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O-Zone: Humble pie

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tom from St. Johns

I firmly believe the acquisition of Ridley will go down as one of the best moves of our previously bashed GM's tenure in JAX. I still wonder at the apparent ease and cost of the move. Did he catch the rest of the league sleeping, or did he pull a rabbit from the hat? Your reaction to having a potential Top 5 receiver "fall in our laps."

Time will tell how history judges the Jaguars acquiring wide receiver Calvin Ridley in a trade from the Atlanta Falcons last November. While it absolutely could be a great move, Ridley hasn't played since October 2021 and missed the 2022 season under NFL suspension. He must perform at his pre-suspension level for this to be a "great move," which was at least partly why the Jaguars and General Manager Trent Baalke could make the move with "ease." Yes, the Jaguars acquired a potential No. 1 wide receiver for very reasonable compensation. At the same time, Ridley was under suspension for gambling on games at the time of the trade and had stepped away from the NFL before the suspension for personal reasons. Those last elements mean there is risk involved with the move. There's every reason to think this move will work, but there were also legitimate reasons not all teams wanted to make it.

Brian from Wheeling

Any word on the "Mayor" getting signed again?

Former Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell, known as the "Mayor" of "Sacksonville" during his time with the Jaguars from 2017-2019, reportedly visited the Falcons and Jaguars last week after being released by the Baltimore Ravens. Campbell, who played for the Ravens from 2020-2022, reportedly plans to visit the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Campbell has the experience and NFL savvy to know it's better to take his time and make the right decision than to rush into a wrong one. I would be a little surprised if Campbell doesn't sign with the Jaguars because it just feels right. Many Jaguars fans will be disappointed if it doesn't happen. Remember, though: These moves can't be about sentiment. They must make sense for both sides. Stay tuned.

Fred from Naples, FL

Where did JP go?

It's best to let him tell his side of the story.

David from Oviedo, FL

Zone – It has been noted how continuity is going to benefit the Jaguars this coming season by bringing back many of the same players and coaches. I thought it was very fortunate that we only lost a few lower-level coaches this offseason. I'm kind of surprised that Offensive Coordinator Press Taylor did receive more interest. Do you know if he interviewed with any other team?

I heard nothing of Taylor interviewing with another team this offseason. The Ravens reportedly requested permission to interview Taylor for offensive coordinator, but the Jaguars blocked that requestion. They could do this because it was a request to interview for a coordinator position. Had it been for a head-coach position, the Jaguars couldn't have blocked it. I would be surprised if Taylor doesn't start getting head-coaching opportunities soon, perhaps as early as next season. He has the feel of a future head coach.

Chris from Norfolk, VA

Just outta curiosity O, the whole Prince that was Promised thing, what did you think?


Jason from St. Augustine, FL

Was I the only one who thought JaMycal Hasty could have gotten a little bit more time at running back last year and that Travis Etienne Jr. could have used a break here and there? He just was sitting on the sidelines and didn't get very many attempts.

The Jaguars like Hasty as a backup a lot. Remember: The Jaguars this past season were a new offensive coaching staff in a new offensive system with a slew of new offensive pieces – including Etienne. When there's that much newness, a lot of time is spent figuring how best – and how much – to use all the pieces.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Maybe more of DZ question: Would you leave as Senior Writer for the Jags to become the Junior Dugout Reporter for the Toledo Mudhens if they doubled your salary?

I love living in Jacksonville and learned from my experience moving from Jacksonville to Indianapolis that where you live matters very much. Knowing nothing about Toledo, I can't answer your question. But if Springfield East doubled my salary to cover the annual Springfield Fourth of July baseball game and Thanksgiving football game … well, go Eastside.

Hoss from Tallahassee, FL

KOAF: Long-time reader, first-time contributor: Now that free agency is mostly over with, would you agree it is time to start focusing on the upcoming NFL Draft? We are now a month away. During his years at San Francisco, I remember watching Baalke move around in the draft. After watching his two drafts here, it is clear he still likes to do that. I think he has been very savvy with the moves he has made during the draft the last two years for this organization. Personally, and if the value is there, I hope he will trade out of the first round this year and get some extra picks. My question to you: What are your top three players we should be reading up on that you think might be there and that Baalke might be considering at pick No. 24?

I would read about top prospects at offensive line, cornerback and tight end. Take a look at Cam Smith of South Carolina at cornerback, Michael Mayer of Notre Dame at tight end and O'Cyrus Torrence of Florida at guard – and go from there.

James from Jacksonville

Why are we seeing so many one-year contract signings across the league this year?

Perhaps the major reason is a belief that the NFL salary cap will rise significantly in 2024 compared to recent increases. The cap went from $208.2 million in 2022 to $224.8 million in 2023. Some are projecting it will increase to around $256 million in 2024. When increases such as that are projected, agents and players often will sign one-year deals assuming they can take advantage of a future cap increases.

Lawrence from Blair, NE

I'll admit, the Arden Key thing bothered me, but the only reason was because unlike Jawaan Taylor, his contract seemed pretty light especially when with guaranteed money its only $4.5 million a year. Such a pittance for someone as talented as him. Either way, no matter what, it sure seems like most of us fans are treating this free-agency period like the minicamp being shut down early last year. It's fine... it'll be fine...

Fans fan. It's what they do. And it makes sense that fanning fans have expressed concern over a Jaguars 2023 free-agency period that has been quiet compared to recent offseasons. But know this: The Jaguars allowed Key to sign with the Tennessee Titans because re-signing him didn't make sense in their long-term salary-cap situation. It wasn't that they didn't like Key. Or that they were being cheap. This is their offseason to pull back after spending big last offseason and preparing to be able to spend next offseason. This was the plan from the time the 2022 offseason ended. Will it be fine? Yes, if recently-drafted players develop. If not …

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF – Winning is cool. Fans like it. You know what else fans like? Making predictions and tooting their own horn! On 3/18/21, I submitted the following comments to you: "Based on your article entitled "Mock Draft Tracker 8.0: Popular options at No. 25," the three top candidates mocked to the Jacksonville Jaguars are: Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, Texas Christian safety Trevon Moehrig, and Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. In the 76 mock drafts that you tallied, many other names were mocked to the Jaguars, but not one mock draft named the guy I think the Jaguars should draft at No. 25, and that player is Clemson running back Travis Etienne. This guy was Trevor Lawrence's right-hand man for his entire illustrious college career. In 2018, Etienne rushed for 1,658, scored 26 TDs and had a 8.1-yard average. In 2019, Etienne basically repeated his production rushing for 1,614 yards, scored 23 TDs and had a 7.8-yard average. Another interesting stat is how his production as a receiver grew over the years, in his four years in college, his reception yard totals were 57, 78, 432 and 588, so he became Trevor Lawrence's safety net as a receiver. We picked up a defensive tackle, safety and wide receiver in free agency, with capable players. This should free us up to select the most dynamic, high production touchdown machine on the board, and he is Travis Etienne." On the first night of the 2021 draft, when we drafted Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, it was surely the single greatest draft night in Jaguars history!

Humility is cool. Not everyone likes it.