JagNation: Ask Charlie - 01/30/08

New series where fans can submit questions via the forums. Today Charlie will discuss free agents, contracts, the defensive coordinator search, Super Bowl memories, and more...

If Jared Allen and Terrell Suggs get franchised or resigned, do you see the Jaguars going after Justin Smith? What do you think of Smith? What are his strenghs and what are his weaknesses? (JagHombre, Gainesville, FL)

    I currently have Justin Smith listed as the third best available defensive end. Smith is a big, strong guy who is probably better against the run than he is at rushing the passer. Although Smith has never had more than 8.5 sacks in a season, he's never played with any significant talent on the Cincinnati defensive line. Smith has a good motor and I believe that he would represent an upgrade on the Jaguars defensive line.

Even though the Jaguars have plenty of room under the cap to sign existing players on the team, do you think that the Jaguars will try to resign Greg Jones to a deal similar to one that Ovie Mughelli got with Atlanta last year? If not, would the Jaguars consider converting someone like Richard Angulo or Greg Estandia to an HB or go get someone in free agency? (Alan, Buford, GA)

    I believe Ovie Mughelli received a six-year, $18 million deal with the Falcons last year, with a $5 million signing bonus. I believe Mughelli is a better pure blocker than Jones, but Jones is a greater athlete. For what the Jaguars need out of the fullback position ( a pure blocker), I don't believe they need to spend a sizeable amount of cap dollars. That being said, Jack Del Rio has always spoke fondly of Jones and I think the Jaguars will place a value on him of a little less than what Mughelli received. That will probably not be enough to retain Jones. As for moving Angulo or Estandia to an H-back type of position, they seem to be too tall to be effective blockers.

Any word on the Jags interview with Williams today? Do you still feel Bates will eventually be the guy? (Jaggator, Palm Coast, FL)

    Only Del Rio and the Jaguars front office know exactly how the Williams interview went. I believe that Williams can get a job somewhere else in the league (namely St. Louis) and be a lot closer to getting a head coaching job there. Del Rio and company know that Williams could be a short term fix. As for Bates, I believe that he's a very good coach and could be a good fit in Jacksonville, but I don't believe he's interviewed as of yet.

Given the defensive struggles of this past season, do you see the Jaguars coaching staff resigning Grady Jackson and Sammy Knight to be "role" players? (JagHombre, Gainesville, FL)

    Money is the root of all free agent signings. Grady Jackson and Sammy Knight did a solid job last season, but at their current ages, they can't be counted upon to be anything more than "role" players. I believe they will both be welcomed back at a certain price, but they may receive more money elsewhere.

Do you see any player whose contract is up and scheduled to be a FA getting a serious offer from the team to resign? (Tim, Duval, FL)

    I guess it really depends on what you mean by a "serious offer." I'm fairly certain that Quinn Gray, Greg Jones, and Sammy Knight will be offered contracts based on their perceived value to the team, but I'm not sure how that will compare to what their market value will be elsewhere.

What's your favorite Super Bowl memory of all time? (Alan, Buford, GA)

    I have two favorite Super Bowl memories. My first was as a kid watching the 1991 game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills. I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania near upstate New York and my family were big Giants fans. When Scott Norwood missed the 47-yard field goal and the Giants pulled the upset, everyone cheered and it felt like we won the Super Bowl.

    My second is the first Super Bowl that I attended, in Jacksonville in 2005 between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. The electricity in the stadium was like none other, and I actually felt like I was a part of history. The game was somewhat ho-hum as Tom Brady continued his brilliance and Andy Reid mismanaged the clock. Watching Brady operate on the biggest stage is similar to watching Tiger Woods or Derek Jeter, as they apply pressure instead of feeling it.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.



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