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O-Zone: Not much

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mike from Cartersville (AKA Trevortown), GA

Baalke is cooking. How we got terrorized by the 49ers front, that's us now. Let him cook!

You're referencing the Jaguars reportedly signing San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Arik Armstead as a free agent Thursday – and I suppose that indeed qualifies as General Manager Trent Baalke "cooking." The signing means the Jaguars in recent days have added six free agents – Armstead, wide receiver Gabe Davis (Buffalo Bills), center Mitch Morse (Bills), safety Darnell Savage (Green Bay Packers) cornerback Ronald Darby (Baltimore Ravens) and receiver/returner Devin Duvernay (Ravens) – while also trading for quarterback Mac Jones (New England Patriots). That's a significantly bigger "splash" and many more millions of free-agent dollars than I expected from the Jaguars this offseason. One thought is I am a little wary of three of the free agents – Darby, Morse and Armstead – entering their 10th NFL seasons. The Jaguars now have the feel at some positions of a "very veteran" team, and that can bring issues of injury and decline. But the prevailing thought is those veterans – particularly Morse and Armstead – have a chance if healthy to significantly improve the Jaguars in the middle of the offensive and defensive line. Baalke following the season discussed improving stoutness, strength and size in the trenches. Enter Morse and Armstead. That's Baalke's version of cooking.

Jim from Callahan

I think we saw Ridley's true colors. Playing in the NFL can't be all about $. Tennessee is not a Super Bowl team and it's clear Ridley wanted $ more than a Super Bowl ring. I think he'll regret this decision at the end of his career. If he was to get $80 million from the Jags over four years ... what does the extra $12 million buy you in terms of personal satisfaction? So, the bright side is we were fortunate to have relatively low commitment guy sign elsewhere.

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who played one season – 2023 – with the Jaguars, on Wednesday signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. His contract with the Titans was worth a reported $92 million with $50 million guaranteed. The Jaguars reportedly were offering about $20 million a year over four years but would not go close to the $50 million guaranteed. Considering the short-term nature of the NFL – and considering Ridley will turn 30 next season – the guarantee mattered to Ridley. As did the money. And you know what? Both of those factors should matter to him. He was born into poverty. He has worked his entire life to be among the best in the world at his profession. This was his first and only chance at a long-term NFL contract with big guaranteed money. He had a chance to secure his financial future. He did essentially what anyone in his situation would have done. He did what I would have done. Doing what he did does not make him a low-commitment guy. I do not expect he will regret the decision at the end of his career. What does the extra $12 million buy? Well, I'm sort of searching for a used golf cart. I'm not wanting to go much over a few thousand and I'm not sure I want to make the purchase this offseason. I might never make it, though it would give me a measure of personal satisfaction to do so. I bet Ridley can buy a golf cart if he wants.

Shawn from Moore County, NC

One could argue that the Titans made us better by signing Ridley by allowing our GM to go get Armstead. One fer Baalke.

What a difference a day makes. One fer Baalke.

James from St. Petersburg, FL

With these aggressive free agent moves as of late, it appears Baalke is taking advantage of the window opening. We have the quarterback and let's stack this team on both sides of the ball to maximize the opportunity. I, for one, am loving it. Thoughts.

One thought as an old, cynical NFL observer is I don't love everything about the idea of pushing all chips in with free agents – and the Jaguars right now are a very free-agent-heavy team. It indeed gives 2024 the feel of a win-now season.  Another thought is Baalke has been very good signing free agents who have helped this team significantly and that that very well may be the case with this group.

Richard from St Augustine, FL

If Arik Armstead signing occurs, what would your best guess of Round 1 and 2 be as of today? CB, WR or WR, CB or something else? Of course the internet would never hold the King responsible for anything he might say or write. Be bold and go out on that aging limb for rat dog's sake! DTWD. Duuuvaaal. Go Jags.

I would expect the Jaguars to select corner, wide receiver and offensive line in the first three rounds with corner in Round 1.

Bill from Bostwick

I must admit, as hot under the collar about Ridley as I was, I was on Cloud 9 about Armstead. If I had to pick one of the two players, I would pick Armstead every time for the Jaguars. Excellent signing for a huge need. How are the Jaguars paying all these new players and still have room for a better than fair deal for Josh Allen?

I would agree that Armstead if healthy can make a bigger impact than Ridley if healthy. I don't know that the Jaguars need a "better-than-fair" deal for outside linebacker Josh Allen. I think a fair deal in terms of market value would work. That can be done by re-signing Allen to a long-term contract with a low salary-cap figure for 2024 and a higher cap figure for later years. There also is the potential for the Jaguars to restructure contracts for veteran players such as left tackle Cam Robinson.

*Mike from Jacksonville              *

With the newest additions of all the "old" players we just acquired, the term "cardiac cats" could be real medical conditions.

I laughed at this. I'm not saying your point is entirely without merit, but I laughed at this.

Eric from Jacksonville Beach

Wow, we have been waaaaay more active in free agency than I thought we were going to be. I know offseason signings don't necessarily mean in-season success but I have to admit, this has been fun! I honestly think we're a better team now than when we finished the season and we haven't even gotten to the draft yet. We could lower Allen's cap hit if he signs to a long-term extension and there's still Cam and his cap figure to potentially move the needle. How realistic do you think those last 2 things happening, and us continuing to be active, really are?

I expect Allen to sign a long-term extension this offseason and I think restructuring Robinson's contract is possible. I would be surprised if the Jaguars are much more active in free agency this offseason, but I was surprised they signed Armstead so color me surprised.

Boxcutterbill from Mass

How do you feel about the Armstead signing? He's a little older and we should still address D-Line and O-Line as heavy as we can in the draft, but I think adding him with what we have is another upgrade. Boxcutter Bill is All in again, my poor heart.

Armstead is definitely an upgrade. If he is healthy and playing at his normal level, he makes the Jaguars' defensive interior significantly better.

Thomas from Jacksonville

Now that Ridley has left the coup, any chance the Jags bring back Jamal Agnew as a backup wide receiver and backup kick returner?


Kevin from Clayton

When I heard the Jaguars were getting Arik Armstead, I jumped up and down. He's an excellent player and will definitely help on our defensive line. It should be a very good trio with Travon Walker and Josh Allen.

A four-man front that includes Walker, Armstead and Allen has a chance to be a very good defensive front.

Jason from North Pole, AK

My issue with losing Calvin Ridley is that instead of adding talent in the draft, we are replacing it. This feels similar to losing right tackle Jawaan Taylor and having to replace him with Anton Harrison. Now instead of the best corner or interior d-lineman in the first round, we have to consider wide receiver. I just don't see how you build a team to be better when you are losing your best players in the offseason.

Your email states that the Jaguars "have to consider wide receiver" in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. I would be surprised if the Jaguars selected that position at No. 17 overall.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

In your experience how tangible is the on-the-field impact of free agent players who end up on a division rival team and get to play their old team twice a year to exact some revenge?