JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sean from Jacksonville
It's nice to see other teams spend that exorbitant amount of money in free agency.
Good eye. The Jaguars entered the 2023 offseason knowing they wouldn't participate extensively – if at all – in the overpriced, "first-tier" free agency period. General Manager Trent Baalke made this clear shortly after the 2022 postseason and reiterated it in late February at the NFL Scouting Combine. Baalke unsurprisingly was true to his word, and the Jaguars did nothing toward signing players from other teams to exorbitant contracts as the March 15 start of the 2023 NFL League year approached. This is a good thing, and it's how well-functioning teams operate. I wondered in recent weeks and days if fans would worry over this lack of activity. So far, reaction has been mostly positive. I'm sure I'll find exceptions. Fans fan. It's what they do.
Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA
Next man up, I guess. How comfortable are we with Walker Little taking over at right tackle? Or would they move Cam over to the right side and play Little at left tackle? Does this change their approach in the draft? We still need to use high draft capital on a cornerback, are they going to replenish the stock with a developmental tackle with a third-ish round pick?
Jawaan Taylor, a starting right tackle for the Jaguars the last four seasons, reportedly will sign with the Kansas City Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent Wednesday. I expect Cam Robinson to remain at left tackle with Walker Little playing right tackle, though that is simply my expectation and not at all official. I do expect Taylor's departure to lead to the Jaguars selecting a potential swing tackle in the 2023 NFL Draft, very possibly somewhere in the first three rounds. I expect it to be earlier in the draft rather than later, because I'm not big on late-round "developmental" guys at the tackle position. That doesn't mean that approach can't work, but the odds are better the earlier those guys are drafted.
Don from Marshall, NC
Aaron Rodgers has one Super Bowl. How did he become so great? Great comes from winning the whole enchilada. He is the champ of the regular season if you care about that. How many MVPs has this guy won? If he was that valuable, Green Bay would have more titles. He needs to retire while he is still a legend in his own mind.
This is all true if you believe quarterbacks should be judged solely based on Super Bowl championships, and many people do judge quarterbacks that way. I'm more of a believer that great quarterbacks should get you to the postseason far more often than not, with circumstances such as injuries and matchups – and very often luck – often deciding the crapshoot that is the NFL postseason. Specific to your question, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers "became so great" by being one of the best players at his position for a decade and a half. Rodgers has played 14 healthy seasons as the Packers' starter with 11 postseason appearances, five NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl championship. He has been the NFL Most Valuable Player four times. He has been great.
Rob from San Antonio, TX
KOAF, just reading about Rodgers' purported list of demands to the New York Jets has me thinking … when one player has so much influence in an organization, wouldn't that cause some resentment and discontent considering then that a quarterback is dictating multiple personnel moves? I just feel like the balance of power will skew too much toward quarterbacks and partially undermine coaches as these individuals are dictating who must be on the team, leaving the team and the other players to sort out who has to leave or take a pay cut. Was just generally curious about your thoughts on the subject. Don't be afraid to give us a "get off my lawn" speech!
How good is the quarterback?
Bobby From Section 410 and Summerville, SC
Hi John, I am not so sure that Jawaan Taylor had the same desire to remain with the Jags that they had to retain him. He sure didn't waste any time jumping ship to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs. Any thoughts?
I think the Chiefs offered Taylor a contract well above what the Jaguars were going to offer – or had offered. I think Taylor and his representation knew this – and that because they knew it, there was little point in Taylor waiting to "jump ship."
Brendan from Yulee, FL
That has to be awkward if you are Andre Cisco. He is making less money than the backup behind him. What the cringe?
I doubt it's awkward at all. The Jaguars indeed reportedly will re-sign veteran safety Andrew Wingard, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday. He will reportedly sign for a guaranteed $6 million, which will indeed make him higher-paid than Jaguars safety Andre Cisco. But Cisco is on a rookie contract whereas Wingard is on a veteran deal. The Jaguars can't renegotiate with Cisco until after the 2023 season. Players and their representation understand the rules, which should prevent any cringing.
Darren from Jax
What are the odds Lawrence backslides and isn't the quarterback we all hope he's going to be? It's happened before. Wouldn't you say next season is the real make or break season for him to show who he's going to be?
Could Lawrence backslide in 2023? Sure. We are dealing with human beings, and not blips in a video game, so regression or improvement is possible. But considering Lawrence's improvement in 2022, and considering his work ethic and talent, the chances are pretty slim that would happen. I don't know Lawrence's ceiling or floor, but I have said and written often that I would be surprised if Lawrence isn't at least very good.
David from Orlando, FL
KOAF – If my calculations are correct, Trevor Lawrence was 12 years old when your 4,235-day Ozone streak began. Congratulations to you and Trevor for accomplishing so much in just 11-and-a-half years.
What's an "O-Zone streak?"
Ryan from Detroit, MI
So, Taylor left for a massive new contract, and tight end Chris Manhertz left for a surprisingly large deal. If we lose out on outside linebacker Arden Key for another big money deal that we couldn't fit within our cap structure (likely with pass rushers being in high demand), do you think the Jaguars might end up with compensatory picks in the third- or fourth-round selection next year? It'd be nice to finally get some. I know the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots always seem to operate that way.
I absolutely expect the Jaguars to have compensatory selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. They appear to be in line for a selection based on losing Taylor. The exact compensatory selection is confidential, but it's based on unrestricted free agency gains and losses from the previous offseason losses – based on average salary for the player involved, playing time and postseason awards. Taylor from various estimates could net the Jaguars a third-round selection. A few other losses could net the Jaguars at least one more late-round selection.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
I know it is a pipe dream, but I would love to see wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. back in Duval. I know there is little chance, but the Chark attack was awesome. And he would make a great complement to Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones, Christian Kirk and Evan Engram. But the price is probably prohibitive.
Eric Jacksonville Beach
With Manhertz moving on, I know we need another strong blocking tight end. I'm sure there are some good options out there but I know the city would love having Marcedes Lewis come back to don the teal one more time before he hung 'em up! Guessing he would be relatively affordable, do you see that as a realistic/good option?
This answer will be similar to one from a similar question regarding former Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens Monday. There are always positives to having veterans with the leadership qualities of Campbell and Lewis. Both players appear capable of playing specific roles. Whether the Jaguars see those players' veteran salaries as better fitting those roles than younger players with smaller salaries remains to be seen.
Robbie from JAX
Understanding wide receiver Calvin Ridley cannot participate in official team activities until April, is there any restriction on he and Trevor meeting at UNF and running routes?
No. Lawrence can meet with any receivers – or anyone else, for that matter – wherever he likes and run routes to their heart's content. I imagine Lawrence, Ridley and others will do this. And I'm sure it will have some benefit. But that group will have plenty of time to get acclimated with one another when the offseason program begins April 17.