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O-Zone: Double surprise

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Josh from Jacksonville

Do you think the Jaguars will re-sign DJ Chark despite his season-ending ankle injury or do you think they'll let him walk?

This will remain difficult to answer until the offseason – and the 2021 free-agency period – draws nearer. That's because it will depend on how Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and his representatives perceive his market value compared to how the Jaguars see it – and there's every possibility those views will differ. Chark, a second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, is in a tricky spot on that front because he has flashed some significant potential, but he has done comparatively little outside a 2019 Pro Bowl appearance. He also will have played just four games during a 2021 season that ideally for him would have been a breakout season in a "contract" season. Chark very possibly could enter the offseason wanting a significant second contract based on his potential and what he showed in 2019. I would expect the Jaguars to want to sign him to a lower contract based on him not producing to that 2019 level in other seasons. I also expect many teams to be wary of signing him to a big contract for the same reason. Still: It only takes one team to want a player for him to get a huge contract, so Chark may want to test the market – and he could be wise to test the market. If he takes that route, I wouldn't expect him to re-sign. Stay tuned as we get closer to the offseason.

Robert from Oneonta

If a player is released after the trade deadline, can another team sign him?

If a player is released after the NFL's trade deadline, he is subject to waivers no matter his years of experience. If no team claims the players in the waiver process, he becomes a free agent and may sign with any team.

Stephen Howard Thompson from Duuuval

I hope our Josh Allen puts enough pressure on, or perhaps gets an interception from, the Bills' Josh Allen so that the announcers are forced to scramble and fumble their words explaining it. I crave this kind of awkwardness, and sadly, it is pretty much all I have to look forward to during this probable beatdown.


David from Orlando, FL

KOAF – I think this team can grow by leaps and bounds next year, considering the valuable experience gained by rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Head Coach Urban Meyer and staff, the 10 or so draft picks, and a kazillion dollars to spend in free agency. At the start of this year, it was not reasonable to think this team could seriously contend for the playoff, but next year that window should be open. Do you agree with that, or will we need another year?

From what I've seen through seven games this season, I would expect the Jaguars to need at least until 2023 to contend for the playoffs – though it's certainly reasonable to expect significant improvement in 2022. I say this because I wonder if the significant weaknesses in areas such as secondary and wide receiver, and the potential changeover on the offensive line, can be addressed successfully in one offseason. The counter to that is as Lawrence develops, he should increasingly become a player who can make up for holes elsewhere. We'll see.

Mario from Oviedo, FL

Agnew is going to be the next Jimmy Smith? Talk about fans fan-ing in the wrong direction. That statement is as outrageous as Brent Martineau asking on Twitter if Agnew was one of the best Jaguars free agent signings outside of Calais Campbell and Jimmy Smith...after Agnew's second game! Come back down to Earth people.

Who is Brent Martineau?

Jim from Jax

In the preseason I kept hearing and reading about how deep and talented our wide receiver corps was. Now we're starved for great wide receivers apparently. What happened?

A lot of observers – this one included – overrated the receivers. Chark wasn't quite as good as anticipated and hoped before a season-ending injury in Week 4, and Laviska Shenault Jr. hasn't developed into the consistent threat many believed/hoped he would become. Marvin Jones has been as expected, but really can't carry the entire receiving corps.

George from Drummonds

Opponent focus: Vic Carucci, WGRZ-TV Buffalo. Do you reciprocate with opponents' media?

When asked …

Chris from Mandarin

If the Jaguars did not want to give up draft capital for a veteran on a 1-6 team, this tells me they have already thrown in the towel and expect not to win enough games to matter this year. The front office has a loser mentality.

It's understandable that you interpret it that way, I suppose. But being prudent about the salary cap and roster management isn't necessarily a "loser mentaility." The team has to approach player acquisition weighing the short-term against the long-term – and the belief was that whatever was available at this past week's trade deadline wouldn't help enough in the short-term to be worth the cost in the long term. That's not a loser mentality. That's trying to make the best decisions possible with an eye on the present and the future. The team's record this season and in recent seasons makes it an easy target for criticism, but that's still how it must approach decisions.

Bryan from Lutz

Zone, all this emphasis on speed at wide receiver has me concerned. We do not want to become the Raiders. Tavon Austin ran a 4.34 40-yard dash. He isn't good. Laviska Shenault ran .02 seconds slower than Davante Adams. Shenault is not Davante Adams. Find a guy who can separate 10 yards down the field. I don't care how he gets it done. Just don't draft the next Darrius Heyward-Bey in the first round.


Eddie from Jacksonville

I would be fine if our entire draft consisted of pass rushers and cornerbacks.

If there are capable pass rushers available early in the 2022 NFL Draft, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Jaguars select one. I also wouldn't be surprised if the secondary is a major focus.

Eddie from Jacksonville

Question about the picks for players philosophy. At some point wouldn't you run out of picks to trade away?

Yes. And cap room.

Steve from Fairfax, VA

I'm still a big fan and have high hopes for his future, but why hasn't Laviska Shenault Jr. taken the next step like we expected? If anything, he's not nearly as good as he was as a rookie.

Shenault is an impressive athlete who can break tackles and make plays with physicality and effort, but he has not yet shown to be a great route runner and doesn't have elite downfield speed. He appears to be better in the slot than at outside receiver and he has been playing outside since Chark's injury. He also has had issues with drops. It's hard to say for sure why players don't take steps. He works hard. He seems passionate. Perhaps it's a matter of time.

Damian from Mesa, AZ



James from Clarksville, TN by way of DUUUVAL

Now that the trade deadline came and went with absolutely no trades by a team that has needs, what are fans supposed to do when they know their team did nothing to get better for this season?

Realize that familiar names available at midseason don't always – and more often than not, don't – help teams, and that struggling teams rarely make such moves because the benefits aren't remotely worth the cost.

Don from Marshall, NC

The Jaguars are a 14-point home dog? They better hope Trevor has a sore arm! No Respect. Go Jaguars!

Bless you, Don …

DC Jag from Alexandria

The Cleveland Browns are also for all practical reasons an expansion team dating back to 1999. I believe they have had just as bad a run if not worse than the Jags. Our day will come, and it will be glorious for those who have kept the faith.

… and you as well, DC.

John from Jacksonville

The way it looks with the current owner, coaching and GM, Trevor Lawrence will end up being Matt Stafford south ... what a waste of talent.

While the Jaguars' performance early this season – and in recent seasons, makes your sentiment understandable, it nonetheless is premature. Very, very premature.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

You often use the phrase "a lot would have to go right for that to happen." This is why I am not confident that we can mirror the Bills and build a long-term contending team. There would seem to be a large body of work for all decision makes and not much to establish the faith that they are capable of building long term.

The Jaguars' recent history makes it easy to see why fans think this. The reality is the Jaguars' current decision-makers do not have a "large body of work" here. They have about a nine-month body of work. That's not no time, but it's not a particularly long time.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I have the Jaguars pulling the flippity-flop, tomahawk, double surprise twist, loopty loopty for the win! Our biggest upset ever?

Run it.