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O-Zone: Not so simple

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Marc from Quarantined Section 140

Seeing how the dust has seemingly settled on the "first/second tiers" of free agency, and with the reports that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will likely be taking less than what was thought to be his perceived market value, did Yann and his camp potentially overplay their hand here? It's been only rumored reports, but it does seem like the best deal on the table for him financially might have been and/or still is with the home team.

This seems increasingly possible. The Jaguars clearly felt during last offseason's negotiations they offered defensive end Yannick Ngakoue a fair long-term contract – and their sense at the time was they had been more than fair considering they offered Ngakoue the extension before the final year of his rookie contract. Ngakoue and his representation clearly thought the offer much less than fair, and the differences of opinions caused the sides to be very far apart throughout last season. Those differences of opinions apparently led to Ngakoue being very upset with the organization – and that apparently remains the case. Now, with Clowney reportedly seeking $20 million a year and the Seahawks reportedly offering somewhere in the range of $17-to-$19 million it is very to wonder if a team would be willing to pay Ngakoue close to the $22 million he reportedly was seeking. It long has been assumed by many fans that the Jaguars were somehow cheap – or unfair – to Ngakoue during all this. Perhaps it's fair to consider the idea now that they were being at least somewhat reasonable.

David from Jacksonville

I read somewhere that if Ngakoue gets signed by another team and we don't match the offer, that we will get two first-round draft picks in return. Is this true?

That won't happen, but yes… that's how the non-exclusive franchise tag works.

Ray from Pooler, GA

John, do see any team willing to pay Yannick $21-to-22 million a year and give up a first- or second-round pick. I don't.

I could see a team giving up a late-first-round selection for Ngakoue and I absolutely could see a team giving up a second-round selection for him. But the unsettled contract situation makes the situation very difficult. Would a team give up a premium draft selection knowing it then has to negotiate a five-year, $110 million contract with Ngakoue? That's a lot of equity to give up – even for a player as good and with as much upside as Ngakoue.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, wouldn't it still be really awesome/lucky if Okudah lasted until 9?

It indeed would be awesome/lucky if Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah was available when the Jaguars selected at No. 9 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft because corner appears to be a need. In that sense, it might be really awesome/lucky if Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown was there at No. 9 because big guys usually trump secondary players and this team really needs to stop the run.

Jeff from Orange, CA

Is new Jaguars middle linebacker Joe Schobert expected to come off the field on third downs – and if so, doesn't that make a two-down player a bit expensive?

No, he's not. So … no, he's not.

Dan from Las Vegas, NV

Hi John, what are the odds of moving up in the draft to get one of the quarterbacks projected to be franchise players? And make sure you wash your hands.

I would put the chances at about 10 percent or less. I do think it's possible. I think when you're in the Top 10 and you've been deficient at the quarterback position for a long time, you must consider it. But I think the Jaguars would have to give up too much to get into the Top 2 or 3, and I think that's how far you'll need to move up to get a quarterback worth the move.

Jake from Cary

What roster move would the Jags have to make for you to think: this is a rebuild?

There probably isn't one. It's not that this doesn't have traits that people associate with a rebuild. There are plenty of such traits. But I'm having too much fun not calling it a rebuild. Irritating people in little, meaningless ways like that is fun. O-Zone likes it. He also likes referring to himself arrogantly in the third person.

Jerry from Riverview, FL

While it's a fact that the Jaguars will be losing a ton of dead cap money on quarterback Nick Foles, isn't it possible to save a lot of money by starting a sixth-round quarterback over the next 2-3 years?


Art from Glenolden, PA

The team not drafting heavy on offense will result in a new general manager and head coach next year. You can buy a defense, you have to draft an offense.

Stopping – or not stopping – the run the way the Jaguars did last season is another good way to get a new general manager and head coach next season. It's maybe the best way. You can address all the needs you want, but if you can't stop the run in the NFL, you will always lose – always – because teams will keep running until you stop it.

Keith from Palatka, FL

I have this fantasy that we get Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in the first round and then I have an out-of-body experience.

I have this fantasy that … never mind.

Jeff from Jacksonville

It was said that the Jags like who they have on the offensive line. However, they also said that the offensive line could not protect Foles. It sounds as though the offensive line is not good enough to protect our quarterbacks and need better players on the offensive line. Will there be better offensive line personnel brought in via the draft or free agency?

I didn't think entering the league year that you would see the Jaguars do anything of significant on the offensive line in free agency; I certainly don't think they will do so now. If the right player fell to them early in the draft, the Jaguars could go offensive line. I don't think they will be desperate to do so.

Diego from Tierra Del Fuego

Does not matter if Jags get all of these wonderful draft picks via trades, wonderful first-round draft picks, and wonderful free-agent signings if you have a terrible coaching staff. Look at Marrone's record and it speaks volumes. Jags will continue to fall behind Houston, Indy, and Tennessee.

So, one not fer Marrone – and one not fer looking at Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone's overall body of work and instead focusing on the last two seasons!

Pat from Duval

So, the Atlanta Falcons traded a fifth-round pick for Hayden Hurst and we traded defensive end Calais Campbell for that same fifth-round pick. Why did we not get Hurst, a capable tight end and Duval native, for Campbell? I have since gotten over my grief over losing Campbell, but it seems like other teams are playing chess while we're playing checkers. I am, however, impressed by General Manager David Caldwell's free agent signings thus far. Is there a method to this madness?

You don't pull off every trade you want, and I don't know where the Jaguars valued Hurst. As far as other teams playing chess and the Jaguars playing checkers, what game was Caldwell playing when he got a fourth-round selection for cornerback A.J. Bouye when many believed Bouye would be released? Or when he got a fourth-round selection for Foles when many believed the Jaguars might have to trade away a draft selection to get somebody take Foles? This is not to say Caldwell always has been great in his role for seven years. Or that he hasn't made mistakes. But he hasn't been overmatched this offseason. Not in the slightest.

Justin from New York City

How high do you rank offensive line as a need? Every year our quarterback never has enough time to throw and our running backs have no room. A focus on the o-line would improve all other offensive weapons. Why have I heard less about the Jags drafting a top-tier offensive lineman this year in the first round?

I would call offensive line a need. Based on how the unit played last season, it seems you could look at left tackle and possibly right guard as areas to upgrade – maybe even left guard. The Jaguars' decision-makers don't seem to see this the same way. Marrone, Caldwell and Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden all spoke highly of the line during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine and I didn't get the idea they were being disingenuous. That doesn't mean you're young to see offensive line as a need. But it is why I don't talk much about the Jaguars drafting a top-tier offensive lineman in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL

KOAF, I have a simple question.: w

Apparently not.