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O-Zone: Higher and higher

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

JP from Jax

This stadium renovation screams of the St. Louis fiasco where Stan Kroenke and the NFL lied to its fans about the Rams moving. Didn't the NFL end up paying St. Louis a huge sum of money for that? It sounds like Khan is setting the city up for failure. Here are the renderings for all to see before any conversations with the city so when management asks for too much money, the organization can say we tried but the city wouldn't pony up. This may be the start of moving by asking the city to pay way too much and say "not our fault" we tried. There is no doubt in my mind that Khan wants this team in London. (Two games there this year) And, didn't he have a share or stake of the Rams with Kroenke when this happened before? Osh … I hope I'm wrong and you can make fun of me after all is said and done.

I have no desire to make fun of you, or interest in doing so. At least not about this. And while I understand that people will be skeptical, all I can tell you is that's not what this is – and that this only screams of what Kroenke did in St. Louis if you haven't been watching Khan for the last decade. Khan wants the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Everything he has done since purchasing the team has been with the idea of stabilizing the franchise here. And these stadium proposals absolutely are in line with that. The Jaguars paid $2.5 million for the proposals. They're not paying millions of dollars to orchestrate a grand plan to force their way out of Jacksonville to London. Or anywhere else. And no … Khan was not involved with the Rans when Kroenke moved the team. Khan did attempt to purchase the Rams in 2010 before Kroenke exercised a right of first refusal as a minority owner and purchased the team. I suppose I understand people's suspicion. We live in an age where people always think there's a conspiracy or ulterior motive. Or maybe people always have felt that way. But this proposal isn't about asking for something from the city that can't happen. It's about trying to find a stadium solution and a solution for the area around the stadium that can change Jacksonville's downtown – and stabilize the franchise here. That's what it is. Period.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

Zone-man, given the upcoming mega-contract for Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, would it make more sense to let someone else pay Josh Allen the big bucks? I'm certain he'd net a third-round compensatory pick if he left in free agency. Do you think we could get something better than a third if we traded him before the season starts?

I don't know Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen's future following the 2023 season, and I expect his performance this season to go a long way toward deciding that. He likely would get the Jaguars a third-round compensatory selection if he signs elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent next offseason because he might be the most sought-after – and highly-paid – player on the market at that time. I doubt the Jaguars would get more than a third-round selection in a trade, but I doubt just as much the Jaguars will trade Allen this offseason. He might be their best defensive player. The Jaguars are trying to win. Trading him wouldn't help toward that goal.

Scooter from St. Augustine, FL

Hopefully any stadium improvements will include substantial parking upgrades. Thanks!

Stay tuned.

Joe from Jacksonville

John, I have been a (loyal) reader since the beginning, some 6,000 O-Zones ago. I've discovered the first take I disagree with you; regarding sacks and pressures. In my opinion, sacks are better than pressures because that is a guaranteed loss of yards and end of down. Pressures, however are not. I love Travon and him eliminating the Derrick Henrys, essentially showing them we have a dog on our side that can equal to or greater their intensity. I know you want the O-Zone readers to stop beating this dead horse but you cannot convince me pressure equivalents to sacks. This is taking out all of Travon Walker and Josh Allen's obvious other contributions to the field.

Of course sacks are better than pressures. If a recent answer implied otherwise, that's on me. My point on this topic is that teams prefer a defensive player who consistently disrupts the opposing offense throughout the course of a season because you can rely on that sort of consistency. A player who can disrupt an offense consistently is more important to a defense than a player who gets eight-to-10 sacks and does nothing against the run – and disappears for long stretches at a time. The latter player has value and will make a lot of money, but he doesn't necessarily make a defense better compared to the more consistent player.

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Some people are never happy, are they?


P funk from Murray Hill

It looks like the trend for the running back position and the NFL nowadays is the position is a young, inexpensive players role. Dalvin Cook being released by the Minnesota Vikins, Ezekiel Elliott still being unsigned by the Dallas Cowboys, Saquon Barkley not getting his desired contract from the New York Giants. If this is the way the league is viewing the position lately, what does that mean for the opportunity for players to put up long careers with Hall of Fame-type numbers as running backs? What does that mean for players that have been finalists for the Hall of Fame lately? Do you see the position being reevaluated in terms of what it takes to make the Hall? Finally, are there any running backs currently playing that you think are destined for the HOF?

The running back position unquestionably has been devalued in the NFL. I expect it will be a while before the position is redefined and reemphasized – if it ever happens. That absolutely will make it tougher for running backs to have long, Hall-of-Fame careers. I don't think it means much for players who are finalists for the Hall, because the reality is there are fewer of those, too. No running backs were finalists for the 2023 class. More players at the position eventually will be enshrined. Adrian Pederson definitely will make it. I think former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor eventually will be honored. As far as running backs currently … none come to mind. It's a tough time for runners.

Doug from Jacksonville

Stop the Gainesville talk. Spend the money to upgrade University of North Florida facilities, keep the revenue in Jacksonville, play eight regular-season home games every year (playing the ninth home game every other year in London, and just get the deal done. It helps Jacksonville both at UNF and downtown.


Cletus from Funkytown

Dear Funkmeister, I know you are a Federer guy, but how about a one-fer for my guy Djokovic. 23 Slams and it seems like he has a lot more in the tank.

Novak Djokovic indeed won his 23rd tennis grand slam Sunday when he won the French Open. I'm not a huge Djokovic fan. I don't find his style pleasing to watch. His greatness and place in the sport is undeniable. It will be a long time before a player in that sport reaches his level of consistency. It's remarkable.

Richard from Jacksonville

It seems like people are forgetting that the seasons away from Jacksonville wouldn't be until 2026-2027. This would allow the Jaguars to be aggressive with their salary cap during the 2024-2025 seasons, and then have a two-year mini-rebuild while the team is away, and then have another healthy cap when they return to Jacksonville.

The Jaguars won't intentionally sacrifice any future seasons with the idea of faring poorly because they are playing somewhere else. If quarterback Trevor Lawrence is an elite franchise quarterback and the team develops around him, they won't have to do that to be successful.

Ryan from Jacksonville

So, we know what Coach Pederson did with Carson Wentz in Year 2 under him. My question is, how much better can Trevor be than Wentz? Talent wise, there's no comparison that Trevor has more. That Eagles team was really good, but offensively I believe this 2023 jags team is way better.

I won't call this Jaguars offense "way better" than that of the 2017 Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. While that Eagles team didn't necessarily have a slew of superstar skill players, it did have a dominant offensive line – and it was very balanced and deep offensively. Also: While the Jaguars have potential to be a one of the NFL's top offenses, potential must be fulfilled. As for how much better Lawrence can be this season, there's no reason to use Wentz as a backdrop. Pederson believes Lawrence can make a dramatic jump. History suggests he's right. How big a jump? How big can you imagine?