O-Zone: He was the walrus

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tom from Shanghai, China

Gardner Minshew II is now the Jaguars' unquestioned starting quarterback, yet still auditioning for the role. With that in mind, I would like to see us draft heavy on offense (tight end, offensive line and wide receiver in that order). Give Gardner the best platform possible and if he doesn't earn the job long-term, next year the new quarterback has the best platform possible.

I doubt you will see this approach from the Jaguars – at least not to the extreme you hope. I have thought since the end of this past season the Jaguars likely will select defensive tackle and cornerback with two of their first three selections in the 2020 NFL Draft, and I still expect that. I also expect them to perhaps take wide receiver or tight end with the other early selection – and possibly package some later selections to move up and select tight end/receiver in the first few rounds. Also, remember: General Manager David Caldwell, Head Coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden all spoke highly of the offensive line during the recent NFL Scouting Combine. It therefore appears the Jaguars like the group more than many observers do. This is not to say they won't address the area in the draft, but they won't likely treat it as a "have to." Bottom line: I don't anticipate the Jaguars neglecting offense in the draft, but neither do I anticipate them being all-in on that side of the ball with premium selections.

Chris from Space City, TX

So, $18.75 million in dead money for quarterback Nick Foles in 2020 combined with former quarterback Blake Bungles' dead money from the previous year – and the Jaguars are up to an embarrassing $35.25 million in dead money the past two seasons on worthless quarterbacks alone. Firing former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin alone does not make up for this front-office stupidity. Owner Shad Khan should have cleared out the entire front office. This team will continue being a joke. And stockpiling all those picks means nothing when Caldwell is making the picks. His incompetency is the reason why grumpy gramps was brought in to look over his shoulders and break a few Collective Bargaining Agreement rules while at it. My question is which crap quarterback will the Jaguars overpay this free agency and be on the hook for ridiculous dead money next offseason?

You're right. Caldwell has had a good offseason. Still, I get no sense he's going to pursue a veteran quarterback in free agency.

Aaron from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Here's one for Foles. The man stood in the pocket and delivered possibly the best touchdown pass in Jaguars history (at least top 5) when he took the hit that sidelined him. Players get injured and I'm sure no one was more disappointed than him. I just wanted to send a positive note to all the people who say it was a bad signing. Thanks!

OK, then. One fer Foles …

Matt from Green Cove Springs, FL

Count me as someone who is liking the moves the team is making so far during free agency, including trades. I'm excited to see Minshew handed the keys for a whole season. I'm also hoping linebacker Joe Schobert has a "Poz effect" on our defense. With all the craziness going on in the world, I'm tired of being part of the peanut gallery and having a negative attitude with this front office. #DTWD

… and one fer Caldwell!

Alan from Ellington, CT

I thought you said if we traded Nick Foles we would only be on the hook for $4 million. Why are reports saying it's almost 18 million?

I never used the phrase "on the hook." What I wrote and said was trading Foles would only save the Jaguars $3(ish) million against the cap compared to keeping him. Here's how it works. Foles had he been on the roster would have counted $21.8 million on the cap. After the trade, his dead money is $18.75. The Jaguars therefore saved about $3 million against the cap, but still have the $18.75 million in dead money.

Mark from Brighton, UK

Hi John, how do you view the $33.9 million in dead money on the Jaguars' salary cap? Is it the "preposterous level of mismanagement by the Jaguars" as described on NFL.com? Is that not cause by itself remove David Caldwell from his job?

The $33.9 million in dead money on the cap is unfortunate – and largely the result of reasonable risk gone awry in the form of Foles last offseason. But when asking about "cause" against Caldwell, remember: Jaguars Owner Shad Khan dismissed Coughlin in late December. While many people seem to have forgotten he had final say over football decisions, it nonetheless remains true. That's not to say Caldwell had nothing to do with decisions the last three seasons, but it is fair to remember he was not in charge.

Fred from Naples, FL

Say what you want about Caldwell: he is indeed bold. He knew trading Calais Campbell would indeed go against the court of public opinion, yet he did eliminate cap space and got at least some value in return. In the end, however I think he will come to regret losing his leadership on and off the field. We are indeed rebuilding. Anyone who says retooling is kidding themselves.

Losing Campbell's leadership indeed is a blow. It's not replaceable, and finding a player – or players – to come even close to replacing it will be difficult in a locker room so young and unestablished.

Bill from Jacksonville

John, how many general managers can you name that failed at their first rebuild, got a second chance with the same team, and went on to win a Super Bowl with said team?

Not many, but not many general managers or teams win the Super Bowl with their respective said team, so who's to say what stands a better chance?

Cliff from Callahan, FL

Isn't learning a whole new offensive system and mentally grasping the scheme kinda what Minshew already proved he can do?

Yes. I wouldn't say he mastered the Jaguars' offensive system last season, because "mastering" an offensive system isn't something that happens for an NFL rookie quarterback. But he absolutely grasped it at an impressive level for a rookie.

Howard from Homestead, FL

Only one way to interpret this. Nick Foles was Coughlin's choice and Head Coach Doug Marrone and Dave disagreed. Because you don't make a guy the franchise's highest-paid free-agent signing one year and give him up for a fourth (while eating $18 mil in dead money) the year after.

OK.

John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

What do you think the odds are the NFL season will start on time this fall?

I would think we're a long, long way off from delaying the NFL season. But far wiser, more-informed people than me can't predict the future as it relates to COVID-19. I certainly can't.

Tyler from Jacksonville

With this new Schobert signing, the immediate question becomes: Why did the Jaguars pay Myles Jack $15 million a year to play off-ball linebacker? Short-sightedness or CLOWN SHOES?

The Jaguars saw Jack as their middle linebacker when they signed him to a contract extension last offseason. Still, If Jack plays to the level of which he is capable at outside linebacker it won't be ridiculous – just a little high compared to other good weak-side backers.

Tyler from Jacksonville

I believe Jack was discontent, and was very vocal about it in the locker room following the Jalen Ramsey situation. This is inferred from him being one of two players that showed up to Jalen's BS news conference. The other player, cornerback Josh Robinson, mysteriously retired two weeks later – with few making the connection he was present with Myles in support of Jalen. So anyway, in an attempt to pacify the locker room and get the team back in the right mindset, they paid a vocal dissenter. Now we are left with a $15 million dollar off-ball backer that has one foot out the door, and the other foot still undermining the EXACT same coaching staff and front office that generated the dissent. Blah Blah Tom Coughlin Blah Blah Same Same Same... Truth is this may not be true, but truth can be deceiving...

Wow. Conspiracy theory much? The Jaguars extended Jack's contract last season well before the Ramsey situation deteriorated, and if you're trying to paint Robinson as a player whose actions mattered to the fabric of the locker room … well, not to knock Robinson, but that just wasn't the case. Either way, the two players' presence at Ramsey's infamous press conference wasn't about sending a message to the organization. It just wasn't. It was about a couple of players wanting to see what amounted to a sideshow. And Jack isn't trying to undermine anyone. He's just not. And he doesn't have any feet out the door, either. By the way … Elvis is still alive. So is Tupac. And Paul is still dead.

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