O-Zone: Never far away

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Eric from Columbus, IN

Why would you let Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell oversee a second rebuild in a win-now situation? This feels like a tug of war that only ends bad for the Jags in the long run. Either win now with Caldwell or start over and have 11 picks with someone new. Make sense of this, O!

Here's what you and many others are missing: You're looking at the offseason as a rebuild – or "fire sale" or however else it's perceived by observers – whereas the Jaguars are looking at it as if they have traded some aging players for younger players. Because of that, they think they are improving their chances to win next season. Not retaining defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was a salary-cap issue for which the team had planned for multiple seasons, but trading defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye? Those moves weren't about "tearing down" the team's talent base. Rather, they were about parting ways with aging players who the team believes were not playing to the level they had played in 2017 and 2018. On that front, there's a real belief that the team can improve defensively based on their offseason moves. I understand how you see it and how it feels – and I understand that the conventional wisdom will remain that this is a rebuild – but the Jaguars believe they are trying to win now, and that they are closer to doing so than they were a few weeks ago.

Jimsure from DBS

If a franchised player refuses to sign his tender all year, does he still count against the salary cap?

A team must account for the possibility that a franchised player will sign his tender at any time during the first 10 weeks of the season, so the Jaguars for example would have to leave cap space for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue entering the season. For every week the player opts not to sign the tag and therefore opts not to play, the team would get credited for that cap space for that week. If the player does not play at all, the team would get all the space moving forward.

Enrique from Bargersville, TN

Hey, O. Could the fact that Jadeveon Clowney has lowered his asking price potentially change Ngakoue's mind and he accept the Jaguars' offer of $19 million a year? I would have to think it gives the Jags more leverage.

Ngakoue said via Twitter Wednesday that his issue isn't about money and that it never has been about money, so I don't know that he's going to change his mind and accept the offer because of money. I also would say what I have said often – that I'm not going to spend much time trying to predict or explain Ngakoue's thinking. That has been difficult during this process, and I don't expect that to change.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I think Ngakoue deserves to be paid well. He's one of the better pass rushers in the league and I don't hate on him for trying to get paid. NFL players have a short window to get paid very well and it's a violent sport. However, I think we are past the point of being reasonable here. He had an opportunity to get paid very well last year and has nobody to thank but himself for foregoing that money. He didn't hit double-digit sacks and isn't even the best defensive end on his own team. Clowney couldn't even get what Ngakoue is asking for. If the Jaguars offered him over $15 million per year and he is not taking it, that's on him.

I don't know that we know the specifics of what Ngakoue has been offered and what he has turned down. It does feel there's merit in your point.

Jim from Jacksonville

Can you think of any player who stated publicly he no longer wanted to remain on an NFL team, yet later decided to stick with that team?

Not off the top of my head, but that doesn't prove much. NFL players say a lot of things and I can't say I pay all that much attention to all those things.

Robert from Middleburg, FL

I saw a report that Clowney is bringing down his asking price to the $17-18 million-a-year range. Although I believe him to be overrated, I guess Yannick may regret his demands. Do you believe he is as valuable as Clowney?

When both players are healthy? No. But Ngakoue has been remarkably durable and remarkable consistent in four NFL seasons, and that matters.

Fred from Naples, FL

So, Yannick is now saying it was never about the money. He is saying that his situation was handled "piss poor" by the Jaguars. Does he really need to insult our intelligence by saying something like that? It has always been about the money and if anyone perhaps handled it poorly it was former Jaguars Executive Vice President Tom Coughlin who is no longer around. He just has to keep himself in the news.

Ngakoue is a prideful player who evidently feels he has been wronged by the Jaguars. I don't doubt he believes things were handled poorly. The Jaguars feel differently. This is a weird one. And unfortunate. It was bound to get tricky and messy, though this admittedly has become really messy.

Don from Marshall

Why would anyone want to pay $22 million to a guy who is just not too smart? He acts like he is in seventh grade. His agent must have about the same level degree. No class whatsoever! Should we take up a collection to make sure his family gets fed? I don't care what the team gets for him; I want him kicked out of there! Throw his crap in old box and don't let the door hit you on the way out. All that great play all those years right down the drain. Nobody is going to remember you favorably and you will have an army of fans rooting against you. We got the best of you and you did not get paid. Too bad for you but the stupid always gets punished! Go Jaguars!

So, if I'm reading this correctly – and I'm pretty confident I am – one not fer Yann, I guess?

Mike from Section 122 and Port Orange, FL

Why would the team risk keeping the malcontent Yann? With his attitude and social posts, he will dog it on the field, pull a Jalen Ramsey and fake an injury just to collect his money and leave anyway he can. Find a team that wants him – hopefully one he hates – and trade him for something we can use a draft pick or player.

Despite his recent social media posts, if Ngakoue indeed signs the franchise tag and reports to the Jaguars I just don't see him faking an injury and dogging it. He had a chance to act like a malcontent last season when he was unhappy with his contract and did not. Also, remember: If Ngakoue dogs it on the field it will significantly hurt his earning potential going forward, so that's unlikely. As for finding a team that wants Ngakoue … who knows? Maybe the Jaguars will. But that team is going to have to offer the Jaguars a lot for Ngakoue. The Jaguars have no desire to give Ngakoue away, nor should they.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAF - I think whoever is advising Yann is giving bad advice and has cost him millions. Yes, he might make it up over the next few years if he stays healthy and plays well but it seemed very unwise to pass on life-changing money last year when the Jags offered him a contract a year earlier than they had to. The only reason at this point that might save face for him is in hopes to sign with a team he feels can win more and is in a larger market to get more national exposure. He could have been serving food for his family on a table made of gold for a year now given good advice.

Fair.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Here's to hoping that quarterback Gardner Minshew II is the guy because I REALLY like the kid. However, if he doesn't end up being the franchise quarterback moving forward there is one big question I have. Do you think, built the way it is, the absolute floor of this team with poor quarterback play is bad enough to get us to the first or second pick in next year's draft?

If things go wrong early in a season – i.e., injuries at the wrong position, poor quarterback play – there are few teams incapable of selecting in the first few positions of the following year's draft. Remember: one injury to quarterback Peyton Manning took the Colts from a perennial division champion to the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. Disaster always lurks.

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