JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Seth from Prosper, TX:
Best part of free agency so far? It no longer feels like the Jags "need" to draft at positions 'X' or 'Y' for this season. Best player available, baby! #MelvGordoRound2
John: There's a lot of truth to what you say. I still believe the Jaguars will take a pass rusher early in the draft in April, though not getting Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb in free agency does leave the door at least sli-i-i-i-i-i-i-ghtly cracked to look at wide receiver early. But overall, what you mentioned is indeed the goal for David Caldwell – and any NFL general manager, really. You want to be able to draft for talent more than need. As for your hashtag, I doubt Melvin Gordon drops to Round 2, but if he does …
Jason Falling Waters, WV:
Hey, O-Zone … love the moves so far. That offensive line still needs depth. Any more free agents, or do we wait to draft?
John: Well, the depth actually is pretty good at tackle now. You have a player with extensive NFL starting experience in Austin Pasztor in addition to Luke Joeckel and Jermey Parnell. I would look for something to happen in free agency on the interior.
Armand from Jacksonville Beach:
John. Do you see the Jags going after any other free agents besides Murray?
John: Yes, I do. There won't be another big-splash, six-signing day, but I don't think the Jaguars are done with the end of the first two days of free agency.
Aaron from Chantilly:
We still need a slot receiver ... free agency or draft? I still think Garcon has a lot to offer, maybe not?
John: I'd guess the Jaguars address slot receiver in free agency, though I doubt it will be Pierre Garcon. He's more of an outside receiver.
Chris from Jacksonville:
I was very impressed with Julius Thomas interview. He was very gracious, but at the very end he said, "Nice meeting you all." He then proceeded to shake the hands of many of the reporters and introduce himself. Has that ever happened in an introductory press conference?
John: Yes, but it was impressive to see nonetheless.
Mark from Archer, FL:
I have read the arguments and such about not expecting Thomas to pull in 12 touchdowns, that he benefited from Manning. But this is my thought the guy still had to get open and he still had to catch those balls. Tight ends are often the security blanket for a young quarterback. It's not like Manning made him better at running routes or catching. I personally would not be shocked at a 12-touchdown season or more from Thomas if he is THAT good Bortles is gonna feed him the ball a ton.
John: I admit I'd be surprised if Thomas caught 12 touchdowns, but that's because of my belief that free agents often need time to adapt and because there is a reality that there is a difference between Blake Bortles and Manning. What the Jaguars want from Thomas is for him to help make this offense better. It's a big part of his job to do that and that's the expectation. What numbers come from that? Time will tell.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
I know we've got a lot of cap room, but is there any chance all of these first-day signings are going to hurt our healthy cap going forward?
John: Taken by itself, this group won't give the Jaguars an unhealthy cap. Now, if you do this three or four years in succession … well, let's just say that over time, moderation and intelligent signings are definitely cap-friendly watchwords.
Thomas from Madison, WI:
Being in Wisconsin, everyone the whole year was complaining about how bad Davon House was and we are rumored to be paying him $6.25 million a year. I like the other pickups, but can you tell me you might think House is a good pick up?
John: What you have heard about House is different than the way the Jaguars feel about him – and from the reports of many other teams being interested in signing him what you have heard is different from how a lot of teams felt about him. We'll see who was right.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
I am interested in the right tackle signings. The Jags signed two right-tackle free agents in Parnell and Austin Pasztor. Based on the reported contracts, you'd think that Parnell is the penciled in starter, but that could be an intriguing position battle in training camp.
John: I think that pencil probably has some ink in it.
Sam from Boulder, CO:
I like the House signing, but it seemed like our cornerback situation was OK already. Is the plan to have Davon House and Demetrius McCray on the outside with Aaron Colvin in the nickel? If so, why weren't the coaches comfortable with Colvin playing outside so he's against top guys every week?
John: The feeling is that signing House makes the overall secondary better. The Jaguars essentially see the nickel as a starting position, and Colvin has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL.
Steve from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
After this round of free agency, would it be safe to say that as a team we are getting faster? Lord knows it wouldn't hurt.
John: Sure, the Jaguars got a little faster in the last few days. I think they'll get a lot faster around the end of April and the beginning of May.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Be honest, John...do you sometimes wish you were in a different role in the media where you had the freedom to break stories before anything was official? I look around the web and see stories of who the Jags have agreed with and who other potential targets are, then I look at Jaguars.com and see "Jaguars re-sign Pazstor." I know that's the nature of covering a team from the inside, that you can't report anything until it's official, but do you sometimes wish you were on the other side where you can speculate and run with what "sources" are telling you?
John: If I wanted a different job, I'd go try to find a different job. There are times as a website when we at jaguars.com would love to break news and speculate and all the other things. Those are a few days out of a very long year. On all of the other days, this team – from Shad Khan, to David Caldwell to Gus Bradley to Mark Lamping – give us a tremendous amount of assistance, resources and freedom to our jobs with honesty and as much transparency as can possibly be expected on a team website.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
Have we cut paul pozliability yet? if not, why?
John: No. Because Paul Posluszny starts at middle linebacker and the defense is better with him than without him.
John from Jacksonville:
Free agency gives us hope. The draft gives us hope. Our current roster gives us hope. However, what is important to me is who is healthy and ready to go on opening day. All of this "who's who" and big names chatter doesn't matter much to me without knowing the outcome of injuries and cuts between now and then. I guess I'm too practical sometimes and not "fanning" enough?
John: Practicality is fine, practically speaking. There obviously is no way to know who will get injured between now and the regular-season opener, but the only player currently injured/rehabilitating I expect to be a serious concern is defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks. He sustained his anterior cruciate ligament tear in the regular-season finale, and it's not reasonable to expect he'll be 100 percent by opening day.
Bill from Hammock:
Zone: I like what we have done so far in free agency. I believe Caldwell knows talent and I like the fact that he will go after "substitutes" on some very good teams and not have to break the bank to get them. In many cases, these guys now get their chance to be "the guy" and a chance to really develop. In addition, the depth we have been lacking is starting to form. Now, we can really concentrate on some early picks in the draft to solidify our team. Do you think this was the plan all along or revised due to late signings?
John: I think the Jaguars pursued some players early they would have liked to have signed, players such as Randall Cobb and Devin McCourty. But it's not realistic to think you're going to get every player on your wish list in free agency. That's why you have a Plan B. But certainly I think pursuing a big name or two with well-scouted, ascending players was part of the Jaguars' plan.
David from Portland, OR:
O-dawg, how much can we expect to see Colvin on the field next year, with the addition of House?
John: You can expect to see Colvin on the field whenever the Jaguars have three cornerbacks on the field. Considering the nature of the NFL these days, that basically means he'll be on the field as much as the starters.
Ryan from Duville:
Just read yesterday's O-Zone.... No need to answer my previous question. Nothing has changed.
John: No worries. I wasn't planning to answer it.
O-Zone: No worries
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Seth from Prosper, TX: