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JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Jacksonville

John, I wouldn't be shocked if the Jags drafted a wide receiver in the first round. Though it seems you would be. That's a little strange to me, though. We know they wanted Calvin Ridley back in the fold. So now the idea is, "Well, they wanted Ridley back, but since that didn't happen, receiver is no longer a priority for them." Also, please save me the "They could still take a wide receiver later in the draft…" because that means it's not a "priority." How do you square these thoughts of mine?

I indeed would be surprised if the Jaguars selected wide receiver No. 17 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, and I have said this on multiple occasions. It wouldn't be the most stunning draft selection I ever have witnessed. I simply would be surprised. The reasons are several, one being that cornerback seems a more immediate need than wide receiver. The Jaguars' current top wide receiver trio of Christian Kirk, Gabe Davis and Zay Jones – along with tight end Evan Engram – give them a very capable group of front-line pass-catchers. While Tyson Campbell and Ronald Darby are a capable cornerback duo, you need three or four players at the position in the NFL. It therefore feels as if the Jaguars could select one corner early later this month – and perhaps two. And while you say taking a wide receiver later in the draft means it's not a priority, that perhaps isn't the case. Wide receiver is perhaps the draft's deepest position. The Jaguars could make it at least somewhat of a priority by addressing it in Rounds 2 or 3.

Tom from Jacksonville

What would you trade Trevor for?

I wouldn't be inclined to trade Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. What could possibly prompt me to make such a move? No less than a proven, elite quarterback. That's not saying Lawrence won't become that. He has the potential to do so, and he has had a lot of moments in his first three NFL seasons when he has played at that level. But he's not there yet. There are quarterbacks in the NFL who are there.

Don from Marshall, NC

Tank Bigsby was terrible last year. Huge disappointment. So how is Head Coach Doug Pederson going to magically get him going? I have him going to the CFL. Why not get someone who is ready for game?

When it comes to Jaguars second-year running back Tank Bigsby, and to believing it can take time for players to adjust to the NFL, Don remains quite notably not "all in."

Zach from Jacksonville

This Jaguars' offseason has been defined by the lines of scrimmage. This team last year failed to stop the run and were apprehensive to run even on third-and-1. Early on next year I expect to see them come out with a stable of running backs. I honestly can't wait to see how Tank Bigsby looks next year with an offseason under his belt. I am hoping they start off early trying to establish the run with him, D'Ernest Johnson and – of course – Travis Etienne Jr. A kid who looked a bit overwhelmed last year, he has to be determined to prove fans wrong after last year.

One fer Bigsby.

Marcus from Jacksonville

Do you think the NIL will be good for evaluating talent at the NFL level in the long run? A major unknown in drafting is understanding what a player might do when they get their first pay day. Will they continue to work hard? Do they really love the game, or do they just want to get paid? Are they going to go off the deep end when they have millions of dollars and the freedom to use it how they please? NIL may not be great for college football, but do you think it' will help teams avoid a problem because they will be able to see how the best players handle having some cash before they ever get to the league?

This is an intriguing and legitimate question, though I'm not as big as most people on the belief that players "bust" because they are paid millions and therefore lose motivation. I tend to believe most "busts" occur because the NFL is a different – and far more difficult – game than college football, and it's therefore hard to project how even seemingly "great" college prospects will transition to the NFL. It also appears certain that NIL will allow many players to stay in college longer and further develop rather than declare for the draft because of financial needs. As for whether teams will benefit from seeing how players handle NIL millions … well, it almost certainly will give them some insight into the player. After that, it will be up to teams to use that information wisely. My sense is teams still will usually draft such players – especially if they're really talented. The temptation of talent in the NFL tends to override many other factors.

Paul from Lake City, FL

One of many rules of life: it is much easier to hold others to standards you would not meet yourself. There's probably a lot of overlap between fans who complain about athletes making millions and fans who complain about making the game safer. I understand the frustration on rules changes, but I'm also not willing to get hip-drop tackled myself, either.


Jason from Jacksonville

The difference a year makes in perception is wild. A year ago, I would have felt fine with the Jags going into a season with this current group of wide outs. But going into the 2024 season, I fear that the group isn't going to be good enough to be competitive in the stronger-than-previous AFC South. Talking to other fans I feel like I'm not alone in this thought. And it seems pretty clear they won't be adding any new players to the wideout room between now and the start of the season. Do you think these guys can flip the script and play better than they have and make the year two jump they never made last year??

I don't know that the "Year 2" jump really applies here. They Jaguars' wide receivers – the core group, anyway – are veterans with players such as Gabe Davis, Jones and Kirk having established themselves in the NFL. Davis during four seasons with the Buffalo Bills has shown he is a playmaking threat, and Kirk and Jones have shown in two seasons with the Jaguars that they are capable of being very productive. Their drop in productivity last season from this view stemmed more from injury than a decline in ability. While I don't know that there is a "True No. 1" receiver in the group, it's entirely possible that all three could have 800-to-900 yards receiving with seven or eight touchdowns – and that Engram could also produce in that range. You can definitely play high-end offense and win with that level of production, particularly in the Jaguars' offensive scheme. Also: You say it's pretty clear the Jaguars won't be adding wide receivers between now and the start of the season. I don't know that that's true at all.

Charles from Savannah

How do the Jaguars compare to other teams in regards to player dead money?

The Jaguars currently have about $17.8 million dead money on the 2024 salary cap. That's by my count the 20th-highest figure in the NFL.

Richard from St Augustine

Might O King of all that is funky. I see center Luke Fortner got $800,000 in the NFL incentive cash pile. I googled to try to understand the breakdown, but info seemed very short on details. While you also may not know exact specifics of how Fortner received his amount, could you do your best to give a breakdown of his specifics? I know playing time and where a player is selected in draft is a part of equation. Thanks for all your O'ness it is surely a blessing to us all! More Moodachay in 24 than 23! DTWD Go Jags Duuuvaaal.

The NFL's "performance-based pay" system indeed is complex, and perhaps best explained as follows. The league has created a pool to ensure players with lower salaries can be more "fairly" compensated if their playing time merits. To quote the NFL: "In general, players with higher playtime percentages and lower salaries benefit from the pool."

Brad from Jacksonville

John, I do not think that the NFL will be flag football in 50 years. I do believe, however, that the players will be replaced by remotely controlled robots. The sad thing is, that fans born, say around this year or so, will be OK with that.

I would hate for this to happen. My first thought is it's extreme and won't happen. I'm probably too old to have a real feel if it will happen and I know I'm too old for to matter to me.