O-Zone: A game of blame

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Let’s get to it …

Game from Chapel Hill, NC

Looks like Kyler Murray measured in at a shade over 5-feet-10, 207 pounds – about the same size as Russell Wilson. Sure, it’s still small, but I don’t know how you pass up on that potential if Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is gone. Unless someone gives you an offer you can’t refuse to trade back, stay at No. 7 and take the kid.

Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma, indeed measured 5-feet-10 1/8 and 207 pounds – officially – at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday. These measurements are important because Murray’s size has become the NFL’s most-talked topic in recent weeks. That isn’t likely to change between now and the 2019 NFL Draft in late April – but at least the discussion now will center around exacts rather than estimates. But referencing your question … what would make you pass on Murray would be what are very legitimate size concerns that will not go away. It’s best to quarterback – and win – from the pocket in the NFL. That’s very difficult at Murray’s size. While the league is changing and making it more possible for smaller quarterbacks to succeed, the fact remains that Murray is short enough and small enough to make it an issue. There will be many, many arguments in the coming weeks about Wilson’s success with the Seattle Seahawks and about the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ success. And it’s true that those quarterbacks are similar in size to Murray. But while Murray has a chance to succeed in the NFL, the fact remains he likely will have to play predominately outside the pocket – and it’s much more difficult to successfully do so in the NFL than in college. I would have a difficult time selecting Murray at No. 7, and I don’t believe the Jaguars will take him there.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

So, you're saying you smell like the Fonz?

Heeeeey …

Brian from Jacksonville

I believe we should sign Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles if at all possible to the shortest term he will accept and draft the highest-ranked quarterback on our board at No. 7. We can fill our other needs with the rest of the draft and free agency. We have got to fix the quarterback position. We are in position to sign a proven NFL winner, and a really decent prospect that won't be required to play for some time. Is there any better scenario? The stars are lined up. Hope we don't blow it. Get Foles ... draft quarterback at No. 7. Give away nothing. Win in '19, '20, '21 ...

Though it’s not quite as easy as you imply to fill other needs in draft and free agency, I would be for your suggestion. I like the idea of Foles and the best available quarterback at No. 7. In theory. I don’t think the Jaguars will do it in fact because I believe the temptation to address needs in the draft will be too great. We’ll see.

Sonny from Melbourne, FL

There is a lot of talk about quarterback in the O-Zone. The Jaguars have four quarterbacks on the roaster right now. Do you believe none will be on the roster at the start of the regular season?

For the love of all that’s holy, get those men off the roaster.

Mac from Jax Beach

I really don't want Foles for the same reason I wouldn't pay a Lexus' price tag to buy a Camry. The utility-per-dollar is low with him. We're better off rolling with a rookie (I like Daniel Jones more than most) and getting more economical help around him.

If teams wanted assurance of getting their money’s worth from a player, no team would ever sign a free-agent quarterback – or any free agent, for that matter.

David from Jersey City, NJ

I can't help but notice Dave Caldwell when asked about addressing the quarterback spot said, "It may be ‘til the draft, it may not be through free agency." It could be just a slip up, but according to what he said, they're drafting the next quarterback.

I wouldn’t assume General Manager David Caldwell’s comments Wednesday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine meant that the Jaguars won’t pursue a starting quarterback in free agency. Caldwell was answering a question and trying to make the case that there are many options available – and that free-agency isn’t necessarily the route. But that doesn’t mean he was outlining the team’s plans.

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL

Did Foles just get more affordable? My estimate is about $15 million incentive laden? Take Foles and at No. 7 take Kyler Murray as best offensive weapon available. I assume Haskins won’t be there.

The feeling I get in Indianapolis this week is that Foles indeed will be more affordable than originally thought because there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for him. The fact that no team traded for him points to this, and the word around the combine is that franchises other than the Jaguars that make sense – the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins – aren’t interested in spending big free-agency dollars at the position. That would be an incredible break for the Jaguars if that were the case because it would indeed drop Foles’ price below anything most analysts expected. I actually heard speculation Thursday that Foles’ price could drop to $15 million a year. Is that pricey? Sure. But for a veteran quarterback who would mark an improvement at the position it also would be a bargain.

Bradley from Oceanside, CA

Why would Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles want to restructure his contract?

He wouldn’t, and he won’t.

Fred from Naples, FL

I was real pleased to hear that defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has agreed to restructure his contract to stay with the Jaguars for another season. Any chance Malik Jackson does the same to keep the core of the defensive line intact?

No. Jackson almost certainly will be released sometimes before the March 13 start of the 2019 NFL League Year.

Fearghal from Armagh, Ireland

Which quarterback (draft or free agent) would be best suited to get Keelan Cole back to his best form?

Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole’s problems last season were drops and fumbles. After appearing to adjust from small-college football to the NFL late in his 2017 rookie season, the game at times appeared too big – and perhaps too physical – for him last season. That wasn’t about the quarterback. That’s something Cole must improve himself.

Bentley from Boulder, CO

Sometimes, it’s just time to groove on.

Fair.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty ‘O’ / King of Funk, with free agency around the corner and the draft getting ever closer is there any truth in the rumor that Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette will declare for the draft? Clearly the “Frenettinator” is more than capable of playing offense, defense and special teams and is surely worth trading up to the No. 1 Spot for.

A team once offered to trade their entire draft for Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette. Frenette’s team said, “How many drafts?” The trade never happened, but Gene’s worth had been established.

Mystery from Mysteryville

Who was that masked man, anyway?

Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette.

Marcus from Jacksonville

I was wondering if you could give some insight into how draft-day trades happen. I’m guessing much of it is done over the phone, considering it all has to happen between picks. Are they just handshake agreements that are dependent on the integrity of the two parties, or do they get lawyers involved in that short amount of time? I’m just wondering what would happen if a team made a deal to trade up in the few minutes before a pick, but then later disputed the terms of that agreement. You can’t go back and re-pick the draft, so it seems like there has to be some officially binding terms for these trades, yet they happen within a matter of a few minutes. Can you enlighten me?

This from NFL Operations: “When teams agree to a trade during the draft, both clubs call the head table, where [NFL Vice President of Player Personnel Ken] Fiore and staff monitor the league’s phones. Each team must relay the same trade information to the league to have a trade approved. Once a trade is approved, a Player Personnel representative gives the details to the league’s broadcast partners and to all 32 clubs. A league official announces the trade in the draft venue for media and fans.”

Steve from Hudson, FL

If offensive linemen never win games, why do they get blamed for the losses?

Because it’s easier to assess blame than to give credit, particularly at a position at which failure is far more noticeable than success.

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