O-Zone: Ball of confusion

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Chris from Space City, TX

O, it is official. Jaguars Executive Vice President Tom Coughlin and General Manager David Caldwell have lost their collective minds. I can't believe they had the audacity to say they have "no regrets" about giving Blake Bungles that extension last offseason. That was a huge, unnecessary mistake. Bortles had a decent playoff run following the 2017 season, but his body of work overall did not warrant an extension. If anything, it should have bought him another year to see if it was a fluke or if the guy finally turned the corner into a decent quarterback. He was awful and proved he isn't a starter in the NFL. Owner Shad Khan should really examine who he has running football operations. If not for the abysmal drafting, then for the horrendous Blake extension.

Khan examines who’s running football operations ever year. Public sentiment aside, it makes perfect sense that Caldwell and Coughlin don’t regret extending Bortles’ contract last offseason. They believed at the time they were signing an improving quarterback to a reasonably-priced extension of reasonable length. They had been to the AFC Championship Game the previous season with a formula that included Bortles. That formula also worked through the first quarter of last season. After injuries wrecked the offense last season to an unforeseeable, the formula went awry and Bortles regressed to a degree that it was impossible to bring him back. Regrets do you no good in the NFL, so that’s how they see it – and through that lens, it’s easy to see why they believe they made the only decision they could have made. At this point, it really doesn’t matter who regrets what. What’s done is done and Nick Foles is the quarterback moving forward.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

It seems apparent your readers do not understand that $22 million a year isn't a cap-crippling number anymore. It’s a high number, and you certainly don't want to miss on $22 million a year, but it’s not something that prevents you from spending on other positions. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that we have other very large contracts on our roster as it stands.

Fair.

Rusty from New Iberia, LA

I can’t remember a year when the Jags allowed so many free agents to leave. Does the league consider if these free agents go on to sign with other teams when awarding compensatory picks to us?

Yes, but remember: The league figures compensatory selections based on unrestricted free-agent acquisitions and losses from the previous offseason. Whatever losses the Jaguars have this offseason likely will be offset by the acquisition of Foles.

:-J

Bring back Sunshine? :-J

We good.

Kent from Jacksonville

I’m a little surprised the Jags/Coughlin let Tyler Shatley walk. He wasn’t a superstar, but he was above average filling in for Brandon Linder and could also play guard in a pinch. Was his asking price too high? Or did the front office just let him test his free-agent market hoping to get a good price down the line if there’s no other interest?

The Jaguars are overhauling their depth on the offensive line, allowing seven reserves from last season to become free agents this past week while re-signing starter A.J. Cann. I, too, was surprised they didn’t re-sign Shatley. My understanding regarding the backups who became free agents is the Jaguars potentially could re-sign one or two, but it doesn’t sound like a major priority. My guess is they could sign one or two low-priced veterans and mostly try to go with younger reserves.

Nathan from Fort Belvoir

Do you think the three other teams in the AFC South have noticed Nick Foles is now in the division?

What?

Jon from Brentwood, UK

Zone, here we go again. Quarterback leaves Jags and gets their Super Bowl ring with another team!

Former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is expected to visit the Los Angeles Rams Monday, so yeah … that could happen.

Strnbker from Dothan, AL

At the very beginning, when it was announced that Foles was coming to the Jaguars, one player reached out on Twitter to welcome him to the team. Of course, it was defensive end Calais Campbell. One genuine cool and good man for sure.

True.

Taylor from Columbia, MD

Recently you wrote that a team is very unlikely to have five linemen better than Jermey Parnell. I wholeheartedly agree. The same is not true of recently resigned A.J. Cann, who has been subpar at best according to both the eye test and PFF. The offseason is young, but does he project as a starter next year? What do you think of this move?

A team is just as unlikely to have five linemen better than Cann as Parnell. Cann is not a Pro Bowl-level player, but he certainly is at least an average NFL guard. I think he will start, and I thought the move made sense.

James from Salt Lake City, UT

"Win more." That was a good one, O-Man.

Every once in a while …

Michael from Middleburg, FL

With multiple sources stating that there was turmoil in the Jaguars’ locker room last year, my questions are: What turmoil and why we never heard anything about it.

I suppose it depends on how you define turmoil. There were the well-publicized reports of a training-camp altercation involving Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue. While such incidents aren’t commonly reported upon, they are not overly unusual in the NFL behind closed doors. Beyond that there was normal amount of discontent among Jaguars players last season with losing, but turmoil implies some unusual level of players not getting along with one another. I never saw, sensed or heard that.

Kyle from Fairfax, VA

How incompetent is this team? Instead of making the smart choice in signing a cheap veteran and going after Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the draft, Coughlin has once again put this team in cap hell. It really amazes me how incompetent this organization is. I doubt you'll respond since my question doesn't tow the company line.

I’ll assume your last sentence was tongue in cheek for a couple of reasons. One is that you clearly are in the tow-the-company-line joke. Two, you’re a long-time reader – and any long-time reader with any level of comprehension knows I in no way limit O-Zone questions by answering only to those “towing” the company line. To suggest otherwise isn’t insulting to me as much as it is evidence of a total unfamiliarity with this forum. As far as your question, while your opinions are impressively bold, they’re speculation rather than fact. We don’t know that Foles isn’t a smart choice – and while I would still like the Jaguars to select Haskins, he isn’t remotely considered a can’t-miss prospect in NFL circles. Is the organization incompetent or incompetent? We’ll find out soon enough – probably by September. Incompetence in the NFL, like excellence, all is defined in two- or three-week stretches these days after all.

Davey from Jacksonville

So I googled Frenette because I didn’t believe you ... and found among other things, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Olympic Ski Jumper and of course the drummer for Loverboy. Astonishing!

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette is a man of deep, diverse talents. This surprises no one who has been fortunate to spend time with him.

Sam from Orlando, FL

What about the time Eugene “Power Drive” Frenette won the Masters from seven strokes back with only majestic and serene Hole 18 left?

I was there.

Brandon from Athens, GA

So, I may have missed this already, but why wouldn’t the Jags really turn their attention to wide receiver over tight end? We haven’t had a legit wide receiver since the Jimmy Smith days.

Because the Jaguars are better right now at receiver than tight end, and they have more young players at wide receiver with a chance to develop than they do at tight end.

James from Socorro, NM

You never sign quarterbacks in free agency. Ever. There's a reason they are free agents: they are not good.

This is true except when it’s not (Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees). I usually would steer away from it, too. The Jaguars believe Foles is a franchise-lifting quarterback. They need to be correct.

Christopher

I was in Duval at a restaurant a few months back eating dinner on the patio. I looked inside at the bar and saw none other than Mr. Tony Boselli himself. I approached him and I said, "Tony?" He looked kinda confused. I told him I was a big fan. I told him it was BS he didn't get voted into the Hall of Fame. I said "have a good night" and walked away. It was one of the greatest moments of my life! I'm 33 and have been a Jags fan since the team's inception. Mr. Boselli couldn't have been more friendly. 

That wasn’t him.

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