O-Zone: Fair's fair

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, I'm curious as to your thoughts surrounding MJD's most recent running back rankings, with our No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette listed as the seventh best back of his draft class.

Former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew – now an analyst for NFL Network — recently ranked Fournette as the NFL’s 16th-best player at the position. That does put him relatively low in his draft class, and it also means he’s around the middle of the pack among NFL running backs. Based on how Fournette played last season, and how many games he has missed in two NFL seasons, it’s hard to argue that Jones-Drew has him ranked too low.

Daniel from Urbandale

With the contract situation being what it is, if for some reason or another the Jags cannot sign Yannick to a long-term deal, do they try to trade him with 1.5-to-two years left on his contract? Do you think there is a taker that knows the man wants to be paid but will still give Jags a draft pick for "exclusive" rights to make that offer?

I doubt the Jaguars will try to trade Ngakoue, though any team will pretty much listen to any offer if it’s good enough. If a trade involving Ngakoue does happen – and I don’t foresee it – it would more likely happen next offseason as his free-agency/franchise-tag decision draws near. And if it does happen – and I don’t foresee it – it would probably involve the team acquiring Ngakoue being allowed to negotiate a long-term contract with Ngakoue before the deal was made.

Dan from Doylestown

Snoop Zoney Zone - I noticed when I visit this free website on a mobile phone, I get an alert asking me if I want to chat with a live Jaguars Rep about any questions I might have. I assume you are handling this new initiative. Is it 24/7 accountability or does Shadrick help out? Anyway, congrats on the job enrichment - hope they gave you a huge raise!

Don’t ever, ever, ever call me.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Hypothetical Telvin questions: If Telvin sits out due to lingering mental issues that resulted from multiple concussions while playing for the Jaguars, would it be possible for him to sit out and get paid? Or if he is checked by NFL docs and they clear him to play, he has to or lose the season? Can he use his own doctor to determine whether it is safe for him to play? Last question: does he just have to finally contact the Jags to sign something official to avoid training camp fines or how that work?

You’re right that your question is hypothetical – too hypothetical to answer accurately. Your hypotheticals assume not only that Smith has lingering mental issues but that they step from concussions; that’s far from a safe assumption and we have no evidence that it’s accurate. If that were the case, the course of action theoretically would be some sort of status such as injured reserve, retirement or medical leave – in which case Smith probably would get paid. The question of who would need to clear him can’t be resolved until it’s determined that he has something from which he needs to be cleared. As far as the issue of Smith avoiding fines, that likely can’t happen until he either retires or reaches some sort of understanding with the team about his future – at which point the team could possibly place him on the reserve/did not report list. We’ll see.

Daniel from Jacksonville

Okay, maybe Welcome to the Jungle is overplayed in stadiums. Jungle Love? Jungle Boogie? Or back to the Jax bands: any other Skynyrd song? Or tell you what: I'll write you a song and we can play that. Do you want a headbanger or something with a little funk?

I am the king of all funk.

John from Jacksonville

Hi. OZ: I'm guessing athletes work-out all year long to remain in shape for the NFL. In the case of Telvin Smith, we have no idea if his year off includes the fact that he has not been working out for months. So, to say that he can return when he wants might be far from the truth and wishful thinking. Perhaps he totally disconnected during the offseason and is very much out of shape. Whether or not he can return next season or at all is the real question at this point. Just hoping he can resolve things and rebound back in the next year or two. He was fun to watch.

Pretty much anything speculated about Smith right now is just that – speculation. And yes – it’s entirely possible that Smith is out of shape. Still, Smith is a phenomenal athlete so I would guess that when Smith returns to the NFL – whenever and wherever that may happen – he will be able to be in playing shape in time to play at his expected level.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I have two dachshunds. Love them so much. I think they appreciate me not screaming so much at the TV. Just me, them, my wife, her garden, her music, her doggies and my grill. I have my grill to get me through the offseason. Does your family make use of the offseason?

Yes.

Gary from Centerville

When it comes to songs for professional teams, in particular NFL teams, how about "Luv Ya Blue" for the Oilers? I remember a Monday Night game way back when, with the crowd loudly singing it.

The Houston Oilers’ best-known song was actually called “Houston Oilers No. 1,” with “Luv Ya Blue” the title for a movement among Oilers fans that did inspire a lesser-known song. The game you remember was a Houston Oilers-Miami Dolphins Monday Night Football game in 1978 that Houston won, 35-30. Oilers running back Earl Campbell rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns with the Oilers crowd signing “Houston Oilers No. 1” throughout. It was a benchmark MNF game in an era when MNF was a weekly megaevent – and yes, that fight song was one of the best.

Sean from Jacksonville

I'm sticking by the Cars’ "Good Times Roll" and the Rolling Stones’ "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for the Jaguars. I'll save Queen's "We Are The Champions" for that wonderful evening when it all comes together.

Good for you.

Tom from Section 141 and the Mean Streets from of Nocatee

Gene would never have “asked one favor” of the man holding the .44. Gene would have quickly disarmed him when he turned to scream at Linda Lou.

You’re correct. If longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette had been at the jug that night … well, let’s just say someone else would have been getting three steps.

Rick from Franconia, VA

O, I love Yan: his character and work ethic, how he plays, what he means to this team. Why don’t the Jags JUST PAY THE MA … wait ... this just in: A player that outperforms their contract is the most valuable commodity in the NFL and having as many of them as you can get is absolutely essential for teams to win consistently. Why would a team that wants to win convert a player that is outperforming their contract into one who at best can break even any earlier than they have to? Do the "pay-the-man" people not pay attention to how the perennial playoff teams like the Patriots, Eagles and Steelers do business? The cold, hard reality is if Yan wants to get paid a top-dollar, long term contract with lots of guaranteed money two years earlier than the team reasonably has to give him one (final year of rookie contract +1 year of franchise tag), that has a value that is reflected in a lower contract number than a true unrestricted free agent would get. I say signing Yan to a Demarcus Lawrence or Frank Clark deal now would be irresponsible of the Jags and signal they care more about “rewarding Yan” than they do about winning. PAY THE MAN? Hell yes - when you have to, in about 2 years. (Jalen, this applies to you too) (And all the “you can’t compare the Pats because they have Brady” people should wake up and realize Brady is the poster child of players that outperform their contracts and they are EXACTLY making my point)

Fair point.

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