O-Zone: Enough already

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Jaginator (formerly of) Section 124

I know this subject’s getting tired, but I’m not finding the answer on the interwebs (or in the O-Zone). I understand that Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue must report 30 days early to accrue a season toward free agency. But isn’t “reporting” merely a one-day act? Isn’t it just like “checking in?” In other words, can’t Ngakoue (or anyone else) “report” to camp, then GO HOME for the rest of camp, and – if they wish – even STAY HOME for the first 10 games of the season, and then show up for the last six games and still get their “accrued season?”

I created this confusion, I fear. While answering a recent O-Zone question regarding players such as Ngakoue needing to report to training camp 30 days before the regular-season opener to accrue a season toward free agency, I cited part (a) of Article 8, Section 1 (Accrued Seasons Calculation) of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The first sentence of that part reads: “A player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season …” I neglected to cite the second part of the sentence: “… or in which the player thereafter failed to perform his contract services for the Club for a material period of time unless he demonstrates to the Impartial Arbitrator extreme personal hardship causing such failure to report or perform, such as severe illness or death in the family.” So, no … a player can’t just show up for training camp for a day, then go whitewater rafting in the Northeast for two weeks and have that count as “reporting.” You pretty much gotta show up and do the job.

David from Orlando, FL

“I want you to go to a couple of practices, avoid contact, and we’ll come up with some minor injury to hold you out the rest of the voluntary practices. Just keep it quiet, we don’t want the other players to think you’re getting preferential treatment.” – Head Coach Doug Marrone to Jaguars first-round defensive end Josh Allen

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

If you lined up Jaguars wide receivers DJ Chark Jr., Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, Keelan Cole and a healthy Marqise Lee in a footrace, in what order do they finish?

I would guess Chark, Westbrook, Conley, Lee and Cole with the first three so close that the results could change from day to day or race to race.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I was unaware of that recording studio, John. Sounds like a significant piece of music history. Thanks for sharing. I come to talk football and stay for the good convo.

You’re referencing a recent O-Zone answer in which I posted that the legendary studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama – FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio – were arguably the most famous in modern music. This perhaps not unexpectedly drew the ire of readers in Nashville and London. Oh, well … what’s the purpose in having ire if it’s not drawn every now and again?

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of Funk, you stated that "FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio [are] arguably the most famous recording studios in the history of modern music." I would argue Abbey Road Studios has that title.

Grrrr…

Chris from Nashville, TN

"Arguably the most famous recording studios in the history of modern music." Really, O? Really? I guess there's a reason Muscle Shoals is called the Music City …

… grrrr.

Sam from Winter Park, FL

You can do whatever you want; you are the Ric Flair of the NFL team sites. But its disrespectful that the jamoke Mr. NFL gets his questions published and your loyal readers don't.

You could have stopped after six words.

Allan from St. Mary’s, GA

Love your insight. So how do you stay so even keel? Every year, this time of year I buy into the hype that everything is great, then by the time October comes around I am disappointed.

I stay even keel because although I identify with Jaguars fans I’m not a fan in the sense that my emotions rise and fall on victories and losses. It would be very difficult to do the job with any sense of objectivity if I approached it as a fan.

Big on Blake from Philly

The Jags secured the quarterback position with an extension to BB5, which they abandoned after an injury-plagued dud year. If his were the only quarterback contract on the books this year, then #Yanngetsacks would probably be #Yanngetspaid right now. Though I don’t disagree with the overwhelming need to upgrade the most important position, it seems the team’s misstep forced the assumption that a player of Yannick’s ability would play out his rookie deal despite being top ten in total sacks over the past three seasons and number one in quarterback pressures. Hopefully the front office has a backup plan to get out of this situation with all parties satisfied and motivated to continue in what appears to be the beginning of contract negotiations with the solid draft picks from 2016 and beyond. I’m think Yann is in a tough spot because of the Bortles move, and that he shouldn’t have to sacrifice for the mistakes of General Manager David Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. It is possible to outplay a rookie deal and he has done so gloriously.

Yes, the Jaguars would be in better cap situation if they hadn’t signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a contract last offseason. But I don’t know that it’s right to say Ngakoue’s deal would be done if not for Bortles. The Jaguars would still have to decide if they wanted to get the deal done now and they still would have to decide if what Ngakoue wanted lined up with what they wanted to pay. Both questions would have been difficult even had the Jaguars had ample cap space.

Dylan from Danvers, MA

Do you happen to have any updated info on the timetable for the return of Marqise Lee? Go Jags!!!

Lee, who missed the 2018 season with a knee injury that included a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in the preseason, was straight-line running and route-running on the side during the on-field portion of the Jaguars’ offseason program in May and June. He is optimistic he will be ready for the regular-season opener. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone earlier this month said he expects Lee to return to practice some time during training camp in August.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Best wishes to Telvin on sorting out his life. Been there, done that. But, is it true that he STILL hasn't talked to the team about his situation? Not sure whether to call that weird, or childish or what.

I don’t know if anyone knows if they have “been there, done that” regarding Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith because we don’t know for sure what’s going on that led to Smith’s recent decision to not play in 2019. Smith reportedly has talked to some teammates and coaches, though there have been no reports of any official conversation between him and the team regarding how to proceed.

Jake from Cary, NC

If you exchanged the Jags’ front office/coaches with those on the New England Patriots, how do you think the organization would handle the Ngakoue/Ramsey negotiations? I’m curious if you think an organization with a proven track record of success would pay them or let them walk / trade them.

Who’s playing quarterback for the Jaguars in your scenario? Is it a generational player such as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a player around which everything else can be built – and around which most players are at least somewhat close to interchangeable? If yes, then I imagine the front office almost certainly would trade Ngakoue or allow him to play out of his contract, and they might do the same with cornerback Jalen Ramsey. An elite quarterback allows you to structure the team around the quarterback and make different decisions about the rest of the roster.

Daniel from Duval

Sweet Home Alabama may be written by a Jacksonville band, but it's about Alabama. Last time I checked the Jaguars don't play in Alabama. I'd be fine with any song by any band, but it seems stupid to pick a song about another place. We might as well play "Georgia on My Mind" or "California Dreamin," you feel me? Anyway, my vote goes towards "Welcome to the Jungle" - jungle cats and all.

I would pass on Welcome to the Jungle considering just about every other stadium in the NFL seems to feel obliged to play it at least once per quarter. At what point is enough enough?

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