JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nick from Jacksonville
So, now the Jaguars trade Ronnie Harrison? Their starting safety? For a fifth-round pick? Are you still going to tell us the Jaguars aren't tanking? Please…
The Jaguars indeed traded safety Ronnie Harrison to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft Thursday, spawning still more (and louder) shouting from observers about the team tanking. The shouting is in a sense understandable, considering the recent waiving of running back Leonard Fournette and trading of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. It also came in the wake of a slew of offseason moves to get the salary cap in order moving forward. The Jaguars absolutely are in a "re"something – rebuild, reload or restart … whatever you term it – and are attempting to dramatically change the direction and culture of the franchise. My sense is these last three transactions this week are the last major moves this offseason toward that end. I don't know the definition of "tanking," but I can honestly say the Jaguars aren't trying to lose games. I also can tell you that there's no belief around TIAA Bank Field that "everybody is safe" moving forward no matter how many games the team wins this season. There's also a belief that the moves made this offseason will make the Jaguars a better team. The notable exception to that last part is Ngakoue, whose relationship with the team unfortunately reached a point it couldn't be salvaged. So, how to convince people the Jaguars aren't tanking? Only the results can do that. But for those who expect this team to lose enough to earn the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft … that won't be the goal. The goal is to get the team going in the right direction, and there's still a strong feeling within the building that will happen – even with, and perhaps partly because, of this week's moves.
Fred from Naples, FL
It's pretty disingenuous for Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone to publicly state that he will be gone if the Jaguars "tank" the season or finish at or close to the bottom of the league in the standings. You cannot tell me that he and General Manager David Caldwell weren't given another year to fix this mess. There is no way they would be making all these moves if they had to win this season. Personally, I think that if you were going to do a "reset" do it in a year where there is going to be minimal attendance anyway and set yourself up for next year in a "normal" year.
I don't know what will happen around the Jaguars after the 2020 NFL season. I don't know what "must happen" in terms of record for "things" to happen or not happen after the season, either. I do know that it's not Marrone's nature to be disingenuous with the media. And I do not believe either he or Caldwell have been told they are being "given another year" regardless of record. I do believe they believe they are in a better position to win now than they were at the end of last season. And I do believe they are trying to put together a team of players with a win-first mentality who are all pulling in the same direction – and I believe they feel they are closer to that now than when 2020 Training Camp began. A lot closer. A lot closer. A lot closer.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
I am fully aware that players and coaches don't tank. Why trade safety Ronnie Harrison this close to the season? It wasn't to get better for this year. Why do we keep drafting players only to get rid of them?
The Jaguars traded Harrison because they could get a fifth-round selection him. You say it wasn't to get better for this year? We'll see.
Chris from Jacksonville
So … maybe stop saying "TRADE MACHINE!" I think somebody in the front office heard you and thought it was directions from Owner Shad Khan...
OK. I laughed at this.
Red from the O-Zone Comments Section
How can this not be a tank job? C'mon John, it's apparent the Jaguars are gutting the roster. A fifth- round pick for your third-year starting safety who still has a year on his rookie contract? How does this trade make sense?
It's only a tank if the moves make you worse, which makes it difficult to argue that Thursday's move had anything to do with tanking.
Ken from Jacksonville
Cool. Let's see if we can get a second for defensive end Josh Allen and perhaps a fourth for right tackle Jawaan Taylor and maybe a box of rocks for anyone else who plays along the offensive line?
Why would the Jaguars do that? Those players are young, team-first players who the team sees as core players around whom to build. You don't get rid of those kinds of players.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
I wasn't all that surprised about Ngakoue and Fournette. Both had been talked about a lot as players that wanted out and the team tried to move them. I am really surprised by Ronnie Harrison going. Was this another issue of locker-room fit? Also, at this point they need to be careful with the roster or they won't be able to accurately evaluate Minshew. It's going to be harder on him if he constantly has to play from behind.
They'll be able to evaluate Minshew.
Dan from Somewhere in Back
I guess we found out the real reason we haven't heard from Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell yet; he was busy getting fleeced by the Browns. Trading one of your better safeties for a late-round pick right before the season starts is the most Jaguars thing that could have happened. I started off as a fan of this team, but honestly at this point the only reason I still follow this dumpster fire of a franchise is because I can't peel my eyes away from the carnage.
I'm not sure it was Caldwell who got fleeced Thursday.
Chris from Mandarin, FL
Prediction, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers throws four or more touchdown passes Week 1 and the Jaguars lose by 10 or more points. Sound fair? The secondary is going to get destroyed.
Not because of the loss of Harrison, it won't.
Nick from Palatka, FL
Oh Zone of all Zones, Since we pretty much have absolutely no idea how this team is going to play together until the season starts, what do you think would be the nicest surprise in the opener against the Colts (besides spectacular quarterback play)?
A stifling run defense with no lapses. That's what the Jaguars will need, particularly against the Indianapolis Colts. The players are capable of that, but delivering the no-lapses part would be a surprise considering the lack of preseason games and newness on the roster.
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, what is this team stockpiling all the salary cap for? They won't be ready to sign high-profile guys and be in "win-now" mode in the next couple years.
So you say.
Dave from Los Angeles, CA
Coughlin. One of the all-time great Jags. No question there. However, in all honesty, it really appears his second tenure with the team was an absolute, unmitigated disaster.
It was very, very good for a while when Tom Coughlin returned as Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations. The Jaguars went to AFC Championship Game following his first season, 2017. It did not stay very, very good.
Josh from Palatka, FL
KOAF: I'm not a big Caldwell fan, though I think waiving Fournette was the right move. However, I think it will be a referendum on Caldwell and Marrone. If Fournette has his best year ever with the Buccaneers, and looks like a first-round draft pick, I suspect both head coach and general managers are shown the door. You?
I don't know what will happen to Caldwell and Marrone after the season. I don't believe Fournette's performance in Tampa Bay will be a deciding factor.
Bruce from St. Simon's Island, GA
I would like the Jags to have a good season, but it sure looks like a car wreck to me. Drop a proven, young 1,000-yard rusher for nothing when you don't have an established backup?
I don't know how the Jaguars' season will play out. I don't believe Fournette's absence will be a huge factor in how it does.
Logan from Wichita, KS
Why the hell doesn't the front office just say "Dear NFL, we forfeit every game of the 2020 and 2021 season. Give us money to go 0-16. Thank you. P.S. Jags fans- SCREW ALL OF YOU!" I swear Khan and Caldwell are the evil woman that owned the Indians in the movie Major League. Forget the #1 pick, they want the Jaguars out of Jacksonville. That is their #1 priority! Idiots!
I got a few of these emails. It seemed best to just let Logan speak for everyone. I don't know why I thought this. Probably, I was just tired.