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O-Zone: Double trouble

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Would you agree with a quarterback salary cap? Or is that an owners' pipe dream?

I wouldn't agree with it. While some NFL owners reportedly have discussed such a move in the wake of mega-contracts such as the one signed this past week by Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, I don't know that it's necessary. The salary cap was put in place in part to maintain parity and partly to limit what owners could spend on players – and the cap itself already limits salaries for all players, quarterbacks included. The main argument against such a policy also is very strong – and that's that an NFL owner who doesn't want to pay a quarterback a contract that's too large a percentage of a team's salary cap can simply … wait for it … not pay the quarterback.

Marty from Jacksonville

John, I know you were told there would be no math, but I have to say this QUITE EMPHATICALLY. Trevor signed a five-year contract, but he still has two years to go on his rookie deal first, so in effect he has a seven-year contract. And that means he is NOT the highest-paid quarterback in the league. Everyone is reporting that he's getting $55 million per year, but actually, if you average in the remaining two years on his rookie deal, he's getting just north of $40 million per year, not $55 million. So, people should stop saying he's the highest-paid player in the league. He may not even be in the Top 10.

This is one of those things that fall into the category of Not That Big a Deal. Most people who write about or cover sports aren't going to dig deep enough into the details of every contract to multiply and divide every number necessary – and consider every nuance – in all those contracts to get an accurate list. Most "highest-paid" lists therefore are averages of whatever numbers are the most basic – and the highest. This is usually because it behooves agents to release the information so that it appears their client received the highest yearly average possible. It doesn't make the information necessarily incorrect. It doesn't mean anything has been done wrong. It's just how the information is packaged. And if people think Lawrence is the highest-paid quarterback for a while when he's not … well, I suppose there are bigger problems facing us as a people.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

I know it's a football site, but I have been watching videos and reading the James Hirsh biography on Willie Mays. That was a life well lived. One fer Willie?

No doubt. One fer Willie. A legend if ever there were one.

Marcus from Jax

The last couple years, whenever fans would comment about former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell's demeanor and his lack of "fire," it was always dismissed as being a non-factor. You don't have to be a fiery, vocal person to be a good coordinator. Now, this offseason, all I'm hearing about is how Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen's fiery demeanor is an important trait that this team really needed. I know that's not the only factor, but why is it that what was dismissed as being a non-factor is now being celebrated as an important trait in our new coordinator?

I don't know why some people talk about fiery demeanor as an important trait for an NFL coach of any level – head coach, coordinator, position coach or otherwise. The only theory I can offer is some people – fans, observers, media types – watch too many movies and television shows that show "fiery" coaches spitting on players and think that such actions are needed in professional football. I don't feel like I've discussed Nielsen much in this vein, and I certainly don't think his demeanor will have much to do with how the Jaguars' fare defensively in 2024. If I indicated otherwise, that's on me. Demeanor means next to nothing.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

You don't think the fans should have problems with contracts because it's not their money and only the owner is paying. But those contracts impact the salary cap and if the team overpays that can really hurt the team on the field. Why would fans not have a problem with that? I'm not saying that's the case with Trevor, but it makes no sense to me that you think fans should never have a problem with a player's contract since we're not paying.


Reese from Loyal Jaguar fan in VA

It has been a while. I hope all is well with you and your family. About that time of the year to throw my ol' size eight new era Jaguar fitted in the awesome O-Zone discussions! Go Jags!!!

Here we go.

Nicholas from Fort Cavazos, TX

KOAF: You mentioned that you have seen most of the Star Wars movies, but I challenge you to get your family to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special with you and see how long they can go before turning it off in disgust.

I had the same reaction with one of the Star Wars prequels, sequels or whatever the heck they were ones with Natalie Portman in it. I didn't turn it off because I couldn't turn it off. This was because I took my son to see it in the theatre. I didn't leave because he didn't want to leave. I did look forward to leaving, though. Quite a bit.

Joe from Jacksonville

If we had re-signed wide receiver Calvin Ridley, does the Trevor Lawrence deal still get done?


Marty from Jacksonville

John, I am reading in the media that Trevor is the highest-paid player in the NFL, at an average of $55 million per year, but should that number be the average of the seven years he is under contract? That would put his average annual salary much lower than that, which would make him maybe not even in the top 10 players in the NFL for average salary.

People can average this however they like. Unlike on-field statistics, there's no "official" statistic for highest-paid players. It's one of those loose ends that just can't get tied.

Sad Sam from Happy Valley

How come Jaxson De Ville is in the Hall of Fame by that name alone, with no mention of his real name(s)? Boselli got to use his real name, rather than just Jaguar Tackle.

It's a mascot Hall of Fame.

Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA

Speaking of egregious contracts, I still remember the Jerry Porter signing. He signed with the Jags in 2008 for a six-year $30 million deal with $10 million guaranteed. He finished the 2008 season with 11 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown. He was cut by the team after the season and that was his final season in the NFL. Those contract numbers feel quaint now, which caused me to look up the NFL team salary caps. In 2008 the team cap was $116 million. In 2024, it's $255 million. Do you see the NFL increasing the cap more rapidly in the near future as we are seeing mega contracts eat up inordinate shares of team salary caps? Is this like a chicken-versus-egg thing, the cap is going up because players' market value is going up, or the salaries are getting very large because the cap has more than doubled in the last 15 years?

I expect the NFL's salary cap to continue to rise, but it won't be because player salaries are rising. The salary cap rises because league revenues rise. Player salaries rise within that dynamic.

Jay from So-Cal

O Man, besides hating traveling and mankind, where are you most looking forward to going this season? Not your recliner or bed...

Stay tuned.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

Has Trevor worked with Thomas? Has there been time for chemistry to develop? When will Number 1 get his new deal? Surprised no one has asked yet?

Lawrence and rookie wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. worked together during organized team activities, with some chemistry developing and more to develop moving forward. I don't expect a new deal for running back Travis Etienne Jr. this offseason. He has two years remaining on his rookie deal because the Jaguars exercised the fifth-year option for 2025 this offseason. I expect a new deal for Etienne to be a more pertinent storyline next offseason, though contract extensions for running backs are dramatically different – and trickier – beasts than for other positions.

Don from Marshall NC

Any chance we see Travis Etienne get extended. Why not get him all set with a long-term extension? Running back contracts are low cost right now but that could change. The guy is a very gifted player and with better line play he will be phenomenal. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to not knowing Tom from Charlottesville, Va., would be asking essentially the same question on the same day, Don remains "all in."