Love it or Hate it – The Lockout Effect

The Lockout Effect,

The lockout does many things. It enrages the fans, hurts the players’ and teams’ bottom line and makes some judges famous. The obvious solution to the problem is to sit down and work it out behind closed doors. However, the players and the NFL have been content to air their dirty laundry in a smear campaign that likens more to a school yard name calling match than two powerful organizations arguing over billions of dollars. Stuck in the middle are the fans. Here’s a list of potentially good and bad consequences of the lockout on the Jags.

The Good

It has been proposed already, but I’ll rehash it here. The lockout could be beneficial for the Jaguars when it comes to the 2011 season. The Jags only have five rookies (currently) and none of them really figure prominently into the opening day, starting twenty-two. Gabbert won’t start, Rackley has an uphill battle to start, Shorts could potentially be the number three, Prosinski has the greatest chance to start but that chance was recently diminished as GM Gene has stated that the Jags will be looking for a player or two for the safety position in free agency. Isaac won’t start, but has a good chance to be the third or fourth corner. Basically, the Jags offense is almost entirely coming back (no MSW) and the defense can only get better and will most likely fill the gaps with veterans who won’t hit the rookie wall. The Jags staff has also remained relatively consistent since last season, keeping Koetter (OC) and shifting the defensive play calling responsibilities from Del Rio to Tucker (DC). The Titans have an uphill battle, with a new coaching staff and many new faces that are being looked to to contribute. The Texans’ offense will still be good, if not better, but the defense is transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4. That’s a major change that will be hard to overcome, although Wade Phillips knows the 3-4 well. The Colts will most likely remain good on offense, so long as Manning doesn’t have any setbacks with his neck surgery. The Jags’ plans to KISS (keep things simple, stupid) on defense should allow the new faces to jump right in and the offense revolves around Jones-Drew and so long as he is healthy, the team will be fine offensively. So long as the Jags’ employ KISS, the higher the chance the team has to win the division.

The Good/Bad

The lockout could potentially have a beneficial effect on the Jaguars in the 2011 season. The longer the lockout lasts, the less time free agents have to decide on a team and the more crazy it’ll be. This could be good because GM Gene is a focused man who has a plan and will execute that plan to the best of his ability. The chaos could benefit GM Gene because of his planning ability, however, as mentioned by even the GM himself, it might be in the best interest of some players to just return to their old teams so as to not be thrown into a bad situation. This could limit the FA pool. Additionally, depending on how the lockout is settled, restricted free agency could be substantially different than what it would have been under the old CBA. The time needed to become a UFA could be lengthened or shrunk or even stay the same. If restricted free agency requires more accrued seasons, then the Jaguars won’t have as great a FA pool to select from. However, the likelihood of increasing the required number of seasons is miniscule and most likely the requirement will stay the same. However, if the required number of seasons for restricted free agents is decreased, then the pool could grow and the Jags could have a better chance finding good players to fill the gaping holes at safety and linebacker.

The Bad

The bad is obvious. Ticket sales are suffering greatly. As of June 13th, 2011, the Jaguars have to sell 18,385 tickets in order to avoid blackouts. One must remember that this isn’t the sell out number, just the blackout avoidance number. The longer the lockout drags on, the longer fans who need a reason not to buy tickets will hold out. After all of the positive momentum that Team Teal created last year, not reaching the blackout number would be a travesty. Have faith though, Jacksonvillians are notorious for being late arrivers and game day decisions (must have learned it from Coughlin). The belief is, however, that the Jaguars are on the rise and if the games are blacked out and the Jags end up being good, the fans will come back. Just remember. . .

Winning solves everything.


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  • kjones407

    What is your take on the recent optimism about there potentially being a new CBA in place by the end of the month? And if one should be in place by then, does that alter any of the statements made in your article? Mainly, do you think the fans will return quick enough for their not to be a blackout issue by the beginning of the season?

    Although we won’t know the details of free agency until a deal is completed, I’m with you in believing that Gene is prepared for it to go either way. Whether their will be a large pool of talent available or not, this team will be better by the beginning of training camp, should this lockout issue be resolved as soon as the current speculation is indicating that it could be.

    One more question: Should training camp start on time, do you think it is entirely impossible for Gabbert to beat Garrard out of his starting position? Since you said “Gabbert won’t start”.

    • Jason Love

      I tend to think that deal will get done. Why? Because the only players that will reap benefits from a new CBA. Think about it. Most players get veteran minimums with a small signing bonus, while only a handful of players get the big paychecks. I tend to think that a deal could be reached if they (NFL/NFLPA) raise the salary cap floor and pay more to the minimum salaries.

