O-Zone: Even better

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Aaron from Jacksonville

How would you rate the Yann trade reported by Schefter (not bad, I think) – and more importantly, do you think the team will use some of that freed-up cap space and/or wealth of picks to help beef up the defensive line and secondary?

The Jaguars, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN and other reliable reporters, indeed have agreed to trade defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings for a second-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft – and a conditional 2022 fifth-round selection that eventually could be a third-round selection. Considering that the team trading for Ngakoue at some point was going to have to sign him to a long-term deal to make a trade make sense, it's unsurprising the Jaguars couldn't get a first-round selection in the trade. It's also unsurprising the Jaguars couldn't get a first-round selection in the trade; while Ngakoue is a very good pass rusher he has not yet established himself as an elite edge defender. Those two factors were always going to make it tough to get first-round compensation. I suppose my overriding sense after the trade was it's unfortunate the sides got "sideways" early in the process. Ngakoue changed representation recently and I did get a sense early in the process – i.e., last offseason – that there was a disconnect between Ngakoue's perceived value and what he actually would be worth on the open market. That disconnect seemingly led to enough bad feelings toward the Jaguars that it made a long-term deal impossible. It also seems to have cost Ngakoue a lot of money if you compare his 2019/2020 salaries to what he could have made had he and the Jaguars agreed to a contract last offseason. But that's over now. As for how the Jaguars will use the wealth of draft capital and cap space they received from the Ngakoue trade, I expect they will use both – next offseason. I doubt they will use it on veteran players in the coming weeks.

Pradeep from Bangalore, Indiana

Hi, John. We moved away from one more distraction with Yannick's trade. Hope now the water calms down … anyways, team always should come before a player. Hope management does better job going forward. Go Jags!!

These are important points. Though I'm not big on "distraction" being an issue when it comes to the NFL, there's little doubt the Jaguars now have a very high percentage of players who very much want to be here. This absolutely feels like a time to "start over" and build the roster/culture/approach into something new and positive – and to move past the "stuff" that has been said and done in the last two seasons or so. It's unusual to have moved forward with a general manager (David Caldwell) and a head coach (Doug Marrone) who were around during the difficult slide, but because of the hiring – and the subsequent dismissal – of former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin the Jaguars as a whole had an unusual feel in recent years. Just because the reset in happening in unusual fashion doesn't mean it can't work. There are no tried, true formulas for what works in the NFL. If that were the case, every team would follow the formulas and every team would experience success. But you're right that management must do a better job moving forward. Whatever the reasons for parting ways with players such as wide receiver Allen Robinson, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Ngakoue – and there were various reasons in all three cases – the fact is the Jaguars haven't drafted/developed/retained young players well enough. Indications are they have drafted well the last few offseasons. Now, they must develop and retain. It's all part of the process.

Justin from NYC

A second and a conditional fifth?! Likely a late second rounder... What happened to no less than a first?

Real market value.

Cody from Richmond Hill

With Ngakoue being traded, how many draft picks do the Jags have in each round?

Ten: two in the first round (Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams/Ramsey), two in the second round (Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings/Ngakoue), one in the third round (Jaguars), two in the fourth round (Jaguars, Rams/Ramsey), one in the fifth round (Jaguars), one in the sixth round (Jaguars) and one in the seventh round (Jaguars).

Josh from Palatka, FL

KOAF: Notice how much better Ngakoue became the moment he was purportedly traded? Before, No. 25 rusher in the NFL. After, worth so much more than a second and a fifth for just a one-year rental.

Fair.

Joel from Jacksonville

I am probably late to this party, but I just read a report saying Ngakoue's salary with Minnesota will be in the $13 million range. If true, how could that be done? Doesn't he have to sign the tag before he can be traded and doesn't that guarantee him $17 million a year? I am confused.

Your confusion is understandable because for months it has been said the Ngakoue must play on the franchise tag that will pay him about $17.8 million for the 2020 season. It's true that Ngakoue must play this season on the tag, and that he can't renegotiate a long-term deal with Minnesota until after the season. But a player can renegotiate the tag and take less. This would only happen if there was a trade in the works – and if the player agreed to the lower deal so that the trade could take place. Which is what happened.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

John, at least the Jaguars got second and a fifth for Ngakoue; no distractions now. A lot of people will be mad now, but with this year's draft and next year's draft the future in Jacksonville looks promising. I think this year will be learning curve. I could see this team being a real competitive team in the 2021 season and years to come. #Duval

That's the hope.

Brad from Yankton, SD

KOAF. WOW, So far to go to build a desired destination for quality players. When a man would turn down a $19 million extension, get mad and accept $13.5 million to play this year for another team, not to mention pay Minnesota state income tax … What can our owner do to correct the team culture and reputation, then how long will it take?

The way to build – or rebuild – a reputation and culture is to win and re-sign your own players, thereby creating a culture with homegrown talent. Players such as Taylor, Chark and Allen can be the beginnings of that. They must be the beginnings of that. On that front, how this season plays out is important. It's not particularly the case that the Jaguars must win big, but they do need young players to continue looking like the core of a developing franchise. They really need that.

Logan from Wichita, KS

Here we are yet again... The worst team in the NFL, getting worse and getting low-value picks to bust on. This deep pit of despair and failure doesn't look any closer to ending. We have no silver lining unless losing somehow becomes fun. (LOSING WILL NEVER BE FUN)

Logan's back. And just in time.

Fred from Naples, FL

I was disappointed to learn we only received a second- and a conditional fifth-round pick for Ngakoue. I felt like we left a lot on the table. I read where that gives us eight picks in the first five rounds. If the Vikings are giving us a second-round pick next year can you remind me why we only then have one pick in the second round in 2021? What happened to our original second round pick?

Nothing. The Jaguars will have two second-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft when the Ngakoue trade becomes official.

Daniel from Jacksonville

If reports from earlier this offseason were true that Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell turned down the Raiders No. 19 overall pick in the last draft for Ngakoue because he wanted the No. 12 and didn't get it, then getting a second-round and fifth-round pick for him now has to be viewed as a failure for Caldwell and Co.

Yes. If they're true…

Jordan from Jacksonville

With all the talent we've traded away, the Jaguars landing the top quarterback in next year's draft feels like the only real win to me.

I don't expect the Jaguars to lose enough games to hold the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. I don't know if Gardner Minshew II is the long-term answer at quarterback, but I believe he's good enough that the Jaguars won't be the worst team in the NFL. We'll see.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

Good move by Jags. Got a two and five for an eight-sack guy who wanted to be paid like a 12-to-15 sack guy. I had the Jags going 15-1. I have updated my prediction to 16-0 with the loss of dead weight.

Jerell's back … or is he?

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