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O-Zone: Long view

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Sweet T's husband from Grand Park, Jacksonville

Hey, KOAF. So here's the Jaguars' dilemma as me and my crew (two brothers and four sons) see it, and we'd appreciate you putting on your general manager hat for a quick sec to (at least) try and sort this all out: If all goes well this year and everyone balls out and plays up to – or beyond – expectations, the Jaguars will have to figure out what to do with following core players: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne Jr. (both up for extension), wide receiver Calvin Ridley (unrestricted free agent), outside linebacker Josh Allen (unrestricted free agent), cornerback Tyson Campbell (restricted free agent) and Evan Engram (potential unrestricted free agent). If they all have monster years – i.e. Pro Bowl, All-Pro, etc. – who stays and who goes? We can re-sign at least one of them and tag another one, or sign them all and gut the team. While this would be a good problem to have, what's your thought oh great GM?

This indeed would be a good problem, and Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke will be the first to tell you there likely will be difficult decisions next offseason. I would expect the Jaguars first to reach an agreement with Lawrence – or at least have a general idea of the parameters – as soon as possible because Lawrence's contract will help determine their salary cap for the foreseeable future. They would still have two years remaining on Etienne's contract next offseason, so I would expect the Jaguars to exercise their fifth-year option on that deal next offseason and worry about an extension later. I would expect them to re-sign Ridley under your scenario. That leaves Allen, Campbell and Engram. I could see them placing the franchise tag on one of those players – perhaps Allen because of the importance of edge rusher – and re-signing Campbell. In that scenario, perhaps Engram would be the player they couldn't retain. That's not to say they aren't all valuable and all good players. It is to say your scenario indeed presents very difficult decisions.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Thinking about temporary "home" field games in the coming years, how important is it to the Jaguars financially to maintain the same season-ticket and single-game ticket sales revenue for those two years at similar levels to this year? Is it understood some sacrifice in two seasons of ticket revenue is needed to gain the new stadium down the road?

Ticket sales in professional sports are important no matter the situation, and revenue from this area obviously would decrease somewhat if playing at a 35,000-to-40,000 seat venue – though it's my understanding the losses for other teams that have been in this situation haven't been as extreme as one might think. Such financials obviously are understood by team officials.

Steve from Wallingford, CT

John, I feel like in all discussions about why a new stadium is necessary to keep up ... you're extremely reluctant to mention how a new stadium with new amenities would justify raising the ticket prices.

Ticket prices go up all the time in the NFL. The Jaguars' prices went up this offseason. They will go up again as time continues. Will they go up in a new stadium? Certainly. I would expect sponsorship and premium seating to be a more important element in increased revenue from the stadium than increased overall ticket prices.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I was bummed to see Robinson cut. I think I'm one of the fans who still have a lot of love for giving us some happiness when there wasn't much of that going around. Do you think he can find a role somewhere else in the NFL or is this a common story for running backs in the league?

Former Jaguars running back James Robinson still holds a special place in the memories of many Jaguars fans, as should be the case. He essentially was the lone bright spot in the worst season in franchise history in 2020, then he was treated less than ideally by then-Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer the following season. Robinson's Achilles injury late in that 2021 season was a brutal blow for his career. He was traded to the New York Jets the following season, played sparingly, and was recently released by the New England Patriots. I have no way of knowing how much the Achilles is still slowing Robinson. I do know it can be very difficult for any player, particularly a running back, to return from that injury.

Sprinkle from #Duvall

Hey, Zone. Amidst all the stadium arguments, I just want to remind everyone to smell the flowers. What a time to be a Jags fan, Zone. This city and these fans deserve this. This team is something special. We are a diverse city, but the Jags give us all something to gather around. I feel compelled to ask a question so you'll post this. Outside of Trevor, who do you think is going to have a monster year? I think that outside linebacker Travon is going to light things up.

I expect Ridley to have a "monster year."

Tom from Cairo, Egypt

Interested to hear your thoughts on why Derrick Henry is not already rubber stamped for Canton. He was the clear best player in the league at his position for a significant number of years. Nine times out of 10 that's automatic HoF.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry currently is 42nd on the NFL's all-time rushing list with three seasons of more than 1,500 yards rushing. Perhaps he would get in the Hall of Fame if he never played another NFL game. I sort of doubt it. He must do more.

Rob from The Duuuuu

Who was Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell referring to as "James Brown, the hardest working man in show business?"

Linebacker Foye Oluokun.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, On the Josh Allen/sacks issue - - doesn't an improved pass defense = increased sacks?

Your question essentially is whether better coverage means more sacks. Sometimes, but it's my experience that a better pass rush more often helps the coverage. Put another way, if a pass rush can't generate adequate pressure, it's very difficult for even the best secondary to cover NFL receivers. A dominant pass rush can make an average secondary very good.

John from Jacksonville

Greg from Section 122 stated, "We aren't coming down there to see 150 different shops and whatever other distraction capitalist nonsense." Isn't his point of view the problem? The whole idea for a city-owned property is to use it in some fashion 365 days a year. The notion of only going there for football games is backward thinking. It's not a "build it and they will come" thing. It's more like "they can't come if you don't build it."

When public money is used for professional sports teams, not everyone is going to agree.

Donny from Heathrow, FL, Section 37, Day 2

I want to thank JP from Jax for his recent O-Zone email about the scam Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is running on the City of Jacksonville. The complexity of Khan's scheme is staggering as it's an 18-year plan: He bought the team in 2011 to move the Jags to London once the current lease expires in 2029 while passing on Los Angeles early in his ownership. In 2014, he invested close to $30 million for huge scoreboards and swimming pools. In 2015, he split a $90 million price tag with the City of Jax to build Daily's Place, indoor practice fields and renovate clubhouses and seats – just brilliant subterfuge! In 2021 he attempted to get approval for the Lot J development, which included splitting a $233 million price with the City, but it's shot down by the City Council. He also announced his intentions to bring a Four Seasons Hotel he would own to Jacksonville, requiring investing close to $400 million of private funds compared to little investment from the City. Currently, the new Miller Electric Center is almost completed at a $90 million cost split between the City and him, which the City owns. The cherry on top of this con job is him buying the 14-acre former Jax Fairgrounds property and donating it to the University of Florida for more public goodwill. I bet he is an awesome poker player! Now the new stadium and surrounding mixed use property deal is proposed with Mr. Khan and the City splitting an estimated $2 billion price tag. If JP or anyone else actually believes this conspiracy, I feel sorry for them because it's a bunch ridiculous and obtuse Poppycock. The Jaguars need a state-of-the-art NFL stadium now. They will be forced to move to one somewhere else if the deal isn't worked out. Mr. Khan's actions show that he clearly wants the team in Jacksonville and that's what will happen. This isn't rocket surgery!!

Good eye.