O-Zone: Gone forever

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Mac from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Is there any precedent for what the league's going to do with Bob Kraft? I hate the Patriots, but I have nothing against Bob personally. The fan in me wants to see them lose all their draft picks for the next decade. The humanitarian in me hopes they don't come down too hard on him.

There’s no specific precedent for how the NFL will respond because the situation New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft now faces is unusual. The closest thing recently to precedent came when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay and fined him $500,000 in 2014 following his arrest on drug charges. I can’t foresee the situation costing the Patriots anything in terms of draft selections, or anything on the field, because NFL rules mandate that such punishment must stem from on-field, game-related violations. I would think there’s a strong chance the Patriots could be heavily fined and that Kraft could step away voluntarily from a visible ownership role – at least temporarily. There’s also a chance he could be banned and forced to hand over ownership of the team to his sons, though early speculation is that that’s unlikely. At minimum, I would expect Kraft to be suspended and fined.

Kohn from Playa Dell Carmen, Mexico

I’ve just realized you look a bit like Weird Al Yankovic. But weirder.

Fair.

Phil from Woodmere, NY

You say no one knows what’s going on with the quarterback situation except a select few decision-makers. So how are you so sure they want to dump quarterback Blake Bortles? How do you know that Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone aren’t real excited about what Bortles is going to do this upcoming season? Maybe releasing him has never once crossed their minds. What makes YOU so positive he will go if you admittedly aren’t privy to their thinking?

Educated guess. Knowing that sometimes it’s time to move on is significantly different – and easier – than knowing precisely what someone is moving toward.

Crash from Westside

Man! I like it … sign Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and draft Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at No. 7 overall. What position would you target in the second round?

Offensive line.

Dopester from the Future

Make your prediction: Where will Bortles end up? (I say Redskins)

This is more (uneducated) guess than prediction, because Bortles isn’t likely to be pursued heavily as a starter. That makes it difficult to know possible landing spots in advance. The Baltimore Ravens would make sense, as would the Carolina Panthers. Both offenses would seem to make sense considering Bortles’ mobility and ability to improvise. We’ll see.

Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436

Can you review the 2018 offseason’s free-agent signings and losses for the Jaguars. I felt like they got shortchanged, nay screwed, in the lack of compensatory picks. I could be wrong.

Alas, you indeed are wrong. The Jaguars got neither shortchanged not screwed in terms of compensatory selections for 2019. Remember, compensatory draft selections are awarded based on free-agent signings and losses from the previous offseason. If a team gains more than it loses in free agency, then it’s not going to receive compensatory selections. If a team loses more than it gains in free agency, then it will receive compensatory selections. It’s not a scientific process, and the formula is mysterious enough that you do hear complaints at times from teams – but that’s essentially the way it works. So, as you note in your question, this offseason’s compensatory selections are based on last season’s free-agency transactions – and as you also note in your question, the Jaguars received no such selections. Why? Because they signed free agents such as guard Andrew Norwell, wide receiver Donte Moncrief and cornerback D.J. Hayden while wide receiver Allen Robinson and cornerback Aaron Colvin were the major free-agent losses. The Jaguars also lost players such as tight end Marcedes Lewis and wide receiver Allen Hurns, but they released those players – and released players don’t count toward the compensatory formula. So, the Jaguars overall gained more than they lost in free agency in 2018. Until they stop doing that, they won’t receive compensatory selections.

Frankie from London, UK

Hey O! How would you rank the chances that the Jags end up with a quarterback currently not being highly spoken on? Sounds as though it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Arizona or Oakland pick up a quarterback, which could make their quarterbacks potential trade candidates. Matthew Stafford (though more unlikely) also appears to be in a 50-50 type of situation.

I believe odds favor the Jaguars acquiring Foles – either by trade or as an unrestricted free agent. I believe the next most likely option is acquiring Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the draft. I would say there’s a greater chance of one of those two players being the Jaguars’ quarterback next season than all the others combined. I’m not buying into the notion that the Arizona Cardinals will trade Josh Rosen or that the Oakland Raiders will trade Derek Carr or that the Detroit Lions will trade Matthew Stafford. I suppose a Rosen trade makes the most sense of all those scenarios, but I won’t believe any of them are going anywhere until I actually see it.

Ron from Ponte Vedra, FL

I’m telling you, you aren’t finding a replacement for linebacker Telvin Smith after the first three rounds. I’m telling you his stats speak for themselves and he deserves to return. I’m telling you he is a great leader and one of the best players on our team. I’m telling you he will bounce back. One for Smith, I’m telling you.

I believe Smith will return next season, and I agree that over the past three or four seasons he has been one of the best players on the team. He was critical to the team’s 2017 success. He was not as good in 2018, and he must play better next season.

Mike from Blue River, WI

"Jordan played accordion, dropped out of college. Cookie was a drummer in a punk rock band. Me, I'm just a wallflower soaking up knowledge; my heart on my sleeve and a beer in my hand. "

I never know what’s going on.

Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL

Ok ... I will play 'fan GM' for a minute and operate under the premise that the goal is to win now. In terms of existing players, I would release defensive tackle Malik Jackson, running back Carlos Hyde, right tackle Jermey Parnell and quarterback Bortles (post June 1 designation). I would attempt to restructure defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye but keep them either way. Restructure safety Tashaun Gipson too, but would release him if it wasn't favorable. Sign quarterback Nick Foles and tight end Jesse James and an offensive lineman that can play OT in a pinch. Draft the best non-quarterback offensive talent in Round 1 (likely an offensive tackle) and target WR\TE in rounds 2-3. How's that for a possible plan?

It’s in the ballpark. I would guess the Jaguars might lean toward retaining some veteran offensive linemen as backups rather than signing available offensive linemen – but that’s only because what’s better on the market at backup-play-in-a-pinch offensive line realistically isn’t much better than what’s on the roster. But that’s nitpicking because this conceptually is a good plan.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico

If we get tight end T.J. Hockenson in the first round this year, we will have drafted running back and tight end in the Top 10, defensive line in the bottom three the past three years, which is the complete opposite of what any NFL GM should ever want: Premium position guys early (quarterback, defensive end offensive tackle, cornerback), skill guys late. Pretty please don't do it. Have we not learned anything?

I agree with you in theory and I’m not a big on selecting running back in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft. I also would rather see the Jaguars select Haskins in the Top 10 this year over any other scenario. Still, if the Jaguars sign Foles as a free agent, then tight end at No. 7 makes some sense. If he’s as good as advertised, then it’s a fit. And this offense so desperately needs that position to be good. Finally.

Jim from Jagsonville

Since everyone enjoyed my previous speculation about making BB5 into a tight end let me throw another fanciful question at the Mighty O! Do you think Kaepernick could fit in as a bridge quarterback for Jaguars?

No.

Don from Hotel California

Dear Zone, the other day I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac... what should I do ?

Whatever you do, don’t look back. Because you can never look back. That’s what the voice inside my head says, anyway.

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