JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Joel from Jacksonville
This is going to be VERY unpopular. I watched the Jaguars through the Fred years. I always remembered Fred somehow being one the leaders in rushing year after year. So, I did the unforgiveable. I looked the numbers up. Fred was sixth in total yards twice. In 2001, he was apparently hurt and had almost nothing in stats. He was ninth in rushing once and 10th in rushing once. Toward the end, he was sharing the carries with Maurice Jones-Drew and shorted on touchdowns because other short-yardage runners were used. Our love with Fred comes from the excitement watching him run. I think he is going to be hard sell into the Hall of Fame. Sorry, Jags Fans.
You're right that this thought is going to be unpopular among Jaguars followers. It also doesn't accurately capture former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor's talent or his career. Your numbers are correct. It's also correct to remember that he rushed for 1,223 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as a rookie in 1998 despite starting just 12 games. And that he turned in a remarkable 2000 season with 1,399 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns despite playing just 13 games. Or that he rushed for more than 100 yards in nine consecutive games in 2001. Or that his 4.6-yards-per-carry career average is behind only Barry Sanders and Jim Brown among the NFL's all-time leading rushers. Or that he rushed for more than 1,200 yards in six different seasons. Or that his 11,695 career rushing yards ranks 17th all-time with only Hall of Famers and two future Hall of Famers, Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore, ahead of him. Jaguars fans love Taylor because he was great. Will he be a hard sell for the Hall? Certainly. Most Hall of Famers who aren't first-ballot locks are hard sells. But he's deserving and I think he eventually will be elected.
Michael from Fruit Cove, FL
Someone brought up offering Trevor $35 million per year and you think we should offer less??? That's less than Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns), Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos), Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), Daniel Jones (New York Giants), Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys), Aaron Rodgers (New York Jets), Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams), Derek Carr (New Orleans Saints) and Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings). You've said many times that Trevor should get an extension this offseason because he's our franchise quarterback and deserves to be treated as such. Offering him $35 million per year or less would be an insult and he wouldn't sign that contract. He's going to get closer to $50 million per year or more.
I should clarify here. You're interpreting a Saturday O-Zone answer to mean that I was suggesting the Jaguars offer quarterback Trevor Lawrence less than $35 million a year when/if negotiating a contract extension this offseason. That wasn't my intent, though that's on me for not being clearer. I was trying to suggest that the Jaguars might offer Lawrence slightly less than the going rate for quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills. Those are the NFL's elite quarterbacks. While good, Lawrence has not shown himself to be on that level yet. I did say a lot this past season that Lawrence should get an extension. That's true. It's also true that this past season was not his best. It's true that injuries had much to do with that. It's also true that the season could complicate at least somewhat his contract extension – at least in the short term. Stay tuned.
Rich from Dacula, GA
Watching the playoff games and somewhat the regular season, it's may observation that TL may be trying to throw the ball as hard as he can most of the time. I would rather have a ball thrown to me that is a little more catchable than a 100 mph fastball. I understand these are pros and they should be able to catch whatever hits them in the hands, BUT. What are your thoughts on this subject?
I think there are times when Lawrence could have more touch, particularly on shorter passes. It does seem this is an issue for him one or two times a game. Ish. I don't think this defines him as a quarterback.
Richard from Jacksonville
Regarding Devin Hester, it's key to remember that it's the Hall of Fame, and not the Hall of great football players. Hester certainly was famous during his time.
This is true, but it's supposed to be an honor for the greatest players of all time. William "Refrigerator" Perry was famous, too. A lot of players were famous. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is not just about being well-known.
P Funk from Murray Hill
What do think our linebacker depth chart looks like next season? Any surprises?
If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise.
Ellis from Newtown, Wales
I would like information about the 2024 London games and the Jags schedule.
The Jaguars in 2024 will play a home game at Wembley Stadium, their 10th time playing a home game there since 2013. The entire 2024 NFL schedule will be released later in the offseason, likely in early(ish) May.
Ken from Jacksonville
Bad offensive lines have ruined the careers of countless young quarterbacks over the years. In my opinion, taking numerous brutal hits playing behind our turnstile O line has been a big contributor to T Law's lack of production this year. Do you think O line needs to be priority one in the draft or free agency this year?
If it's not Priority No. 1, I expect it will be "up there."
Sam from Orlando, FL
We live in a world where the NFL Most Valuable Player is a quarterback with less than 4,000 yards passing and less than 30 total touchdowns. Also, somehow tight end tight end Antonio Gates and Taylor aren't Hall of Famers. No question. Just a weird world.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson indeed threw for "just" 24 touchdowns and 3,678 yards in his 2023 NFL Most Valuable Player season. But considering his overall production, I'm hard-pressed to call him being named MVP "weird." I expect both Gates and Taylor to be Hall of Famers eventually. Not everyone gets elected quickly.
Don from Marshall, NC
Travon Walker will be the player that lets Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke keep his job. You can just see how dominant he is going to be. He is going to be a huge star and Go Jaguars!
When it comes to Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker, Don remains "all in."
Mike from Azores
Hey, John. I remember very clearly your comments, along with Tony Boselli's, Jeff Lageman's and Pete Prisco's opinions on the various Jaguar talk shows, that after the first four weeks of the season as Cam was able to return from his suspension, that Walker was playing the best of any Jags offensive linemen! Has it been forgotten? His injury issues began when he was moved inside to guard. I say sign him long-term, trade Cam for a second or third round pick, and draft a midround offensive tackle to develop as a swing tackle. We would be healthier, younger and cheaper at the position for the next 3-5 years! Agree?
I expect Little to play a key role for the Jaguars next season, perhaps as a starting right tackle. I would be surprised if the Jaguars sign him to a long-term deal this offseason. He really hasn't had a chance to show he's a long-term starting tackle. This isn't necessarily his fault. Some of it is because of the presence of other starting tackles such as Cam Robinson, Jawaan Taylor and Anton Harrison. Some of it is because of injuries. Either way, it would be difficult to sign him long-term this offseason.
Chris from Tampa, FL
Dwight Freeney? Really? Some of my favorite moments of him include him looking back as Fred Taylor destroyed Mike Doss for a touchdown. It also includes him being torched for 375 yards against a ground game where Fred Taylor had 100 yards before I was finished with my first beer. Talk about a pass rusher that was only good because of his QB. Fred is still flying by him and stomping Doss on the way.
Defensive end Dwight Freeney from this view was a Hall of Famer. He was not "only good because of his quarterback." He was a premier pass rusher with Hall of Fame resume. Him playing on the same team as Mike Doss is certainly not a reason that he shouldn't be a Hall of Famer. Taylor from this view also is a Hall of Famer. More players than one can be worthy.
Chris from Tampa, FL
Oh, I forgot to add, the closest Dwight Freeney got to Fred Taylor was at the end of the game when he asked Fred for his autograph.
Maybe. But I imagine Taylor got Freeney's, too.