JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Seventeen games means more revenue, which leads to higher salary caps, which means more money for contracts for players. Of course it's an extra injury risk, but why the backlash from players already? Shouldn't more money-making potential be seen as an overall positive?
The NFL indeed this week implemented a 17-game regular season to begin in 2021, making official a move that long had been a foregone conclusion – and it's true many players were against the move. Yes, the money-making potential is a positive for players. And money matters. But every additional game is a very real additional injury risk, also adding wear and tear and potentially shortening careers. Many players long have lobbied against the move, so this week's backlash was in that sense unsurprising. One significant factor in this discussion is most players against an added game are well-established veterans – and therefore financially secure enough to not need the extra game. The lesser-known and less-financially secure players had less reason to be against the move.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
What about the records, Zone? Does no one care about the records?
This is another angle to the 17-game season, and an added game undoubtedly will reshape many NFL single-season records. But records and numbers don't have near the importance in football as in, say, baseball. Does anyone spend much time obsessing over, say, the NFL's single-season record for passing yards? Or receiving yards? Or sacks? They're important, but you don't hear them discussed as much as, say, the home-run record in baseball. It will change perspective on a few things, though. A 2,000-yard rushing season will lose some of its magic and I expect a hallowed record such as Eric Dickerson's 2,105 rushing yards (1984) in a single season eventually will fall in less ceremonious fashion than if it had been broken in 16 games. Other 16-game records certainly will be broken and there will be discussion about it being done in 17 games, but I wouldn't expect major outcry.
Don from Marshall, NC
If another NFL team wanted to draft Trevor Lawrence, it would cost them their entire team and all of their draft picks for the next three years. You know what? Urban Meyer would say no to that deal!
You're probably right, which means your first sentence is incorrect.
Brandon from Montezuma, GA
Have the coaches been looking at two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward?
Jaguars personnel officials are aware of all NFL players. If a player is released, as Hayward was by the Los Angeles Chargers in March, personnel officials consider whether to sign the player. If the personnel people believe a player is worth further consideration, then coaches and the personnel department as a group look into that player. The Jaguars signed cornerback Shaquill Griffin as an unrestricted free agent in mid-March and re-signed cornerbacks Tre Herndon and Sidney Jones IV. I expect they're done with veteran free agents until after the draft, after which it's possible they could reassess and sign veterans to fill perceived holes on the roster.
Clyde from Jacksonville, Fl.
Anyone started making Trevor Lawrence jerseys yet? Has our QB 1 selected his # yet? Am I heading in the right direction? Enjoy your O-Zone everyday!
Rich from Dacula, GA
How does picking for need versus best player work? If you take a quarterback first and best player is a quarterback for your second pick, you won't pick him. Then you still wind up picking a player that is best for need?
This is an age-old, pre-draft discussion/debate and it has been covered ad nauseum over the years here in the O-Zone. While the discussion tends to get very theoretical – with people liking to talk about the virtues of drafting purely for "value" or "best available player" versus the perils of drafting for need – the reality is all teams have some level of need and best-available approach in every draft. As your question indicates, no team ever would select a single position with every selection in a given draft – even if that position always happened to represent the best available player at the time. It would be absurd and detrimental to the roster. Most teams draft on what essentially a need-talent axis, with teams placing as heavy an emphasis on value as possible but certainly not ignoring need.
Brandon from Orlando, FL
O, When do season tickets go on sale!? I'M READY!!!!
Sean from Tampa, FL
Do you see the Jaguars having any interest in Antonio Brown? Or, is the organization content looking at other FA or the draft?
I wouldn't classify the Jaguars as "content" in looking at other players. The team is constantly trying to upgrade and find the best fits at all positions – and quite literally has many people who work tirelessly toward that end. But, I would be surprised if the Jaguars had interest in Antonio Brown.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
It would be really tempting to round out the secondary with Texas Christian safety Trevon Moehrig at No. 25. That would look like a quality secondary back there with Rayshawn Jenkins, Shaq Griffin, CJ Henderson and Moehrig. I would feel like it's a steal. I don't know if he will still be available when they select at 25. Hypothetically, if they wanted to move up to get him, what would it take to give up to be able to get him? I'm thinking maybe they would have to jump into the teens. What would that cost?
A second-rounder, or a third-rounder and a later-round selection. Something along those lines.
Alejandro from Mexico City, Mexico
One of the weakest areas in the team is offensive tackle. Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson is average but there were not available options in free agents and the top draft prospects are far from 25thpick. Would you trade to get the 12th pick (1200 pts) to draft Rashawn Slater of Northwestern or Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech in exchange for the 25thpick (720 pts) + 1 second round (33rd pick - 580 pts or 45th pick - 450 pts)?
I might give up the 45th selection – if I thought Darrisaw or Slater were can't-miss left tackles and an improvement over Robinson. I don't think I would give up the 33rd selection. That's basically two first-round selections for one player. That's too rich for my blood.
JJHollister from Yulee, FL
Is it true that Trevor Lawrence is a fast machine and keeps his motor clean? Is he the best damn quarterback that you have ever seen?
He indeed is one of a kind.
Jordan from Jacksonville
In an ideal world, I would have loved to see two preseason games and 16 regular-season games. Four preseason games was a lot and I get the financial arguments, but I hate 17 games. Honestly, I would have rather down to 14 games than added games. I know that is not where the league is going or best for the bottom line, but the season already drags at the end and the more we add, the less important every game is. I'm sure I am in the minority with this opinion, but just wanted to hear your thoughts on the new schedule.
I don't hate 17 games, but I would prefer 16. And you know what? If I had to choose between 14 and 17 games, I also would lean to 14. Now, get off my lawn. And yours. Or something like that.
Jason from North Pole, AK
Donny had better be careful, lest he suffer vertigo from the dizzying heights of his moral ground.
You're right, but his fall will be cushioned by the bodies of countless readers who have fallen before him.
Jarret from Crosby, ND
Yesterday's (April 1) O-Zone seemed shorter than usual. I'd appreciate it if in the future you could answer more questions and with greater detail. Thanks.
The April 1 O-Zone was essentially the same length with as much detail as pretty much every O-Zone. You're welcome.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX
KOAF: What April Fools prank were you or the team involved in this year? Did the Khans call you into their office to discuss your bright future, pay raise, and luxury vacation only to say "April Fools" at the end leaving you in tears walking back to your office?
We did not acknowledge April Fool's Day at the Jaguars. It was, indeed, very much business as usual. Except, of course, the fact that April 1 is when we receive our bonus at the Jaguars. This was a good day for me, as my boss called me in, told me I was doing great and told me my bonus. I was stunned at the amount at first, doubling as it did my substantial annual pay, but then I realized … yes, Zone, you deserve it. Talent. Good looks. Charm humor. I am quite the combination. Upon returning to my desk, I immediately called the pool company and told them, "Start digging baybee!!!" Wait …