O-Zone: Just my imagination

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

I love all those guys, but I get it. So how much $ did we free up with these releases?

The Jaguars releasing right tackle Jermey Parnell, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, safety Tashaun Gipson, running back Carlos Hyde and long snapper Carson Tinker on Friday reportedly saves the Jaguars $30 million in cap space entering the 2019 NFL League Year. According to Spotrac, the Jaguars now have $32.3 million in cap space entering 2019. The league year begins Wednesday at 4 p.m., at which time trades can become official and at which time teams can begin signing players who became free agents when their contracts expired following the 2018 season.

Fred from Naples, FL

The Jaguars released some outstanding free agents Friday. My hat is off to a class act, Malik Jackson, for an outstanding few years with the team. Gip was solid in the secondary and Jermey Parnell was solid at right tackle. Three home runs in free agency in an era where you barely get singles. Carlos Hyde was done in desperation and a mistake. Tinker was solid for many years and with the Matt Overton re-signing the writing was on the wall. In my opinion, Blake Bortles was not released because they need him for right now as leverage as they negotiate with the Nick Foles camp. Releasing him would have left them with nothing going into possible negotiations with Foles. Once Foles signs Blake will be released.

The Jaguars haven’t released quarterback Blake Bortles yet primarily because there’s no need to release him yet. It will happen soon enough.

Steve from Atlanta, GA

I guess the releases were inevitable. With the exception of Hyde, all were appreciated and should be remembered as key pieces of this team. Seems like they may be tipping their hand a little bit with the release of Parnell though. There isn’t an obvious roster replacement (Gibson hurts too but at least they have Jarrod Wilson). With the entire right side of the line gone is it more of a sure thing that they go offensive line at No. 7? What happens if one of the top three or four defensive linemen fall? Have they put themselves in a spot where they have to go with a need over a potentially dominant player elsewhere?

The Jaguars will do whatever they can in free agency to have a legitimate starter at all positions entering the draft. The best way to approach the draft is to not be selecting players based on need. This was their approach last offseason, and it was why they selected defensive tackle Taven Bryan, wide receiver D.J. Chark and safety Ronnie Harrison in the first three rounds despite not needing those players to play immediately. I would guess the Jaguars try to re-sign multiple offensive linemen in free agency – perhaps including free-agents-to-be Josh Wells and Ereck Flowers – to get into a situation where they theoretically had a starting offensive line entering the draft. But yes … I think the Jaguars absolutely need to select an offensive lineman in one of the first two rounds – and likely at No. 7 overall.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, is there any significance to the exact day players are released?

No.

Jeffrey from Atlantic Beach, FL

How different would this offseason look if the Jaguars didn't choose to give quarterback Blake Bortles an extension last year?

So far? Not a whole lot, though I would say there’s a chance safety Tashaun Gipson wouldn’t have been released. The releases of Parnell, Jackson, Hyde and Tinker likely would have happened whatever Bortles’ contract situation.

Aaron from Aldie

Zone, if we acquire Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and University of Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor this year I think that alone makes us competitive for our division and possibly playoffs. What’s your take?

If the Jaguars acquired those two players and stayed comparatively healthy elsewhere, I think they would have a chance to get back above .500 – and yes, that would give them a chance to be competitive in the division and possibly make the playoffs.

Mike from Port Charlotte, FL

If indeed we sign Foles, I believe the pick at No. 7 should be a top defensive player. Someone like Montez Sweat or Rashan Gary. What better way to help out the offense with defense? Then in the second and third rounds get offensive linemen there will be plenty available. If I was picking at No. 7 I would take Sweat. Your thoughts?

I expect at this point that the Jaguars will take an offensive lineman at No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. With Parnell having been released Friday, and with guard A.J. Cann scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, needs must be addressed on the right side of the line – and quickly. And while it’s true that there will be offensive linemen “available” later in the draft, you need to get immediate starting offensive linemen early.

Steve from Hudson, FL

Could you see us signing Foles, taking Taylor, then selecting quarterback Will Grier of West Virginia in the second round?

It’s possible, but I would consider it doubtful. The Jaguars have some immediate needs that should be addressed this offseason, and they logically should be addressed in the first three rounds of the draft. If you’re going to forsake one of those immediate needs for a quarterback then it should be on a player you believe can be a franchise player at the position. If you’re going to do that, you should do it in the first round.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

Add the ads that appear between your question and answers to the legacy Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin will be remembered for bringing to this franchise. 

OK.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

What do the Jags think of Rashan Gary and Monteaz Sweat? Time to move on to offense in the draft?

We won’t have a clear idea how the Jaguars feel about most draft selections until they select or don’t select them. I do believe they’ll go mostly offense in the draft – likely with the first few selections and likely with at least five of the seven overall.

Taylor from Jacksonville

In the last 10 years there’s been something like 72 trades in the first round. That’s an average of seven per draft. Trading down may not be “easy” but statistically it seems very, very doable.

Trading down can be relatively easy – if there’s a quarterback or coveted player who is available at the spot you’re selecting. If not, it’s tricky.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

Even if the Foles to the Jaguars news turns out to be finalized, there's no way the Jags pass on a quarterback in this draft? Right???

I don’t believe they should, but I believe they would.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

O-Man: All the discussion around Jags’ nation regarding tight end made me harken back to our release of Marcedes Lewis. My recollection is that Green Bay signed him to a one-year deal, and I recall him getting minimal playing time. Any renewed interest by the Jags’ brass to bring Lewis home? Thanks and Go Jags!!

Lewis indeed will be an unrestricted free agent Wednesday. My sense is there’s a good chance the Jaguars will sign a veteran tight end and select one in the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. Considering the upgrade needed at the position, they likely will go with a younger veteran who currently is at a higher level at this point in his career than Lewis. If that’s unavailable, Lewis makes sense.

Jerrell from Columbia, SC

A whole lot of production was released from the team Friday and the pick magnet remains. Am I missing something? Why is Bortles still in the league??

Those waiting breathlessly for the Jaguars to release Bortles will be able to breathe easier soon enough.

Bill from Jacksonville

Dwayne Haskins being on the board at 7th overall, and the Jaguars passing on him for a guard would be [blank]. Thanks! Go Jags!

Possible, but less likely than them passing on any other quarterback in this year’s draft.

Mark from Archer, FL

John, would you rather have an elite top-level, wide receiver or an elite, top-level tight end?

Wide receiver, by a nose – but just a nose. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is as elite as you get at wide receiver and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is as elite as you get at tight end. Both players change games, and I would hard-pressed to distinguish who was more valuable. Of the two, I would take Jones because of his ability to draw double coverage and influence secondaries, but again: Just by a nose.

Thomas from Williamsburg, VA

"I indeed overlooked wide receiver Donte Moncrief wearing former kicker Josh Scobee’s number last season. I can’t imagine how I missed it." Thank you for this.

I don’t know what you mean.

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