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Let's get to it . . . Jim from The Villages,FL:
It's my understanding the franchise tag means the player is getting paid the average of the top players at his position. In Scobee's case, wouldn't that be a raise?
John: The issue for most franchised players isn't the salary for the year they play under the tag. The issue is that they want a long-term contract with the signing bonus up front. It's the only version of job security NFL players get, so while Scobee indeed might get a one-year raise with the franchise tag it's not unusual that he be seeking a long-term deal.
Mile from York, PA:
Mile from York, PA In regards to the sports films discussion, how about "The Express"?
John: I thought it was OK. But just OK.
John from Starke, FL:
How does an owner – i.e., the organization – protect itself when a rash of injuries hits a team? Do the players drop down to minimum salaries or does it depend on the contract, which is like a fruit bowl mix in with apples, oranges, bananas, cherries, etc. Please try to enlighten the fans, so we have a better understanding. The player gets a game check, but the organization is paying the medical and rehab for the season and yet because that player is on IR he can't play?
John: Players on injured reserve receive full pay as stated in their contracts, and indeed the organization pays for medical, rehabilitation, etc. A team can negotiate an injury settlement, then release the player, although that obviously is not done for players the team considers part of its future. Teams can have a total of 80 players under contract during the regular season, and that usually means 53 active players and eight on the practice squad. In theory, that leaves space for 19 players on injured reserve. A team can keep injured reserve players instead of practice squad players, which is what the Jaguars did late last season when a rash of injuries hit the team. As far as protecting itself financially, the organization really can't. You just have to budget to be ready to have up to 80 players on the roster in some capacity, although only the contracts of the Top 51 players count against the salary cap.
Chris from Section 232:
When it comes to next year, do the Jags extend Jones-Drew when he comes back with another hold out? A year later, do they give him the franchise tag and do they let him go the year after that? Jones-Drew made comments that would seem to mean he wants to play 10 more years as long as his body holds up. Is the team going to be too cheap to keep its best player in Jacksonville?
John: I don't know what the Jaguars will do next year if Jones-Drew holds out. We should probably get through this year's issue first. I will say teams have successfully handled running back contracts in the past in just the way you say – i.e., franchising the player for a year or so rather than extending the player to a multi-year deal. The reason is the short shelf life and the sometimes rapid decline for players at the position. As far as the team being too cheap, I'm not sure I get the rationale. Jones-Drew has a contract and many other players do, too. Will the team be accused of being cheap if it doesn't renegotiate and give every player what he suddenly wants every time a player has a good season?
Matt from West Covina, CA:
Take a wild guess and give me your over/under on the percentage of pass plays called this season.
John: Forty-eight point three four six.
Arnie from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I find it amusing how people gravitate to the negative like when it was announced that we have the most cap room. Am I missing something or isn't that a really, really good thing?
John: It is. The Jaguars have a lot of free agents coming up in the next season or two, and the cap that seems so spacious now could get pretty tight pretty fast. The cap needs to be managed on a long-term basis, and the fact that there is space really doesn't have that much to do with the stances being taken on Jones-Drew and Scobee. They have a contract with Jones-Drew and have offered Scobee a deal. The Jaguars never have said these are cap-related issues, certainly not in the short-term.
Mike from Kissimmee, FL:
Next-door neighbor is a big Texans fan. He recently taped a big Texans symbol on our front door as a joke. I declare that as an act of war. Oh, the many ways to strike back....any suggestions General Oehser!?
John: First, grow your hair long – a la Paul Posluszny. Then walk next door, kick his dog, make fun of his children, jab him hard with a stick and scream, "P-O-Z!!!!!!!!!!!" It's not the most mature response, and it might get you in trouble with the police, but he won't bother you again.
Buddy from Jacksonville and Section 102:
Each team has three times out per half. What if they could bank them? Six per game. Use them any time in the game. How do you think then game would change?
John: I imagine teams would use them less in the first half to save them for the second half. It would also probably make games a lot longer because of teams using six times out in the fourth quarter. That's why it won't happen. The NFL is generally averse to anything lengthening games.
Bonnie from Jacksonville:
While reading the O-Zone today, I could not help but notice a banner across the top of the page showing a picture of Mojo and saying something to the effect of "Maurice Jones-Drew will be all in this season...will you?" Someone probably needs to get another picture of another player who we know is definitely ALL IN. I have a three-year contract for season tickets with the Jaguars that I choose to keep extending. I don't ask for a refund when we don't win or if some other team has cheaper tickets. I am honoring my contract and supporting my team no matter what. Mojo has two years left on what I'm sure was more than a fair deal when he first signed it. I get that his career won't last a lot longer, but he has made more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetime. It's just really difficult in these economic times to see an athlete want more when so many people are doing with far too little. Come on, Mojo. Let's do this next year. We need you to be ALL IN now. Sorry for the editorial, but I needed an outlet, O-Man.
John: I'm not one who buys that Jones-Drew or any other player isn't "all-in" because of an off-season contract dispute. It would be hard for anyone who has been around Jones-Drew to question the commitment or the effort/sacrifice he makes on a weekly basis. Yes, he is paid well for that effort/sacrifice, but to say he's not committed – that I just can't do. I also just can't get on board with the line of reasoning because he makes more money than many of us he should just be happy and play for whatever the team wants to give him. These guys are the best in the world at what they do and people who are the best in the world often get paid a lot of money. But I am on record saying Jones-Drew should have been here for minicamp and that he needs to be here for training camp. I think an extended holdout would hurt the team, and while I'm all for players getting paid as much as they can, he has a contract that extends two more seasons and I don't think the team's coming off of its stance.
Douglas from Jacksonville:
What's your feeling about the comments in this Wall St. Journal piece from this weekend on NFL attendance??? It looks like even more teams are having ticket issues for the reasons we've been yapping about for years in our market...
John: This is an issue the NFL has seen coming for a few years now, and it's an area in which the league seems to be getting more proactive. The league's economy is changing, and the reality is the television experience has made it tougher to lure fans in every market to games. The league without question will be pouring a lot of money and effort into enhancing the in-game experience, and it will be interesting in the coming years to see how successful they are in keeping attendance high.
Renee from Section 104 and Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I like inane questions and answers! And to weather this time of year you need lots and lots of #9! When is the first day of camp? Go Jags!
John: July 27, and if you like inane questions and answers, you've come to the right place.

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