Today we’re taking a look at one common question, as well as a few reader submitted questions. Most of this is centered around the CBA, but we’ll also be touching on free agency. I thought the questions submitted by readers were well thought out, and they were thought provoking. Give yourselves a pat on the back, and let’s do this.
Common Question: Is there a deadline in place at which point the NFL will start to miss games?
There is no hard deadline, but the Hall of Fame Game is played August 7th. I would imagine that if there isn’t a new CBA by the start of August, the NFL would begin to miss some pre-season games. The regular season starts September 8th. The NFL and the NFLPA* need to have a new CBA in place, in my mind, by September 6th. If they got it done on that date, they would have to push back the September 8th game, but they could still have the stadiums ready to use, and the players somewhat ready to go by September 11th.
John asks: I think the Jaguars will sign a safety and 2 linebackers in free agency. I see them getting Rudd from the Buccs & Weddle & Cooper from the Chargers. I don\’t see them even trying to get in the mix for Namdi from the Raiders. I think they might try to package Harvey in a trade or further dept at safety or DE. I think this is a much more possible free agency result than chasing after big name, big money players. What do you think?
I think the Jaguars will definitely try to sign Weddle. He’ll demand big money, but he’s young, and the Jaguars could have a long-term solution at FS. Rudd and Cooper would both be good signings, but I have a hard time believing that Gene Smith would sign three high caliber players. I tend to think Weddle, Cooper or Rudd, and another developmental, young linebacker. Derrick Harvey probably won’t have any real trade value. The Jaguars will probably either release him, or they will attempt to develop him further. As for Nnamdi Asomugha, we’re in agreement. The Jaguars will stay away from that bidding war.
Rhett asks: Would you play in the NFL for the love of the game, or for the money?
I would play in the NFL for love of the game, but I wouldn’t be afraid to retire when my body couldn’t support it anymore. The guys that play in the NFL make very good money, even the guys that make the minimum salary. After retirement, I would pursue coaching or broadcasting. I tend to think I would love to coach, because; coaches are students of the game, and they’re immersed in it year round.
Josh Wiggin asks: Can you tell me what would be a good CBA from a Jaguars point of view?
If you read John Oehser on Jaguars.com, you’ve read that the Jaguars need a CBA that favors the owners, but he’s never, to my knowledge, went into specifics. The revenue split isn’t the biggest issue for the Jaguars. I suspect that it will be something like 52/48 in favor of the owners. The big issue for the Jaguars is the rookie cap, and eligibility for unrestricted free agency. First off, the Jaguars need a low rookie cap. That allows them to sign guys like Blaine Gabbert relatively cheaply, and those rookies would have to prove themselves for a year or two before getting a new “veteran” contract. If you’re familiar with the NHL, that’s the type of rookie cap that benefits teams like the Jaguars. The other thing the Jaguars need, but they won’t get this one, is the requirement for unrestricted free agency to stay at 6 years of experience. That allows small market teams to keep their draft successes for at least those 6 years. Although I think that will be 4 years in the new CBA, it won’t hurt the Jaguars all that much. In reality, this CBA isn’t going to transform the NFL’s landscape, but certainly keep an eye on a rookie cap. That could help the Jaguars a lot.
Submit a question for our next mailbag here.