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O-Zone: Soon enough

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico

I am quite sure Players Nos. 54-to-64 that were cut from the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, etc. are way better players than our Nos. 43-to-53 best players. What do you expect from the waiver process? Do you get the sense that from this Jaguars 53-man roster we probably shouldn't fixate on who those bottom 10 are? We should probably be extremely active on this front, shouldn't we?

Fixate not, Carlos. The Jaguars, like all NFL teams, trimmed their roster to the league-mandated 53 players Tuesday afternoon – and your question touches on a key storyline around the Jaguars' current roster. That storyline is that the current roster likely will look very different come the end of the day – and come the next few days. That's indeed because the Jaguars are first in the waiver-claim order, which means they get first claim on players waive from the other 31 rosters. We'll find out today who the Jaguars claim. I expect they will be very active – perhaps at wide receiver, tight end and running back. Perhaps at a few other positions, too. Head Coach Urban Meyer on Tuesday called the team's roster situation "fluid." That sounds like an apt description.

Jim from Sydney, Australia

I know the initial roster will change, but isn't 19 listed in the defensive front seven a little high historically?

It's a little high. Two more than usual, maybe three. I would expect that number to come down as the Jaguars add a player or two – or three – at wide receiver, running back and tight end.

Donny from Lake Mary, FL, Section 37, Day 2

No major surprises in the cut down to 53 and this is my favorite part of it. Defensive tackle lineman Bryan is still on the team! Your inbox is probably overwhelmed by that revelation alone! All by fans that have never played.

Many fans indeed expressed surprise that Bryan made the roster, but you're correct that it's not surprising. Bryan has not fulfilled his status as a first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, but there's a mammoth difference between not playing to first-round status and not being one of the best linemen on the training-camp roster. Bryan certainly was among the latter and Meyer said Tuesday the team likes Bryan's chances of being productive this season. Stay tuned.

Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL

I should know this, but I don't: What's the difference between "released" and "waived"?

Teams "waive" players with fewer than four accrued seasons and those players must pass through waivers before becoming free agents. Teams "release" players with four or more accrued seasons and those players become free agents immediately upon being released.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

How much did being first on the waiver-wire order influence the decision to keep five receivers and one of them (Jamal Agnew) is a return specialist and likely won't play a lot of receiver? Tavon Austin makes a lot of sense. Laquon Treadwell we hadn't heard about in a few weeks so that seemed like a clue. But I am surprised they released Phillip Dorsett II. He was a good fourth or fifth receiver. So, it tells me they think they can grab someone better off the waiver wire.

Being first on the waiver wire appears to have influenced the Jaguars' roster moves Tuesday quite a bit. They appear likely to add players at running back, wide receiver and tight end. Having first chance at waived players certainly made it easier to keep a lower-than-usual number at those positions.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Are you still stunned by Dorsett? I sure Am, especially with Camp and Collin in the same boat. Hopefully they clear waivers.

I was a little surprised. I had Dorsett II making the roster. Meyer said Tuesday Dorsett was still dealing with a hamstring issue that had bothered him throughout the preseason, and that that factored into the decision. It sounds as if Meyer would like to have Dorsett around in some capacity – perhaps practice squad initially – this season. I wouldn't be surprised to see Dorsett there. And I wouldn't be surprised to see rookie wide receiver Jalen Camp and second-year wide receiver Collin Johnson there if they clear waivers. We'll see.

Marc from Oceanway

Great Incredible O, only five receivers??? I would NOT have bet on that happening given the talent I thought we had at the position. Which cut surprised you the most?


Al from Orange Park, FL

John - Only keeping five receivers, but keeping a crazy number of defensive linemen? I don't quite follow. Can you explain? Maybe I'm counting wrong?

You're counting correctly. The Jaguars didn't feel the receivers were quite as strong as the defensive linemen. Remember: This roster isn't close to finalized yet. These numbers will change this week. Perhaps dramatically.

WJB3 from Yulee, FL

Now that the Jags reduced their roster to 53, which players do you think will make the practice roster?

Meyer said Tuesday 16 players released or waived Tuesday could return to the practice squad. I wouldn't expect quite 16, but I would expect a lot. As for specifics … well, re-signing 16 would mean three quarters of the players released or waived … so pretty close to most.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island

O, Can Shenault become the hybrid player?

Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. certainly have a role as a receiver with some looks as a running back – and even a Wildcat quarterback. He's versatile and has shown the ability to produce from various places in the offense. I doubt that will look the same as the hybrid role the team had planned for Travis Etienne Jr. That was a speed-based role for a player with the explosiveness to score from anywhere on the field. Shenault is a physically imposing receiver who can be effective with his size and strength.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

I heard four players on the practice squad can be "protected." Does that mean another team cannot "sign them?" Would a second-year guy qualify for that designation?

Teams can protect four practice squad players each week and they must designate those players each week. Any practice-squad played can be protected. And yes … six veterans may be on the practice squad.

Alan from Jacksonville

So, O, is Deshaun Watson going to play in the opener? It's strange he is practicing...but not with the rest of the team.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is not going to play Week 1 against the Jaguars. My understanding is he will be on the roster until the Texans get what they feel is a fair offer and that he will be traded – and that he never will play for the Texans again.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, how is it that every player we trade and/or cut is all of a sudden everyone's favorite player who should not have been traded and/or cut?

Because fans read about, hear about and watch players throughout the offseason, training camp and preseason – and they therefore get attached to their perception of that player. There is a tendency because of that to overvalue familiar names and forget that they are bottom-of-the-roster players and therefore often relatively interchangeable with a lot of other bottom-of-the-roster players around the NFL. And because fans fan. It's what they do.

Ryan from Fremont, OH

How does it feel making it through another year of cuts? I got a little nervous thinking Urban would come knocking on your door, but it looks like you've made it at least another year.

It's a-ight.

Richard from Jacksonville

Zone, please tell me 5 and 12 is a good thing as long as QB 1 progress. Prematurely, I don't see any more wins than that.

A 5-12 record wouldn't be a good thing, but yes … the most important thing for the Jaguars this season is that rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence progresses and looks like a franchise quarterback.

Jon from Ocala, FL

Hi O, with all this "debate" about why Trevor Lawrence practiced with the backups, what happens when said backups end up starting because of possible injuries? Wouldn't that help that Trevor practiced with them before??


Jason from Jacksonville

John, Only five wide receivers? I don't understand the logic here. We have as many safeties as wide receivers. Please help understand the thought process and why only keeping five wide receivers is not a bad decision.

Media and fans attach great import to a team's 53-player roster on "cutdown day" because it's an easy talking point and because it's a dramatic moment. The reality is rosters change a great deal – and the Jaguars' roster likely will change dramatically in the coming days. The Jaguars' current roster indeed has five wide receivers. I don't expect the Jaguars' roster to have five wide receivers come Week 1 of the 2021 regular season. I don't really expect the Jaguars' roster to have five wide receivers for more than a day or two. If that.