JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Fred from Naples, FL
The Baltimore Ravens are negotiating with quarterback Lamar Jackson on a contract extension; however Lamar is holding out for a guaranteed contract – similar to the Cleveland Browns giving one to Deshaun Jackson. Do you believe guaranteed contracts for quarterbacks are a thing of the future? Do you think if Trevor has a monster year, he seeks a guaranteed contract as well?
I think NFL owners do not want guaranteed contracts for quarterbacks as a thing of the future, and I think most owners see Watson's contract with the Browns as an outlier. I think the Ravens are smart to resist signing Jackson to a long-term contract for two reasons. One is that he relies heavily on mobility and players typically get less mobile as they age. Another is that he has played sparingly the last two Decembers, and players don't typically get more durable as they age. That's just my view from afar. As for the view here close, it's reasonable to expect Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his representation to seek a long-term guaranteed contract following the 2023 season – the first time he and the team can negotiate a long-term contract extension. I expect the Jaguars to resist the guaranteed part because the NFL salary-cap system never has been about fully guaranteed contracts. It's a slippery slope that will eventually cause teams myriad cap problems.
David from Chuluota, FL
KOAF – Question: What do wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., tight end Chris Manhertz and defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris all have in common? Answer: They are all productive free agents signed in 2017 by then general manager David Caldwell. Without these players, the success story of 2022 is never written. Unfortunately, for David Caldwell, in 2014 when the Jags needed a quarterback, Blake Bortles was available instead of Trevor Lawrence. In a sense, David Caldwell's fate was sealed by circumstances out of his control! Darn you, football gods!!!
All the players you mentioned were key to the Jaguars' 2022 postseason run. All signed with the Jaguars as unrestricted free agents in the 2021 offseason. Otherwise, this was a very good point.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, do you think the new state-of-the-art training facility will have a Sbarro?
One can dream.
John from Jacksonville
When applying the franchise tag to tackles and guards do they differentiate between left and right tackle or guard? Seems to me the value of those positions would depend on whether the quarterback is right or left-handed.
The NFL designates franchise tag values for the following positions/groups: Quarterback ($32.4 million in 2023), running back ($10.1 million), wide receiver ($19.7 million), tight end ($11.3 million), offensive line ($18.2 million), defensive end ($19.7 million), defensive tackle ($18.937 million), linebacker ($20.9 million), cornerback ($18.14 million), safety ($14.46 million) and punter/kicker ($5.393 million). There is no designated difference between guard, center and tackle or any side of the offensive line. That's something of a flaw in the system, but that's the system.
Amused by perspective Mill Cove & Cosmo
Some in National Media now calling Jawaan Taylor the best right tackle in the game? I want him back but realize the opportunity and hope he takes whomever for all he can.
I don't know where Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor will play next season. I believe there's a chance that will be in Jacksonville, but that remains to be seen. I expect he will be paid well wherever he plays.
Brendan from Yulee, FL
The Jags have spent their money on sub-par free agents, like cornerback Shaq Griffin. What is stopping them from using money spent in free agents, and using that to re-sign drafted talent? Yes, I know we can't re-sign all of our good players but hell, can we stop throwing money at free agents and pivot? I will still be disappointed if Jawaan Taylor leaves. Can we get a running count of first round picks that have bailed/ditched/traded away by the Jaguars in the past ten years?
I imagine there's a such a list somewhere, but your overall point feels perhaps a little outdated. Yes, the Jaguars have missed at times on free agents. But they actually have hit on a strikingly high number of free agents in the past two offseasons: tight end Evan Engram, linebacker Foye Oluokun, Jenkins, Robertson-Harris, wide receiver Christian Kirk, wide receiver Zay Jones, right guard Brandon Scherff, Agnew. It's hard to imagine this team winning the AFC South in 2022 without those free agents, so it's hard to call it money poorly spent. But yes … the Jaguars do believe it's time to stop throwing money at free agents. That has been the primary 2022 offseason theme of General Manager Trent Baalke, a theme he has emphasized pretty much whenever he has spoken publicly this offseason. The Jaguars are trying to re-sign Taylor. They want it to happen. I believe he wants it to happen. That doesn't mean the sides can make it work, but the intent is there.
Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD
Wait, wait, wait. "The current facilities are antiquated by NFL standards. They have been in need of an upgrade for a while." I thought that when Shad Khan bought the Jags, the very first thing he did was install a "state of the art" locker and weight room. Now it's a dump? Did I miss where they discovered new ways to bench press? How is it that far behind??
Owner Shad Khan did upgrade the locker room and the training room upon purchasing the Jaguars. The team and the city also have worked to upgrade and add to the stadium and the facilities in spots. TIAA Bank Field is one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. You can upgrade a kitchen and still have an old house.
Mark from Des Moines, IA
O, have you heard anything – even a rumor – about Ridley's reinstatement? I know we're clamoring for him to get it, but it feels like the silence from the NFL gets more ominous by the day. I feel like his punishment has been sufficient. Especially when this league has partnered with so many gambling apps and have handed down lesser punishments to players who have committed far worse infractions and even felonies. The man has paid his due. It's time to free Ridley.
I don't expect much in the way of rumors over this. But there's nothing ominous. Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley, acquired in a trade last season from the Atlanta Falcons, remains under NFL suspension. He applied for reinstatement February 15, but there's no timetable. And there's no expectation about when he will be reinstated. The fact that it hasn't been announced yet is neither good nor bad – nor unexpected. I have written multiple times I expect Ridley will be reinstated before the March 15 start of the 2023 NFL League Year. This isn't inside information, just a guess based on reason and experience. It's March. There are 10 days before March 15. That's plenty of time for Ridley to be reinstated before the start of the league year.
Jason from North Pole, AK
You mentioned Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor grading out poorly in run blocking. I read that the entire Jaguars offensive line was ranked 30thin the run game by Pro Football Focus. They are top ten in pass blocking so I am not criticizing them, just wondering how they can improve in this area? I do think we were in third in long more than we should have been because of a struggling run game.
I'm not a believer in Pro Football Focus' rankings as an end-all statement on a player or position group. I do believe the Jaguars were not an awful run-blocking team in 2022, though they absolutely must improve in short-yardage situations. Head Coach Doug Pederson made an interesting point along these lines at the NFL Scouting Combine this past week, saying he believes the offense can get more out of the running backs and the running game next season – and that the backs as a whole can do a better job getting more out of runs, and do a better job hitting holes. He emphasized that this wasn't the "fault" of any particular coach or player. His point was more that the Jaguars have a young backfield and hitting holes is different in the NFL and in different schemes. He also mentioned that running back Travis Etienne Jr. hadn't taken a lot of handoffs from the quarterback under center before last season, and that the vision for a running back taking pitches is different from taking handoffs. Pederson said this will be a point of emphasis next season – and he definitely believes the area can improve.
Ryan from Detroit, MI
If we lose Taylor and defensive end Arden Key in free agency, what do you think the Jags' chances are of getting a compensatory pick or two in the 2024 NFL Draft?