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O-Zone: Uh-Oh

Posted Feb 24, 2018

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Steve from Jacksonville:
One fer our triumvirate, but particularly Coughlin. Cool that he's been on the Jaguars payroll for 100 percent of their conference championship appearances.
John: This indeed is a good time to give a “one fer” for the Jaguars’ “triumvirate” of Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone. Each member of the trio – er, triumvirate – on Friday afternoon received a two-year contract extension, meaning there’s a good chance the Jaguars’ leadership will be together through the 2021 season – four seasons from now. As you indicated, all three deserved the extension and all three deserved a lot of credit for the Jaguars’ AFC South title in 2017 and ensuing run to the AFC Championship Game. But as Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said upon announcing the extension, the move was more about preparing for the foreseeable future than about rewarding the recent past. And the move did bring into clear view the huge step forward the organization has taken in a little more than a year. The Jaguars just a year ago were a few weeks removed from a sixth consecutive double-digit loss season and outsiders were raising questions about the trio’s ability to function together in an unorthodox leadership structure. Now, they are a few weeks removed from their first AFC Championship Game appearance in nearly two decades and they have the most stable, successful football leadership team the franchise had since the late 1990s. One fer the triumvirate? One fer what a difference a year makes? One fer stability? Yeah, one fer all of those things.
David from Orlando, FL:
O- Ever since the Jaguars started winning, I’ve gotten writer’s block and now I can’t even compose a simple question. Duval Doom made some reference to this phenomenon a few months ago, and I’ve noticed his entries are still way below average. My theory is that some fans have a lot to say when their team is failing, but when things are going well, we have less to complain about. I think it means that winning breeds contentment. Now, for my question … oh, never mind. #keepwinning
John: Let me get this straight: You and Doom really thought your questions were good when the Jaguars were losing?
Brodrick from Fort Worth, TX:
So, I think we should franchise A-Rob release Allen Hurns and Chris Ivory! But we should go after Sammy Watkins on a one-year, prove-it deal with club options after Year One. And fill all other voids through the draft? What do you think? Oh yeah: Corey Grant deserves to be behind Leonard Fournette in my opinion!
John: Ivory indeed was released Friday and I expect Hurns could be released as we move closer to free agency. As far as signing Watkins to a “prove-it” deal, I’m all for such agreements – but talking about such deals is one thing; getting players to agree to them is quite another. Regarding Grant: I believe he may have a slightly expanded role next season, but I don’t know that he will be the primary backup behind Fournette. In fact, I doubt that happens.
Rob from Gainesville, FL:
What are your thoughts on the wide receiver situation? I was thinking with the cutting of Hurns, we might go after cap casualty Dez Bryant as a No. 2 to Robinson. He was set to make $8 million; that’s only $1 million more and would give the Jaguars a 1-2 receiving punch with the running game. Also, do you think we go after offensive guard or running back in free agency?
John: I would be stunned if Bryant is the Jaguars’ No. 2 receiver next season. If he indeed were a cap casualty in Dallas, I imagine he would make more than $8 million a season on the open market. It’s difficult to know, frankly, what the Jaguars receiving corps will look like next season. The first priority would seem to be determining the identity of the No. 1 receiver. That’s in no way certain right now. As for pursuing guard or back in free agency, I would be surprised if the Jaguars sign a front-line free agent at either position. My guess is they select a guard early in the draft and a back in later rounds.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Do you think the Jaguars could end up with Aaron Colvin as the nickel corner next season? I think he could start on a lot of teams and having a nickel corner that talented is tremendous asset. I'd be thrilled if they find a way to keep him.
John: I think there absolutely is a chance the Jaguars retain Colvin. I’m in the minority in that belief, but that’s OK. Been there, done that.
Paul from Ponte Vedra, FL:
How did that expensive free agent Grbac work out in Baltimore? Keep BB, he has earned it!
John: Nice Elvis reference. Well done.
Chuck from Middleburg, FL:
I've tried stay out of all the quarterback discussion because I feel it is much ado about nothing. I felt as soon as the Jags announced Blake Bortles was having the surgery so close to the deadline that it was saying they weren't worried about him passing the physical by March because he was going to be here regardless. Am I off base?
John: You’re not off base about Bortles very likely being the Jaguars’ quarterback next season, but you may be off base about the timing of his wrist surgery having anything to do with it.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
O-man, Our man Khan is a billionaire with a "B" and he is smart with an "S" (some mo money). He can afford any quarterback he wants, no problem, and will do so. The players are in it for the money (and should be). Our owner is it it for the fun, and for the win. He will take care of us if our coaches feel a new quarterback is a better option, or if Blake is our man.
John: #DTWD
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Is it generally true that a franchise tag is tougher on the salary cap than a "real" contract?
John: The franchise tag typically is more of a strain on the cap for one year because all of the money from the guaranteed franchise-tag salary counts against that year’s cap. When a player signs a long-term contract, he often gets more money up front but the effect against the cap can be less – in part because the effect of the signing bonus on the cap is spread out over the life of the contract.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I do not see this year’s draft picks as being all big names. I think they go for good solid players with plenty of upside. I also think they stay away from free agency, except re-signing our own free agents that work for the team to bring back. What say ye, Sir O?
John: I think you’re pretty spot on. The Jaguars’ draft selections this offseason may not be as high-profile as years past because they’re selecting No. 29 overall in Round 1 compared to selecting in the Top 5. As far as free agency, I absolutely see the Jaguars getting involved with some special-teams, second-level type players. How much will they be involved in first-tier players? Minimal.
Andrew from Indianapolis, IN:
Facts are facts. Ryan Tannehill is making $19.5 million a year. To get Bortles at that price is a steal. Hell, lock it down for two or three more years at that price with the guaranteed money up front. This regime has preached being able to build through the draft. Give Bortles a few more years and develop his replacement through the draft.
John: Hey, one fer Bortles!
Will from Birmingham, AL:
How does the Jaguars drafting later in the first round change their approach at the combine? Do they not interview some of the top players knowing they may not be realistic?
John: When a team drafts in the first round doesn’t usually change its approach at the combine all that much. Teams generally interview a majority of the first round possibilities either at the combine, Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Game, on campus or at their facility. Teams at the end of the first round interview players of potential interest projected in the Top 10 because there’s little reason not to – and because you must be prepared if a player slips in the draft for whatever reason.
Chris from Mandarin:
If the Jaguars fail to re-sign A-Rob, do you think they will go after someone like Sammy Watkins or best tight end available in free agency?
John: Doubtful. If the Jaguars don’t re-sign Robinson, the reason would be he is perceived as being too expensive for the value he brings – either on a one-year, franchise deal or on a long-term deal. I don’t know that Watkins or any of the top tight ends are better value for the cost.
Michael from Sanford, FL:
O! Oh! O-Man! O-Dizzy! Ozone! Ozer! OSHA! O-Diggy! O man I forgot my question.
John: Oh well.


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