Gr3g3: Since Wayne Weaver clearly stated that the team would stay away from big free agent signing this offseason, do you think this is something that will stay with the Jaguars for a long period of time, or do you expect them to jump right back in the free agent pool after a year or two off?
Philosophies are constantly changing in the NFL, but the Jaguars face greater economic challenges than many teams with the size of the market and a non-established fanbase. This is a franchise that must overachieve to keep its proverbial head above water, and reckless spending is not in their “game plan.” Don’t expect the Jaguars to have an offseason strategy similar to that of the Washington Redskins anytime soon, especially considering the $100+ million they spent last offseason in contracts and the minimal return they received.
Gr3g3: Also, With Barnes most likely walking, should the team try to draft a tackle in the first round? If the top tackles are gone by the time we pick, would you expect us to trade down, or look at another area of need?
I’m a firm believer in the best available player drafting theory, but if Khalif Barnes indeed moves on, and all signs point to that happening, the team really doesn’t have anyone behind him that can step in so they would be forced to address the left tackle position in the draft sooner than later. Assuming all of the top-rated tackles are gone by pick eight, the smart move would be to attempt to trade down assuming there are teams looking to move up, which may be easier said than done. If that isn’t possible, the team should indeed address another of the many areas of need.
IowaJag: The Jaguars have stated in the past they follow the BAP philosophy, which was obviously not the case. Why should we trust Gene Smith to truely follow BAP? Also, what kind of relationship will he and Del Rio have?
You never know what a team’s draft board looks like because the main board is guarded better than Fort Knox, so we can only assume that the team didn’t follow the BAP philosophy in the past (and I would assume that). Can you trust Gene Smith? I don’t know, but you have no choice, he’s the new general manager. As for the relationship between he and Del Rio, it doesn’t really matter because Smith is in charge. If there is any conflict it is likely that the media and fans would never know about it.
SuperEWD: Derrick Harvey, Quentin Groves, and Mkristo Bruce are young and signed through next year, but who is going to be cut at the DE position next year? Someone has to go. Are there any players on the team that are Gene Smith favorites? Or are there players on the team that were solely on the team because of Gene Smith? If so, do you think this could play into who stays and who goes?
I’m pretty confident that the team will keep the best talent at defensive end, keeping in mind the players ages when evaluating their upside. A good general manager’s “favorites” will be the players he believes will perform on the field, or else he and his favorites will all be looking for new jobs.
JagHombre22: The Jaguars are way under the cap, Maurice Jones-Drew wants a new contract, Sensabaugh is a free agent but is becoming a good safety, and Khalif Barnes seems to be walking away from the Jaguars without at least an offer to stay. How do you convince Wayne Weaver to spend the necessary money to appease all three?
Convincing Wayne Weaver to part with his money was easy last year and it helped lead to a 5-11 season. Unless there are some incriminating photos available of Weaver, it is highly unlikely that anyone will be able to convince Weaver to pay many more big signing bonuses after being burned so bad so recently.
Tealout435: What must the Jaguars do to compete for a division title next season?
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. David Garrard needs to play like the Garrard of the 2007 season, the offensive line must get healthy and be dominant, the wide receiver position needs to make more plays, the defensive line has to stop the run and be able to rush the passer, and the secondary needs to cover better. If all of those things happen and Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Houston all take steps back, sure the Jaguars can compete for a division title.
Sec124Cap: Do you think Tim Shaw will make the team next year? I love him...
Do I think he’ll make the team? I’m picking him for Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He’ll narrowly miss out on Special Teams Player of the Year.
Jaggator1: Do you think Jack Del Rio will end up being the DC for next season?
No. If Jack is the DC, who will he fire after the season?
RJinTampa: Will Fred Taylor finish his career as a Jaguar?
To be perfectly honest, I think that decision is entirely up to Fred. If he’s going to be a member of the team in 2009 he’ll likely have to take a significant pay cut and work out in Jacksonville, both things he may not be willing to do.
Midstater: How does the importance of this offseason compare to others in the team's history? Could it be classified as the most important one given last year's record?
Every offseason is the most important offseason in team history. The team needs to rebuild quickly before some of the fans that the team relies on to sell seats give up on them because they’re no longer a winner. Winning and losing goes in cycles in the NFL and the fans must be patient.
Midstater: How much do you think the landscape of the AFC South will change with Dungy no longer in Indy?
If you’re asking about the Colts taking a step back I don’t think it will happen. As long as they have Peyton Manning they will be a very good regular season team. Bob Sanders only played in six games and they still went 12-4.
Jagsfan30: I know things can not be made right over night, but how long do you think Wayne Weaver will give Gene Smith? Who has more juice right now, Gene Smith or Jack Del Rio?
Good, stable organizations don’t fire head coaches and GM’s after just a year or two. Gene Smith has a major task ahead of him and as long as the team is heading in the right direction, I can’t see Wayne Weaver dismissing him anytime soon. As for “the juice,” Del Rio had it last year, throughout last offseason and he helped turn a Super Bowl contender into a last-place team. It’s Gene Smith’s turn.