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O-Zone: Do. Not. Run.

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mac from Jacksonville

In response to your answer about Yannick owing it to his teammates to let the team know whether he will play under the tag, don't you think it's selfish of him to force the team to plan for multiple contingencies? The Jaguars now need to divert their attention to deciding what they'll do if he does or doesn't play. It's taking time away from planning for everything else, and that is hurting his teammates. This has gone past trying to get paid; he's negatively affecting the other 52 members of the team, the coaching staff and everyone else involved with the Jags.

I suppose in an ideal world Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue out of the goodness of his heart indeed would inform the Jaguars of his plans for next season if the team doesn't trade him. But to think he currently cares about the Jaguars' best interests – or, by extension, the interests of his teammates – is to ignore reality. Whatever you call the Ngakoue Situation right now – contract negotiation, standoff, two sides being stubborn, one side or the other being ridiculous – the reality is it's contentious. Sides in a contentious situation don't typically act on the other's behalf. As far as how his teammates feel, this situation is a difficult reality of the business side of the NFL. A longstanding truth about the business side of the NFL is players absolutely understand that when it comes to contracts and getting paid, other players must "do what they must do." Players rarely get upset with other players about how they handle contract situations, and it's particularly rare for players to be upset with how other players behave in the offseason regarding contract situations. It's a business. Players know that. And they almost all know that other players must do what they must to do get paid.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

The NFL has prohibited in-person meetings with draftees. Do teams and draftees still have the opportunity to meet via Zoom?


Joe from Fleming Island, FL

John … asking for some speculation, please. If the Jags were to take a left tackle in the first round and Cam Robinson was moved to guard, would it be left guard or right guard? If Cam went to left guard, does Norwell go to the right side or is he a salary cap savings hit? Thoughts?

Pure speculation. I would expect Robinson to move to right guard in that scenario. Whatever happens, I don't expect the Jaguars to release left guard Andrew Norwell. It's fans and observers who generally don't like Norwell. That view is not shared by the team.

John from Daytona Beach, FL

What do u think of the idea of bringing Blake Bortles back as a cheap veteran backup quarterback? I have not heard it being mentioned as a possibility, but he would be cheap and he is a mobile guy like Gardner Minshew II. Or am I just being an idiot?

You're not an idiot, at least not because of this question. But sometimes it's time to move on. And sometimes it's time to not look back.

Dan from Las Vegas, NV

Hi Zone, I think the Jags are handling Yann situation very well. With the departures of all the good players we had on defense since 2017, I'm curious how effective Yann will be. As of now the opposing teams have to worry only about end Josh Allen on that defensive front.


Ray from Ansonia, CT

If Jacksonville wants Yan here, then why didn't they transition tag him? That way, once he agreed to a long-term deal with another team, as long as we matched he would have no choice but to play the long-term deal with the Jags? Or is that not how that works? I just remember the Cleveland Browns did it to us when we tried to sign center Alex Mack.

The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue because they want him here. Because it would cost a team two first-round selections to sign Ngakoue as a free agent under the tag, the tag effectively prevents another team from signing him. The transition tag is a bit riskier for a team wanting to keep a player because it allows for the scenario – however unlikely – that the pursuing team could structure the deal in such a way that the player's current team would be unable/unwilling to match.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Ngakoue can disagree as much as he wants but that won't change supply and demand. Do you think it's more probable that he plays for the Jaguars under the franchise tag than him accepting market value for another team to get a long-term contract?

The problem is that it's not about Ngakoue just "accepting market value" from another team. That team also must make the Jaguars an offer that they are willing to accept. I would still be a little surprised if the Jaguars trade Ngakoue because they're not inclined to do so.

John from Jacksonville

I often take much of what happens during the offseason with a grain of salt and little emotion. Regardless of who we sign, draft, let go, trade, etc., the plan begins to unfold anyhow once training camp begins and into the season. Players overperform, underperform, become disgruntled faking injury, get injured, get replaced, get suspended, hold out, and other possibilities. The team often looks much different if taking snapshots before the season, at midseason and at the end of the season. No need to get too invested in the original plan because it's going to evolve into something different anyway.

Yeah, but what else is there to do in March?

Nicholas from Djibouti

KOAF: Do you ever see a time when the NFL receives serious competition and or is at risk of being overtaken by another entity? My thought is that the current NFL entity was built in a process that took a hundred plus years and didn't always pay or compensate players fairly in order to keep the league running when popularity was struggling and then gradually increased player benefits as viewership and money started to increase. For an upstart entity, it is required to have almost a billion dollars on hand to fund "mediocre talent," high end facilities and fan-friendly interaction for the first three years.

Will there ever be a time that the NFL isn't the preeminent football league? Not likely in my lifetime. Could it be "overtaken" in popularity by another sport? It's such a dominant force now that that seems unlikely, but you never know. The world changes. Tastes change. Circumstances change. Three months ago, we never would have imagined the possibility of all sports being on hold for at least months at a time. But under normal circumstances, I foresee the NFL being the dominant sports league for the foreseeable future. It's a monster. It dominates all else.

Daryll from Palatka, FL

Johnny, how about a hypothetical? Say the Jags field a competitive team in 2020, but lose 13 close games and get blown out once. They have the top pick in the draft and are set to take Trevor Lawrence. Are General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone back for 2021?

I doubt it.

Chris from Space City, TX

Wait ... did someone really write that Blake Bortles should come back to Jax to receive "the love he deserves?" Thanks for the laughs, O. And since we now know that Blake is writing the O-Zone incognito, can you ask him to send back some of the millions of Khan's money that General Manager David Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Tom Coughlin foolishly threw at him?

Hating everything all the time is unhealthy, Chris. Take a break. Smell a flower. Pet a dog on the head. Something.

Brian from Jacksonville

Recent mocks have Louisville left tackle Mekhi Becton available at No. 9. Massive need on the defensive side of the ball aside, there is no way the Jaguars let that opportunity slip away, right? Becton is a cornerstone player much like the beloved Tony Boselli was when he became the rock around which the Jaguars were built. Becton is that kind of player. You have often stated the Jags won't move up for any player other than a quarterback. Could Becton be the one exception to that if the cost isn't too dear?

While Becton is considered by some the best left tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft, that's not necessarily an overwhelming consensus. I also don't have the sense that the Jaguars are locked in on offensive tackle as a need. It's for those reasons that while I believe the Jaguars could take an offensive tackle in Round 1, I don't see them giving up equity to move up to do so.

Noel from St. Augustine, FL

Wow ... a Les Mis reference ... you ARE the KOAF.

Look down, Noel. They've all forgotten you.

Kyle from Muscatine, IA

He got five years for what he did, O. The rest was because he tried to run.