JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Larry from Duncan, FL
Mr. O, if you can believe the media reports out of Philadelphia, are you surprised the Jaguars are the only pursuers of Nick Foles? Does that raise your curiosity into whether Jacksonville should make that acquisition?
You’re referencing a report over the weekend the Jaguars will sign Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles when free agency begins on the March 13 start of the 2019 League Year. I have no reason to doubt the report, though at this point it’s speculation. I am a little surprised the Jaguars reportedly will be the only pursuers of Foles, and it wouldn’t completely surprise me if that’s being overblown – or if the situation changed. We’re still a week from the opening of the NFL’s so-called “legal tampering period,” which begins March 11. At the same time, this is a weird offseason in that there indeed appear to be few other teams with an urgent quarterback need. That small list appears to include the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. The Redskins reportedly can’t afford to get into the veteran quarterback market, the Dolphins reportedly aren’t interested in anything but building for the future and the Giants appear content with Eli Manning and a drafted rookie. Those are all legitimate reasons for not wanting to sign a veteran quarterback. As far as how that situation makes me feel about the acquisition, it changes nothing. If the Jaguars sign Foles, I don’t expect him to be elite. I don’t expect him to be in the Pride of the Jaguars someday. I expect him to be an improvement from Blake Bortles, and I expect the offense to improve if it can stay healthy around him and if he can be efficient. The fact that other teams in a league in which most teams are unusually set at quarterback aren’t interested in creating a bidding war doesn’t change that in the least.
Scott from Wichita, KS
So what does Philly.com know that you don't?
Philly.com reported that Foles will sign with the Jaguars when free agency begins. I have no reason to doubt that. But a word of advice: Even if it is true, don’t look for a story on jaguars.com until March 13. We will discuss the possibilities, but we won’t report a story until it’s official.
Ken from Jax
When can the Jags start talking to Foles? Has that already begun or do they have to wait until the beginning of the football calendar year? Would it be considered tampering (wink, wink) if they were to start talking to his agent?
Teams can begin talking to the agents of players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 11, the beginning of the NFL’s negotiating window – i.e., the so-called “legal tampering” period. That’s the day teams may begin speaking to Foles’ representation.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, have you ever used the word “silliness” in place of the word “stupidness”?
That would be silly.
Nick from Annapolis, MD
I realize the amount a team would have to give up for Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is more than any team is willing to offer, but how big would the offer have to be for you to consider it? My first thought would be a Top 20 selection in this year's draft, a second-round selection in this year's draft, and next year's first to even consider it. Still probably wouldn't do it.
That would get close depending on how I thought the other team would fare next season – and where the team will select this season. A selection in the Top 5 of the first round and another in the Top 5 of the second round is a different offer than selections at the bottom of those rounds. I wouldn’t waste time on this. While trades involving Ramsey are popular Twitter fodder, I have no sense that the Jaguars have even the slightest intention to trade their best player.
Fred from Naples, FL
There have now been at least two "Drive-Time" videos shown and now one Jaguars "Happy Hour" video with Jeff Lageman, Tony Boselli, J.P. Shadrick, Pete Prisco, yourself and Ashlyn Sullivan and not ONE mention of Robert Kraft's transgressions in a massage parlor. I am really surprised as players running afoul of the law are always mentioned in the "Happy Hour" videos under Around The League portion of the show. Did the Jaguars senior brass or the NFL itself mandate that it not be discussed? How did you guys miss this one then?
I have discussed Kraft’s situation in the O-Zone on multiple occasions. The shows on jaguars.com aren’t comprehensive NFL news shows; they’re designed to focus on Jaguars topics with occasional looks at league news. Those shows since the Kraft incident have focused on Jaguars and NFL Scouting Combine news. If they haven’t touched on Kraft, it’s because we’ve focused elsewhere. It’s not because we ignored or missed anything.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
“Murray isn’t just a scrambler who excels working outside of the pocket and on broken plays, either. According to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, 91 percent of Murray’s 377 pass attempts in 2018 came inside the pocket, and 81.6 percent of those throws were on target and catchable.” This was from a very interesting Fivethirtyeight article about trying to predict success of future NFL quarterbacks. They come up with a complicated model, admit that it is far from perfect, but still it comes across as a decently useful tool. It predicts good things for Murray and bad things for Haskins. I think the biggest thing in the article for me was the stat I led with. Murray can win from the pocket.
There are many statistics available to support the idea that Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray will be successful in the NFL. This is sure to be a daily debate in war rooms, on Twitter and among NFL observers and media types until the 2019 NFL Draft April 25-27. The debate will involve statistics on one side and a feeling on the other side that it will be very difficult for a quarterback of Murray’s size to be successful in the NFL. I’m sure people will believe Murray can win from the pocket, and I’m sure this won’t be the last time I read a statistic stating that he can. We’ll see.
Logan from Wichita, KS
So, what will happen when Foles doesn't win in Jacksonville because he has zero weapons to throw to and he gets zero time to throw?
Then he and the Jaguars will lose.
Nick from Palatka, FL
Mr. Zone: As you say, finding a stud NFL quarterback is – at best – still a rather risky task. So, I'm not going to get too excited about the team's choice until I see results. But is there a player out there (any position) who, if they fall to the Jags in free agency or draft, I should yell out YAAAAY!!!... spill my beer and hug the dog??
Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa. He has been the consensus best player in the 2019 NFL Draft for a while. He has been overlooked in recent weeks, which isn’t unusual, the mad rush to anoint quarterbacks and push them up the draft board once again has caused observers to ignore other prospects. I can’t imagine he will slip to the Jaguars at No. 7, but the quarterback push could cause him to slip a spot or two.
Z from Baltimore, MD
Zone, you're Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell/Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin: Which is your preferred route to address quarterback this offseason? 1) Dwayne Haskins at the cost of next year's second-rounder; 2) Foles for three years/$58 million with no guaranteed money in Year 3, and the best available player at No. 7 (including quarterback); 3) Foles at the same deal, and trade from No. 7 to Nos. 10-15 for a team to draft the quarterback you're choosing not to, picking up a future second, and drafting the best available non-quarterback. If No. 2 or 3, name the top 2 players on your wish list at those spots (7, 10-15).
No. 2: Foles and Haskins if available; Foles and Drew Lock – or Daniel Jones – if Haskins is unavailable.
Chris from Nashville, TN
With all this talk of trading Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, I find the thought humorous of him leading his new team to a victory over Jacksonville next season. Has the event ever occurred that different starting quarterbacks have beaten their former team twice (i.e. Gabbert, Bortles) within a few years span? This scenario would certainly cement Jacksonville as the laughingstock of the NFL, again.
I’m sure it has happened. Players switch teams all the time these days, and the NFL is balanced enough where a lot of teams beat other teams. As for the effect of Bortles potentially beating the Jaguars making the Jaguars a laughingstock … who knows? Maybe. Whatever.