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O-Zone: Right way to go

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Lynn from Jacksonville

It seems like in the past couple of weeks we have committed to a full-blown rebuild. If so, what was the point of keeping Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell? Because at this point, it seems like Marrone is just a lame duck. Rookies rarely have a high impact in the NFL – and when they do, it's more individual success than true contribution to the win/loss totals.

The idea that the Jaguars are "rebuilding" is popular among many fans and observers right now, and some elements of this offseason understandably feel that way. What I can tell you is the people running the Jaguars aren't viewing this offseason as a rebuild. Argue that as much as you want, but it's true – and none of what has happened so far this offseason should come as a shock if you've been following the team closely. The major moves the last two weeks have been not picking up the option on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and trading cornerback A.J. Bouye. These moves have been obvious for months, and in a sense have been planned since the players were acquired in 2017; the structures of their contracts have long made it extremely unlikely they would be here in 2020. There's also still time before free agency begins on March 18, and it wouldn't be surprising to see another veteran or two traded or released for cap reasons. If so, people will continue to see this as a rebuild. However people see it, make no mistake: Marrone and Caldwell re focused on winning in 2020. They may have to do it with a younger roster than they had last season, but that will be the focus.

Robert from St. Augustine, FL

If defensive end Calais Campbell plays for the Jags in 2020, what do you think his restructured contract will look like?

I expect ultimately that Campbell will play for the Jaguars in 2020 on his current contract.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, there seem to be possible upgrades at the quarterback position likely to hit free agency. Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, maybe Tom Brady – heck … maybe Jimmy Garoppolo. Do you see any of these as upgrades and something that the Jags may pursue? Are they too cap heavy if they wanted to?

Players such as Rivers, Brady – and heck, even Garoppolo – could well be upgrades, particularly for the extremely short-term. But I don't see the Jaguars seeking a quarterback in free agency this offseason. If their cap situation doesn't preclude it, it at least makes it extremely difficult. A more plausible scenario is starting Gardner Minshew II at quarterback this season to see if the positive signs he showed last season are more than hints. If Minshew is for real, they're in good shape. If not …

Roger from Greenbush, ME

Mighty Funk of the Funky Bunch ... I've noticed something very interesting as of late. Most of the lists of TOP free agents don't list YN91 as a top player available. Since he's not listed as a TOP free agent, shouldn't he probably his self-expectations on money he wants??

I am weary – and perhaps a little wary – of pointing this out, because people interpret it as a criticism of Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. It's not. I believe Ngakoue is a very good – and a very valuable – player. He deserves to get paid very well. But there is a legitimate question about whether his demands – if those demands are to be treated and paid as one of the NFL's top players at his position – truly match reality. It's very possible Ngakoue eventually will be proven right – and that he will be paid as an elite player and that he subsequently will perform as such. I just don't expect that the Jaguars will do this, and I'm not sure it's completely ridiculous that this is their likely course of action.

Nicholas from Djiboui, Africa

KOAF: In these uncertain times with the franchise I just want to take time to recognize hard work when I see it and that means giving you recognition for your (hard?) work and dedication to your job of keeping the readers (and he knows who that is) informed on what is going within the organization despite if we (the impassioned and sometimes non-logical fans of the franchise) try to twist your words to fit our own pre-determined narratives. Your witty remarks and ongoing feud with Boselli make me laugh and your daily question and answer keeps me engaged. I think we need an O-Zone Appreciation day and just want to say thank you for keeping me entertained for the past year.

You're right. I suck. Fortunately, Boselli does, too. Hey, we're all winners!!!!

Jimsure from Daytona Beach Shores, FL

I'm sure I'm somewhat alone in this but I think ALL players are way overpaid. Let the market have a big correction and bring them back to earth. Most of them would not be able to make anywhere close to the money they get for playing a game. Sorry.

You're not alone and of course NFL players are way overpaid. But there's not much point to digging deep into the discussion. It's not going back the other way, so we live in a world in which discussing what NFL players are overpaid or underpaid is all relative – and all ridiculous. Well … welcome to my world, I guess.

Ray from Jacksonville

John: How does a GM keep his job with one good season in seven and the team can't effectively rebuild because it has salary cap problems?

Fair question, though it's also fair to point out that Caldwell was the final decision-maker in "only" four of those seven seasons. This is not to lay all "blame" for the current situation on former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, but it is to say it's also not right to assume that Caldwell has overseen all that currently ails the Jaguars.

Scott from Jacksonville

Hey O, I'm not sold on Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown and I really hope we don't take him early. He's a big fatty. You don't need to spend Top 10 equity for big fatties. If we do, I believe it's a mistake. I also don't agree with getting rid of Bouye. He didn't forget how to play and the whole defense was bad last year. And he's still in his prime. I have a hard time imagining the team finding someone who can play as well as Bouye for less than they saved by releasing him. At least we got the fourth-round pick as a consolation prize.


Randall from Springfield, OH

Do you think going after tight ends Hunter Henry of San Diego and Austin Hooper of Atlanta as well as a middle linebacker in free agency, then drafting linemen on both sides of the ball early is good plan of attack for Jags??

That makes sense. I am skeptical that the Jaguars have the cap room or the quarterback/offensive situation to draw an elite tight end, but all your scenario makes sense.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, If that theoretical Seahawks offer of trading their second-round pick (59) and swapping their first-round pick (27) for the Jaguars' second-round pick (42) for defensive end Ngakoue really was on the table, would you also think it best for the Jags to rent a disgruntled player for a year in lieu of hastening our rebuild with that additional draft equity; or do you simply believe this front office would decline based on its well established pattern of ineptitude?

I think the Jaguars have little-to-no interest in trading Ngakoue at this point. You are free to interpret and insert opinions as you see fit.

Red from the O-Zone Comments Section

Enquiring minds want to know: Why do you include so many stupid questions in your O-Zone Q&A?

I only include question that I get from readers, and I never get stupid questions. Readers are kind, understanding, polite, giving, noble … and mostly, brilliant.

Don from Marshall, NC

I have not seen one mock draft that would disappoint me. They all look like future stars to me. It seems the draft is very deep.

There's no reason to think there won't be a good player at a position of need available when the Jaguars selection No. 9 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

Zone: I was taught a long time ago, early in my career, that how you leave a job or organization is insightful of who you are as a person – and undoubtedly has a direct impact on your reputation within your professional circles. The way Bouye handled his departure is commensurate with his time as a Jag. He is a real class act and one from whom others can learn. Best of luck to Bouye in his future endeavors. Thanks and Go Jags!!