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O-Zone: More, please

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bradley from Sparks, NV

You seem to imply that Stefon Diggs is a cancer whose best days are behind him. I'm not as sure, but I think Jags versus Texans is basically Lawrence-Stroud?

You're referencing Thursday's O-Zone discussion about the Houston Texans acquiring wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Buffalo Bills in a trade. I never have spoken with Diggs, and I don't cover teams for which he has played. I was asked in an O-Zone question what possibly could have been a reason the Jaguars would have not trade for him. I replied: "Diggs is 31 and the Bills were willing to take a dead 'salary-cap' hit of $31 million in 2024 to make the trade. They would have had a $27 million hit had Diggs played for them, which means the Bills were willing to take a bigger salary cap hit to trade him than keep him. It's true that Diggs really has been good throughout his career. It's equally true that he's entering his 10th NFL season – and that the Bills really, really, really didn't want him on their team." That's the answer. Interpret it as you see fit. As for the Jaguars-Texans being about Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence versus Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud … yes, the matchup starts there. The teams are tied in those head-to-head matchups thus far. Jaguars-Texans could be fun to watch moving forward.

Michael from Jacksonville, FL

Kudos to the Texans for getting Diggs, but I believe local sports talk – 1010 for example – are overreacting. He's not a Top 10 receiver anymore. I think Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk is just as effective. Jags made moves that should make them compete with anyone. Strengthen the middle on both sides of the line of scrimmage; a red-zone, yard-producing, run-blocking receiver; etc. Why is everyone waving the white flag already? I say the team's fortunes rest with Trevor. If he improves into what I think he will, we will compete. Your thoughts!

I think if the Jaguars' moves to improve the offensive line indeed improve the running game, that will make the Jaguars better. I think if Lawrence remains healthy the entire season and continues to develop, that will make the Jaguars better. I think if new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen improves the defense a bit in big situations, that will make the Jaguars better. If those three things happen, I think the Jaguars have every chance to compete for the AFC South title. I don't think there's any reason to "wave the white flag."

Jim from St. Augustine, FL

Is it possible Stefon Diggs at 31 years of age has his best years behind him? Is it possible Gabe Davis at 25 years of age has his best years ahead of him?

Sure, this is possible.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

CJ Stroud and the Texans offense will be entering their second year in Bobby Slowik's offense and they added a solid running back and a true No. 1 wide receiver. They signed an elite veteran edge to complement a young, ascending defense. We know that injuries can derail a promising season, but are the Jags now outclassed with both teams at full strength?

That's the perception. The reality is the teams split last season with one game separating the teams at the end of the season. What the Texans have done is impressive. I'm just not sure there's as much difference in the franchises as observers have come to believe.

Marcus from Jacksonville

I may be in the minority, but the Diggs-to-Houston trade doesn't concern me all that much. Diggs has been very good for the past several years in Buffalo, but he's also been a constant distraction. He has been less than supportive of his quarterback, who, by the way, was in the Top 5 of MVP voting in three of the last four seasons. Stroud is good, possibly great, but he's young and developing. What does Diggs do if C.J. has a sophomore slump? What happens when CJ's WR1 starts yelling at him on the sideline, or posting about him on social media? I, for one, am glad the Jags didn't trade for Diggs, if for no other reason than the Bills were willing to pay $31 million for him to play for someone else. That speaks volumes.


JK from NY & Fernandina Beach, FL

John - Nice title for the "Widespread Panic" edition of the Zone. But is the fan's collective feeling of "panic" not warranted after the Great Collapse of 2023? What will it take during the rest of the offseason for the Jags to build up our hope for the upcoming season to show that management has learned from the mistakes which set the stage for the collapse? Injuries contributed to how the second half of the season played out. But the Jags were exposed as an essentially flawed team last year that was not built with a "next man up" mindset. An example of a good move was getting quarterback Mac Jones. If Jones had been available to come in and make a start or two down the stretch, Trevor could have healed up a bit which may have improved his performance in the key games which decided the division.

Fans feel how they feel, and it's not mine to say whether such feelings – panic or otherwise – are warranted. As for what the Jaguars can do the rest of the offseason to "build up hope …" probably nothing. Many fans have lost confidence. That's because the last thing they saw the team do was lose five of six games. They had a lot of hope last offseason because the team won six of its last seven games in 2022. That's how fan confidence works. The Jaguars have addressed needs in free agency and I expect they will address a need or two early in the draft before working to strengthen depth around the roster after that. They can change how fans feel by winning next season. I know of no other path.

Brian from Carlisle, PA

O, I, too, fall into the wow look what the Texans did with the trade for Diggs. But I truly believe that many teams in the offseason look great on paper, but when the rubber hits the road and games start playing out, the paper doesn't look as good.


*Bruce from Saint Simons Island          *

O, Panic? I think it is closer to reality. The Texans have improved to the point of being the clear favorite in the AFC South. In my opinion, the Jags are not keeping pace with the Texans.

You're not alone in this thought. Offseason feelings often change dramatically when games get real. We'll see.

Ricky from Duval

Houston's offseason reminds me of some other team's offseason. Dreams of three receivers and a running back all over a thousand yards. A decade of division dominance. Then the games start and you never know. Count me as kind of grateful the Texans traded for Diggs, less balls to wide receiver Tank Dell sounds fantastic.


Paul from Lake City

If GM John Oehser were in charge of this Jaguars roster, what positions would you be trying to invest your remaining available cap and draft picks in?

I wouldn't invest any more cap space in free agents. Enough is enough. I would invest as much draft equity as possible into cornerback and the offensive/defensive lines.

Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA

This is Stefon Diggs' 10th season. That's a lot of wear and tear for a skill player. He surpassed double digit touchdowns twice, at 10 and 11 touchdowns. He was very productive, but those days are in his past. The Bills are paying him a few million dollars to play against them. The Jaguars have tried paying 30-plus-year old receivers past their prime and it has literally never worked out. Furthermore, I see the Texans' signings and they don't seem to be all that that some people are making them out to be. Calm down.

One fer perspective.

Mike from Jacksonville

Yes, all the Jaguars fans are ridiculous for panicking when we see the same thing and are told the same thing year after year after year. Big names don't matter, big offseasons don't necessarily mean anything. We just need to be patient, right? Has this front office done anything that gives you any hope that we'll have different results? And does our ownership not have a history of keeping people on way too long after they've shown they're incapable of producing the results needed to be a successful franchise? We finally have a superstar potential quarterback, and years of talent are being wasted. Maybe if the organization didn't get a free pass from the local media and gets treated with kid gloves, they'd feel pressure to do something other this insane constant circle of mediocrity. There go those Jaguars fans panicking again …

And one fer mer panic.