O-Zone: No-fuss zone

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Wallingford, CT

We are still talking about quarterbacks? For years as a fan, all I can remember is that a franchise quarterback gives us a chance to win every game. Here comes Gardner Minshew II, with four fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victories and three game-winning drives. He would be five and four on those stats if not for the final inches missed against the Houston Texans. It would be criminal to try and credit his supporting cast for those. Stop worrying about his size, arm strength, blah blah blah... If he gives us a chance to win, as he has shown he does, commit to him!!!

Your question – particularly its emphasis on exclamation points!!!! – implies that anyone who doesn't believe Minshew is a franchise quarterback is being ridiculous!!!! This is not the case. He has many admirable traits – a remarkable clutch gene and poise in big situations chief among them. And he without question played well enough as a rookie that it's reasonable to believe he might be really good. At the same time, there are other things about Minshew such as pocket presence and questions over whether he can make certain throws – i.e., to the middle of the field – that are legitimately concerning. This is not to insult Minshew; it's just to point out how football people think about him. No one's saying Minshew can't be the guy. It's just that no one's quite sure if he is the guy. I wish I had a definite answer on this. The Jaguars darned sure wish they had a definitive answer. The reality is it's going to take some more time, and I would be surprised if we're not having a similar conversation in August. (!!!!)

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

When Shad Khan bought the Jaguars, he stated in no uncertain terms that money would not be an issue. Now we're giving away home games, making the team less competitive on the field. A reader recently said the team needs to have money to pay signing bonuses to players. Khan has been described as one of the wealthier owners in the league. If this is correct, having money on hand to pay signing bonuses is a non-issue. There's a big disconnect between what Khan is saying (Winning is the number one priority) and his actions (Profits are the number one priority). You can't have two top priorities ...

This is not a case of a "cheap owner" – quite the opposite, in fact. Khan during his tenure as Jaguars owner never has balked at spending big in free agency, as the contracts of players such as quarterback Nick Foles, defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive tackle Malik Jackson – to name a few – show. His actions regarding London, Lot J and Daily's Place are to keep the Jaguars on a level in terms of revenue where they are comparable and competitive with the rest of the league. No owner is going "to come out his own pocket" over the long haul to run the franchise. The franchise itself must be sustainable. This is not exclusive to Khan. This would apply to anyone who owned the Jaguars or any NFL team. This is reality.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Please explain to me the logic in threatening to boycott the Jaguars because they are sending a second game overseas. What? They enjoy the gameday experience so much they are willing to risk losing the team rather than ensure its viability as Duval grows to the big leagues? (Please answer using logic.) Maybe they're ashamed to be tied culturally and financially with London, arguably the best city on the planet?

This isn't about logic. It's about emotion.

Bill from Folkston, GA

I honestly believe if we had a team that could be competitive year after year, the revenue stream will take care of itself. To me, it seems that teams that have an active owner seem to be competitive each year. Do you think there is a correlation between the two? I don't think Khan is really that active of an owner and I wonder if he really knows how to fix the winning problem with the Jaguars. Also, is the salary cap an etched in stone number, that a team must be under at all times or does it have certain dates that they have to be under the cap?

A lot of questions. Here are some answers: Being competitive every year would be a good thing for the Jaguars, and it would help the revenue situation – but it would not solve all issues in this area. I don't know what an active owner is, beyond Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys – who is heavily involved in the day-to-day football operations – most owners are comparatively passive. No, clearly Khan does not know how to "fix the winning problem," but most owners don't; all they can do is try, I expect him to continue to try. Khan didn't try in a way that made fans happy this offseason, but that doesn't mean he's not trying. NFL teams must be under the salary cap by the start of the league year, which this year is March 18.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

This feels more painful than the dead zone. Any hope of a London free Zone?

Soon, Tim. Soon.

Brian from Jacksonville

Under the current structure, 16 non-divisional games would be played in Europe annually against the four team Euro division. That's a bunch of travel for US teams. Each team in the Euro division would travel to the United States four times per year as well. Large travel, large overhead. Not to mention that Euros aren't going to support American football for long. It'll get in the way of real football. It'll be really tough for a Euro division to be realized any time soon, if ever. So realistically, Mr. Khan can't move the Jaguars. to London until there is a Euro division, and that just isn't going to happen. What say you zoner?

You're a long way down a road that's a long way from existing. What say I? I say the Jaguars aren't moving to London, and we're a looooooooooooooong way from a "Euro" division in the NFL. A looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way.

Radley from Orange Park, FL

I know I'm a little late, watching the video of you interviewing former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli after the call but no knock. I tell you what, that's the kind of dude you root for. And Boselli's not too bad, either. Get it? In all seriousness though, it's cool to see someone articulate what's really important, in the face of what might steal his joy if he didn't have such a good bead on what really matters. I bet a good portion of the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters are probably dweebs anyways.

Of course most Hall voters are dweebs. They're almost all writers.

Michael from Jacksonville

How far out do they schedule the NFL Draft? Do you believe the completion of Lot J will put Jacksonville into consideration to host the event?

The NFL typically determines the draft site two or three years in advance. Yes, I think Lot J would give Jacksonville a chance to host the draft.

David from the Island

Hey, John: Roughly how many questions do you get a day? When do you usually get the most questions? Also, what is the most questions you've gotten in one day?

It varies widely depending on the time of year. On slow days during the summer, I might get 10-to-20. On busy days such as following last week's London announcement, I might get 200-to-300. I usually get the most questions following a loss. Frustration and anger spur action.

Al from Orange Park, FL

I'm pretty good with math. Yann left roughly $20 million laying on the table last season. If he sits rather than playing for the franchise tag this year, that's a total of roughly $40 million left on the table. I don't see how that could ever be recouped. Is he getting bad advice from his agent, or are there factors here that I'm missing? 

Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in their negotiations with the team evidently are operating with an eye on the long-term, with the idea of maximizing guaranteed money and money early in the contract. Only they know their motivation. But Ngakoue certainly made far less last season than he would have made had he signed, and your numbers are accurate about what would be lost in 2020 if he sits out rather than playing under the franchise tag. Ngakoue is a prideful person and a big-time talent. Perhaps that pride and talent will combine to get him a long-term deal that counteracts the money that would be sacrificed in your scenario. If not, then it's hard to see how it has been a positive.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

What's up zone? I've been busy as of late. What's all the fuss over within the fan base?

No fuss, Jerell. All good here.

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