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O-Zone: Pure perfection

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mark from Archer, FL

Zone, I know this is Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II's year to prove if he can be the team's quarterback of the future. But given how this offseason has been because of COVID-19, the lack of normal offseason program and a likely strange season … have you heard talk or rumors of the Jaguars giving him another year if he does not wow this year? Also: Is Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is more likely to give General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone more leeway if they fail to meet expectations because of the way this year is going from the virus?

The eventual answers to these questions likely will depend not on what COVID-19 did to the 2020 NFL offseason, but what it does to the 2020 regular season. If the Jaguars/NFL play an entire regular season – or something close to it – in relatively "normal" circumstances, then the futures of those playing, coaching and leading the Jaguars likely will be decided in a relatively normal way. As far as what will happen if COVID-19 cancels the season or disrupts it significantly … I must admit I don't have a good feel for that. I'm not sure anyone – from Khan to Caldwell to Marrone – does. It's not that your questions aren't good ones. It's that there's too much unknown about COVID-19 and how it will affect the 2020 season – how it will affect preparation, personnel, schedule, etc., etc., etc. – to answer them accurately.

William from Merritt Island, FL

How will new "opt out" affect Yannick?

The opt-out option seems unlikely to significantly affect Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue; he must sign that tag if he wants to play in 2020. If he does sign it, he will play 2020 on a one-year deal for about $17.8 million. If he signs the tag and opts out of the 2020 season, he will receive $150,000 -- $300,000 if he is deemed "high risk" – for 2020 and his contract would toll to 2021. That means he would be under a one-year contract with the Jaguars for the 2021 season – presumably at something around the $17.8 million he would have earned in 2020. He could become an unrestricted free agent in 2022, but the Jaguars would still have the option of applying the franchise tag on him that year for what would be the second time. So, if Ngakoue's goal is to get out of Jacksonville as an unrestricted free agent – as presumably is the case – opting out of this season seemingly would set his timetable for doing so on hold for a year.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

The most ironic thing in the kneeling movement is players are essentially wanting people's nature to change. While a noble and genuine pursuit, there always will be people who don't care about being fair, just, kind or good. You are kneeling against something you can't change by kneeling; you change it by being the example against it and challenging it when you see it happening. Generally, we are a great, kind, generous, compassionate people who give everyone a hand up when they need it. Look at any crisis in the last 50 years. People have come together – regardless of color of skin, gender or religion – to help each other through that crisis: 9/11, Katrina, Andrew, Oklahoma, go through the list. Personally, that is the America I see, support and why I will always stand for my anthem. Also: I will respect those who choose not to; it is all in what you chose to see and be an example of. That is how change happens.


Robert from Richmond, VA

John: What is "tolling" in the COVID-19 modifications to the CBA? Do I read it correctly to mean that if a player opts not to participate for the season, his contract extends for another year?

It sounds as if you're reading it correctly. Tolling in the Collective Bargaining Agreement means the contract jumps ahead to the next year. What essentially will happen if a player opts out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 – either because he is designated high risk or because he simply chooses not to play – is he will received a stipend for the 2020 season and then what would have been his 2020 contract becomes his 2021 contract.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Saw an article saying 12 rookies were put on COVID list in all NFL. Saw we have four. A third of all COVID cases for all 32 teams are here in Jax? That is a bad start. Are my numbers wrong? Lots of teams have zero players quarantined, right? We should try that next time.

C'mon, Rob … I try to be patient with readers; I honestly do. But are we so desperate to snidely criticize the team that we're criticizing it for having rookies report positive for COVID? First, all teams haven't announced how many rookies have tested positive because they haven't placed them on their reserve/COVID-19 list. Second, how exactly are the Jaguars or any team supposed to control what players – particularly rookies – do before they report? Here's something to "try next time:" having perspective and having some remote idea of what is realistic. That would be cool. Really cool.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Having watched several European soccer games and now a little MLB it seems live crowds have little effect on player performance, intensity, coaching, refereeing, etc.


Sean from Jacksonville

Who are you going to choose for your tag-team wrestling partner? Frenette, Shadrick, or DiRocco?

I don't know any of those people. Stop calling me.

Maryanne from Jacksonville

Do you think with the limited media contact we as fans will see anything pertaining to training camp? I keep checking the team's live feed but there's nothing there.

Yes, fans will see coverage of 2020 Jaguars Training Camp. Veterans are scheduled to report on Tuesday, with COVID-19 testing expected to take place through this week. On-field work will begin around August 12 and padded practices will begin around August 17. The reason there's nothing to see on the live feed right now is because there's nothing to see right now; there's no on-field work and won't be for a couple of weeks. You won't see much – if any – live coverage of practices at any point; teams don't stream live training camp practices. But there will be live shows and coverage of training camp on As always is the case.

Jeremy from Jacksonville

Mr. O, I always find it interesting to see how nicknames come to be and develop over time. For instance, to know that some people call you Maurice was enlightening to me, just as I hope it enlightens you to know that – although not everybody does this – some call me the gangster of love.

My grandpa, he's 95. He keeps on dancing, he's still alive.

Paul from St. Johns, FL

On Yann possibly, or likely, not showing up to camp until the last minute this year: what does that do for him? He can't negotiate a long-term deal at this point, can he? Would it just be a show of defiance on his part to not show up on time?

Because Ngakoue didn't sign a long-term deal with the Jaguars on or before July 15, it now can't happen until after the season. That's how it works under the NFL's franchise tag's rules. But I admit I find the wording of your final question amusing. You asked if it wouldn't just be a show of defiance on his part not to show up on time. Of course. It absolutely would be a show of defiance. That would be the entire point and it wouldn't be remotely out of the question for Ngakoue to show up late for that very reason.

Seamus from Vancouver, BC

An article on quotes, "Penalties for violating the Flag Code are not enforced; the Supreme Court has found it unconstitutional to prohibit desecrating the flag. Instead, the Flag Code can be considered a list of guidelines for proper conduct regarding the flag." In other words, how a citizen chooses to respect the flag, and to which level they choose, is protected by the First Amendment. I wish to remind the same folks who wag their fingers at kneeling players to THOROUGHLY review the Flag Code to ensure that they themselves are not violating the Code.


Wade formerly of the Westside

What do you consider perfect football conditions? For me, it is 30 degrees with snow flurries where you can see your breath between gulps of beer – definitely not 90-plus degree weather with half my face baking in the hot Florida sun.

I consider perfect football conditions around 40-to-45 degrees with brown and orange leaves dancing around the ground in a stiff breeze – so essentially Northeast Florida around Thanksgiving. But no … 90-plus degrees with half your face baking in hot Florida sun isn't perfect. It's stifling and miserable. No argument here.