Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Over the edge

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Jacksonville

John, do you think the Jags tagged outside linebacker Josh Allen to see if he can repeat last year's performance before signing him to a long-term contract given his earlier "mediocre" years? I thought for sure the Jags would sign Allen and tag wide receiver Calvin Ridley, but I wonder if the Jags may have tagged Allen when they realized that they were far apart on a deal with Ridley. We will never know the answer for sure, but I am wondering what your thoughts are.

I think the Jaguars and Allen waited until after the 2023 season to negotiate a long-term deal for Allen because it wouldn't have made much sense for either side to do so sooner. From the Jaguars' perspective, it would have been hard to sign Allen to an "elite" contact based on his production through his first four NFL seasons. He hadn't earned such a deal until he did so with 17.5 sacks in 2023. From Allen's perspective, it would have been hard to sign anything less than an elite contract before this offseason because he had flashed elite ability at times and clearly had that potential. I don't think the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Allen this offseason because of his earlier "mediocre" years or because of anything to do with Ridley. I think they placed the tag on him because the sides couldn't agree on a contract that satisfied Allen and that worked within the Jaguars' salary-cap projections.

David from Orlando, FL

KOAF. Allen wanted a contract extension last year and when that didn't happen, he didn't show up to training camp until it was mandatory. What date did he eventually arrive in camp and should we anticipate a similar timeline this year?

I don't know that this question reflects the reality of Allen's situation. Allen last offseason worked out on his own in Arizona and reported for the Jaguars' mandatory minicamp in June. This wasn't all that much different from his approach during the 2022 offseason, when he missed much of the team's voluntary work before reporting to the Jaguars' offseason program. He feels this is best for him. Any thought that Allen missed any of that time because of his contract situation is speculation, and something Allen never to my knowledge conformed. I wouldn't expect Allen to participate in voluntary offseason work this offseason if he remains under the franchise tag.

Crash from Glen St. Mary, FL

OZ! Pick No. 17. Cornerback Terrion Arnold/Alabama.

Very possibly.

Bill from Bostwick

If the top three cornerbacks on the Jaguars' draft board are already drafted prior to the No. 17 overall selection, would you then trade the 17th pick and wide receiver Zay Jones to the San Francisco 49ers for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk? And then hope for a quality corner in Round 2? Or should the Jags stand pat and still draft the best available player on their board no matter the position? What would the O-Zone do in that situation?

O-Zone would draft the best available player because O-Zone would be tired of spending big money on veterans deep into their careers.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

One of the few moments my six-year old son was locked in watching the game with me, Parker Washington caught his first(?) NFL TD. So he's WR1 in this house when playing backyard football.

One (young one) fer Washington.

Dave from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Hi, John. I assume all NFL teams have salary cap people who know all the tricks and crunch the numbers. I just don't understand how Kansas City seems to always be able to sign big-name free agents and keep their core together. You would think after winning Super Bowls those players on the roster would be asking for big raises once their contracts expire. It also seems the Chiefs renegotiate Mahomes contract every year and just give him more guaranteed money to free up cap space. Why do the Chiefs seem to not often have the same salary cap constraints other teams have?

I get some version of this question occasionally, just as I used to get these questions about the Los Angeles Rams. As was the case with the Rams a few seasons ago, the Chiefs of this era have the same cap constraints as all NFL teams. The Rams of that era eventually had to release and otherwise part ways with veteran players to make up for past expenditures. The Chiefs appear to negotiate the cap by having a roster of have and have nots. While they have some high-priced, high-profile players at the top of their cap such as tight end Travis Kelce and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, they are otherwise primarily made up of young, "low-cap" players. They have just six players with a cap figure of more than $10 million this season compared to the Jaguars' eight such players.

Scott from Jacksonville

IPAs are disgusting.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Why did they replace Brandon McManus? He missed some kicks but if I remember correctly, they put him out there from very far away when the wind was absolutely howling. Was this always the plan? Did he want to leave?

The Jaguars allowed kicker Brandon McManus to become an unrestricted free agent on the March 13 start of the 2024 NFL League Year and did not re-sign him because they wanted to improve at the kicker position. I don't know if it was "always" the plan, but it was the plan as the start of the league year approached. I don't know if McManus wanted to leave.

DJ from Grass Valley, CA

You're the man, Johnny boy! I hope you're enjoying your vacation. Some of us really appreciate what you do every day one hundred percent. Go Jags!

What's a "vacation?"

Jason from North Pole, AK

I would be pretty excited if the Jaguars took an edge and defensive tackle in the first three rounds. They would have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the league. The San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles have both shown in recent years that if you dominate up front you don't have to have All-Pros in coverage. You made a comment earlier along the lines of when is enough, enough in terms of pass rushing resources. I don't know if you can ever have enough.

I never said you can have enough pass rushers. I did say there is a point where it's time to stop participating in the overpriced, risky market that is NFL free agency.

William from Jacksonville

Wow. Just wow.


JK from New York and Fernandina Beach

Last year, the Jags invested a third-round pick in running back Tank Bigsby. I thought it was a good pick and Tank would take the load off running back Travis Etienne Jr. with about seven-to-10 carries a game with decent success and a few big plays. What we got was 50 total carries, several fumbles, other miscues, two touchdowns and 2.64 yards per carry. At Auburn, Bigsby showed speed, moves and power. That talent does not disappear in one disappointing rookie NFL season. I recall Tank getting hit as soon as he got the ball on many occasions with little opportunity to make any cut. Now that the Jags have an improved line, both Tank and Etienne should have better chances to get separation. Last year, it also felt like the coaches lost confidence in Tank and his carries went down. John - should the Jags invest more reps in Bigsby in 2024 to see what he has or should they look for a running back in the 2024 NFL Draft?

I expect Bigsby to play a more extensive role in 2024 and I don't think the Jaguars will select running back on Day 1 or 2 of the '24 draft.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - I have to say it was a nice gesture by Ridley to say he wanted to stay in Jacksonville after signing with the Tennessee Titans. I don't see players admit that too often. My thought is that he removed some of the rust last season, having a very respectable outcome and that he is going to have a remarkable season with the Titans. It's too bad it won't be with the Jags but these things happen in this business and the Titans made a very good and expensive investment.


Kevin from Sault Ste Marie, ON, Canada

How would you assess the current state of the EDGE position group for the Jaguars? It has gotten surprisingly little talk when referencing the upcoming draft. You can never have enough edge rushers.

I think Allen and outside linebacker Travon Walker are really good and represent the strength of the Jaguars' defense. I think you never can have enough edge rushers. If you have a chance to draft a front-line player here, it's rarely a bad idea.