O-Zone: Offensive line

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

You mentioned the following in a recent O-Zone to explain why quarterbacks may be more inclined to take less money to help their team’s pursuit of a championship: a quarterback could have 15-plus years of prime earning potential while a player relying more on athleticism might only see 10-to-12 years. It’s actually less fair than that to non-quarterbacks. If you get drafted at 22 and get your first big contract at 26, you’re already going to be in your 30s when that first big contract is up, making it harder for a second big pay day. The idea that a 25-to-26-year-old should take less money for the team is asinine to me.

Bingo. This is why few NFL players – particularly non-quarterbacks early in their career – take less money for the “good of the team,” and why it would be silly to do so. When discussing this topic recently, I did talk about how non-quarterbacks might have just a 10-to-12-year career – and therefore have a much smaller window to earn their NFL living than quarterbacks. The reality is 10-to-12 years is a long NFL career – and the biggest reality is most NFL players get just one mega, multi-year payday. That’s their so-called “second contract” – i.e., the one on which they play from about age 26 to 29 or so. Once the player ages out of that range, he’s far less likely to earn premium money – because even if he’s still playing at a high level, age will make teams/executives wary to pay huge money over a long-term deal. So, yeah … while an “older” NFL player in his early 30s might be willing/forced to take slightly less money to help the team’s cause, for a younger player to do isn’t just asinine. It’s financially irresponsible.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, why can’t we all just sleep in and take naps until the season begins?

We can’t?

Thin Guy from Jacksonville

What crazy diets have u been on?

I’ve never been a big “diet” guy. I always figure the best way to stay in shape was to eat smart and work out regularly. Considering the results, I’m considering rethinking this.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Not a tandem, but I’d like to have “Double D” back at strong safety this season with Ronnie Harrison at free. That would be epic; I miss Donovin Darius. We also have pretty promising players at most of the tandem positions; this would really improve a perceived weak point.

OK.

Cliff from Everywhere with a Helicopter

"No. I work during the games." LOL

This references a recent O-Zone question in which I was asked if I ever watched a Jaguars game from the famous pools at TIAA Bank Field. I wrote that I hadn’t because I work during the games, an answer that drew the expected uproarious responses.

William from Savannah, GA

That ain't work ... money for nothing and your chicks for free!

Oh, it is to laugh …

Esko from cool 19 degrees Celsius

Is your admiration and passion for Roger Federer so strong that you could actually write a biography – authorized or not – of him, or do you think the market for them is so saturated already that it doesn't need yet another one?

I do admire Federer, and I enjoy very much watching him play. I also am fascinated by the current era of men’s tennis – with Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic dominating the sport and playing at levels unimagined before their careers. Their work ethic, approach, longevity and dedication in a physically grueling sport is remarkable. I don’t pretend to have nearly enough knowledge of any of the trio to write biographies on them. There are plenty of tennis writers who know the three players, the sport and their stories far better than I who are more equipped than I for the task. I would read it, though. I might even be persuaded to come out of my own pocket to buy it, though those who know me would tell you that’s debatable.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

Fans fanning over there not being enough losses in the 25 Seasons, 25 Games segment is peak "this is the dead-zone" material. I wonder if people dig deep to find something to complain about, or if it's a natural thing.

It’s natural. Fans gonna fan. It’s what they do.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

If in 2024 you’re still writing "I think this upcoming year will be former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli’s best chance yet to be voted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” would your opinion that the current voting system of the Hall of Fame and the voters in are fair and unbiased have wavered or changed? I don't want or need to play Jaguars victim, but I also think if Boselli had played on any other team – the Carolina Panthers included – he’d be in. And I think if not for being a Jaguars player, former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor would have gotten a lot more consideration, too.

Until someone tells me a better system, one in which I would be assured of voters trying as hard to get it right the ones in the current system … yes, I believe the current system is the best. I don’t believe all the voters are voting correctly; if they were, Boselli would have been elected a few years ago. But I honestly don’t believe there is a general bias against Jacksonville or the Jaguars among Hall of Fame voters; I have spoken to too many voters over the years who believe Boselli should be elected. The reality is only five modern-era candidates get elected every year out of 15 modern-era finalists. It’s hard to get in, and there are no underserving candidates. Remember, too: While there are many reasons Boselli and Taylor should be in, they are not slam-dunk/no-brainer candidates. Boselli was the best left tackle of his era, but he only played a little more than six and a half seasons; while that doesn’t make enshrinement impossible, it sure does make it difficult. And while Taylor is among the best running backs of the last two decades, he played in an era in which running backs such as LaDainian Tomlinson, Edgerrin James, Jamal Lewis and others often put up better single seasons and therefore kept him from earning postseason honors/recognition. Those circumstances do as much if not more to keep Taylor/Boselli from Hall consideration than bias. Would those two get more consideration had they played in New York? Probably. Would they get more consideration had they played in a slew of other markets? Probably not.

Marlin from Newberry, FL

Hey John, I am loving this All-25 player video series so much I went out and bought a couple extra boxes of Sharpies. Thanks for putting it together. -Marlin

Thanks. I will happily take sole credit for the All-25 series currently running on jaguars. I will happily do this even though director of broadcasting Patrick “P-Kav” Kavanaugh, executive producer Dave “Hit-Man” DeCandis, broadcast media coordinator Max “Hollywood” Hochman and broadcast media coordinator Brent “I Will End You Before You Can Apologize” Reber put in hours of work and planning on the series while I did not. So, on behalf of myself and very much not on behalf of the Supporting Cast, I offer a not-at-all humble … Thank You.

Ryan from Fremont, OH

I know Madden ratings are pretty pointless, but Nick Foles was rated the 22nd-best quarterback according to Madden while Blake Bortles is ranked 40th. If that logic were true, would you think upgrading the quarterback position from 40th to 22nd would be worth what it cost the Jags?

C’mon, Ryan. Be better than this.

Mark from Green Bay, WI

More of a statement. I have been to a few Packer games in Lambeau Field, and the fan base is exciting, but when I took my wife to her first Jags homes game, she told me (and others) that was the best experience she has had at a stadium. She loved the seats, the people, the amenities and the fun atmosphere. Having been to the old Gator Bowl for games, and to the refurbished stadium, I can say the “Bank” is impressive for an older building.

There’s nothing wrong with TIAA Bank Field. It is an outstanding game-day experience. It is an impressive for an old building. The Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville in the last eight years have done a remarkable job keeping the facility relatively modern in a time when many cities/teams are building state-of-the-art facilities. And there’s no question that the game-day experience at the ‘Bank is outstanding. There comes a point when all stadiums need major renovating/updating/replacing. That time will come for the ‘Bank at some point. But for now it’s indeed impressive considering its age and history.

Jim from Jacksonville

Anyone who says “no offense, but...” is about to offend you. That is all.

With all due respect …

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