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O-Zone: Throwing up steel

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Chris from Lake City, FL

With Leonard Fournette being shopped around for a trade, does that leave him feeling not wanted and less motivated to play? We need a back who wants to win and play hard on every down, right?

I have no idea if running back Leonard Fournette will feel "wanted" next season after the Jaguars reportedly explored trading him before the 2020 NFL Draft. Maybe he will feel that way. Maybe not. Whatever, it matters not a whit. Fournette is entering the final year of his rookie contract and he will be an unrestricted free agent in the 2021 offseason. That gives him every incentive to play hard every down and perform as well as possible. The better he does and the more the Jaguars win, the more coveted he will be next offseason. The more coveted Fournette is, the more money he will make. I don't know how he will perform next season. I do know I can't imagine him not being motivated to play as well as possible.

Nate from St. Petersburg, FL

Hey O! Let Tommy know that, after 25 years of being a Jaguars fan from Tampa and going to one or two games a year, I've finally become a season-ticket holder and can't wait to make the eight-hour round trip commute to see my team play next season. When one door opens...

Hey, one fer Nate!

KC from Orlando, FL

Would you say that this year's preseason games are the most important of all in comparison to prior years given that there is so much going into the virtual space instead of training with players on the field? Could you see the preseason extended to help make up for the inadequacies of virtual preparation? Keep it funky!

Preseason games this season will be equally important to 2011, when the lockout prevented offseason organized activities and minicamp. The lockout ended in late July and training camp occurred pretty much on schedule. Preseason stayed the same. I wouldn't expect any preseason games added this offseason. How many take place and in what capacity is the question.

Peter from Merimbula,

When is Cam Newton coming to Jags?


Vince from Farmington, NM

Rookie contracts have been regulated somewhat with the last CBA. It seems to have taken the ego out of what I remember some first-round rookies would demand when they believed they were elite. Now there appears to be a structured system for paying rookies. Do undrafted free agent rookies fall into a menu-style pay structure or do they have the ability to negotiate?

Though salary demands of some rookies before the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement indeed were ridiculous enough to lead to the current rookie structure, the ridiculousness didn't stem as much from the rookies' ego as from a broken system that allowed agents to push salaries and bonus of early-drafted rookies to a point that they crippled the teams that drafted them. As for rookies in the current system … yes, they can negotiate and they do. That negotiation typically comes in the area of signing bonus, but teams are limited to about $100,000 total in signing bonuses for undrafted rookies each offseason. That keeps the negotiations from getting remotely out of hand.

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

There was a good mixture of optimism and pessimism in Thursday's column. It made me reflect that the only thing I'm hoping for regarding football is that there is a season, and everyone will be safe accordingly. I cannot imagine for a second a Sunday at 1 p.m. next September and me having to watch the Dolphins perfect season, again. Be safe.

Let's hope for the best. I didn't want to watch the 1972 Dolphins in '72. I sure don't want to watch them 48 years later.

Raymond from Orange Park, FL

John: You stated that ownership shows it values the fans by making sure it is a stable long-term, functioning franchise. My question is quite simple, but I have not been able to find the clear answer on the internet: Does the team make a profit without games in London and – if so – how much? In other words, are the London games required to make a profit or are they scheduled to increase profit to a level desired by ownership? If the team cannot make a profit with all games in Jacksonville, then London games are required. If the games are scheduled to increase profit, then it is a cash grab. Until the figures are released, then no one can have an opinion on the issue that is based on fact. And, yes, I understand the team belongs to Shad Khan and he is free to do as he pleases; however, with an issue that keeps coming up, it would be helpful if the "valued fans" were given enough reliable information on which they could decide how "valued" they are.

The Jaguars reveal the financial information that they are going to reveal at the annual State of the Franchise. It's not as specific as what you're seeking, but it's much more than most teams reveal. They long have emphasized during this event that they are near the bottom of the NFL in local revenue. Teams that are near the bottom of the league in local revenue must work to improve themselves against the rest of the NFL in that area; if they don't, they eventually lag behind to the point that it hurts the ability to remain in that market long-term. Many teams that have been low in local revenue in recent seasons have moved cities and/or moved into state-of-the-art stadiums. Khan wants the Jaguars to work in Jacksonville but has said from the beginning that outside-the-box approaches may be required. The Lot J developments are outside the box. London games? Outside the box. If the Jaguars stay inside the box, the franchise would be in jeopardy in Jacksonville. Call it a cash grab or call it whatever you want, but that remains the reason for the London games – among other initiatives.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

Man, you really need to expand your pizza horizons, given your misplaced love affair with Sbarro. That place is the McDonald's of pizza. It's like one step shy of the cheese slices at 7-11. Be better, KOAF!


Daniel from Johnston

Based on the moves made this offseason, it certainly doesn't feel like General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone are on the "hot seat." Would you agree with that? Barring a complete dumpster fire, Khan will give them at least one more year after this to prove they can rebuild (even if they don't call it a rebuild) the roster and develop talent?

Caldwell and Marrone know Khan expects to win this season. Both Caldwell and Marrone have made that clear multiple times this offseason. I don't know how many victories that means. My sense is Khan needs to see that the Jaguars are unquestionably moving in the right direction for Caldwell and Marrone to return. If they are, then it would be foolish to change direction. And it has to look better than 2018 and 2019. What does that mean in terms of victories? What does that mean in terms of what Khan must see? Perhaps only Khan knows.

Ryan from Reality

KOAF - Your recent answer reminded me that you've been back with the team for a decade now. I went and looked up our record for those seasons, and we've only had one winning season since you returned. Our record under your watch is a ghastly 43-101. Maybe Caldwell and Marrone and Khan are fine. Maybe you're the problem!

Everything at home is my fault. Why not at work, too?

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Will Myles Jack continue to wear the helmet with the comms to the coaches and make the defensive calls or will they give it to Joe Schobert? I think that Jack has played more than one linebacker position here and it may be best to let him continue doing it since he is familiar with the coaches and players.

The Mike linebacker calls the plays. Joe Schobert signed from the Cleveland Browns in the offseason to play that position, and Jack is moving to the weak side. There's no reason for Schobert to not call plays.

Bob from Sumter, SC

I just read that Jaguars defensive tackle Davon Hamilton did 33 reps of 225 pounds at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. I've heard that you've pumped 225 pounds 35 times in the Jags weight room. Is this going to motivate you or are you ready to be a mentor to the kid and help him break your record?

Hamilton knows where to find me. Actually, he's a rookie so he probably doesn't know where to find me. And considering I'm working from home, he probably would have to get my address from someone to know where to find me. But he will know where to find me. Someday. Oh, he will.