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O-Zone: Go for it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

George from Longview, TX

It looks like we released some good football players. Are we on the verge of being a healthy organization? Or am I drinking too much Kool-Aid?

The Jaguars did release/waive good players in the cutdown to 53 Tuesday. Four of those players – linebacker Quincy Williams (New York Jets), tight end Ben Ellefson (Minnesota Vikings), quarterback Jake Luton (Seattle Seahawks) and wide receiver Collin Johnson (New York Giants) – were claimed by other teams. The Jaguars also signed a slew of their waived/released players to their practice squad, and many of those players likely will play roles for the team this season. Does that put the Jaguars on the verge of being a healthy organization? It feels like it. Regular-season results will be a better indication.

Ishmael from Barranquilla, Colombia

JO: Have they changed the policy where some players think they have made the team only to have teams add players from the final cut lists from other teams? Seems like a cruel way to treat players fighting for their football careers.

No, the NFL has not changed the "policy" because it's not as much a policy as the way as a biproduct of the system – and therefore impossible to change. Teams trim rosters to 53 before each regular season, and there is great fanfare in the media that those 53 players have "made" rosters. But the reality is that the bottom of all NFL rosters is in constant flux and no player ever is completely "safe." The only way to change the "policy" would be to not allow teams to change their rosters once they trim to 53. That won't – and shouldn't – happen.

DC Jag from Alexandria

Hail KOAF! Do you know when updates to the depth chart on the team website will be made?

The first week of the regular season.

Dave from Jacksonville

Was our initial 90-man roster stronger than most thought? We had three trades and an additional four picked up off the cut wire. Not bad for a team coming off a 1-15 season, wouldn't you say?

While it remains to be seen how the above-mentioned players will fare at their new stops, it's certainly notable that more former Jaguars players were claimed off waivers than the team claimed from other teams. I always thought Ellefson was a player who will play multiple seasons in the NFL, and Williams has the speed and suddenness to fit in the right system. Johnson's size was going to make him attractive to some team, though he didn't really stand out from the rest of the Jaguars' receivers during 2021 Training Camp and '21 preseason. Luton has a big arm and prototypical size, which makes him attractive enough to enough teams to get multiple chances.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Does keeping a player on your 53-man roster this week with the intention of moving them to the practice squad later somehow make it harder for other teams to snipe them? I've seen a lot of guys cut that were labeled "procedural" and just seeking some clarity.

Having a player on the practice squad does make it more difficult for another team to sign them. First, teams now can protect four players a week on the practice squad, meaning no other team can sign that player that week. Also: NFL rules always mandate that a team keep a player on the active roster for three games after signing that player from another team's practice squad.

Brian from Saint Mary's, GA

Just want to remind everyone that we have Trevor Lawrence and ideally no other quarterback will take a meaningful snap in a Jaguars uniform until sometime in the 2030s. Trading backups at a non-rotational position for draft picks might be good business.


Matt from Houston, TX

How long does Jacksonville have first pick of who comes through the waiver wire? After 24 hours, do the New York Jets automatically get to choose? Do the Jags have to look in a waiver portal and claim or deny each player that comes through the wire? How does the process work?

All teams have 24 hours to place a claim on a waived player. If a player is unclaimed at that point, he becomes a free agent. No, teams don't have to deny the player; they just have to place a claim on players they want.

Mateo from Menifee, CA

O-Man, what position besides the quarterback on offense has the steepest learning curve as a rookie? Why?

Tight end, followed by wide receiver. Tight end historically has been a difficult transition because the position must adapt to a more complex role at the NFL, to blocking bigger and stronger defenders than was the case in college and to more complex NFL offenses. Wide receivers, like quarterbacks and tight ends, must adapt to more complex schemes – and they also must face the reality that they are being covered by NFL-level defensive backs every game as opposed to perhaps once or twice at the college level. This isn't to say running backs and offensive linemen have easy transitions, but those positions are generally more physical transitions than mental.

Coach from the Couch from Aarons Rent to Own

So, one draft pick this year is already gone. Which one gets cut next?

I don't anticipate the Jaguars waiving any of the remaining 2021 draft selections on the roster.

Brad from St Johns, FL

Which member of the Jaguars 2021 draft class do you expect to have the biggest impact this year, not including the obvious pick of Trevor Lawrence? I might've guessed running back Travis Etienne Jr. before his injury. While it's hard for rookies to come in and make an immediate impact, my guess is safety Andre Cisco due to his ability to create turnovers. However, if Walker Little earns a starting role or is pressed into action due to injury, he will certainly be the most critical.

Good eye. Etienne almost certainly would have been the answer before he sustained a season-ending Lisfranc injury because he was going to have a major role in the offense. Cisco appears likely to start at some point this season, perhaps soon. I think Little will start at one of the tackle positions at some point this season, but that may happen because of injuries somewhere along the line so it's hard to project when that will happen. Keep an eye on defensive tackle Jay Tufele. He hasn't been discussed much during the preseason because interior defensive linemen don't get discussed much in preseasons, but he could have a role on a deep defensive line.

Rodney from Jacksonville

Is there any way possible for Etienne to play this season?


Dave from Dallas TX

Hey, Mr. O: How did the Seahawks grab Luton when we have first picks? Thanks for all your work this preseason: appreciated.

The Jaguars waived quarterback Jake Luton, which placed him on the waiver wire. When a player is waived, any team can place a claim on him. If more than one team claims the player, the claiming team with the worst record is awarded the player's rights. Once the Jaguars waived Luton, he was available for all teams to claim.

Tom from Ave Maria, FL

How long do the Jaguars have to claim a player waived by another team?

Twenty-four hours.

Chris from Delray Beach, FL

So with this NFLPA investigation, what are we looking at here, worst case? Fines? Draft picks? Suspensions?

You're referencing the NFLPA reportedly investigating the Jaguars after Head Coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday that vaccination status factored into the team's decisions on cutdown day. I realistically don't expect anything remotely major because the reality is all teams had to take vaccination status somewhat into account for player personnel decisions. The Jaguars say no player was released/waived because of that – and considering there reportedly was just one unvaccinated player released/waived, there's little reason to think otherwise.

John from Jax

Zone, Let me get this straight … the NFL can make rules that nonvaccinated players can create forfeits in a season where every game matters … but Urban can't say that was a consideration? Hmmmm?


RVJAG from North Augusta, SC

I was wondering how players such as wide receiver Tyson Johnson are handled when they are picked up off waivers. Are their flight arrangements and moving expenses handled by the Jaguars? Are hotel stays arranged until they find more permanent accommodations?

Flight arrangements, temporary accommodations and accompanying expenses are handled by the team when players are claimed and when free agents are signed – and when players are brought in for tryouts.

Dave from Duval

Hey O-Zone. If 5-12 occurs, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Remember: the Jaguars were 1-15 last season, but mostly they have been a losing team. Improving incrementally by four games a season over three seasons can turn around a franchise not just a season. Ex.: 1-15, 5-12, 9-8, 13-4.

And then 17-0.