JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Lawrence from Blair, NE
Mr. O, now that we are sadly into the offseason, do you think it's possible that with the emergence of Walker Little, the Jaguars might trade Cam Robinson? He would have very good trade value, I would think, and if I'm not mistaken it would free up about $22 million in cap space to maybe sign some of our more pressing free agents.
We're a ways from knowing the meat of the Jaguars' offseason moves – primarily because the Jaguars' decision-makers are a ways from knowing exactly their direction in many areas. But I would be surprised if the Jaguars trade left tackle Cam Robinson. My guess at this point is they will try very hard to re-sign right tackle Jawaan Taylor and enter 2023 with Taylor, Robinson and Little. I could see Little playing left guard in this scenario. Why do this rather than let Taylor go or trade Robinson? One, because they're all good players and this franchise needs to continue drafting, developing and retaining good players. Two, because the offensive line is important – and you need more than five good offensive linemen. A relatively strong case can be made that the Jaguars wouldn't have made the postseason if not for Tyler Shatley being able to replace Ben Bartch at guard and Little being able to replace Robinson at tackle without substantial drop-off during the season. There's nothing wrong with maintaining that level at that position group.
Chance from Windsor, Ontario
What current roster players do you NOT expect to be back next year due to the salary cap? Looking at the numbers, it seems like cornerback Shaq Griffin and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris seem like the two that we just cannot afford – especially if we want to (and should) bring back tight end Evan Engram and defensive lineman Arden Key …
I would be very surprised if Engram isn't re-signed and I think there's a good chance Taylor is re-signed. I think the Jaguars would really like to have Key back and multiple other pending unrestricted free agents. I don't expect wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. to return and I don't expect Griffin to return.
Chris from Northside
Hey, John. Is Trevor Lawrence locked up for the next three years? Is it still the fifth-year option for 2025?
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is under contract through 2024 with the potential for a fifth-year option in 2021. The sides can agree to extend his contract following his third season, which is the 2023 season.
Brendan from Yulee, FL
Hey, John. T-Law did all he could without playing with a true bona fide No.1 receiver. No disrespect to Marvin Jones Jr., but I can't wait to see what the offense has in store for next season with Calvin Ridley on board.
Ridley, who had 3,343 and 28 touchdowns in three-plus seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before being suspended early in the 2021 season, was acquired by the Jaguars in a midseason trade. He currently remains suspended, but the expectation is he will be reinstated this offseason. If he returns to his pre-suspension form, he indeed should add an "WR1" element to this offense. This should strain secondaries in a different way than was possible this season, with Ridley expected to be able to get consistently open on deep and intermediate routes – an element the Jaguars sometimes didn't have this season. I do believe the Jaguars will miss Jones at times. He was remarkably clutch at times, and very reliable in important situations. That's not nothing.
Morgan from Oklahoma
_I think the biggest question I have on offense is who can be the vertical threat? I am excited about Calvin Ridley, but my fear is he won't be that answer in the coming season. I just think we have to temper expectations for a guy who hasn't played football in two years. _
It's a fair concern. Stay tuned.
Robert from Moorpark, CA
What are some of the areas of his game Trevor needs to improve on for the 2023 season?
Lawrence emerged in 2022 as one of the NFL's better young quarterbacks. But he must continue to develop to reach the level of elite AFC quarterbacks such as Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, the two quarterbacks playing in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. What does Lawrence need to get there? Primarily, get more consistent. When he's at his best, he's as good as anyone. He needs to be at his best more often. That will come – and I expect to come rapidly next season in his second season in Head Coach Doug Pederson's offense. Familiarity and continuity should help Lawrence in a big way.
Jordan from Mandarin
It's a lot of things, but this weekend once again proved, the team with the better quarterback and offensive/defensive line usually win.
Robbie from Jacksonville
In a recent column, you said penalties Saturday against Little and Key were debatable. Is there a mechanism for the Jaguars to submit questionable play to the NFL for comment or review?
Yes. Teams often submit questionable calls to the NFL office. The Jaguars perhaps did this with these calls. The league often tells teams calls were incorrect. The league also often tells teams calls were correct. Either way, nothing changes.
Sean from Saint Johns City
Since I moved here in 2006, we've been to the playoffs twice (excluding this year). Each time, it took at least five years to get back. What's different about this team and the teams in 2008 and 2018 that got decimated by injuries and never returned?
Ben from Cuba, MO
Easier said than done, but I think our priority outside of bringing back Engram and the decision on Taylor at right tackle is finding a great cornerback in the draft and a hybrid safety to cover the big-time tight ends. Am I off base?
I thought midway through the season cornerback would be the top offseason priority. Darious Williams solidifying the corner spot opposite Tyson Campbell perhaps moves that priority from outside corner to nickel. The Jaguars are in an interesting spot entering the 2022 offseason. While they clearly upgraded the roster at multiple positions compared to 2021, they still need more impact at a lot of positions. They're "good" at a lot of spots around the roster, particularly defensively. They could stand to get "great" in a few more areas. That can come from within. Or outside. But it needs to happen.
Lawrence from Blair, NE
Zone, You had mentioned that you could see kids from off cities (like Omaha, which I'm just a few miles from) remembering this game as when they first became Jags fans. I went to the game in Kansas City Saturday and I couldn't believe how many fellow Jags fans there were. Our section was easily at least 25 percent teal. Something is definitely brewing in this area. Must feel good to be right so often!
It's a burden, actually.
Charles Shami from Savannah, GA
I want to thank the Jaguars team, coaches, and entire organization for an amazing season. This season was a flashback of 1996 with great things to come. What do you think will be addressed in the offseason? Where does the team go from here?
The Jaguars absolutely have areas to address in the offseason – running back to complement Travis Etienne Jr., nickel corner and pass rush among them. And we'll dig deeper into offseason needs, moves, etc., as we move forward. One thing to remember, though: Perhaps most critical to the Jaguars improving will be young players on the roster developing, improving and growing together. How can the Jaguars get better defensively? By 2022 draft selecting Travon Walker (outside linebacker), Devin Lloyd (inside linebacker) and Chad Muma (inside linebacker) developing from contributors/starters to front-line/core players in 2022. How can they be better offensively? By Lawrence and a very good group of receivers/tight ends further developing the continuity they started developing in the second half of the season. There's room and potential for growth from the players already here. Whether that growth happens will probably determine more about the team's success in 2023 than offseason additions.
Joe from New Jersey
Is it just me or did Travon and outside linebacker Josh Allen drop back in coverage a little too much this year? Coaches should be putting players in positions to succeed, and letting pass rushers primarily rush the passer seems like the way to do that. I think that letting out rushers rush would have a positive impact on this defense next year, what say you?
When you play a 3-4 defensive scheme, your outside linebackers are going drop in coverage at times.
Westside Mike from Bold New City of the South
Sometimes you root for a team because you're from that city, but sometimes you get to root for a team that you really like, one that represents your values of humility, hard work and perseverance. This was a special season.