JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Got questions about the Jacksonville Jaguars? I’ll answer the best ones every Saturday morning. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco. Please use the hashtag #jagsquestion.
There were a lot of good questions, but unfortunately I can’t answer them all.
@ESPNdirocco: It’s funny. A year ago there were questions about whether the Jaguars’ roster was any better than it was when Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley took over. The Jaguars aren’t concerned about keeping all the talented players they’ve drafted or signed in free agency because they already know it’s impossible. You can’t pay everyone, and that means making some tough choices. In talking with someone about this the other day, we agreed that the Jaguars will pony up for WR Allen Robinson, QB Blake Bortles, and C Brandon Linder over the next two to three years. That means possibly letting LB Telvin Smith go. For now, though, the Jaguars are in good shape. The full details of Allen Hurns’ four-year, $40 million contract have not yet been released so it’s hard to know how much he’ll count against the salary cap this year. The team had approximately $54.5 million available before doing that deal. I was told a lot of Hurns’ deal will be front-loaded so a good portion of the cap hit comes in 2016. Conservatively, that means the Jaguars will likely still be roughly $40 million under the cap. As for the next player to earn a second contract, it’s almost certainly going to be Robinson. The team can sign him to an extension after the 2016 season (they were able to do Hurns' after two years because he was undrafted). If Robinson plays as well as he did last year, then the numbers would be somewhere in the ballpark of $14 million annually. Maybe a five-year, $70-80 million deal.
@ESPNdirocco: It’s a little early for these, but I’ll give it a shot. I’ll take the under on Dante Fowler reaching 7.5 sacks. According to ESPN Stats & Information, only 25 rookie pass rushers have recorded eight or more sacks in a season since 2001. Fowler didn’t play last year because of the torn ACL so he essentially is a rookie in 2016. My expectations are 5-7 sacks and anything above that is a bonus. As for Tashaun Gipson, I will take the over. The secondary should be significantly better overall with the addition of Gipson and rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey and the pass rush is (theoretically, anyway) going to be better. That should result in more turnovers in general and Gipson has a reputation as a ball hawk who seems to be in the right place at the right time. A couple deflections here and there and he’s got five interceptions. As for Jason Myers, I’ll take the under. I think 2015 was an aberration and he won’t struggle with the 33-yard PATs in 2016 the way he did last year.
@ESPNdirocco: I believe so. The Jaguars have created what they’re calling the "lotto" position, which is a combination of the leo (pass-rushing end) and otto (strongside linebacker), and Dan Skuta and Ryan Davis are the only two players at the spot. The question becomes: Where does rookie linebacker Myles Jack fit in? He can play strongside linebacker, but his strength is as a coverage linebacker and that means we’re likely to see him mainly on third down. However, don’t rule out him taking some snaps away from Telvin Smith at weakside linebacker.