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O-Zone: Alternatively speaking

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Boxcutter Bill from Massachusetts

I really don't think the Jags re-sign Jawaan Taylor. I think they plug in Walker Little and allocate that money in other areas such as tight end Evan Engram, cornerback and defensive line. I also think we draft a swing tackle to develop and essentially play Walker Little's role last season. Sounds like a good plan to me. What say you, O?

Signing right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on the March 15 start of the 2023 NFL League Year, to a long-term extension will be difficult for the Jaguars. While Taylor wants to return, and while the Jaguars want to re-sign him, there's a decent chance he and his representation will believe the market higher than the Jaguars want to initially pay. When that happens, there becomes a decent chance the player will test the market. Once that happens, it's rare for the player to sign with his original team. If Taylor does leave, I do believe Little will start at right tackle next season with the team selecting a rookie to be the swing tackle. As far as where money will be allocated … I expect the Jaguars eventually will sign tight end Evan Engram to a long-term extension. I don't expect the Jaguars to be particularly aggressive in first-wave free agency this offseason.

Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

I've read in a few places that our GM said "cash is better than cap." What does that mean?

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke indeed has said on multiple occasions that cash is better than cap. What this essentially means is you can maneuver the salary cap by pushing money forward into future cap years, but to do so you must have the immediate cash to pay the signing bonuses necessary to convert long-term base salaries into those immediate bonuses. Not all NFL owners/teams are able/willing to do that on a yearly basis.

Don from Marshall, NC

As a general manager without a quarterback what choice do you have? You have to take what's available at the time even if you know it's a patch. If you get lucky, you get to keep your job. Most get fired and the cycle continues until a team gets that guy. Every team that does not have a franchise quarterback is between a rock and a hard place. Pray to the football gods that we have Trevor Lawrence! Go Jaguars!

Good eye.

John from The Land of Indian River

Ozone, there's a roomer that Zay, Christian and Brandon have restructured their contracts to free up cap space. Any truth to this story?

Not all roomers are true, but yes: Wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk and offensive lineman Brandon Scherff reportedly restructured their contracts this week. They reportedly were relatively simple restructurings, with the players receiving signing bonuses in place of base salaries. That allows the team to spread this year's base salaries – now signing bonuses – over the entire contract when accounting the cap. It also allows the players to receive the same money as they would have in their original contracts, which is why players have no issues with the restructuring.

Mike from Omaha, NE

While I understand why we aren't going to be as active in free agency as in the past, is there any chance that we go after a proven pass rusher? That seems to be the one missing piece that always seems a gamble to find in the draft. I didn't think this was possible a week ago, but with the cap space we are freeing up, maybe it is doable.

I doubt the Jaguars will make a first-wave splash at any position in free agency on anything close to the level of the past two season. I expect they will try to be smart and address multiple positions after that first wave, including veteran pass rusher. I also think re-signing pass rusher Arden Key is a priority. There might be a few pass rushers more "proven" than Key in free agency this offseason. It's a short list.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Besides outside linebacker Travon Walker, what rookie (drafted or undrafted free agent) from last year are you looking to have a jump up in playing time and performance level and contribute more this season?

It's critical for Walker (No. 1 overall), linebacker Devin Lloyd (No. 27 overall) and linebacker Chad Muma (third round) to develop into core/impact players. The Jaguars drafted those players early in the 2021 NFL Draft and all contributed as rookies. But the Jaguars want and need to be a draft-and-develop team. To be such a team, players selected early in the draft must become the core of the roster and reasons why the team wins. That needs to start happening for those players in Year 2.

Richard from St Augustine, FL

It appears multiple teams will be interested in cornerback Shaquill Griffin for 2023. Is there any advantage for both Jaguars and a team interested in trading a seventh round pick instead of both teams losing out on his services for 2023? I am guessing likelihood is minimal but curious if any upside to both.

If multiple teams really want Griffin, then it absolutely would benefit an interested team and the Jaguars to negotiate a trade.

Mark from Des Moines

So IF, and this is a big IF, the Jags resign Taylor what do you think will happen with Walker Little? Will they be content letting him be a backup again in case of injury or do you think they will try him at left guard? Ben Bartch and Tyler Shatley did fine there, but it just feels like Little should be a starter .

I think there's a very good chance Little will start at left guard – or at least be given a very good chance to win the job – if the Jaguars re-sign Taylor.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

To follow up with the question, what is the obsession with the Metro Park and Shipyards areas? I get it's riverfront property, therefore potentially more revenue. But if Shad wants to REALLY INVEST in this city, do something about the area not so profitable? Let's say west of the stadium where all the dilapidated and empty lots are? We are going to need parking to replace what was used in the building of the performance center. Let's buy out all the properties and land over there, develop something in an otherwise economically depressed area of our city. Anyone can take something profitable and make money on it. He is not doing us a favor with that, he is making himself richer, invest in something that might not turn a profit but would improve the city and area around the stadium for everyone. And BTW, I love Metro Park the way it is. It is a PUBLIC park, now it will be a private enterprise. Yeah, not necessary and not better.

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan wants to develop those areas because he believes doing so can significantly grow downtown and benefit the city – and the Jaguars. He wants to invest in downtown Jacksonville. He wants to grow downtown Jacksonville. I suppose he will keep getting criticized and second-guessed for wanting to do this because that's what people do. And I suppose he will continue to try to grow and develop those areas despite that criticism and second-guessing. Fortunately.

Bryan from Tampa, FL

Can you help shed some light on why the Jags would have wanted to keep Hasty in mix? He was just an OK runner and was a liability catching the ball out of the backfield. I can think of three or four key moments in games where Hasty came in and failed to catch a little TLaw dump off or swing pass.

The Jaguars re-signed running back JaMycal Hasty as a restricted free agent. They did do because they feel differently about Hasty than you. They saw a player who scored several big touchdowns on big plays, and who has that sort of speed and playmaking ability. They also saw a player who ran hard and got some key yards in big situations.

David from Orlando, FL

KOAF – Alternative Ending 1: After further review, Josh Dobbs fumble ruled an incomplete pass, Titans win 16-13 and end the Jacksonville Jaguars season at home in devastating fashion. Alternative Ending 2: Trevor Lawrence lays an egg in playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers throwing four interceptions before leaving the game with a concussion, Jags lose 44-0. Just think how different we would look at our quarterback and team this offseason, if either scenario played out? Thank goodness, the football gods were on our side this time. Maybe, this is just a humble reminder that, as fans prepare for world domination, that we were a sliver away from a crash and burn season.

Winning is cool. Fans like it. Except for David, maybe.