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O-Zone: Good times ahead

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it. …

Craig from Jacksonville

Do you think Yannick can get $22 million per year on the open market?

I suppose it's possible Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue could get $22 million a year as an unrestricted free agent, but I don't anticipate learning for certain this offseason. That's because I don't expect the Jaguars and Ngakoue to agree to a long-term deal this offseason, and I do expect the Jaguars to place the franchise tag on him. I also don't expect the Jaguars to trade him in that scenario, which means he likely will play for the Jaguars on a one-year deal in 2020 or he won't play at all. Could Ngakoue get $22 million a year on the open market? Considering he has been an eight-sack player the past two seasons, it's questionable – but considering the premium placed on pass-rushing talent, it's possible. Teams overpay pass rushers in unrestricted free agency, so he likely would push to $20 million a season or so. That would be big, life-changing money. And I imagine Ngakoue eventually will have a good chance to get that money. I just seriously doubt it will be from the Jaguars, and I seriously doubt it will be this season.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

Why is it the players really feel like sticking it to the Jags? That means there is someone in the front office still that these players do not like. But also: these players seem to see themselves better than the team and are all-too eager to leave Jacksonville. I think in the same token these players think way too highly of themselves. Bigger than the team. Selfish. How do we recover from this endless circus?


Travis from High Springs

I recently read that the Seattle Seahawks have offered to trade their second-round pick (59) and also swap their first-round pick (27) for the Jaguars' second-round pick (42) for Ngakoue. If this is true, do you believe this is the best deal the Jaguars are going to receive for Yannick? And if so, should they take it? Is it adequate compensation for a young, productive pass rusher?

First, I don't know that that's an offer as much as a report from the recent 2020 NFL Scouting Combine that the Seahawks might offer something like that. Either way, it's probably pretty accurate – and I would be surprised if the Jaguars got much more for Ngakoue, mainly because any team trading for Ngakoue probably will be trying to sign him to a long-term deal, too. Teams are often reluctant to trade significant draft equity if they know they're going to be giving up huge guaranteed money to sign a player; that's a lot to pay for any player. Ultimately, I don't know that it matters much want teams might be willing to offer the Jaguars for Ngakoue; I don't get the sense they're planning to trade him.

Hank from Toms River, NJ

O-Zone, any word on Telvin Smith these days? Any chance he will play as a Jag next year?

Former Jaguars weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith remains on the NFL's Reserve/Retired list. It would be surprising at this point if he plays for the Jaguars again.

Cliff from Las Vegas, NV

What a class act A.J. Bouye is. Was nice to see somebody say something nice about the team, city and fans right now. Even given the circumstances will always be a fan of his.

Former Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye posted a farewell to Jaguars fans on Twitter Wednesday, a day after it was announced he will be traded to the Denver Broncos. It indeed was a classy farewell. That's unsurprising from a player who typically has carried himself in that fashion.

David from the Island, FL

Hi John, if Nick Foles leaves by trade, how likely is it the Jags go quarterback with the first pick? I think if one of the top three quarterback are available it's pretty high.

I would think if either Joe Burrow of Louisiana State or Tua Tagovailoa were available when the Jaguars select No. 9 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, they very likely would select them there. It's almost certain neither will be there. I'm less certain about the quarterbacks after Burrow and Tagovailoa.

JG from Silver Spring, MD

Hi. From my count, today the Jaguars have total of seven starters remaining from the 2017 season, and depending on what happens with defensive end Calais Campbell and Ngakoue it could very well be five soon. The team never called it a rebuild, but what is the difference at this point?

Minimal, at most.

James from Destin, FL

Good morning, John. I'll wager you a case of beer that IF Yann gets tagged, he will come down with an injury such as a back problem to keep from playing during the season. Well, you wanna wager?

Nah. While I could be wrong, I just don't see Ngakoue playing those kinds of games – at least during the season. Everything I've seen from him is that when he speaks of love for his teammates and coaches, he means it. Once Ngakoue reported after his holdout last season, you saw nothing but professionalism and maximum effort. That's who he is. I would be surprised if that changed.

ABC from ABCTown

If Clemson safety/linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown are both available at No. 9, who would be your choice?

Brown, because the Jaguars need to stop the run better than they did last season.

Nick from Palatka, FL

Zone: We're already the worst we've ever been, the laughingstock of the NFL, and we haven't even hit free agency or the draft yet. Am I missing something here? Sure, the Jags might look way different next season but is that a bad thing?

The Jaguars won six games last season and are selecting No. 9 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. That means there were eight teams worse than the Jaguars last season. That's not good but it does preclude them from being a "laughingstock of the NFL" And they are in no way in their worst situation "ever." Are they making some changes that are upsetting fans? Absolutely. But there are talented young players on this roster, and there is a slew of draft capital in the next two offseasons. That's not a bad situation.

Chris from Vienna/Austria

It seems many players have lost their trust into the frontdesk. It's not always couching sometimes it depends to the management.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

Mark from Archer, FL

John, while I get that cornerback is a need now, I really do hope the Jags take either defensive tackle – Derrick Brown of Auburn or Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina. If either of those two are available at No. 9, do you think it is impossible the Jags will pass them up?

Nothing's impossible, but I would be stunned if the Jaguars pass on Brown if he's available at No. 9. I would be less surprised if they pass on Kinlaw depending on who else is available at No. 9.

Ed from Jacksonville

General Manager David Caldwell got a fourth-round pick for someone (A.J. Bouye) that he was going to cut anyway? That's brilliant (no sarcasm). How did he convince Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway to do that?


Brett from Canton, MS

Wish I could pitch a fit and pout every time I was "disrespected" in my life and still expect (and get) $20 million plus a year to play a game. I really wanted to see Yan back next season, but this drama and Twitter BS makes me hope he is tagged and traded for more picks. Let some other team take the risk of making him a $100m man.

So, one not fer Yann.

Fred from Naples, FL

Trading A.J. Bouye to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick? For a guy they were going to have to cut as a cap casualty? I think that is a great move by Caldwell. However, it is looking more and more like the Jaguars are re-loading instead of the "win now" mandate he was supposedly given. Perhaps Owner Shad Khan has told both Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone they were going to have the opportunity to finish out their contracts and thus have two years left? I can't imagine why else Jay Gruden and Ben McAdoo would want to come here for a one year deal? What do you think?

The people running the Jaguars know it's critical to win in 2020. Trading Bouye and declining the option on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus were necessary moves given the players' contract and not an indication that the team is not trying to win next season.

Sac from Austin

Can you give us something to actually look forward to? (Don't say 27, he may have run for 1,000 yards, but he only scored three touchdowns).

St. Patrick's Day's coming up. That could be cool.