JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Mark from Archer
Zone, Why would the Jags rush to sign Lawrence after this coming season? I know the quarterback price tag will just keep going up. But Trevor still has two years on his rookie contract if we use the fifth-year option. Not like he can play anywhere else. Keep him on the cheap until we have no other choice that will allow us to keep more of our other more costly players longer. Really, we could keep Trevor three or four more years with the franchise tag if we really wanted to. I dunno. Maybe I am viewing this the wrong way?
While the Jaguars could take the approach you suggest with quarterback Trevor Lawrence's second contract, you indeed are viewing it the wrong way. There are a few reasons for the Jaguars to moving quickly on this next offseason. One, as you cited, is the contracts for franchise quarterbacks will continue to rise the longer the Jaguars wait. Two, they will want to get Lawrence's contract done so they can project the salary-cap structure for the entire team for the foreseeable future. Remember, too: Quarterback megacontracts can be structured in such a way to minimize the cap number early in the contract, allowing the team to restructure salaries around Lawrence over a multi-year period. Mostly, you don't slow play it because you know he's your franchise quarterback. More specifically, he's the face of the franchise. You're thinking he may bring Super Bowl trophies to the franchise and eventually have a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. You treat him as such.
Brian from Atlanta, GA
As an architect who has overseen multiple $100 million projects, I can shed some light on the increased cost to spread the work over four years as opposed to two. First, the general contractor will have to schedule many aspects of the work out of optimal sequence to keep parts of the stadium intact and usable. They'll also have to construct extensive temporary barriers to cordon off areas under construction. Doubling the length of the project also means renting multiple tower cranes and other equipment for twice as long, as well as being subject to two extra years of inflation. Most importantly, it's just very, very expensive to stop work, clean up and then remobilize months later. It's like having a plumber come to your house twice versus once to do the same work – I guarantee that the cost won't be the same. Honestly, I think it's lucky to only be $190 million (about 20 percent) more; I would have expected more like a 30 or 40 percent premium. Tough decisions ahead, but any approach that keeps the Jags in Duval long-term is fine by me...
This follows a recent O-Zone question asking why the Jaguars' Stadium of the Future would cost about $190 million more if executed over four years rather than two. I confessed that I didn't know exactly why and would follow up. I now no longer must follow up. This means less work for me. Well done, Brian.
Jon from Athens , GA
Just to follow up on your answer about the people who are designing the new stadium being the same as the ones who did Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We just recently went to a concert at Mercedes-Benz: 75,000 people in attendance. There is a huge difference in the stadium currently in Jacksonville and Mercedes Benz in how the design funnels people, the layout, the seating, the premium seating. And not to mention what is surrounding the stadium in Atlanta compared to Jacksonville. I think fans need to calm down a little. The upgrades, if anything to close to what was accomplished, will be fantastic! And if they improve downtown, too … watch out!
One fer the folks at HOK.
Steve from Cardiff, UK
Reading all the chat on temporary homes, they could do worse than, say, two back-to-back games in London and six in the smaller home. This year's schedule – yes, I know the Bills is technically a road game – should show the ownership how hard/easy that might be. This is "Jacksonville's team" but how about they make the most of what they have built in London??
Where the Jaguars will play temporarily while the Stadium of the Future is being executed – if a stadium agreement is reached – is far from determined. I expect two home games in London as a temporary solution to this issue could be an option, and I absolutely believe what happens this season when the Jaguars play back-to-back games there will influence that thinking.
Stan from Jacksonville
Back in 1993, I was in the Navy stationed overseas. I was disgustingly overbearing in my pride that Jacksonville, my home, was becoming an NFL city. There would be a two-year wait while an NFL-quality stadium was built. In 1995, I went to my very first live NFL game as a fan. To say that the wait was worth it is a HUGE understatement. Now, a quarter of a century later (almost), it's time. I recently visited Las Vegas and the NFL-quality stadium there was a central attraction to even those in my party who were not sports enthusiasts. We need that in Jacksonville's future. Also, I remember a hugely popular band once played in our current stadium and it rained. Turnout was greatly suppressed. That band promised to never return to Jacksonville. If we want to be a proud home of an NFL team AND attract the best to our city, we darn well better have a MODERN facility, or we'll always be "Tier 2".
Phil from Belleville, NJ
Not to get extra nitpicky but New York City has zero franchises. The New York Giants and Jets play in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
One of the great pleasures in life is when people begin a sentence saying they're not going to do a certain thing and then they kind of do that certain thing. That indeed is a pleasure.
Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL
While I understand the concern over the public money, and I hear people worried about unaffordable housing and crime, here are my two questions: How does crime look with the Jaguars in a new stadium somewhere else and "The Bank" empty? How will people feel when housing prices drop after the Jaguars leave because the city loses the NFL? This is not about the Jaguars playing in an old or new stadium in Jacksonville. This is about the Jaguars playing in a new stadium in Jacksonville or somewhere else.
Chaka from Jacksonville
I'm surprised the Jaguars have yet to add a free-agent pass rusher. We lost Arden Key and Dawuane Smoot. Do you think the team is content with the current group of pass rushers and banking on improvement from players like Travon Walker?
I think there's a decent chance the Jaguars will re-sign Smoot, though I expect his rehabilitation from a December torn Achilles will mean he likely will be unavailable to start the season. I think the Jaguars will continue to monitor the market in this area, but I do think they believe they can get their needed pass rush from what's on the roster.
Scott from Jacksonville
I don't think we can tailgate very well in a parking garage. We still need plenty of wide-open fields for those of us who can't afford 15 bucks for a beer so we start early in the parking lot.
Mark from Archer
Oh, Wise and Awesome Zone, do you see a requirement that the Jags play all home games in Jacksonville being part of the stadium deal? I think it could be. If the taxpayers are going to shell out part of the cost for the stadium upgrades, I imagine they are going to want all the home games back in Jacksonville. What are your thoughts on that?
I expect this to be a topic when team and city officials discuss a deal to finance the Jaguars' Stadium of the Future. Nothing is finalized in these discussions. Such topics are why sides negotiate things.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, turns out if I can save $100,000 a day with only four percent interest for 18.5 years, or 223 Months, or 967 Weeks, I will finally be a billionaire. There are a few issues, though. Mainly, by that time it will cost much more to buy a team, you and I will be super old, and I don't yet have a $100,000 to invest daily towards that goal. I think I'm going to lower my expectations a bit. Perhaps a pee-wee league football team might be more reasonable?
Don from Marshall. NC
If you cannot afford to go to the game, then you need not worry how much they take out from you. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing! Go Jaguars!
When it comes to quoting fifth Beatle and legendary R&B/Soul/Funk artist Billy Preston, Don remains "all in."