      If they come to an agreement by the end of the month, there probably won’t be that big of an impact and it most definitely would change my stance. If there is time before camp and the NFL won’t miss any preseason games, then the FA rush shouldn’t be as bad and the teams should get more practice. The only thing that could remain would be the rookies who are expected to contribute. However, in regards to the rookies, they could potentially be more rested, seeing that they’ve had more offseason time than most rookies get.

      In re: blackouts, the lifting of the lockout is a necessary thing to help avoid blackouts. Jacksonville’s apathetic population (look at the voter turn out, same day walk ups, etc) will have more of a reason to buy tickets. However, I almost don’t have faith in the Jaguars fans. I bought my tickets and I have friends who bought theirs, but the numbers will be hard to overcome.

      I don’t think Gabbert will start. He’s a rookie QB. The Jags have 2 QB’s with starting NFL experience in front of him who aren’t bad. BUT, If he does, then great. That means that he out performed Garrard and I think Garrard is a pretty good QB. If Gabbert, as a rookie, beats Garrard out then the Jags would have won the lottery in terms of value/luck/QB/etc.

      • kjones407

        Thanks for the reply, but I do have one more question for you. Although I agree with you that it is unlikely that Gabbert wins the starting job over Garrard; but should that happen, what do you think Gene will do with Garrard? I know the obvious answer is to trade, so the question is more of: Should Garrard get traded what do you think he is worth in a trade?

        • Jason Love

          Oh man. Now that’s the main question isn’t it? From what I can find… in 2008 Garrard was signed to a 7-year contract worth $62.98 million. $18 million guaranteed, w/$9 million signing bonus
          2011: $7.975 million
          2012: $8.475 million
          2013: $8.975 million
          2014: Free Agent

          for the numbers…

          If Gabbert were to win… I’d have to say Garrard would be cut or traded. Like I said in a prior post, McCown is the #2 QB no matter who is starting. Now let’s talk about who needs a QB still or could use a veteran or the QB situation isn’t that great…

          AFC South – Titans
          AFC North – Browns, Bengals
          AFC East – Dolphins (I like Henne, but they don’t seem to like him), Bills
          AFC West – Raiders (even with Campbell)
          NFC South – Panthers
          NFC North – Vikings
          NFC East – Redskins
          NFC West – 49ers, Seattle, Arizona

          There are needy teams out there, but Garrard’s contract is pretty pricey, thus it would have to get reworked. I’d say you could get a 3rd or 4th for him if he was being sent to a team to start, probably less if it was for insurance. Otherwise, he gets cut. He’s being paid too much to sit on the bench.

          • kjones407

            I was hoping he would garner a second but after looking at everything you have pointed out, it doesn’t look like he could. As you have stated, the size of his contract would come it to play in a trade scenario. Also, with teams that are in a worse QB situation than us at the moment, most of them have addressed or will address it once free agency starts. The Titans, 49ers, Vikings, and the Pathers all addressed it during the draft. It’s also assumed that the Cardinals and Redskins will wait until free agency to sign a veteran presence. I think the Browns likes McCoy and the Bills are happy with Fitzgerald. That just leaves the Seahawks and the Raiders as the teams that Gene could get the most out of a trade situation with.

            Once again you’re right, he is getting paid way to much to sit on the bench. With that I hopes he has a stellar season and then Gabbert beat him out next year, so Garrard’s trade value could be worth more than a third round pick to a QB needy team, as their always is one, year in and year out. Thanks again for answering my questions.

  • Andrew Hofheimer

    As Jaguars fans, I think it’s now “in our DNA” so to speak to worry about ticket sales. They will continue to be a situation to monitor, no doubt, but I am more confident than I’ve been in awhile that this franchise is safe for at least the next 5 years. Yes, ticket sales need to come back, but all teams are struggling this year, so I don’t believe that would hurt the Jaguars’ image too badly (though the media does love to pick on us). As long as they climb to a healthy level in the next 3-5 years, I think we’re set.

  • Jason Love

    If we were to listen to the Doomsayers on TV… this economy will never recover. Lol. I tend to think that we are in a recovery period, but the TV thinks we are not.

    /rant on
    Here’s a salient fact for people out there. The individual consumer debt is WAAAAAAYYYYY worse than the government debt. The government debt could be paid pack in a short amount of time if the government decided to raise taxes and cut spending. However, consumers/individuals cannot “raise taxes” and thus may never pay their debts back. If people just learned to save money the Jags… and the people themselves… would never be in financial trouble again.
    /rant off

    Sorry. Hahaha. That won’t happen again.