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O-Zone: Get it done

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

So, the Jaguars finally signed Trevor. I guess the only reaction I have is, "What took so long?"

The Jaguars on Monday morning indeed announced they had signed quarterback Trevor Lawrence to his rookie contract, ending a few weeks of anxiety for some observers and fans. But the reality is any anxiety or angst associated with the "delay" was by definition unnecessary. NFL rookie contracts have changed dramatically since 2011, when the Collective Bargaining Agreement implemented a rookie wage scale – and ended what had been a ridiculous annual ritual of rookies holding out of training camp and into the regular season. It also ended the equally ridiculous reality of teams signing rookies to salary-cap crippling deals with the player having proven nothing on the NFL level. The rookie wage scale thankfully has made rookie training camp holdouts essentially things of the past – and there never was any risk of Lawrence missing practice time, anyway. Always remember when following rookie-contract stories in this era: Until a player misses a day of training camp, there is no issue. And there's rarely ever an issue.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Crisis averted!! @AdamSchefter: No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence signed a four-year, $36.8 million contract that includes $24.1 million in guaranteed money and the standard fifth-year option, per source. @mgcsports and the @Jaguars finished off the deal yesterday, and Lawrence will be there on Day 1 of camp.

As mentioned, there really was no crisis or near crisis regarding Lawrence's contract. But sure … it's done and it's good for it to be done.

Charles from Savannah, GA

No. 1 is signed and done! Ready for the season! Yeah man!

Go Jaguars.

Dave from Jacksonville

The Mighty Thor is now paid to Roar! Bring the hammer mighty Thor. Jacksonville awakens to a new era.

Jaguars Training Camp begins July 27.

Jon from Brentwood, UK

And breathe …

I suppose.

Justin from Jax

Who's the culturally poisonous corporate NFL snitch in the locker room? My guess is wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. He's the only one interviewed saying there's not much difference in culture from Meyer and other NFL locker rooms he's been in.

There are times I receive emails from readers that make me think, "Wow. It's amazing the level to which fans are tuned in to the Jaguars. Doesn't this reader have a good point? I'll look into that." This not one of those emails. It's not even close.

Scott from Longwood, FL

Someone asked me to describe you the other day and this is what I came up with.

You forgot, "Awesome."

CD from Fleming Island, FL

Regarding the recent question about college football being a pipeline between amateur and professional sports, I think it would be helpful to point out to readers unaware that American football was created on college campuses, and the history of college football in America is longer and arguably more storied than professional football (and the NFL).

This is the latest in a long series of questions about college football, paying players and how it all relates to the NFL. Or something like that. I guess the weirdest thing about the whole discussion is this idea that many have that the entire system of high school, college and pro football is broken because colleges don't pay players enough. It doesn't strike me that we have a broken system as much as one that could be improved with a few tweaks. The name-and-likeness legislation seems like a positive step that could "fix" a lot of issues. A realization that scholarships represent a huge financial compensation to most athletes is another. Perhaps a system for paying players at the largest five football conferences and some group of basketball conferences is coming soon – and perhaps that could be a move toward a solution. It's still hard to imagine we're going to find a system that makes sense because of the seemingly endless number of different scenarios that must be covered to pay college athletes. I guess I'm happy it isn't my problem.

Dave from Orlando, FL

KOAF - How does the team decide what to music to play during practice? If I listened to country music all my life, it might drive me nuts to listen to hip-hop music … and vice-versa. What if before practice you slip in one of your "mixed tapes" with The Clash, R.E.M., Jason Isbell, Skinny Springsteen and a dash of Culture Club? Boom! End of practice, start of non-stop dance party!

It would be the mixed tape to end all mixed tapes.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Those who claim that scholarship athletes are being exploited because they get nothing for playing do a disservice to the athletes they are trying to support. They assume that all scholarship athletes are one-dimensional jocks who get no benefit from the college education that they are given for free. I would like to hope that some of them are actually interested in learning both for future careers and personal satisfaction. Many of them would never get that opportunity if not for sports.

It's always struck me that the discussion about paying college athletes centers far more on a few elite level performers and far less on the great majority of participants. But hey … I'm just an aging sportswriter hoping the beer's cold and the code's working.

Jason from North Pole, AK

These "institutions of higher learning" have been playing football in many cases for well over 100 years. The first college "football" game was in 1869 with New Jersey vs. Rutgers. College football came long before the NFL and was wildly more popular as well. It has always, and will always be, the pipeline to professional football. And it has always, and will always be, about the bottom line.

Well, yeah.

The Real JT from Fort Worth, TX

All this talk about your uninterrupted streak is really impressive. That kind of dedication to a craft and commitment to a fanbase is inspiring. It calls attention to the best part of my day, each day, a brief moment when — for 10-plus years – I faithfully go to enjoy O-Zone, yet secretly hoping like Chuckie for Will Hunting that you have vanished overnight and quietly moved on to a new calling even greater than this. To a mix of relief and resignation, I reliably find yet another new column and you kindly fielding a new round of questions each new day. One day, rest assured your wit, wisdom, and snarky genius will be pulled from us. Until then, give me some more of this. DTWD. Good Comment Hunting.

Did Minnie Driver have an accent in that movie? Or was she going no accent. I always forget.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

If you could have three Pro Bowl-level players at any one position, what would you pick, O? Had a bit of a tough internal debate, but finally went with defensive end because pass rush.

I suppose it would come down to cornerback, wide receiver, defensive end or defensive tackle because you can create scenarios to get three front-line players on the field at the same time at those positions. I agree that the one you would want most is defensive end because pass rush. Although in this era of a pass-oriented NFL, three Pro Bowl receivers would be a very close second.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, when will the Jags update their depth chart? Also, can you explain how roster cut dates will be set with the reduced preseason?

The Jaguars, like pretty much all NFL teams, don't update a depth chart in the offseason. Like all NFL teams, they update an unofficial depth chart during the regular season and the postseason. NFL teams will reduce their rosters from 90 to 85 by August 17, from 85 to 80 by August 24 and 80 to 53 by August 31.

John from Jacksonville

Was it worth 300 grand to get the team to all "buy in?"

It seems like you're getting at something. I'm being honest when I say I don't know what it is, but it does seem you're getting at something.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

There have been so many games gone to penalty kicks this week, I'm living in a paradise. There are going to be so many important futbol games during the NFL season this year. Do you need me to just email you the list of games to check out coming up?

I like futbol. I particularly like discussing it with my son, who understands it and knows the storylines far better than I. I confess I haven't watched Euro 2020 or Copa America as much I might have liked; I've been more focused on Wimbledon and getting errands/tasks done before training camp begins later this month. I'm good on the email, though. I'm trying to get done painting the steps to the garage apartment before the end of the week.