O-Zone: Love that guy

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

KC from South Florida

Is it safe to say the Jaguars won't be big spenders in free agency the next couple of years? They gave big contracts to two quarterbacks two years in a row now and have big decisions to make on their own players such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and linebacker Myles Jack. Should fans expect less big free-agent signings (e.g. quarterback Nick Foles, guard Andrew Norwell, defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye) and more focus on building through the draft and second-tier free agency?

The Jaguars might sign a high-priced free agent or two in the coming offseasons, but you’re correct that more of the focus will be – and should be – on re-signing their own drafted players. That’s always the ideal approach because it means you have drafted well. Remember: The Jaguars’ plan never was to continue the level of free-agent spending of recent offseasons; maintaining the level of spending needed to sign players such as Campbell, Foles, Bouye and Norwell in consecutive years is anywhere between foolish and impossible. The idea in those offseasons was to sign free agents to raise their level, then allow those veterans to leave within two or three seasons and be replaced with drafted-and-developed players. If the Jaguars can follow that plan, they will be fine. If they can’t, things likely will be messy.

Mike from St. Augustine, FL

As harsh as Philly fans can be on any player, check out Nick Foles’ Instagram page comments. They absolutely love him there. Which may mean zero. But most players who move on from Philly are given more of a “good riddance” than an “I miss you already.”

Foles absolutely is popular in Philadelphia to the point of folk hero status. And why not? He won a Super Bowl one year and led them to the playoffs in dramatic fashion in another. He did all this as a backup quarterback with few expectations, and he handled himself with professionalism. He was in a perfect situation and did nothing for Philadelphia fans to dislike. Hell, if I was an Eagles fan I would love the guy, too.

Nick from Palatka, FL

It's kinda like what a wise old plastic surgeon once told me. "You don't have to make 'em look good ... you just have to have to make 'em look different."

I never know what’s going on.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Are the Jaguars assuming that the four front-line guys on the offensive line are going to be healthy for the duration of 2019? That seems like a big ask considering the seriousness of some of their injuries. What do you think will come of Will Richardson? I can’t see the Jaguars taking anything other than a lineman in the first round now. I’m just not sold on those guys being able to make it through a full year.

I don’t know what to expect from Richardson this season. I know he needs to be a starter – or at least a reliable player – because of where the Jaguars selected him last offseason, but I don’t think the Jaguars will assume that will be the case. I agree that the Jaguars likely will select offensive line in the first round of the NFL draft. As for assuming that the four front-line guys will be healthy, yes … the Jaguars must assume that left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Andrew Norwell, guard A.J. Cann and center Brandon Linder will remain healthy. There isn’t enough draft or free-agency capital to replace the entire offensive line.

Sean from Jacksonville

We still need to start a walking regimen together. I know better than to ask about team insights regarding your employer. I work for two French restaurants, so feel free to ask about their inner workings. haha

My regimen involves running, not walking – and I couldn’t care less about French restaurants. I can tell you that this forum and the rest of this website is as transparent regarding team insights as any in the NFL.

Rob from Jacksonville

I would still draft a quarterback. It is allegedly the most important position on the team and masks a lot of ills ... if you have a great one. The Jags find themselves in a position to get the best free-agent quarterback and the best rookie quarterback in the same year. If you can’t get it right in this scenario, I am not sure you ever will.

I would, too. I doubt they will.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

O-man, answer this. How many times have the Jaguars been burnt, set back or negatively impacted by not choosing a franchise quarterback in the draft because they thought they had “their guy.” With us being in the Top 10, history has proven over and over again you draft quarterback talent when you have the opportunity. We have the rare opportunity this time to get one of two really good quarterbacks. In your opinion would you or wouldn't you draft Haskins if he is there? Kyler Murray? I keep remembering back to when we drafted Matt Jones instead of Aaron Rodgers. There are SO many examples of us passing on an elite quarterback to draft because our mediocre one was "The Guy." I really hope the Jaguars learn from history because you can NEVER have enough talent at quarterback.

If the Jaguars pass on Dwayne Haskins, Murray and/or Drew Lock and the player goes on to be elite, then it will have been a mistake. If not, it won’t. Remember: there are no guarantees at this point, only opinions.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

Hope we get Philly Foles and not everywhere else Foles. I've been burned too many times by the quarterback position on the Jags to get too high or too low.

Fair.

Al from Memphis, TN

After re-watching Lock take on Alabama, who had one of the better defenses in college football, how can you not compare the kid the Blaine Gabbert? Those type defenses are much more common in the NFL ...

Whether or not a player is playing Alabama would have very little bearing on my assessment of him. Alabama is very good for a college team. Alabama in terms of speed and athleticism is still far closer to the rest of the pack of college football than to the worst team in the NFL.

Hunter from Windermere, FL

I’m really excited about having Foles as a Jaguar, but I hope all Jaguars fans will fondly remember how classy Blake Bortles was as our quarterback. A few years ago my son was very sick and Blake sent him an autographed jersey with words of encouragement signed on it. On behalf of all Jags fans, thank you Blake for the past five years and good luck in your new home.

One fer Blake …

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Sooo, are we going to pay cornerback Jalen Ramsey $200 million with $195 million guaranteed? Are you going to tell Ramsey Foles is a better player than he is come signing day? Or are we going to say Ramsey wanted too much and let him walk while clearly overpaying Foles? Paying a guy more won’t make him the player you pay him to be, but it will make better players want to be paid more. It’s not classy. It’s poor negotiating.

The Jaguars paid Foles what they paid him because it’s essentially what you pay a franchise quarterback and because they didn’t want a team coming from nowhere and getting involved in the negotiating, thereby prompting Foles to back out. It wasn’t about “class” as much as it was that.

Tank from Mechanicsville, MD

Hey, FunkMaster O: I'm just spitballing here, but I'm guessing with the reported Foles contract that drafting "best available player" may not be the strategy. Build the offense right? At least in the first three rounds?

Probably.

Kanaan from Duval

Concerning the draft, I read a lot of mocks have us drafting a tight end or offensive line with the No. 7 overall selection this year. The draft, in theory, is for teams to pick the best available player to acquire as much talent as possible correct? If so, Ed Oliver of Houston as a player should be the best available player on our board at No. 7. If that's the case, do you think Tom will pull the trigger and grab the best player or draft for need?

We’re way too far from the draft to know who “should” be the best player on the board at No. 7, but I think the Jaguars will value an offensive lineman enough at No. 7 to take one there.

Gary from Tucson, AZ

I have followed Nick Coles from his days at the University of Arizona. All I can say to the naysayers is to read his book, then maybe you will know who he is. Bear down, Nick!

Well, I suppose if anyone values his longtime fans, it must be Nick Coles.

Advertising