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O-Zone: Familiar feeling

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

I guess the Ridley trade is fine. It doesn't help now, though. Please explain.

The Jaguars indeed traded with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday for wide receiver Calvin Ridley, a reportedly complex trade – and understandably so considering the circumstances. Ridley, the No. 26 overall selection by the Falcons in the 2018 NFL Draft, currently is suspended at least through the end of the 2022 season for betting on NFL games – including those involving his own team. The Jaguars reportedly traded to the Falcons a 2023 fifth-round selection and a conditional 2024 fourth-round selection that could become a second-round selection. When available, Ridley has been really good at times with 248 career receptions for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns. His last full season, 2020, was his best season: 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. No, the trade doesn't help the Jaguars now, but this team moving forward needs a big-time receiver who can be a No. 1 at the position. To potentially acquire that level of player without giving up a first-round selection – and to therefore have all their premium draft equity next offseason – is important. The Jaguars have more needs next offseason than wide receiver and this move allows them to pursue those needs. Also notable is that Ridley is a veteran who potentially remains very much in his prime, therefore allowing him theoretically to produce at a high level more quickly than a typical rookie. If Ridley is what he was in 2020, and if he avoids further off-field issues, it's hard not to see this as a good move for the Jaguars.

Sean from Jacksonville

Calvin Ridley can't play this year. At all. So we made a trade that has no impact on this season? Yeah. yeah, he might be a good receiver in 2023. I just don't understand getting a once-good receiver that has no playing time in 2022. This team might have fans wearing brown paper bags over their heads soon.

The Jaguars indeed made a trade that has no impact on this season. But considering the exorbitant cost/risk of finding a top wide receiver in free agency, and considering the number of needs that likely will remain next offseason – needs best addressed in the draft – it's just hard to find much not to like about this trade. This team likely will need a big-time cornerback opposite Tyson Campbell next offseason. There are certainly other positions where they could use first-round talent. The last I checked, there aren't that many difference-makers on the roster. Ridley could be that. Is there a level of risk involved? If there weren't, the cost would have been premium draft selections. As it is, the Jaguars acquired a potential big-time player for relatively low risk.

Larry from West Jax

O, I get it. Ridley has talent but when are we going to see him on the field to use it? I don't care much for trading for a guy who was gambling on games.

Ridley can apply for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2023.

VaJagFan from Stuarts Draft, VA

Granted, Calvin Ridley is a good receiver, but he's suspended for the season! We gave up premium draft picks for someone with mental and gambling problems that can't even play this year!?!?! OMG.

The Jaguars traded a fifth- and (maybe) a second-round selection for Ridley. Considering how difficult it can be to find a difference-making receiver, I don't know that this trade merits OMGs and !?!?!s.

WJBII from Yulee, FL

How much of an impact do you think Calvin will have as a Jag?

If he is as good as he was when he last played, significant.

Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA

Wow. Calvin Ridley is that true No. 1 receiver they desperately need for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Ridley is very good working downfield, a true big-play threat. It's better than rolling the dice in the first round because Ridley has shown he can win in the NFL. Having him drawing attention allowing Christian Kirk to work more freely from the slot seems like a great idea. I imagine Kirk and maybe Jamal Agnew will be around next year. Anyone else returning or are they going to more or less start over at receiver?

I would expect Zay Jones, Kirk and Ridley to be the Jaguars' top three receivers in 2023.

Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ

You keep claiming that Lawrence is in his first year in this offensive system, thus earning him a pass essentially. What does the system have to do with his questionable pocket presence, his lack of escapability at times, his poor or even boneheaded decisions at times, his inaccuracy, or his lack of any kind of spark of something special? None of those seem to require multiple years in an offensive system.

I make no "claims" regarding Lawrence, though I do often point out he is in his first season in a new offensive system. The reason for this is because I am often asked to assess Lawrence and it's unfair to assess him without noting the factors involved in his development. It's easy to shout in emails or tweets that he sucks or he is "not who we thought he was." Trying to truly analyze where he is and what he might become requires a little more reasoning and explanation. All the things you mention – pocket presence, escapability, decisions and even accuracy – can be influenced by comfort within a system. Considering the amount of knowledge needed to play the position and the speed at which NFL players play …those elements can matter a lot.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Eric Taylor didn't fix East Dillon in his first year. He did in his second year. I think Head Coach Doug Pederson will have the Jags playing better in his second year. Thank you.

Clear eyes. Full hearts.

Ryan from Cleveland, OH

As a longtime fan of this team, I look forward to the day where the season isn't over before Halloween. The longer we go without those the tougher it becomes. That's all.

I don't know how a fan of this team wouldn't feel this way. The Jaguars have had one decent season since 2010 and that was five seasons ago. I believe they're moving in a good direction under Pederson but that doesn't mean they have haven't lost too damned much in the last decade.

Jess from Glen Carbon, IL

O-Zone answer: "I would be surprised if the Jaguars have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft." The Jags have a better record than only one team right now - the Texans. And after they lose in Houston later this year, they'll have the tiebreaker in head-to-head games. The possibility of the Jaguars picking No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft is very real. They had better beat the Las Vegas Raiders this week or the Detroit Lions on December 4, because all the other teams they play are better than them and you can expect the Jags to lose those games. One positive: they'll be able to trade the No. 1 overall pick next year for multiple selections.

Tiebreakers don't factor in determining draft order, but whatever. I never said the possibility of the Jaguars selecting No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft isn't real. They're 2-6, so of course it's real. I said I would be surprised if the Jaguars have the No. 1 selection and I indeed would be surprised. I believe they will win enough of the last nine games that won't happen. Maybe I'll be right. Maybe I'll be wrong. Maybe I'm amazed. Maybe I'm a lonely man who's in the middle of something that he really doesn't understand.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' /King of all Funk, another game where Lawrence's mistakes cost us, again. Another game where he had a chance for a game-winning drive, but he failed again. Is he truly "generational?" He's making the same mistakes. I'm getting worried. Which is worrying.

Your worry is understandable. He hasn't looked elite yet. He's making young quarterback mistakes and his performance this past Sunday was rough in a lot of areas. There may well come a time where too many such days will be too many such days to move forward with him. This is not remotely that time because football teams are not run on Twitter or in comments sections. (Whatever those are).

JC from JAX

Trevor must improve in the red zone. We as fans can be patient as he improves his accuracy and decision making, but only if he can find a way to stop hurting the team in the most obvious ways.

Fair. Very, very fair.

Josh from New Milford, CT

Somehow this season feels worse than last season. I mean the team is obviously better, but the losses this season sting a lot more. I do not know where the hope of winning came from, but I don't like it!

Also fair.