JACKSONVILLE – Wait! This really is a frenzy! MoveDemChains from Section 410:
I love my GM. That is all. GO JAGS!
John: Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell indeed is strikingly popular among most Jaguars fans these days. And that's fine. But while many seem pleased with him at least in part because he traded quarterback Blaine Gabbert on Tuesday to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, a better reason to laud Caldwell is he pretty much appears to be sticking to the Jaguars' plan for building. Spend smart. Emphasize the draft over free agency. Spend smart. Spend smart. Those are critical components to a building process. So far, so good it seems. Did we say, "spend smart?"
JB from Jacksonville:
Wow John! About 10 articles written in 24 hours in between O-zone articles. Feels like Christmas to us. How does this affect your nap schedule?
John: Wait! What?
Kent from Jacksonville:
I really wanted to hate the Toby Gerhart signing, but upon further review, he is everything Gus and Dave want in a player. Young, productive, and durable. Plus, I'm sure he didn't want to back up Adrian Peterson forever...
John: The more you study him, the more there is to like. He has been productive, and he doesn't have much wear and tear on the body. Can he actually carry a starter's load in the NFL? That's what we find out next.
AP from Section 410:
After all the deals the Jaguars made Tuesday, where do they stand on cap room?
John: It's very difficult to figure the cap down to the final dollar. That's true any time, particularly during the first days of free agency when a lot is changing all the time. They have plenty of room to do smart things if they desire to do them, and if they do those things they're still in good shape for the long term. That's what's important to know.
Adam from Dallas, TX:
Hahaha … Name that Famous Pass-Rusher. Nice O-Man. It's a game the Jaguars have played a few times, in case the fans forgot. Douglas, Heyward, Kampman....
John: You're good at this game.
Nathan from Fort Collins, CO:
I am guessing Elway is going ALL IN for the Broncos. Big contracts for free agents T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and Demarcus Ware? How can the Broncos keep affording all these players, with Manning on the roster and his $95 million salary? It seems like Elway is hoping for a Super Bowl now and not thinking about the future. Do you think these are good moves or am I overanalyzing?
John: I confess to not knowing enough about the ins and outs of the Broncos' salary cap to know how they can afford to make these moves. It's often the case that teams in a particular year can do essentially what they want in terms of signing veteran free agents, with the obvious aftereffect that it's going to be difficult to sustain that sort of model long-term. As for whether they are good moves or not, it depends on the franchise's goals. Right now, the Jaguars are in building mode and General Manager David Caldwell seeks a sustainable model. The Broncos have one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history late in his career. I suspect their objectives and timeline may be somewhat different.
Bruce from Norcross:
John, you can put me down for hoping Babin comes back at a greatly reduced price. As the pickup of Bryant showed, having a rotation is important, and I still think Babin can produce sack-wise.
John: It wouldn't be surprising at all if that happened.
Chris from Mandarin:
It seems the site is giving information on free agents much earlier than in the past. Good, but how come?
John: The timeliness of news on jaguars.com, particularly during free agency, is not an exact science. As a team website, there are times when we are unable to report news at the same time as other outlets because signings haven't become official, or because physicals haven't yet been passed, etc. Usually, it's about "i"s not yet being dotted and "t"s not yet being crossed. It's something we take seriously and finding a balance between timeliness and assuring we are correct is a daily discussion during these times. We have been able to provide information quickly on a few free agents this year, and there have been other times when we have delayed. This is the case at most team websites, and I assure you we at jaguars.com will continue to be as quick as we can in this area.
Brandon from Salt Lake City, UT:
That's going to be a massive scoreboard. Probably has room enough to have the Culligan commercial playing on a continuous loop?
John: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Steve from Leeds, UK:
Is it just me or do Caldwell and Bradley just go about things quietly yet very impressively? I know everyone outside of the Jags' organization and most of the Jags' fan base will be criticizing them if they don't take a quarterback with the Round 1 pick, but how can you not have confidence in these guys to make the right decision?
John: I'd say the Jaguars have done things "methodically" rather than quietly, and that's a good thing. They have been going about their business with seemingly little regard for public reaction and that, too, is a good thing. I won't attempt guess the reaction of the fan base if the Jaguars don't go quarterback at No. 3 overall. Perhaps there will be criticism in some circles, but that's just so much noise. The Jaguars have a plan. They appear to be sticking to that plan. That's impressive and it's a plan that has a chance to yield results long-term. That's a good sign.
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
I am still nervous about the Center Issue. I've seen reports that Dietrich-Smith is visiting with the Bucs and Wendell is rumored to have a visit with the Giants, so they're probably out of the mix for us, which leaves the pickings pretty slim for an already small group. I don't see any standouts available in the draft, either, at least according to everything I've read. So has DC just decided to ride it out with what we have on the roster for another year knowing you can't plug every hole in one offseason, or could there possibly be something in the works for Mack (please, please, please)?
John: We shall see, but I wouldn't spend time focused on Mack.
Earl from Las Cruces, NM:
Why would the Jags spend so much money on the 51st-rated guard, Zane Beadles? That doesn't make sense, nor does the Eugene Monroe trade which is loved by the Ravens. I just don't get it.
John: I have no earthly idea what he was ranked, but the Jaguars spent so much money on Beadles because they think he will be a very good starter at left guard. They traded Monroe because they doubted they would want to pay him what he would get on the free agent market and because they wanted more selections in the upcoming draft.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Does a lack of state income tax effect a free agent's decision on what team to sign with?
John: It does if he's paying attention.
Lil Jay from Jacksonville:
What's the point of the free agency period starting at 4 P.M.? Why not 12 A.M.?
John: Free agency starts at the same moment as the new league year. Having it at 4 p.m. gives teams time during the day to finalize roster moves leading to free agency, but probably the best way to put it is it has to start sometime. I suppose 4 p.m. is no worse than any other time.
Gpp from Savannah, GA:
Why would Prisco give the signing of Zane Beadles a grade of C on his review of free-agent signings? What does he know we don't?
John: I don't know.
Chris from Philadelphia, PA:
From a general manager's perspective, wouldn't it make sense to have the draft before free agency? That way, you could draft the best player available without worrying about filling holes in the roster.
John: Sure, if you're looking at the draft as an immediate quick fix. The reality is that with a few exceptions most players you draft aren't going to fill immediate needs and play at a high, impact-making level. You had better be drafting with the future in mind and not the first eight games of the following season. Most general managers know this and at least try to draft with this in mind.
Paul from Jacksonville:
John, with construction beginning on the EverBank Field upgrades, do you think we could get live (updated, of course) camera shots of how the construction is progressing? I'm a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and it was great to go to their web site and see day-to-day progress when they were building the new Busch Stadium. Thanks for all you do.
John: I'll see what I can do. Maybe we could brainstorm this. Maybe we could have, I don't know, a camera that showed it all the time. Or somethinglike that . . .
O-Zone: Novel idea
JACKSONVILLE – Wait! This really is a frenzy! MoveDemChains from Section 410: