O-Zone: The little things

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Chris from St. Augustine, FL

Right or wrong, 91 wants out. The Jags may say they still want to re-sign him, but at this point they know as well as we do that isn't going to happen. My issue: Ngakoue comes across as if he expects the Jags to let him go for whatever they can get just so he can leave. The NFL is a business. The Jags shouldn't expect less than what they think he is worth. It also doesn't seem what he thinks he is worth (or that Jags think he is worth, for that matter) is what many other teams think he's worth. This would be a done deal if that were the case. I also have to laugh at the vindictive nature of Jalen Ramsey. He got what he wanted and still seems set on trying to be as destructive towards the Jags as possible (i.e. telling running back Fournette the jags "have been clowns"). Dude you got out, let it go. Holding on to that stuff can't be healthy.

You seem to grasp what's happening here. One quick thought: I honestly don't pay much attention to what former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey or current running back Leonard Fournette – or even Ngakoue, for that matter – say on Twitter. Players are going to say what they want. And while players are obviously very important for what they do on the field, generally speaking their opinions about what's going on off the field … well, let's just say just because players have a visible platform doesn't mean everything they're saying is all that accurate – or important. As for your bigger point about Ngakoue … you're dead on that the Jaguars shouldn't and won't just let him go for "whatever they can get just so he can leave." They owe him no favors in that regard. They also believe that they have treated him very fairly, and that they have offered him at least market value and perhaps more. The fact that Ngakoue is popular and productive doesn't make them wrong on this point. But even if the Jaguars were inclined to trade him, a major potential problem remains: A team would have to give up a premium draft selection AND be willing to sign Ngakoue to the contract he covets. If that contract is what he has demanded in his negotiations with the Jaguars – and why wouldn't it be? – then it's going to be very difficult to find a team willing to pay that AND give up draft equity. That's the sort of thing teams do for franchise-changing players. Ngakoue is very good and deserve to be paid well. Very well. But whether he is a franchise-changing player is a different topic.

Howard from Homestead, FL

What do you think about former quarterback Nick Foles' chances of making it in the Pride of the Jaguars?

He's a lock.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, I know that the sack numbers weren't really high last year and the run game was OK, but I also believe that quarterback Gardner Minshew II's ability to avoid the rush kept those sack numbers lower. Foles struggled because of the pass rush more than anything else, I believe. While the line remains OK, why isn't it a bigger need than say wide receiver? I would list needs as: cornerback, defensive line, tight end and offensive line in that order of importance. What's your take on team needs?

Pretty much the same as yours, though I don't know that the decision-makers agree with it comes to offensive line. As far as wide receiver, it's a need. DJ Chark Jr. was very good last season and showing signs of developing into a go-to receiver. Beyond that …

Ryan from Detroit, MI

O-man, why don't we just trade Yan to the Redskins for left tackle Trent Williams straight up? Both players are unhappy and refuse to play for their current teams. Both would address a position of need on their new team.

Trade ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-chi-i-i-i-i-ine!!!!

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

So, say Ngakoue chooses to not sign the franchise tag and decides he'd rather sit out than suit up. Is there a number that he counts against the salary cap? How would his status with the team be handled in that situation? Reserve/retired? Admittedly, this feels like a worst-case scenario. I'm guessing we wouldn't be able to use his potential cap hit of $19.5 million to sign someone else until Yann makes a decision to play for the franchise that drafted him or "punish" the Jags brass for their perceived lack of respect?

The Jaguars must account for the possibility that Ngakoue would sign the tag by allotting the amount of the tag – a little under $18 million. They could then recoup one sixteenth of that total every week that Ngakoue opted to not report. If he opted not to play the entire season, they eventually would recoup the entire allotment.

Dale from Jacksonville

What if, and that is a big IF, quarterback Gardner Minshew II is or turns out to be the next TB12?

That would be good for the Jaguars.

Shon from San Antonio, TX

Any chance we can get some insight to which players the Jaguars have been talking with? Without Pro Days, will Marrone or Caldwell disclose who they called? If there were Pro Days and facility visits, we'd know.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Marrone of Caldwell to disclose this; it's not something teams ordinarily disclose even in a normal offseason. You're realistically not missing much in the way of insight, though. All teams typically have representation at all major Pro Days, and all teams pretty much talk to all players they perceive as draftable. It's possible sometimes to get an idea about serious interest in later-round selection based on whether or not a team had them in for a facility visit, but beyond that all of the breathless reports about teams talking to players at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine are comparatively meaningless. All teams scout and talk to all players. It's their jobs to do so.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

If it was never about money what was Yann holding out for last year? A hug?

Of course it was about money. Ngakoue is a prideful player and respect and acknowledgement of what he has done means a lot to him. But within all that it's about money.

Mark from Archer, FL

John, I am not sure why everyone says trading Ngakoue is going to be so hard because he will need a new contract afterwards. Isn't that how the Frank Clark trade went down last offseason? He was traded, then given a huge contract? Ngakoue is at least as good if not better than Clark was. Also. do you think with the draft getting closer – since it is supposedly not a deep draft for edge rushers – a team might be more inclined now to make the trade to get a proven pass rusher?

Ngakoue's value might go up the closer we get to the draft. As far as Ngakoue being at least as good or better than Clark … this offseason to date indicates that the market doesn't agree.

Brett from St. Augustine, FL

If Yann doesn't sign the tag and them not play in the 2020 season do the Jaguars still hold his rights for the 2021 season and beyond?

Yes. The Jaguars still have a right to franchise tag Ngakoue for 2022 and perhaps 2023.

Pete from Jacksonville

Two things KOAF: One: I don't understand all the confusion with Dave Caldwell's current strategy. Whether it helps him win this year or not is irrelevant. Dave is an employee and Khan clearly told him to orchestrate a one year reset. Dave is doing what he is told, just like the rest of us in our own jobs. Two: The team already let one player take control of the franchise and hold the team hostage. Now we have another one. The team needs to take a stand now before there are others. Time to man up and do what's right for the long term. He plays under the tag or he doesn't play at all. Simple.

Two responses, Pete: 1. Yes, pretty much. 2. Ngakoue in no way is "taking control of anything" or holding the team hostage. This is the offseason. Ngakoue will either play for the Jaguars next season, not play at all – or play for another team if some team offers the Jaguars what the team believe is fair value.

Adam from St. Johns, FL

Hey, thanks for the well wishes and I'm glad you and your family are well. Quick question though, why Alan? Not Adonis, Alex, or Anton, but Alan. Just doesn't feel like a name that strikes fear into people. Not that Adam does, either. Throughout history, Adam is kind of a wuss.

Calling you Alan makes me happy. I don't have much. At least let me have that.

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