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O-Zone: Showing some pride

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Let's get to it …

Jay from So Cal

How long should the Jaguars keep Baalke? If this team does not see more improvement in the win/loss column next year, should the team move on from him? I have read a lot of articles saying he is a micromanager who basically calls the shots on everything with the draft, free agency and making player personnel moves. I would hope that many more of the staff would hold more value in the process.

NFL owners examine and evaluate the head coach, general manager and overall football operations following each season, and Jaguars Owner Shad Khan certainly does this. If teams are successful and operations are running smoothly, changes are rare. If teams are unsuccessful and operations are running roughly, change is more likely. I expect Khan will retain both General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Doug Pederson so long as the Jaguars remain competitive and/or Khan believes Baalke and Pederson are the right people to maintain that or make them competitive. As for Baalke calling the shots on everything with the draft, free agency and player personnel moves … that pretty much describes every NFL general manager. Baalke meets with decision-level scouts and Pederson extensively entering free agency and the draft – and when making personnel moves. He gets input and then makes decisions. The opinion of many is taken into consideration. How much does he listen to the input of others on every specific decision? Not being inside Baalke's head, that I cannot say. But this process is essentially that of any NFL general manager.

Steve from the Marco San Marco

A couple years ago there was a player who got hurt in the Senior Bowl and his draft status dropped to third or fourth round. Jacksonville brass liked him and drafted him with the idea his first year would likely be injured reserve. Who was this? Did he play in his secnd year? Did he develop into the player we hoped?

One former Jaguars player who at least somewhat fits this description was cornerback Aaron Colvin, who sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2014 Senior Bowl. The Jaguars selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he developed into a very good nickel corner and a key player on the 2017 AFC South title team. He then signed with the Houston Texans as an unrestricted free agent in the 2018 offseason.

Chief from Biloxi, MS

After having two losing seasons, the Jaguars were one victory away from back-to-back AFC South titles. But if the GM was more active and brought in the missing link, we could be talking about how far the Jaguars performed deep into the postseason. But did it happen? Any good GM, unless ownership tightens his hand, could have delivered not one but two winning seasons into the postseason.

An "active" general manager is not always a good general manager. Sometimes the role is about managing the long-term against the short-term, particularly when it comes to unrestricted free agency. And not every "good GM" has teams in the postseason every season. Many Hall of Fame general managers, in fact, have had teams narrowly miss the postseason.

Cory from Alexandria, VA

Longtime sportswriter and NFL columnist Peter King is retiring after 44 years of journalism. Do you have any thoughts on that or any interesting stories you would like to share about Peter King?

I don't have a particular story about King. I admire and respect him a great deal, and I am proud to consider him a friend. We met in 1995 or so when I was a young sportswriter covering the Jaguars for the Florida Times-Union. He was well established as Sports Illustrated's top NFL writer and never once acted arrogantly toward me despite his superior status in the industry. He was always willing to help – not only then, but throughout the next three decades. He appeared on my podcast and multiple other Jaguars Media channels often over the last decade. Here's wishing him a happy, healthy and long retirement. Class act and great journalist.

Rum Runner from Spanish Town

Hey, King. Quarterbacks are taking up so much of the cap space. Do you think there will ever be an attempt to put a cap on positional contracts? It seems the player's union would favor something like that as it would leave more money for the bulk of the players. It seems the owners would also go for that as it would reduce the risk of a highly paid quarterback failure.

No, I do not think there will be a cap on positional contracts. Some in the player's union likely would favor it. I doubt the quarterbacks would be in that group.

Sal from Austin, TX

Jimi Hendrix doesn't make you're top 3, and you have the Stones ranked higher. Well, at least you're not picking for the Jaguars.

You really wouldn't like my Top 10.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, in response to your assertion... "Bigsby and Strange didn't contribute all that much as rookies. That doesn't mean they're bad selections. There's more to a player's career than the rookie season." Both may very well have long journeymen careers in the NFL, but using second-and third-round picks for players at those positions who are unable to contribute as rookies are in fact bad selections. We're not talking about a future game-wrecking pass rusher that needs time to bulk up, a left tackle that could one day hold down that spot for a decade or a developmental quarterback you could eventually see as the face of your franchise. We'll only have those guys for four years because it would be almost as stupid to re-sign a blocking tight and backup running back to the kind of free-agent money it would take if they do eventually develop as it was to use second -and third-round picks on a blocking tight end and short yardage back unable to contribute as rookies in the first place. If you get anything less than four years of decent production from second and third round picks at less-than-essential positions such as those, they are absolutely, unequivocally costly draft capital whiffs that could possibly have been the difference between making the postseason and not.

If tight end Brenton Strange and running back Tank Bigsby aren't much more productive/better than they were as rookies, they will have been bad selections. If they're much more productive/better than they were as rookies, then there's a good chance they can be good selections.

*Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL     *

I was traveling for work in Kansas City and turned on their local sports talk radio. There was a caller who wanted the Chiefs' general manager to be fired. He said this year's Super Bowl winning Chiefs were the "weakest team yet" and the team has gotten less talented over the years due to bad drafting and free agency. Also stating that they couldn't depend on quarterback Patrick Mahomes to keep bailing them out over and over again. I guess fans will always fan.

Fans fan. It's what they do.


O-ZONE, Do you know how many people the Jaguars have in the "Salary Cap Management" department. It seems pretty complicated. I'm sure Baalke doesn't figure that out all by himself.

Director of football administration Tim Walsh manages the Jaguars' salary cap in addition to multiple other responsibilities. The salary cap indeed is "pretty complicated," which makes it good that Walsh is very smart.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

If they put former cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the Pride of the Jaguars, that will be the last straw for me as a Jags fan. Just put former Head Coach Urban Meyer in while you are at it.


Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

I can't tell you how many times or seasons we have heard the "should'ves, would'ves, and could'ves" but DIDN'T when it comes to this team. Last season the majority of the press had us winning the AFC South before the season started. Faith is great and all, but as a fan I will believe when I see the convincing W's start piling up and the refs are actually on our side. Still think that we need Ridley to be dating like Beyonce or something to get us in the cool kids club.

Being a fan isn't always easy. Sometimes it's really, really hard. I have no idea what "side" the refs are on or really what it means.

Duane from SEC 102 from Jacksonville

If Brock Bowers fell to the Jaguars in the first round. Do you think they would select him or pass for more glaring need. I personally hope they would draft him.

I think if University of Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is the best player available when the Jaguars are on the clock in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft the Jaguars will select him.