. These guys are statistically very close. And while I love Robinson, I dare say Hurns is the more entertaining athlete to watch. So why should there be a huge earnings disparity at the second contract?
John: Robinson and Hurns are statistically close, but through two years Robinson is the pretty clear No. 1 receiver on this team. That's based on statistics and performance last season, and it's also based on Robinson's size making him a daunting problem for defenses. The perception could change this season, but for now it's fairly certain Robinson will get paid more like a No. 1 receiver than Hurns.
Navin from Mississippi:
There has been something I've been wanting to say to you now for a while -- I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit … I've never been relaxed enough around anyone to be able to say that. You, O-Man, give me great confidence in myself.
Jackson from St. Augustine, FL:
Where do you see Myles Jack starting or at least playing?
John: I think Jack will be on the field as a nickel linebacker from Day 1. I think he'll find a role in base packages fairly quickly, though it's hard to project if that will be at weak-side, middle or strong-side linebacker. It will be a little easier to project that once he begins practicing.
Mark from Jacksonville:
As of now who's the favorite to start at the OTTO position?
John: Dan Skuta.
Tom from Orlando, FL:
I remember being heartbroken when Keenan McCardell was let go. The Jaguars had mishandled the cap and big names were leaving left and right. Your nemesis left via the expansion draft, but all I remember is my favorite player leaving for Tampa Bay. Better cap management will let the Jaguars hold onto more of their great players this time, but souls will still be crushed when someone's favorite player moves on to another team. As heartbreaking as it is, it's a pain I'd rather have- because it means your team is probably winning a lot of games. Losing just stinks.
John: NFL reality dictates that very few players begin and end their careers with the same team. That's true of elite players and marginal ones, which makes it likely that most fans' favorite players will eventually play elsewhere. The goal for a general manager, unfortunately, isn't to keep souls from being crushed nearly as much as it to have the maximum number of players playing at a high level for the maximum amount of time. That means knowing when to say goodbye to certain players – and alas, when to crush a young soul or two.
Jeff from Anaheim, CA:
How do incentives get accounted for when looking at the salary cap? You mentioned Hurns needing to earn a lot of his contract … does that mean a lot of that $40 million, even outside of the signing bonus will not count towards the annual salary cap?
John: Hurns earning his contract isn't so much an incentives thing as a base-salary thing. He's guaranteed $5 million in base salary for 2016 and a $4 million roster bonus that year – and he's also guaranteed $7 million in base salary in 2017. That's $16 million guaranteed. His salaries for 2018, 2019 and 2020 are $6.9, $7.9 and $9.55 million, respectively. Those aren't guaranteed, so Hurns by definition will have to earn those salaries by being good enough to be on the roster at that price.
Mike from Jagsonville:
I keep hearing/seeing reports that Bortles has a long way to go. That makes him sound like more of a project than an NFL starting QB. I also see/hear that he's waaaay better. Please reconcile.
John: I don't know how to reconcile this. I do know how to say what I've been saying about Bortles since last season. He indeed has a long way to go in certain areas – pre-snap reads, decision-making, reducing interceptions, etc. – to become an elite NFL quarterback. Those are areas most NFL quarterbacks need to improve after their second seasons. He looks a lot better in organized team activities this offseason than he looked in previous OTAs. That's to be expected. Will that improvement translate to the regular season? There's no reason it shouldn't, but until it does it's hard to say that Bortles has made the necessary improvements.
Steve form Nashville, TN:
Will out-of-market Jags and Colts fans be able to watch the game in London on October 2?
John: The Colts-Jaguars London game will be a normal CBS broadcast.
Paul from St. Johns, FL:
O-man: "Look, if the Jaguars have drafted as well as many believe they won't be able to keep all of their players. But if they have drafted as well as many believe, they'll still be able to retain enough to win." Great point, John. And I would add this additional point: " . . . and will be able to CONTINUE to draft more young, core talent." It's the replenishing that has made the Pittsburghs and New Englands and Green Bays so successful over the years -- not just the letting go.
John: Well, yeah.
Tony from Morrilton, AR:
Hey, John … what's the difference between minicamp and training camp? Maybe I'm stupid for not knowing by now, but was wondering if you could answer that for me. #DTWD
John: There actually has become less and less of a difference between minicamps and training camps in recent seasons because two-a-day training-camp practices during August have become a thing of the past. As training camp has gotten lighter and less taxing it has taken on more of a minicamp feel. The primary difference is that teams can work in pads during training camp whereas during offseason drills such as minicamps and organized team activities they cannot work in pads.
David from Orlando, FL:
O-Zone, I was wondering if you could help with the rule book. If J.J. Watt were to break through the line and jump in the air to block a pass, what would the penalty be if Bortles threw a fast ball, and nailed him in the marbles?
John: It wouldn't be a penalty because there's no penalty in the NFL for being too awesome.
O-Zone: No harm, no foul
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ryan from Charlotte, NC: