JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Jason from North Pole, AK
If Yannick Ngakoue is going to be a captain, he has a lot of growing up to do. Captains don’t get into training-camp fights, get personal fouls, do sack celebrations in preseason games that his mother would be ashamed of, etc. Do you get the impression players in the locker room see him as a positive leader? He is a great player but regarding culture change, he feels like part of the problem.
You’re correct that Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue at times has not been a good enough on-field citizen in his first NFL three seasons to be a captain. Where he has merited being a captain is in his work ethic, desire to win, commitment to team, etc. He seems more motivated on and off the field this offseason than in his first three seasons, and he has mentioned several times since the end of the season he believes he should be a captain next season – and that he very much wants that role. He also is aware he must curtail some of the behavior – the penalties, specifically – to merit that. I don’t know that Ngakoue will be a captain next season. I do know his motivation and focus in that direction is a good thing. And yes … I believe players for the most part see him as a positive leader.
David from Orlando, FL
O - Do you think defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is on this team next year?
JAW from Jacksonville
Where in the world are Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and General Manager David Caldwell hiding? Should the fans put an APB out for them? The NFL season is over now, and the Jags' season has been over for more than a month. When will they face the music and the media? The fans deserve answers as to what went wrong this past season and for the offseason decisions they made that helped lead us to the embarrassment we all witnessed. Marrone took his dose of accountability, so when are Coughlin and Caldwell going to step and take theirs? It starts at the top doesn't it?
Teams are required to make the head coach or general managers/equivalent following the season. Marrone fulfilled that requirement. My guess is fans will hear from Caldwell and/or Coughlin at the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine and/or around the NFL Draft. I wouldn’t expect some dramatic scene where Caldwell and/or Coughlin admit to some egregious series of horrible decisions and mistakes. They will answer questions, discuss some decisions and look to the future. That’s how offseason availabilities play out.
Trent from North Dakota
About the CBA, what are the sticking points that the NFL Players Association doesn’t like or would like to change? Which details are going to be the ones that would cause the lockout when the deal comes up?
The Collective Bargaining Agreement between NFL owners and the NFLPA extends through the 2020 season. A major issue likely will be player discipline, with players likely wanting to collectively bargain away at least some of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s power. There are other issues, but the fear over a lockout/strike primarily stems from the fact that the last CBA negotiation was ugly and protracted enough that it seems likely to be that way again.
Brandon from Duval
Sir Zone, can you please elaborate on the rookie pay scale? Is it just by draft position or does the position they play factor in? Meaning, if we get Nick Foles and a quarterback at No. 7 or offensive lineman at No. 7 do they make roughly the same or is the quarterback paid more?
The rookie wage scale is determined by draft position. An offensive lineman selected at No. 7 would make essentially the same as a quarterback.
D-Fense from Duval
Would u rather have Wash or Del Rio for Jaguars D-coordinator?
Whichever. Given healthy and talented players, current Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash and former Head Coach Jack Del Rio both have shown they can coordinate a very good defense.
Keith from Woonsocket, RI
I don't care if the quarterback we draft has a nice arm and is over six-feet tall. If he's not accurate with his throws, what does that do for us? Give me the short guy who can bomb it down the field with incredible accuracy.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Could you see the Jags taking Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray at No. 7 overall and then taking a flyer on Tyree Jackson with one of their third-round picks? I’d actually love that and use your 2nd, other 3rd, 4th and a couple free agent signings to address TE, OL, WR, and RB (including a cheap veteran QB).
I think if the Jaguars opt not to sign a free-agent quarterback and instead address the position through the draft there is a very good chance they will draft two quarterbacks.
Michael from Orlando, FL
Dead Zone time: The current Jaguars uniforms have a lot of room - which is good when you think next year will have the cat logo, the NFL 100 decal, and the 25th Anniversary logo. And one fer Teal for next year's home unis ... just cuz.
This isn’t the dead zone. It’s February. While there’s nothing happening for a few weeks, there’s plenty to discuss.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
Foles would be an upgrade, but not so much an upgrade as to justify (a) his likely salary and (b) the defensive players we’d have to give up to afford him. The alternative is the oft-discussed bridge-quarterback/draft-and-develop-a-rookie-quarterback idea. From a financial perspective, that idea makes the most sense if drafting a Dwayne Haskins/Drew Lock/Justin Herbert is keeping Blake Bortles. I know you said (often) that sometimes it’s just time to move on. And I know the O-Zone is never wrong. But is it possible that on this topic, the Mighty O could be just a bit short of being right?
I’m wrong a lot. Not this time. Bortles barring weirdness on an all-time weird level will not be with the Jaguars next season.
Alan from Ellington, CT
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Foles struggle at the beginning of the season when starting for Wentz?
Foles threw for just 117 yards with an interception and no touchdowns in a Week 1 victory over Atlanta this past season before throwing for 334 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions in a Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay. Here’s the thing about Foles: If you go through his career game by game, you’re going to find games – and even swaths of games – in which he struggled. He is not elite. He’s not necessarily a cure-all. But every quarterback we’re discussing for the Jaguars – Foles, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, all of the quarterbacks in the rookie class – have flaws and uncertainties. The choice is either overpay for a flawed veteran in free agency or spend a first-round draft selection – and maybe more – for a raw rookie. If you’re going with the first option, Foles seems like the best option.
Darren from Jacksonville
It's interesting to me that the Eagles seem ready to let Foles go and proclaim Carson Wentz the starter forever. Foles won the Super Bowl for them and Wentz can't stay healthy. When the team the guy won the Super Bowl for doesn't want to keep him shouldn't other teams wonder why?
The Eagles’ decision to keep Wentz and let Foles go may be interesting, but it’s not mysterious. The Eagles selected Wentz No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft and he has shown himself worthy of being the franchise quarterback going forward. Few NFL teams – if any – would opt for Foles over Wentz in these circumstances.
John from Playa Del Carmen
If the Jags do get Foles, do you think there's any chance they would just let him play under the franchise tag for the year and wait to sign him to a long-term contract? Or is that completely out of the question?
I think the Jaguars would want to sign Foles to a long-term contract. If they don’t like him that much, you wonder if they like him enough to pay him $25 million for a season.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
I like Foles but not for $25 million. That's a lot of money. That ties up too much cap space for someone who we aren't entirely sure of what we are getting. That's too great a risk. A third-round pick and a salary of $10-$15 million might be a risk worth taking, but $25 million is too much. There are multiple quarterbacks that should be available when the Jaguars pick at No. 7. Draft a quarterback and use the cap space in one of the many other areas that need to be addressed. What do you think about that price tag?
It’s expensive, but you’re not going to get a decent veteran quarterback for cheap and it’s not my money anyway.