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O-Zone: No matter

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jimsure from DBS

So now we get excited about a player who has been on seven teams in seven years and a tight end who is injured often? What the …

This is how Jaguars 2020 free agency was going to play out – and it never was going to be as much about "excitement" as it was going to be about necessity. The salary cap dictated that. The Jaguars were NOT going to set the market at many positions this offseason. They were not going to sign "splash" players. They were not going to "win the offseason." They were going to fill holes and try to get into a situation where they believed they had starting-level players at all positions entering the 2020 NFL Draft. They were going to take some calculated risks on affordable players, such as they did by acquiring former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert this week. If Eifert came without his extended injury history, the Jaguars probably wouldn't be able to afford him – and he probably wouldn't have been available, because the Bengals would have retained him. He might work out. He might not. But the Jaguars are doing the best they can under the circumstances this offseason. To have expected more – or to have expected excitement – was to not have been paying attention.

Dakota from Dupree, SC

Zone, I always thought that Eifert could have been great but was bitten by the injury bug. What's your take? I say, one for Eifert. Here's to hoping that he can stay healthy in Jax.

Eifert typically has been productive when healthy, as evidenced by his Pro Bowl selection in 2015 – one of three relatively healthy seasons in his seven-year career. One significant positive for the Jaguars here: While Eifert has played in eight or more games just three times, one such season came in 2019. That was also the first time he has played in 16 games in his NFL career. He caught 43 passes for 436 yards and three touchdowns in that season. If the Jaguars get that sort of season from Eifert, it's a good signing. And it would help the offensive significantly. Stay tuned.

Pat from Duval

How come Jacksonville keeps being listed as a top landing spot for quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Jameis Winston?

Because the Jaguars traded Nick Foles. And because Gardner Minshew II was good at times and inconsistent at times as a rookie, and therefore not yet perceived as a bona fide franchise quarterback.

Don from Marshall, NC

If Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was considered one of the five best defensive ends in football, he would already have his money. Nobody is going to give up a first-round selection for him and for a second-rounder, it's not worth it. Better to have him play here than a second-round pick. He is a very good player, so it's hard to talk about him in a negative way. He could save himself a lot of money if he stayed put and signed with the Jaguars.


KC from Orlando, FL

Funkmaster - with the Eifert signing, do you think the Jags will make any more moves at tight end? He has quite a bit of injury history, but he did have a healthy solid season last year. Go Jags!

I doubt they'll make a higher-profile move this offseason at the position. I could see a lower-tier free agent or mid-to-late round selection.

Kevin from the Whole USA

O. Here is a random thought at 1:45 a.m. that I haven't dug into but had to get your thoughts on. IF the Jags are planning to trade Yannick, (and I know the Philadelphia Eagles could be a fit but) what do you think of trading Ngakoue and the No. 9 overall pick to the Washington Redskins for the No. 2 overall selection and maybe a mid-rounder? Ohio State edge defender Chase Young replacing Yannick? I'd be ecstatic if that was his return!

I don't think Ngakoue and the No. 9 overall selection would be enough to move up to No. 2 – even if the Jaguars gave up a mid-round selection. Part of that is because the Redskins also likely would have to reach a contract extension with Ngakoue. With Ngakoue reportedly wanting a long-term deal at the top of the market, that becomes a very expensive trade for the Redskins.

Mike from Section 238

How many starters is it reasonable to acquire over the next two seasons with 21 draft picks and a buttload (technical jargon) of free-agent money to spend next year?

Starters? Thirteen or fourteen-ish. Maybe fifteen. Ish.

Mike from Section 122 and Port Orange, FL

Why couldn't the Jags get the Baltimore Ravens to take Ngakoue instead of defensive end Calais Campbell for the fifth pick? I know the money issue, but a player of Campbell's worth even one who is getting old is better than that Malcontent Ngakoue.

The Jaguars don't want to trade Ngakoue, particularly not for fifth-round selection.

Sam from Nottingham, UK

LOVE the Eifert signing! Sure he's had injuries, but name me an elite veteran tight end who hasn't! Looking forward to next month's draft, do you foresee a situation where teams trade up to grab a quarterback and the Jags can trade up a couple and nab Chase Young? Then trade Ngakoue for a later selection in Round 1 and walk away with an elite cornerback (Kristian Fulton of Louisiana State or Trevon Diggs of Alabama) and a legit WR1?

I would be surprised if the Jaguars trade up for a position other than quarterback. I would also be surprised if a team gives the Jaguars a first-round selection for Ngakoue because of what he likely will demand in a long-term contract.

The Original Bryan of Tampa, FL

In the scenario in which the Jags insist that Ngakoue play for them on the tag, I assume he will express his frustration with a mount of leverage he has in return. Say he waits until the absolute deadline (week 10?) To sign his tender then pulls a "Ramsey" and gets a sore back for the next back several weeks and maybe a tight hammy from being out of football shape from not playing. Maybe we get 1 game out of him on the field. Would the Jags still have to pay the full $19 million?

No, in that scenario the Jaguars would not pay Ngakoue until he signed in Week 10.

Bob from Sumter, SC

Do the Jags like Josh Dobbs enough to go into the season with him as the backup quarterback?

They liked Dobbs enough to have him as the backup for much of the first half of last season, so it's a possibility. But I think the preference probably would be to have a more experienced veteran – or an early-to-mid-drafted rookie – in the role.

Jim from Jacksonville

At first, I was upset at trading away Campbell. But then, I remembered that even with him, the team was terrible. So, maybe not such a bad trade after all?

The reason trading Campbell made sense is he's entering his 13th NFL season and wasn't the same player in 2019 as he was in 2017/2018. The Jaguars also were able to get value for him. That's why it wasn't a bad trade for the Jaguars.

Trev from Jacksonville

Do you think the signing of former Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert signing prevents the Jags from drafting someone like Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray?

Yes. Probably.

Mark from Bethel

Do you think there's a plan for Josh Oliver over the next season or two? I was really excited about him after we drafted him last year, but I feel like we never really got to see what he could do because of his unfortunate injuries.

Yes, there's a plan for Oliver. It primarily involves seeing if he can stay healthy and develop into a productive player in his second NFL season.

Sean from Tampa, FL

Signing Eifert is a big upgrade. Have you heard any rumblings on wide receiver or offensive line to improve the offense around Minshew?

Not really, because anything major at those positions likely will come through the draft – and teams try too hard to keep their draft thoughts private to provide many "rumblings." I would be surprised if the Jaguars don't address wide receiver somewhere in the first three or four rounds – and because this is a good receiver draft, a receiver in those rounds could provide quick impact. I don't get the idea the Jaguars feel the same urgency at offensive line, though the draft is good enough at left tackle early that they could be enticed to use an early selection on a potentially elite player at the position.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

What's the difference between and Oehser and an Oh, Sure?

A correct pronunciation. (It's Oh-zhure, incidentally. If you care. Which you probably don't. Because why would you?)