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O-Zone: Stunner

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Is Pederson going to effectively take over the offensive coordinator role this year? Or is the plan to pretend last year didn't happen? If that happens, I'd have to wonder what Press Taylor is using for the blackmail.

I can't imagine Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson changing this dynamic significantly for the 2024 season. Remember: The Jaguars' offensive approach didn't change dramatically last season. Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor worked together in 2022 to plan the offense, with Pederson calling plays in the first halves of games and Taylor calling plays in the second. They worked together in 2023 to plan the offense, with Taylor calling plays in both halves. That was the difference. The Jaguars ranked 13th in the NFL in total yards in 2023 (339.5 per game) and 14th in scoring (22.2 points per game) in 2023 after ranking ninth in total yards (357.4) and 10th in scoring in 2022 (23.8) in 2022 with multiple key players – wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk and quarterback Trevor Lawrence among them – playing significant stretches through injuries in 2023. Popular opinion among many is that Taylor is a major problem. There's nothing to suggest Pederson shares that view.

Jay from So-Cal

The Super Bowl showed a ton of holding penalties against the offense that weren't called. I like to let guys play, but some of the holdings by the O-line were egregious. I heard that refs don't flag it on some occasions because the league wants it to be a more offense-centric league. J.J. Watt just said on a podcast that the league should make offensive holding just a 5-yard penalty and that might make the refs call the penalty more often. What are your thoughts on the matter, Mr. Funk Nasty?

I didn't notice holding in the Super Bowl earlier this month being particularly egregious, perhaps because I tend to assume penalties will even out over the course of a game and I therefore tend not to overfocus on the area. My thoughts on the matter are that officials vary in how they call holding more from not wanting to call it every play than from worrying about how many yards they're going to cost a team by calling it. As for Watt's thoughts … I would be surprised if the league reduces holding from five to 10 yards. That's because such a change might encourage more holding. If I have a choice as an offensive lineman to allow a sack that leads to second-and-20 – or even second-and-15 – or commit a holding penalty that leads to first-and-15, it's an easy choice to hold. One other thought on Watt's theory: If the idea is to shape a rule so that it creates more penalties, I doubt it will work. The league generally wants fewer penalties, not more.

Don from Marshall NC

Drafted 13 players and cut one before opening day. You got one starter. The rest you were lucky to get a play out of them. Last year's third-round pick, linebacker Chad Muma, did he even play? So many wasted picks has got to have consequences. The Jaguars better hope last year's draft class turns it around. That's what I am hoping for! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to "wasted" draft selections, Don is very definitely not "all in."

Shawn from Moore County, NC

Rumor is that Dak is requesting a $60 million a year contract, which is ridiculous to me for a quarterback with zero Super Bowl wins. My question for you is if you were the Jags general manager and you had to do a contract for Trevor Lawrence right now what would you offer him?

You don't pay quarterbacks simply based on their past Super Bowl victories. You pay them far more based on what you believe they can do and because it's brutally hard to find good ones – and not having one means you're searching for one until you find it. I probably would offer Lawrence a bit less than the $50-55 million per season elite quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals have received. I would do so knowing that offer could mean not getting a contract done this offseason – and that Lawrence could earn a bigger contract next offseason. This probably isn't a great offer, which is among the many reasons I'm not a general manager.

Anthony from Richmond, VA

Just to clarify, because I'm starting to get confused. Right now, we owe Atlanta a third for the Ridley trade. If we re-sign him does that third become a second? Or do we then owe them a second in addition to the third? If it's either or I think it's worth signing him, but if we then owe two picks? Give me Tee.

It's either or. Right now, the Jaguars owe the Falcons a third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft as part of the trade for wide receiver Calvin Ridley. If he is re-signed to a long-term contract before the start of the league year, that selection becomes a second-round selection.

Pat from Jax Beach

John. If the Jaguars do not re-sign Ridley, and he signs a big contract somewhere else, would we get a compensatory draft pick in next year's draft? Could it be a third-round pick?

Second verse, same as the first. Ridley as an unrestricted free agent indeed would figure into the NFL's compensatory draft selection formula, which is based on free-agency gains and losses in a given offseason. For a team to gain a compensatory selection in the following offseason's NFL Draft, that team must lose more than it gains in unrestricted free agency. So, while the Jaguars might gain a draft selection next offseason if Ridley signs elsewhere, that probably only happens if they do little-to-nothing in the same free-agency period. I expect the Jaguars to be active enough in free agency in 2024 that they won't likely have a compensatory selection in 2025.

Bradford from Orange Park, FL

For what it's worth, I don't have a better go-to than you for predicting what to expect with the Jaguars. Ever think about furthering those prognostication techniques as an independent journalist, with a Q&A column for world events? Always good to keep challenging yourself, O.

What's a "world event?"

Scooter from St. Augustine, FL

When players are placed on injured reserve, do they still get paid? Does it affect the salary cap at all? Thanks!

Players on injured reserve get paid based on their contract and their salaries affect the salary cap in the same way as if they were healthy.

David from Orlando, FL

KOAF – Haven't Jag fans been here before? A new defensive coordinator comes in and starts flexing about running an aggressive and attacking defense, then by Week 3 of the regular season, it's all scraped and we're running primarily the "bend don't break defense" zone defense. I like to think that with Ryan Nielsen things will be different, but fool me once, shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

I expect Nielsen to coach aggressively and to be attacking. This was his approach with the Atlanta Falcons in his lone season as a defensive coordinator in 2023, and there's no reason to think he won't take that approach in 2024. But do I get why people grow numb at what they hear during offseason media availabilities and introductory pressers? Yeah, I get it. No doubt.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best player in this draft and arguably the best wide receiver prospect of all-time and yet he could easily drop to fourth overall because of quarterback-desperate teams. What would it take for the Jags to trade up to get him and do you think they will attempt such a bold and franchise-altering gamble?

Trade-value questions are always tricky, particularly if a particular player is involved. This is because a team at No. 4 could want a particular so much that it wouldn't matter what a team at No. 17 wanted – or that team at No. 4 could drive the price up so high that this answer wouldn't be realistic. I generally would expect it to take a second-round selection in the current year and a second-round selection in the following year packaged with the No. 17 overall selection in the current year to move up to No. 4. That's the bare minimum, and you could even get into wanting a future first-round selection instead of the second-round selection. Even that might be enough to move up for a player of Harrison's caliber. I would be surprised if the trade is doable – and very surprised if it happens.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

When is the last time an offseason move made by a team "stunned" you?

I'd be stunned if I were stunned by an offseason move.