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O-Zone: Good reading

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Nathan from Southside

I truly hope that the offseason provides Trevor enough time to recover from these grave and debilitating injuries he suffered this year. He certainly must have been the only quarterback playing through injury. I've never heard of a quarterback suffering a concussion and playing well afterwards. Let's not forget the other excuses: Poor offensive line play, lack of running game, missing a wide receiver. I guess the question is, how much do you pay a quarterback who can only play well when everything is perfect around him? I suppose Jared Goff is a good comp for Trevor so he should expect similar money.

My trusted Scooby Sense senses sarcasm in your email. That's fine; I long have practiced sarcasm. I indeed have discussed Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence's 2023 injury issues often – as well as the other issues you mention. I do not mention these issues to make a case that Lawrence is flawless, but to make the case that perhaps there were some legitimate factors that contributed to his late-season struggles – and that he perhaps isn't the lost cause many observers seem to consider him these days. A couple of other thoughts on your thoughts: One is that leaving three of six games with injuries – while perhaps not grave or debilitating – must be at least considered when analyzing Lawrence's late-season struggles. Poor offensive line play, lack of a running game and missing his most trusted wide receiver also must be factored into that analysis. I wouldn't say Lawrence needs everything perfect around him to play well. I would say it's fair to consider these aforementioned issues when assessing him. As for your last thought … I've seen some estimates that Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff's next contract could average upwards of $45-ish million. Maybe that's about right for Lawrence this offseason or maybe it will take a lot more. We'll see.

Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

There is a lot of hoopla about the timing of a Calvin Ridley signing with our Jags. What would happen if the Jags cut Ridley before the next league year, then re-signed him? From the perspective of the trade agreement with the Atlanta Falcons, would this benefit the Jags as opposed to letting the league year end before re-signing him?

This would be a possibility, but it's also a risk. The risk is that if you do this and fail for some reason to re-sign him, then he no longer would figure into the formula to determine compensatory draft selections for the following offseason. Only players that become unrestricted free agents at the start of a league year figure into the formula. Players who are released do not.

Paul from Lake City

After watching the team this past season, I feel like without a major improvement on the offensive line, the coming season will be very frustrating for Jaguars fans. It doesn't seem like the offensive line is "a player away." Do you think Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke will seek to significantly upgrade the line, particularly the interior? Or do you think it's more likely he will "tweak" things, largely sticking with his starters and bringing in depth?

I expect the Jaguars' offensive line to look much different in 2024 than it did in 2023. I expect some of this change will involve moving linemen to different positions and I expect it also to involve new starters.

Jerry from Jacksonville

I notice that Darious Williams could be a cap casualty. Thought?

Cornerback Darious Williams' contract is such that he could be released this offseason with the Jaguars saving his $10.5 million 2024 salary cap hit at a cost of $500,000 cap space. The thought here is Williams played more than well enough in 2023 to merit paying him $10.5 million in 2024.

Chris from Fleming Island, FL

KOAF. Another Ridley question. I know the Jags can't trade their third-round pick because of the Ridley deal, but is their second-round pick also locked out just in case they do sign him?

For now, yes.

JayPee from The Vortex

I recently heard that the Kansas City Chiefs have an analytics guy. Like the guy in the movie Moneyball. Do we have one?

The Jaguars have multiple people who work in analytics in various capacities. They in fact have pretty damned near a whole department.

Don from Marshall, NC

Trevor Lawrence is holding the ball too long. Give the guy a pocket and let's see how many problems he has. The only problem I see from Trevor is he is trying to do too much from lack of design and support. His time is coming I think! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to giving Lawrence better protection, better design and better support, Don remains "all in."

Marcus from Jacksonville

I don't think Baalke has been all bad, and I don't think all their picks in recent years have been wasted picks. However, I do think where he has failed is in finding solid role players in the draft who can contribute immediately. Yes, you need to hit home runs from time to time, and there will always be guys that you're willing to wait on to reach their potential, but that can't be everybody. We can't have a wait and hope approach for a backup running back who is going to be here for maybe three years. He needs to contribute immediately or it's a failed pick. The teams that compete for championships have elite players, but they are also riddled with second-, third- and fourth-round picks who come in, play a role immediately, stay for a few years, then move on when their contract is up. Those are the guys we're missing.

A player not contributing as a rookie does not make him a failed draft section. It is essential to get production from players on their rookie contracts.

Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ

When looking at the all-time receiving yard leaders, only one in the top 10 all-time was drafted in the past 20 years and that's Larry Fitzgerald in 2004. With the NFL more pass friendly with each passing decade, that just doesn't seem to make sense? It also seems to make a case not to waste a first round pick on a wide receiver. Thoughts?

One reason for the absence of recent players on all-time lists is some really good players selected in the past 10 years are still active and therefore haven't had time to ascend the list. But many in the NFL do value other positions – particularly offensive and defensive lineman, pass rushers and quarterbacks – over receivers. Generally. I would lean toward taking linemen, pass rushers and quarterbacks over wide receivers unless the receiver was a generational player – i.e., Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, etc.

Tony from Johns Creek, GA

O, all injuries aside, the Jags should have lost to the woeful Titans. Next to Trevor's hilarious "ghost" fumble, this was embarrassing. I'm just venting. Fans be fans.

You keep being you.

DMiz from Jax

I'm not one for chaos theories, but if we KNOW outside linebacker Josh Allen is a beast a worthy of a massive contract, but we are not completely sure about Trevor's long-term level, wouldn't it make sense to tag Trevor this year to allow us cap space before signing him to a jumbo deal? It makes more sense to me to sign that jumbo deal with Josh Allen than to tag him.

Lawrence is under contract with the Jaguars through 2024 and likely will be under contract through 2025 because the team has – and presumably will use – a "fifth-year option" on his contract this offseason. There's no reason – or no way to – place the franchise tag on a player under contract because the franchise tag binds an otherwise unsigned player to a predetermined one-year, guaranteed contract when the player signs the tag.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

I am the king of all run-on sentences.

Evidently not.

Brian from Carlisle. PA

O, key dates are coming for free agency and franchise tag. Do you agree that we tag Josh Allen to give us more time to negotiate a long-term deal? Do you think we will be letting some of our free agents walk and cut some because of cap space?

I don't necessarily "agree" that the Jaguars will apply the franchise tag to allow time to negotiate a long-term deal, though that is certainly an option. I do expect he will be with the Jaguars in some capacity next season. I expect the Jaguars to not retain some unrestricted free agents and to release some veterans before the start of the 2024 NFL League Year for salary-cap reasons. It's rare for a team with a mature roster to avoid such moves in most offseasons.

Michael from Orange Park, FL

All you do is tell us how great the Jaguars are. I don't know why I keep reading you.

I am the king of all funk.