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O-Zone: Shell game

JACKSONVILLE – Hey! Guess what!?

The O-Zone submission form on the app continues to not work! We continue to ask that you submit questions through the form on the website or via! OK, then!

Let's get to it …

Alon from Malibu, CA

I hope you can give an honest answer. Do you think the Jaguars tanked on purpose last year? I think, for example, keeping Minshew on the bench was an obvious sign. Well, it worked and will change the franchise future with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.

I indeed will give an honest answer, a dramatic departure from my preferred approach of blatantly lying and misleading. That honest answer is this: The Jaguars absolutely didn't tank on purpose during the 2020 season. And they didn't keep quarterback Gardner Minshew II on the bench to intentionally lose; they kept him there because they believed he hadn't played well enough – even when healthy – to merit playing him. Remember: Then-Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell were making the decisions last season. Why would they have wanted to lose? Why would the offensive and defensive coordinators have wanted to lose? All the aforementioned lost their jobs following the season, so they clearly had no incentive to lose. Neither did the Jaguars' players. Did it behoove the franchise as a whole to finish with the NFL's worst record rather than the second- or third-worst record? If the Jaguars select Lawrence and he indeed is as good as many believe, then yes … absolutely. But to think the decision-makers intentionally lost is to believe an easy, preconceived narrative as opposed to thinking logically about a situation and what motivates people.

Clyde from Jacksonville Fl

I heard Geno Hayes, former Jaguars player, is very sick. I had the chance to meet him and his family a few times. Great guy, he and his beautiful family are in need of prayers. #55

Former Jaguars linebacker Geno Hayes indeed reportedly is in hospice care because of liver complications. Hayes played for the Jaguars in 2013-2014, having previously played for Florida State University before playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2008-2011 and the Chicago Bears in 2012. I didn't know Hayes as well as I knew many former Jaguars players, but I remember him as a decent guy and respected teammate. Here's hoping for the best.

Sean from Jacksonville

Here's one for Geno Hayes, former Florida State University and Jaguars player. I loved watching him play for FSU. May his life reflect the love he had for the game and family.



Hypothetical trade for you. Atlanta sends the fourth overall selection (to pick tight end Kyle Pitts or a wide receiver, I assume) to Jacksonville in exchange for Minshew, the 25thpick, the 2022 first rounder and all the Day 3 draft picks we have in 2021 except for 106. First question, does either team take this trade? Second, if they do, who is getting the better deal?

The Jaguars probably would take the trade; the Falcons probably wouldn't. Here's why: You're essentially asking the Falcons to exchange 2021 first-round selections and moved down 25 spots in the draft (their No. 4 for the Jaguars' No. 25 selection) in exchange for the Jaguars' 2022 first-round draft selection. Nothing else you're offering the Falcons has much value when you're asking them to move that far down from the No. 4 overall spot. Offering a future first-round selection probably would be enough to get the Falcons to listen. But this year's draft is heavy on quarterbacks at the top and that makes the selections there more valuable. If the Falcons are considering taking a quarterback or listening to other offers from teams wanting a quarterback, then the Jaguars probably would have to offer a 2022 first-round selection and at least one Day 2 selection from this year. Possibly more.

Alan from Jacksonville

Sir Zed, I don't understand why everyone seems to be ready send Minshew packing for a pittance. According to PFF, even with the worst roster in football, he was ranked 25thamong other starting QB, ranking ahead of Alex Smith, Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater to name a few. C.J. Beathard has less playing experience and when he did play, he wasn't that good. What's the downside of having them both in camp and letting them shoot it out? It seems like watching them side-by-side and seeing their chemistry with Trevor would be valuable info. What do they have to lose?

Perhaps this will happen. We'll see.

Brian from Naples, FL

Many thought Alex Smith was going to be a backup quarterback, but been thinking: What if he was not being interviewed for backup quarterback but rather the quarterback coach?

I imagine Smith would make a fine quarterbacks coach, and I know of no reason that Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer wouldn't want Smith for that role. The primary question would be Smith's interest in coaching anywhere. He made nearly $190 million in his NFL career. NFL coaching is a grind featuring long hours and a lot of time away from family. For assistant coaches, it can be a thankless grind. Perhaps Smith will someday want to commit himself to that grind. I would be surprised if he chose to do so immediately after retiring.

Jarret from Crosby, ND

OK, Zone: I'll bite. Why is the NHL "unquestionably the best postseason in professional sports?"

Overtime. And game sevens. And overtimes in game sevens.

JG from Silver Spring, MD

Hi John, why is Minshew referred to as "former starting quarterback?" I understand he is unlikely to start another game, but I didn't realize the team had declared that he wasn't the starter. Tre Herndon is unlikely to start another game at cornerback, but he isn't referred to as "former starting cornerback" Tre Herndon, despite starting more games than Minshew has.

I don't know how others reference Minshew. I do know I have referred to Minshew as the Jaguars' former starting quarterback multiple times recently. I do this to provide clarity when referring to Minshew. He is not just another quarterback and he mattered to this team very much at one point. He started 20 games over his first two NFL seasons, and that's worth acknowledging. He appears unlikely to be the starter again, so I refer to him as the former starting quarterback when the situation calls for it. Starters at other positions seem slightly less certain, but if it will help you sleep at night I can refer to Herndon as a former starter moving forward. Would that work?

Dan from Hollywood, CA

If the Jaguars don't select Trevor Lawrence, who will they pick?

I don't understand the question.

Steve from Nashville, TN

How does the variable and unknown portion of incentive-laden contracts count against the cap total for teams?

This is one of the more confusing parts of the NFL's salary cap. The league separates incentives for cap purposes into two categories – likely to be earned and not likely to be earned. Likely to be earned means a player met that incentive the previous season – with a LTBE counting against the cap for the current season. An NLTBE means a player did not meet the inventive the previous season – with the NLTBE, if reached, counted against the cap the season after the incentive is met and earned. This creates some complications for cap gurus but allows teams some cap flexibility within a given year.

Steve from Section 215

I'm curious how long it would take to fix the app if it was also used to produce the Jags paychecks?


Clyde from Jacksonville, FL

Did we have 100 percent attendees April 19? I've been a fan since Jacksonville was awarded an NFL team and this is by far the most exciting offseason ever for me. I'm thinking players and staff feel it, too. How does it feel at the 'Bank this year compared to years past? You have a dream job and do it well.

The Jaguars' offseason program began this week with virtual meetings. Meyer said Wednesday while the virtual nature of the program wasn't ideal, he was pleased with attendance.


_Hi, John. Do you think people are sleeping on DaVon Hamilton? _

I spent a few minutes thinking up some really funny answers to your question, then decided that it was just too easy.

Cliff from Orange Park, FL

Saw Ja'Marr Chase workout on NFL Network, moved a lot like Jimmy Smith. Any chance Jaguars can work some magic?

Louisiana State wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is projected as a Top 6-to-7 selection, so no … the Jaguars almost certainly will not be able to work enough magic to move up from No. 25 selection to select him. We'll see, though.

Cletis from Funkytown

The kid playing taco at Stanford would be a good get for the Jags. Scouting reports on him paint him as a terrible shy introvert. If we can just get him out of his shell …

Good one, Cletis.