JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
Telvin Smith seems to be saying that his personal issues, health and family have a higher priority than professional football. I don't disagree. I do disagree with taking that message to social media while refusing to communicate with the Jaguars. Whether one is an NFL star or a convenience store clerk, if we are looking for an accommodation, shouldn't we start with our employer? And now he is angry because people don't blindly support him. Sounds like Telvin really does need some time off. I wish him well, and I hope he'll play again one day, although I suspect it would be with another team.
This seems a good measure of where many people currently stand on the Telvin Smith situation. When the Jaguars' weak-side linebacker announced via Instagram last Thursday he didn't plan to play football in 2019, most Jaguars fans and observers seemed overwhelmingly supportive – with the caveat that he had erred by not communicating with the Jaguars during the offseason. When he posted on Instagram Saturday that people should "stop going crazy" and that the reactions of many fans was aggravating, it – understandably – irritated many of those same observers and fans. Make no mistake: How people are reacting to this isn't remotely as important as Smith's well-being; the person always should come before the player. But Smith's handling of the situation is without question a major issue. Bottom line in this increasingly odd story: While we still don't know why Smith is doing what he's doing, it seems silly/irresponsible that he hasn't communicated with the Jaguars. While we don't know how this eventually will play out, that lack of communication may be the issue that ultimately makes it difficult – and perhaps impossible – for team and player to move forward together.
Brian from Jacksonville
I remember an undersized, scrappy kid from FSU that not many gave much of a chance of actually becoming a pro. Football did mean everything to that kid. Not only did he make it, he earned a starting position, played with passion and earned a lucrative second contract. Money changes everything. Smith's gum-smacking declaration that "I'm rich" after signing his second contract forewarned his impending narcissism. His ego blew up, his play declined … and now Smith declares that the Jag fan base needs to chill because he needs me time, and football ain't everything? Baloney. Smith may even be near the heart of the Jaguar locker room issues from a year ago. Now, it has become apparent that he should never be a part of the Jaguars' locker room again. As you've said many times O, "Sometimes it's just time to move on." Thanks for your service, TS. Bye.
So, one not fer Telvin …
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
John, is it too early for me to declare I have Telvin fatigue? Of course I hope he does well. However, in trying to interpret his Instagrams I have no idea what he wants. In the meantime, as a season-ticket holder, I am putting my efforts into worrying about the 53 players that want to be here. Go Jags!!
… and another not fer Telvin.
Shane from Jacksonville
Who do you think starts at each linebacker position Week One? Also, do you think the Jags believe right guard is settled for the most part with Cann? He hasn't been a very good pass protector. That's pretty important, even for a "run-first" offense.
First question, first answer: My guess is that Leon Jacobs (strong), Myles Jack (middle) and Quincy Williams (weak) start at linebacker for the Jaguars Week 1, though that's about as uneducated a guess as is possible. The phenomenally uncertain nature of the Jaguars' linebacker situation means much can change between now and Week 1. Could rookie edge defender Josh Allen start at the strong side? Very possibly. Could free-agent Jake Ryan be ready for one of the positions? Yes, if he returns to full strength from the torn anterior cruciate ligament that cost him last season with Green Bay. Will Williams as a rookie be ready to start? Perhaps, but he must transition quickly from playing college at a smaller school. All of those questions are unanswerable as of mid-May. As far as the right guard situation, it's as "settled" as possible. Unless something weird happens, A.J. Cann will start there. That's why he was re-signed in March.
Larry from Duncan, OK
Mr. O, just wondering why Telvin Smith is still currently on the Jaguars' roster. Shouldn't he be put on the inactive list like Justin Blackmon was for so long?
Smith remains on the Jaguars' roster because nothing official has occurred for him to not be on the roster. While he has stated an intention not to play in 2019 via social media, he hasn't communicated that to the team. He hasn't communicated anything to the team. He also has not missed any mandatory events that would trigger fines or action by the team with the league office. From an official standpoint, Smith's situation is no different than that of cornerback Jalen Ramsey or defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, neither of whom are here in Jacksonville for voluntary offseason work. Until Smith tells the team of his intentions there's really nothing to do with him from a roster standpoint. It's a different situation than Blackmon, who was placed on the Jaguars' Suspended by the Commissioner List because that's where teams place players when they have been suspended by the commissioner.
Blues Man from Jax
For two years we've heard Telvin talking about "stepping up," "manning up," etc. It's time for him to act on those responsibilities. Now, if the Jags do not have to pay him this year, does it still count towards the cap?
We don't know what's going on with Smith – and until we do, it's not fair to say he's not "stepping up" or "manning up." But no … if Smith decides not to play this season, he will not count against the Jaguars' salary cap.
Julio from Southern Cal
O, everyone is making a big deal about the Blake Bortles contract dead money. Please clear something up. His fifth-year option was $20 million, so without a new deal his cap number for 2018 would have been $20 million. The extension allowed for $5 million cap hit in 2018. So, either way he would have a big cap number in either 2018 or 2019. Correct?
The Jaguars did pick up Bortles' fifth-year option for 2018, exercising that roster mechanism in early May of 2017. But that didn't guarantee his position with the team – or his salary – for the 2018 season. He still could have been released before 2018 without cap ramification. It was the new deal he signed in February of 2018 that guaranteed him money for 2018 and 2019 and caused him to count against the salary cap for the 2019 season.
Roger9965 from Greenbush, ME
OOOO Man, just a quick one. When will the money aspect of the seven drafted players be released? Noticed other teams release that info when they announce their rookie signings …
I don't know that this is as common as you say. While some team websites and public relations departments release contract details, most do not. Either way, while we at jaguars.com often write and discuss the contract numbers for draft picks and free agent signings, you also can always refer to salary-cap websites such as spotrac.com and overthecap.com. It's easily found there and the information is usually accurate.
Bill from Folkston, GA
What would you say the definition is of arm strength? I see the comments and concerns about Gardner Minshew's arm strength. Is it the ability to throw the ball 90 yards? I seem to remember that there is a quarterback in New England that typically doesn't throw the ball that far but carves up defenses with accuracy and placement on short passes. I seem to remember he is pretty good, too. I know Aaron Rodgers can throw the ball accurately a long way, too; he seems to have good arm strength but he does pretty good with short passes also, due to accuracy. I am thinking that accuracy is more important because arm strength can be gained thru training.
Arm strength isn't necessarily the ability to accurately throw deep or to throw a long way. Velocity is more important in the NFL because it allows quarterbacks to be able to "make every throw—" meaning the ability to throw, say, a deep out. Or the ability to throw with enough pace to consistently throw 15 yards downfield to the sideline and not have the cornerback be able to break on the throw and break up the pass. Accuracy indeed is more important than arm strength. Decision-making and pocket presence often can be more important, too.
Ryan from Fremont, OH
Hey, King of Funk: after pulling into the driveway after a long day's work, do you ever just sit back and take a nap in your car? Or is that just me?
What's a "long day's work?"