O-Zone: Smiling and dancing

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

Your answer to Mark from AZ is misleading. Players released before their contracts are up are paid their full guaranteed salaries for the full contract, so the teams do in fact have to honor the contract. If Yannick has $60 million guaranteed across five years and Jags released him in Year 3, he still gets the full $60 million. The only part where the players get stiffed is the incentive bonuses. So yes, the teams DO in fact have to live up to their end, for the most part. As such, so should Yannick IMO.

My answer wasn’t misleading, but your incorrectness – epic though it was – is perhaps understandable because NFL contracts can be confusing. First, few second NFL contracts are fully guaranteed, which is why most media reports about contract signings contain full contract value along with guaranteed money. So, if Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue signs a five-year contract “worth” $100 million with, say, $45 million guaranteed, that would likely mean Ngakoue signed a contract with something like a $20 million signing bonus with a first-year salary of $10 million and a second-year salary of $15 million guaranteed. The rest of his salaries – Year 3, 4 and 5 – in this scenario wouldn’t be guaranteed. So, NFL teams really don’t have to live up to the final years of second contracts. As such, players have every right to hold out if they’re willing to take the risks involved.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Ah Mighty 'O' / King of Funk, so it's "The Dead Zone," assuming 90 percent of your inbox is going to be about Yannick getting/not getting a contract … what is your favorite guitar solo to “air guitar” to when no one is watching you in the office? Metallica's Master of Puppets is a personal fave to “play” along to. Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb is one to close your eyes and lose yourself in. So, what gets the King of Funk's fingers picking?

What song is it you want to hear?

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL

Deficits don’t matter. Billionaires own the teams. The values of the teams increase immensely every year. Why do we have salary caps? Do you see a very long lockout?

The NFL has a salary cap because not all billionaires are created equal – and because if there was no salary cap, some of the billionaires would spend so much they wouldn’t be billionaires for long. Also, if there was no salary cap, big-market teams with wealthier owners would have a huge advantage. As far as a lockout for 2021, all reports thus far are that owners and players both want to avoid a work stoppage – and just as importantly, there already is dialogue between the sides. Those are good signs. It feels like the sides are closer than in the couple of years leading to the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. We’ll see.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

I don’t get the angst about Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey being a leader or not being a leader. Great leaders have confidence in their abilities and their teammates. Jalen has that. Great leaders earn the respect of their team. Jalen has. Great leaders know and understand their team. Jalen does. No, he doesn’t push others, except by example. No, he doesn’t give pep talks to motivate his teammates, but his passion is contagious. Different people lead in different ways. Some, like former linebacker Paul Posluszny, knew the game and had the knack for clearly and simply articulating his expectations. Others, like Jalen, speak through their actions. What’s wrong with that?

Nothing.

Steven from Duval

I've gotta good feeling about wide receiver D.J. Chark this year. He has all the potential to be a true No. 1. Is the chemistry between him and quarterback Nick Foles looking good? How good do you think he will be?

Chark, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2018 NFL Draft, looked very good and comfortable in the on-field portion of the offseason program. He seemed to have a rapport with Foles. That’s what you want to see – and it’s about all you can expect in the offseason. I think Chark has a chance to be very productive this season, and the arrow is still pointing up.

Dave from Duuvaal

Dear O-Zone ...Turn It Up!

Yes.

Sam from Jacksonville

Was Yannick fined the same amount as Telvin for missing minicamp? I haven't heard a peep about it, but the Telvin stuff is everywhere. Why is that?

The Jaguars reportedly fined Smith $88,650 for missing last week’s mandatory minicamp. Why did that become known and therefore a big story? Smith posted about his fine on social media. Ngakoue posted nothing about a fine on social media.

Emiel from Texas

Wait ... that was Ramsey telling the Jags to give him all the money? I thought it was Shadrick.

Fair.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Can you add some clarity around the 30 days before camp rule for Yannick? I thought Le’Veon Bell had until week 10 or so to report to the Steelers last season to get an accrued season. How are their situations different? Or is that a rule that was overlooked last year in national media with Bell? Are you saying if Yannick holds out until Week 2 and then shows up, then the season still doesn’t count?

Bell last season had the franchise tag placed upon him by the Pittsburgh Steelers and opted to not sign the franchise tender. When Bell declined to sign his tender to play with the Steelers, he forfeited his salary – but the accrued seasons didn’t matter to Bell because he already had enough seasons to be eligible for free agency. Ngakoue’s situation is different because he has played just three seasons and needs four to be eligible for free agency. If he doesn’t report by 30 days before the start of free agency, he would not accrue a season and he therefore wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until he accrues one more season.

Nicholas from Mogadishu

So, John how was Father's Day for you? I assume your family spoiled you with a hearty meal at your favorite Sbarro restaurant to celebrate your awesomeness. Your son showing you his appreciation for college, Spike the cat and Rat Dog loving you because you are such an awesome person, and your wife just lucky to be married to a fine specimen of a man; a symbol of all things athletic, (despite the Scobee video), a man who is on an almost decade long writing streak, first to the office (assuming his card key works), and last to leave, (because he overslept during his nap at work) a writer with many loyal readers (and he knows who that is), a man with incredible patience when dealing with fans fanning and asking about rooster moves and Soggy Hood as we approach "The Dead Zone" which I only assume applies to your personal life, a man whose reputation proceeds him wherever he goes; the man, the myth, the legend, third in the line of the Great Men of Jacksonville, only behind to the future Hall of Famer Boselli, and of course far behind the true number one, Gene Frenette (which I have been informed is no longer a funny topic).

What I took from this is I am a fine specimen of a man …

Feed from Naples, FL

Really O? You are going to give us 25 memorable Jag games in honor of the 25th Anniversary season? I only have one thing to say to that … YOU DA MAN!! (notice the caps)

… check that: not fine specimen of a man. DA MAN!! OK.

Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436 Since 1995

What are the rules regarding player presence at the facility? Can they train there if they want to? Are injured players such as Marquise Lee still allowed to work with the strength and conditioning coach to rehab?

NFL players can train at their teams’ facility with the strength-and-conditioning staff at any time. The main restrictions the NFL places on players are that they can’t speak with position coaches, coordinators or the head coach about football from the end of the season until the opening of the offseason conditioning program or from the end of minicamp through the start of training camp.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I've always wondered why it's "Sweet Home Alabama" when Lynyrd Skynyrd is from Jacksonville.

It was a response to Neil Young’s “Southern Man” and “Alabama” and Skynyrd had close ties to Alabama, having recorded at legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Doug from Jacksonville

John, while Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" is their anthem, Jacksonville is in Florida, not Alabama. Singing about Alabama while at a Jaguar game never made sense. There has got to be another song that makes more sense for Jaguar fans.

It made sense because it made people smile. They danced. They sang. They cheered. Is that not OK?

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