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O-Zone: Happy feeling

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

John from Jacksonville

Isn't it true that the additional revenue from one home game in the United Kingdom is a big reason the Jaguars are still in Jacksonville? I understood a long time ago it was a necessity more than an option. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan should be applauded for recognizing how valuable it would be to his team's survival. The second game in the UK is a home game for Buffalo and away for the Jaguars. Does the home team receive more compensation? Just curious if the Jaguars would get the same regardless of whether the game was in Buffalo or the UK.

The London home game has been and remains important to the Jaguars' local revenue equation. As such, it is important for the team's stability in Jacksonville. The Jaguars now stage their London home game as a true Jaguars home game rather than a league-staged game, so they do receive a significant portion of the revenue from that game. That's not the case with the road London game.

Steven from Charlotte, NC

Your tone regarding Engram is peculiar to me. Whenever discussing contract negotiations in the past, you almost always say you don't worry about it until it gets much closer to the deadline. Deadlines seem to have a way of wrapping up negotiations. However, lately you have been bullish on this contract not happening despite there being more than two weeks until the deadline. What is the difference here? Have you been informed of a plan from higher-ups that we don't know about? Are you just assuming a contract won't get done because of the current roster makeup with the writing on the wall that he won't be here after next year? In my opinion, he was one of the biggest reasons for our success last year. Letting him leave after next year (assuming he has a similar effect this year) feels dangerous.

I have not intended a "tone" when discussing tight end Evan Engram's contract situation, and I haven't been informed of anything regarding his contract by higherups. Or lower downs, for that matter. I also don't know that I have been bullish on this subject. I have written in recent weeks that I would be surprised at this point if the sides reach a long-term deal before the July 17 deadline to do so. That doesn't mean it won't be reached. It means it would surprise me. The only thing I'm assuming is that the sides have had time to get a deal done all offseason and it hasn't been reached. Remember, too: If the sides don't reach a deal by July 17, that doesn't mean Engram is leaving the franchise. And it doesn't have to mean he's leaving after the 2023 season. It means he will probably play 2023 on a one-year deal. The Jaguars can still sign him to a long-term extension after the season. That often happens when a player plays a year on the franchise tag.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, The reality is that there is no Dead Zone this year. EverBank every day. Today, tomorrow and forward. Correct?

I have no idea.

Daniel from Johnston, IA

Hypothetically, is there any other quarterback that you would trade Trevor Lawrence for? And what would the compensation look like? I can only think of probably two that I would consider an upgrade at performance/age and the cost to trade for them would be astronomical?

I hypothetically in your scenario would trade for Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals. This is not because I don't believe Lawrence can reach their level. Rather it is they already have reached an elite level. I can't give you the compensation because I doubt either franchise would trade either quarterback. Why would they?

Mike from New Milford, NJ

A submission from Don without calling out he remains all-in? I wonder how long that streak was going. Is the O-Zone becoming the Twilight Zone? Or maybe just a clear indication the dead zone is fully activated?

Mike remains "all in" on making sure Don remains credited with being "all in."

Vince from Farmington, NM

O, say Evan Engram plays on the franchise tag this year. Would anything stop the franchise from placing the tag on him next year? Or the year after?

A team can place a franchise tag on a player up to three consecutive seasons. If a player receives the tag in two consecutive seasons, he receives 120 percent of his previous salary in the second season. If he receives it in three consecutive seasons, he receives 144 percent of his previous salary in the third season. The escalating costs make it notable for a player to receive it in a second consecutive season and rare for a player to receive it in a third consecutive season.

Mark from Orange Park, FL

Hopefully, you're not on stadium overload questions. For those who are not for the stadium being renovated, remember who actually owns the stadium (it's the city or Jacksonville). You have a billionaire in town that wants to invest in something he doesn't own. In my lifetime I don't remember a billionaire coming into town willing to invest part of his fortune into revitalizing our downtown. What's not to like??

This is an element of this discussion that shouldn't be overlooked.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, do think we have any players off the current "public radar" that could surprise us next year?

Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I struggle with this question. We talk in the O-Zone so much about Jaguars players at all levels that I tend to lose sight about which players are on and off the "public radar." A player that comes to mind here is tight end Gerrit Prince, who spent last season     on the practice squad. The team likes him a lot. I also have a good feeling about tight end Brenton Strange, though as a second-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft he's probably on a lot of public radars.

Rob from the duuuu

Just wanted to point out again that nobody gets to choose how to invest their tax dollars. The government takes it and chooses for you. That is all. Go jags moodachay and Trevor be thy name.


Geoffrey from Virginia Beach, VA (working in Q8)

To respond to Fred from Naples about the O-Line, I'd like to quote William T. Lawrence - "The game ain't played on paper!" Let the guys develop and play the game where it matters, on the field!

You're referencing a recent email by Fred along the offensive line, and while you're perhaps a little happy with the exclamation points (!!), you make a good point. The Jaguars' offensive line on paper has a concern or two. Center Luke Fortner wasn't a Pro Bowl player as a rookie and right tackle Anton Harrison as a rookie is unproven in the NFL. And starting left tackle Cam Robinson may be suspended to start the season. But the Jaguars like Fortner very much and believe he will develop significantly in Year 2. Confidence is high in Harrison, and the same is true of Walker Little – who started five games at left tackle for Robinson last season. The biggest concern about this offensive line is it hasn't yet had the opportunity to fulfill what the team believes is a lot of potential. It will get that chance soon enough. Stay tuned.

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

I get that I should stay in my lane but when people ask about the billionaire taking money from citizens to fund his stadium, could you remind them the stadium isn't his? The City owns the stadium. He is putting his own money into a facility he doesn't own. Would their landlord make them pay 50 percent for a new roof on their house? Would they stay there if he did? Khan is offering to. Khan owns the team on the field like they own the car on the road, yet tax dollars pay for the road.

An NFL stadium in a small market is by necessity a public-private partnership. Because of that, I don't know that the landlord-tenant analogy quite works. This is a situation where both sides benefit, and where the benefits can't always be read in traditional ways on a balance sheet. The main thing I'll continue to mention is this: The NFL is the premier professional sports league in the nation. The proposed Stadium of the Future is necessary for the Jaguars to continue to play in that league. It's very expensive, and the team and city must share the costs. That's the formula necessary for this team to play in this league in this city. It just is.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, you seem to be in an unusually good mood lately. What's going on?

I've had Covid since late last week. Maybe that's it.