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O-Zone: Shiny objects

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Deane from World's Most Famous Beach, FL

Yo, O-Zone! Those Jags that are rehabbing injuries, what are their timetables to return to action (cleared to practice and then play)?

This list is essentially – give or take – left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Ben Bartch and outside linebacker Jordan Smith. Robinson sustained a knee injury in December and is participating in 2023 organized team activities. Smith sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in OTAs last June and also is participating in '23 OTAs. The team appears to be being appropriately cautious with Smith given the nature of the injury and usual timetable for rehabilitation and return. The same appears true of Bartch, who sustained a torn ACL last October. He isn't yet participating fully in OTAs, which is as expected. I would expect the normal return for his timeframe, which would mean a gradual – and monitored – increase in participation in training camp, with return sometime early in the season.

_John from The land of Indian River       _

Read an article this morning about Josh Allen setting out OTAs over a contract dispute? Thought Josh was good playing on his fifth-year option? Is there some trouble brewing?

Don't believe everything you read on the interweb. While Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen is not attending '23 OTAs, he also did not attend most of the '22 offseason program while working out on his own. There is no reason to think his reasoning this year is different, and he certainly has not publicly indicated displeasure with his contract situation. While Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, certainly would like a new contract if it were what he believed was the right amount, to say trouble is brewing is speculation and not fact. Remember, too: It's not automatically in Allen's best interest to sign a contract now, even if the Jaguars were offering one. He believes he can produce much better statistics than he has in the last few seasons. If he does so in 2023, he could dramatically increase his market value.

Nick from Palm Coast, FL

Do we have 100 percent of the players reporting? Have not heard any reports on Josh Allen. I understand Evan not showing up due to contract.

Allen and tight end Evan Engram were the only players not attending OTA Day 4 Tuesday. I expect the reason Allen hasn't been discussed too much outside an interweb "report" or two is that most people who cover the team understand the situation. Engram, for his part, received the franchise tag from the Jaguars in March. It's not uncommon for "tagged" players to miss offseason workouts. Engram and the Jaguars have until July 15 to reach a long-term extension. If that doesn't happen, I expect Engram likely will sign the tag's tender off and play for the Jaguars on a one-year contract in 2023.

Andy from St Augustine, FL

I think it's great that our new kicker has made 90 percent of his career field goals from under 50 yards. The only issue I see is that our old kicker has made 91 percent of his career field goals under 50 yards. Granted, it's a smaller sample size, but making 90 percent of your attempts isn't really a selling point when the person being replaced has made 91 percent. Just saying.

Jaguars kicker Brandon McManus, signed last week after his released from the Denver Broncos, indeed has made 90 percent of kicks from under 50 yards for his career. That's a nine-year sample size compared to a one-year-ish sample size for former Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson, who was traded to the Detroit Lions after his lone season with the Jaguars. So, yes … sample size matters in this discussion. Leg strength and experience appear to matter a lot more.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

I think the Jaguars signed McManus because he is a veteran kicker with a Super Bowl ring and when the time comes for a big kick at the end of a playoff game the moment is not going to be too big for him.

Experience mattered here. Leg strength did, too.

Jason from Honolulu, HI

Please excuse my ignorance. I don't understand how a new or upgraded stadium will increase revenue, especially when it sounds like capacity could be reduced. I'm assuming that the average ticket price will increase. And I'm guessing that it's more complicated than, "If you win, they will come."

New stadiums mean increased revenue opportunities – from ticket prices to a degree, but primarily in the form of premium seating and corporate sponsorship. Remember: When the Jaguars first entered the NFL in 1995, they were at or near the top of the league in terms of local revenue because of premium seating. What is now known as TIAA Bank Field at the time produced more local revenue than older, antiquated stadiums around the NFL. As time passed and other teams built new stadiums with new revenue opportunities, the Jaguars' stadium became more and more antiquated and the team Jaguars slipped to the bottom of the NFL in this category. The Jaguars probably can't get back to the top of the league in local revenue. Bigger markets inherently have more potential in this area. But a new stadium – in addition to just being needed because of age – also will help in this area.

Oscar from Palm Coast, FL

Big O. The issue I see with this new fair-catch rule is that players are supposed to be safer. But what I see happening is that players are going to take more chances on running the ball even though they shouldn't. What are your thoughts?

The NFL last week implemented a rule for 2023 that will place the ball on the receiving team's 25-yard line for kickoffs fair caught anywhere inside the 25. It's meant to make the game safer by reducing kickoff returns, which are considered one of the NFL's most dangerous plays. The reason the rule should work toward this is players will be less apt to return "mortar" – or high, lobbing – kicks. The reasoning is that such a kick fielded at the 5-yard line probably won't be returned past the 25, therefore making a fair catch the smarter play. While I understand your reasoning, I don't think players will take more chances in this situation. I expect most will take the field position. We'll see.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville

Wow, we got through one whole day without a question about the stadium rebuild, renovation or redesign. Impressive. OK. So here is a thought: If the city agrees to this thing could we perhaps get Jaguars Owner Shad Khan to agree then as part to STOP putting home games in London? I mean it seems if we are going to all the trouble to have a new facility, then we should be able to have all our games here. Let's just get blunt honest: Shad is going to need to commit sooner than later and sending home games away "because he needs to make more money." That justification won't sell for long if we have a shiny new place to play in. Just saying.

I expect many, many issues to be discussed when the city and team discuss the Jaguars' future stadium. I expect this to be among those issues.

Dan from Atmore

Zone, maybe I'm confused but I can't recall seeing a fair catch on a kickoff. A punt, yes, but a kickoff?

Fair catches are rare on kickoffs, though many returners do opt to allow the ball to go into the end zone and therefore take the ball at the fair-catch placement point. The reason you haven't seen kickoffs fair caught often in the past is that a fair catch on a kickoff usually resulted in poor field position. Because a fair catch now will result in receiving the ball at the 25, the expectation is you will see more of them.

Gator from Gainesville, FL

I don't like the new kickoff rule. You know what? I don't like fair catches on punts! You know what I don't like? Roughing the passer! I'm putting my time back into WWE where they still is real!!!

You go, girl.

Richard from St Augustine, FL

I think it is disrespectful of our current receivers to talk about bringing in another wide receiver or tight end – or whoever it might be. Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk was ranked 14th, wide receiver Zay Jones 35thand Engram 41st. Statistically, that is three wide receivers/tight ends in the Top 64 compared to some teams who only have one? O, great Funky King am I overreacting? Not to mention we have added Calvin Ridley to the mix! One fer the wide receiver room. Go Jags!!

Fans gonna fan. It's what they do. Part of doing that is being attracted to bright shiny object and familiar names when familiar names are released from other teams. I don't expect the Jaguars to pursue/sign any shiny objects at receiver or tight end this offseason. They appear very strong there.