JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bryce from Waterloo, IA
Yan's been doing a lot of tweeting lately and recently removed his pic of him in Jags gear. Do you think that he will be moving on regardless of what the Jags offer him? I'm a fan of Yan, but we just saw Josh Allen have a better season as a rookie than Yan has ever had. Yan is a great pass rusher, but for a guy that's average against the run, I don't blame the Jags for being hesitant to throw the bank at him.
I'm not going to spend too much time interpreting Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's tweets – entertaining and cryptic though they may be. Ngakoue, like many athletes these days, uses social media to send his message – and his message currently seems to be he's unhappy and ready to leave the Jaguars if necessary. That makes sense: Ngakoye's contract expires in March, and his next contract – whether it's with the Jaguars or somewhere else – is a once-in-a-career opportunity for life-changing money. With that in mind, he has every right to say or do whatever he wants on social media – and I would expect him to continue sending messages in this manner. That's his forum and there's nothing wrong with him using it. But I would not say he will be moving on regardless of what the Jaguars offer. There's time before free agency begins March 18, and the Jaguars still have the franchise tag at their disposal. Ngakoue's departure, his tweets and the worries of Jaguars fans notwithstanding, is not imminent and not guaranteed. Nothing would surprise me about this situation at this point. It feels fluid and it feels as if there is much still to be determined.
Jeff from Jacksonville
"Is it a risk to spend so much? Sure, but that's sort of what free agency is all about, isn't it?" This is precisely why free agency should be used to supplement a roster until draft picks are ready to take over a position. Yannick is good, but he's not $20 million good – just like quarterback Nick Foles, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and even cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Let him get paid somewhere else, and find his cheap replacement in April.
Nick from Palm Coast, FL
With all this talk of "LOT J," I do not live in Jax, but I am a season-ticket holder ... What is LOT J and how is that coming along … thanks, O.
Lot J is a proposed development adjacent to TIAA Bank Field that would include a live entertainment center, restaurants, office space, residential space and a high-rise hotel – and more. That description doesn't do it justice because it is a development on a scale Jacksonville never has seen. The idea is to revitalize and revolutionize downtown, thereby helping the economy of downtown Jacksonville and at the same increasing the team's local revenue. Work on the project is expected to begin this offseason, pending approval from different levels of the city. Another way to answer the question, "What is Lot J?" is this: It's the key to the Jaguars' stability in Jacksonville moving forward, and it would change downtown Jacksonville as we know it.
Roger from Houston, TX
To Robert from Oneonta: When Khan bought the franchise in 2012, it was valued at $770 million. Its current value is $2.3 billion. That's not a bad investment.
Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is not a stupid man and did not achieve his station in life by chance. I didn't think this needed explaining.
Scott from Port Charlotte, FL
Hi KOAF, just felt like saying thanks for running the column daily for however long. It's been a fun read and a great way to break up my day. Also, thanks to Khan and the rest of the team for staying in Jacksonville and trying to make it work. Finally, thanks to the fans for proving that anger/outrage sell far better than reasonable discussions. It's constant entertainment!
Hey, one fer everyone!
Marcus from Jacksonville
You have long said a pass rusher's effectiveness is greatly affected by the team's success. If they are winning, the opponent is forced to pass more frequently therefore the pass rushers will have more opportunities to rush the quarterback. That makes sense, and it makes sense when you look at the decline of Yannick's stats in the last two years. But, is this still a universal truth, as you often make it out to be? In the current NFL where passing is much more common, do teams really stop passing when they're ahead? I noticed that the top two sack-getters in the regular season were on two bad teams, Tampa Bay and Arizona. I also noticed that teams don't necessarily stop passing and rush more because they're ahead; the ratio of pass to rush is more dependent on the opponent than the in-game situation. Also, the Jaguars were in the Top 10 in sacks, so there were apparently plenty of pass-rushing opportunities. I'm not saying Yannick shouldn't get paid, but I don't think he should set the market at his position, and I don't think we can assume that he would have been elite the last two years if the Jags won more games. Better? Sure, but not elite.
Teams pass more when ahead than once was the case, but a lot of pass rushing still is about situations. Teams that are trailing tend to pass more in obvious passing situations, and pass rushers almost always are more effective rushing at that time. That doesn't mean a player on a struggling team can't get a lot of sacks. You're also right that Ngakoue is very, very good but not elite. That was and likely remains central to the issue.
Holger from Zurich, Switzerland
What is the difference between encroachment, neutral zone infraction and offside?
Encroachment is when a defensive player enters the "neutral-zone" and makes contact with an offensive player. A neutral-zone infraction is when a defensive player enters the neutral zone and makes an opposing lineman move – or has a clear path to the quarterback. Offside is when a player lines up in the zone or is in the zone when the snap occurs.
John from Priest River, Idaho
If New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick calls and offers a seventh-round pick for quarterback Nick Foles and left tackle Cam Robinson, do you take the deal?
Nah. The Jaguars' incentive to trade Foles is to save cap space, and they can only save $3 million with the trade. Robinson hasn't been great at left tackle, but he's not bad – and certainly more valuable than a $3 million cap savings.
Nicholas from Mogadishu, Somalia
KOAF: You only live four minutes from the stadium? I wasn't aware that there were houses that close. Do they make you live in the "Dream Finders Home" near Gate Four? Also: with the salary-cap issues and low revenue do you think former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin levied the fines in a misguided attempt to recoup money for the salary cap?
I live near the stadium, though for Mr. NFL-related reasons I have been advised to disclose nothing more. No, I don't believe Coughlin's actions were salary-cap motivated. I believe he was trying to run the team with the same disciplined approach he always has tried to take.
Chris from Mandarin
Do you think the league should look at making the franchise tag a two-year deal? I think it would eliminate a lot of the holding out and consternation that occurs.
The franchise and transition tag are part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which means owners and players must agree to any changes. I have no doubt owners would like to make the tags binding for longer. The players – would not and should not – agree.
Big on Blake from Philly
John, KOAF, master and preacher, what say you about Taven Bryan? Two years ago, he was drafted to take over for an aging Calais Campbell and failed to fill the big end role. Then he got moved inside, showed some improvement, but still appears to not be able to fill Marcell Dareus' role. So then, the Jags spend their first-round pick looking to "draft and develop" and now they're looking at two over-sized contracts and one underperforming high round draft pick. This was the year Lamar Jackson got drafted just after Bryan. What do the Jags do? Because for two consecutive off seasons they wasted money on QBs and they wasted a very essential draft pick. Now where do they go from here?
They hope quarterback Gardner Minshew II is the real deal and hope Bryan can build on the 2019 regular-season finale, when he had perhaps his best NFL game. The Jaguars need Bryan to develop and be a force on the interior next season.
Scott from Wichita, KS
The petulance in this column is staring to approach the insufferable but I have an odd feeling it's humorous to you.
I'm not laughing.