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O-Zone: Dangerous mind

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

I don't get you, Zone. You say you care about this team and we the fans. Then you see them screwing up the offseason and you act like it's not a big deal. You can't have it both ways.

Easy, big fella. Breathe … breathe … Good? Good. First, the hope here is absolutely that the Jaguars succeed as much as possible because of people I work around and respect – and yes, because of the fans. I like nothing more than to see all those people happy. Remember: If I'm about anything, it's the happiness of others. But despite the quick-trigger reactions of fans and observers in recent days and weeks, there's no reason to automatically assume what the Jaguars have done so far this offseason is disastrous. Most fans seem to have wanted the Jaguars to sign outside linebacker Josh Allen to a long-term deal no matter the short- and/or long-term cost – and to do the same with wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Most fans seem to have wanted the Jaguars to blow out the entire offensive line and start anew. My thought is that signing Allen to a long-term deal and retaining Ridley would have been good moves. I thought there would be more change on the offensive line that appears likely to be the case. My thinking those things and fans wanting those things does not mean the Jaguars are wrong to act differently. It doesn't mean the people making decisions are idiots. It doesn't mean the Jaguars will be bad next season. It means the decision-makers saw things differently. Time will judge those decisions. That's why they play games.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach

Mitch Morse … please, say it's so.

The Jaguars indeed reportedly met with center Mitch Morse over the weekend. Morse, who was released by the Buffalo Bills this past week, will enter his 10th NFL season next season. He spent four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and the past four seasons with the Bills. Is it so? We'll see if the Jaguars indeed sign Morse. Either way, it shows that the team is considering options at center. Stay tuned.

Andy from Alpharetta, GA

I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm not too concerned about Ridley not being on the team next year and definitely don't think he's worth "top dollar." He disappears too often for a true No. 1, was (from my view reading body language) the cause of multiple interceptions and – if I recall correctly – the offense was just as good without him than with him. The O Line, though ... I don't get that. At all.

You are not alone.

Matt from Jacksonville

I have absolutely no idea what number Josh's camp is asking for and I also don't know how much the Jags have offered. I don't know how many times discussions have been held or what the results of those discussions might be. I have no way of knowing how far apart the two parties may be. I have never negotiated anything beyond the price of a new car, and I probably got screwed on that. Yet, in spite of my ignorance, I am convinced that Trent is an incompetent boob who completely botched the deal.

You are also not alone.

Paul from Lake City, FL

I used to really love the "hope" line from "The Shawshank Redemption." Then, I realized Andy Dufresne never had to root for the Jaguars.

This line of thinking was fair and understandable for a long time in these parts. The Jaguars were uncompetitive for pretty much a decade or more except for the 2017 AFC South title season. The Jaguars have finished above .500 each of the last two seasons and were a play or two away from back-to-back AFC South titles. This is not to say discussions – and even complaints – about roster moves in this of any Jaguars offseason aren't fair and warranted. Anything is fair and warranted in an NFL offseason. But to say there hasn't been hope in recent seasons – and that there's no hope for the Jaguars next season – just doesn't feel reasonable.

Jah from Dumbville

Cornerback Darious Williams has been cut because he may not have been a great scheme fit for what appears likely to be a press-coverage-based approach under new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. Who on the team can do that now?

I expect the Jaguars will invest heavily in the position this offseason – perhaps in both the draft and free agency.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

If we stick with the same or mostly the same offensive line players this year, is there not some value to be had in the continuity, familiarity and good communications for those five players?

That would be one of the major reasons to take that approach.

Tom from Virginia Beach, VA

You keep saying that the offensive line will be better because they will be healthy. The flip side is that they still will be only one injury away from another complete collapse. It has all of the markings that Baalke used in San Francisco when he singlehandedly destroyed their roster.

I don't recall ever saying this offseason that the Jaguars' offensive line will be better next season because it will be healthy, and I'm comparatively confident I indeed never said or wrote that. I have said often that a reason for retaining much of the offensive line is a hope that it will be better – and that that health and continuity could help the unit perform better.

Rick from Duval

Pass protection was awful and we couldn't run the ball save running back Travis Etienne Jr. leading the league in broken tackles. I get bringing back left guard Ezra Cleveland, but banking on right guard Brandon Scherff getting healthier and stronger as he ages seems like a crummy bet. I'm holding out hope that the idea here is to hold onto guys while we bring in competition and possible replacements concurrently, but I got a feeling that's not going to happen and quarterback Trevor Lawrence is going to be rushed and we can't run the ball.


Marc from Oceanway

Zone, now that Ezra Cleveland has re-signed, do you have a better idea, or can you offer us a guess, of at least some of our starting offensive linemen? Maybe a best guess for each tackle spot and each guard spot? Hazarding a best guess is ever so appreciated by your loyal reader and helps said reader endure the doldrums of this NFL offseason.

I expect the following four players to start for the Jaguars on the offensive line next season: Anton Harrison (right tackle), Scherff (right guard), Cleveland (left guard), Cam Robinson (left tackle).

Adam from St Johns, FL

Yes, you are missing something. The fans and "experts" have been right. You and the Jags have been wrong. I don't see how that's hard to understand? Pete Prisco is now an idiot, too, I guess? The Jags always make the right moves per you and they seem to never work out. I guess that is confusing for you. You're the meme where the dog with glasses sits with his coffee and the room is on fire. Everything is fine!

That's a funny meme.

Devin from RVA

We owe Atlanta "a third-round pick" for Calvin Ridley ... which one?

The Atlanta Falcons will receive either a second- or third-round selection from the Jaguars in the final element of the trade for wide receiver Calvin Ridley. If the Jaguars sign Ridley to a long-term contract before Wednesday's start of the 2024 NFL League Year, it's the No. 48 overall selection (Round 2). If they do not, it's the No. 79 overall selection (Round 3).

Bob from Sumter, SC

I wouldn't be surprised if Ridley ends up signing as a free agent with an offensively challenged team desperate for a wide receiver. He's good but with the injury to wide receiver Christian Kirk last season, the Jags needed somebody to really step up and he didn't. I think his 1,400-yard season Atlanta had a lot to do with wide receiver Julio Jones being the true No. 1. He didn't show much in the way of yards after the catch or breaking tackles. Just don't think he's worth a mega deal and a second-round pick.


Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

Concerns about "running it back" with the O-line are valid. But remember, we had similar concerns this time last year with the defensive line (specifically depending on outside linebackers Josh Allen and Travon Walker to provide the pass rush), and team sacks improved from 28 to 41.

Allen and Walker indeed proved to be effective pass rushers last season. An argument could be made that the Jaguars needed one more pass-rushing element. Either way, your point borders on reason and shows signs of perspective. Be forewarned: Your kind is often not welcome in these parts.