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O-Zone: The wise man cometh

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Craig from San Diego, CA

Every move Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell has made this offseason has been about securing our future long-term, which is refreshing and surprising considering he was told he must win now. Most, I've actually agreed with. Yann is the one move I'm stuck on. Yann says he's not signing a long-term deal here. You've given the opinion that Caldwell doesn't intend to trade him. Is Caldwell calling his bluff? Is one more year of Yann in what will be a rebuild/retool year more valuable than whatever we'd get in return?

With the first wave of 2020 free agency – and the accompanying trades – pretty much in the rear view, we're probably veering back to "all Yann all the time." And that's understandable: the status of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue now is unquestionably Jaguars Offseason Question No. 1. Here's where we stand, basically: While Ngakoue continues to send cryptic – and not-so-cryptic – messages via social media about his future, I still sense the Jaguars feel no pressure to trade Ngakoue. That doesn't mean the Jaguars would be stupid on this front; if they received an overwhelming offer that matched his value, they almost certainly would consider a trade. I would imagine that would mean receiving a first-round selection for him, and therein lies the difficulty: Now, you're talking about a team giving up a first-round selection (at least) to the Jaguars and presumably having to meet Ngakoue's contract demands. If we can assume Ngakoue is demanding somewhere between $20-22 million a season, then you're asking a team to give up a first-round selection and a deal that is arguably above market value for the player. That's a lot to ask. Perhaps too much.

James from Socorro, NM

With the expended gameday roster under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, will the Jaguars have enough players left to field a full team?

Of course. Easily.

Maxwell from Elkton, FL

Why didn't the Jaguars maximize Calais's trade value two seasons ago, when it became pretty clear this roster was not going to contend for a Super Bowl?

They weren't there yet, and defensive end Calais Campbell was still playing at an elite level – and they weren't as tight against the salary cap as was the case this offseason.

CD from Fleming Island, FL

Hey, John: You've said previously that you believe the Jags could take a wide receiver early in the draft; do you feel that's a need for this team? D.J. Chark Jr., Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, etc. - I've kinda felt that the wide-receiver core was ascending, and with a more dominant offensive line could be a strength for this team. Do you believe we need to upgrade the position?


Blues Man from Jax

I'm a little concerned that the emphasis on defense in the draft will still leave us with a mediocre offense. A very good defense eventually collapsed this past Super Bowl, with the 49ers unable to stop an explosive offense when it needed to. I just don't feel confident we have enough offensive weapons to consistently put up big-time points. Please tell me you think the Jags will bolster their offensive weaponry.

I think the Jaguars' decision-makers are well aware of the need to upgrade wide receiver and tight end – at least – offensively. I also think there's a limit to how many elite early draft selections you get each offseason and that the Jaguars are equally aware that cornerback and defensive tackle must be addressed. That doesn't mean they can't address wide receiver and tight end somewhere, too, but defensive tackle and corner must be priorities. You can't win if you can't stop offenses better than the Jaguars did last season. Remember, too: the San Francisco 49ers' approach was enough to dominate in the NFC all season and come within a drive or two of winning the Super Bowl. Just because the Chiefs made a few more plays at the right time than the 49ers doesn't mean the 49ers' entire approach was flawed.

Muchie from Jacksonville

Hi O, I'm shocked that this front office is continually allowed to make huge mistake after huge mistake, with no consequences. The Nick Foles deal is yet another appalling decision coming back to bite us. Having to swallow $18 million in dead money and to only get a fourth-round pick in return is really quite breathtaking. This is the second year in three we will be paying over $10 million dollars to a quarterback not on our roster. Surely, Shad gets bored of Caldwell soon... he is a clown.

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan dismissed Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin in late December. While many people seem to have forgotten that Coughlin had final say over football decisions, that nonetheless remains true. That's not to say Caldwell had nothing to do with decisions made the last three seasons, but it is fair to remember that he was not in charge.

Michael from Jaxson de Ville, FL

John, there's a reason Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye's farewell ended differently than Yann's and former cornerback Jalen /Ramsey's etc. And it has nothing to do with the "culture." It's that the former actually got paid.

Money always plays a factor in the NFL, but I don't know that this one's that simple. I would lean more toward it being about maturity and perspective. Campbell and Bouye have played long enough to know that careers are short, and that there's little to be gained from alienating fan bases or teams – particularly one where you have been part of some good things. And if you're trying to make the argument that somehow Campbell and Bouye would have behaved as Ramsey behaved had they not signed huge free-agent contracts … seriously?

Robert from Chicago, IL

Back to Myles Jack. Is it fair to think, since he was lost to injury during the season, that the knee was already not 100 percent before he was officially ruled out? I think the criticism is a bit overblown, but even I felt like he didn't seem as quick/explosive this season as in seasons past. Was it a just mental/having to pick up too much slack, or do you think he was physically hampered even before the injury?

It was attributable to both. Jack certainly was dealing at least somewhat with a knee issue through part of last season before undergoing season-ending surgery and missing the last five games. More pertinent was that Jack did struggle at times when trying to make up for rookie weak-side linebacker Quincy Williams, who struggled with recognition and the move from college safety to NFL linebacker.

Josh from Pensacola, FL

The trades that are going down are shocking. Is the NFL going to be like the NBA now? I used to watch NBA basketball religiously back in the Jordan era even the Kobe era. But now I rarely tune in and it's only because my hometown OKC has a team. The constant movement of players in my opinion has killed the NBA. I don't want to lose pro football too. I guess the only positive is that we always have college to turn to as fans.

I don't think the NFL is heading quite so far down that path, because the NFL always has been – and remains – a league of quarterbacks. A franchise quarterback is the main player with which fans identify an organization and teams aren't going to let one go. Take the Chiefs, for example: they could release or trade most players on their roster and they will retain much the same identity for most fans so long as Patrick Mahomes is starting at quarterback. The same was true of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady until Tuesday and the same remains true of the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I agree that too much player movement isn't great for the league, but as long as that movement doesn't involve elite quarterbacks, I don't think it will hurt the league in the manner you envision.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Woah, Zone. Tre Herndon was NOT the best Jaguars cornerback last season. That is a very insulting statement to Bouye, who was clearly better. Tre Herndon was thrown at a lot and for good reason which helped his stats. People threw toward him and away from Bouye. We also put AJ and Committee on all the best receivers after the whole Jalen (Ramsey) thing he was clear No. 1. Tre played great for an undrafted free agent project and would be a decent No. 2 on most teams. AJ is better and was better last year. That is why Denver traded for him to replace Chris Harris and they did not inquire about Tre Herndon to my knowledge. Apparently, the Denver scouting department and I disagree with your assessment.


Unhip from Carslbad, CA

John, no one is 'wiser' or 'more-informed' than you.

Except Rob, apparently.