O-Zone: 'Til we meet again

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Michael from Section 122

Why does superior talent get a pass when prima donna behavior – which is obliviously detrimental to the success of the team – happens?

I can only take a “wild stab” and guess you mean Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey reporting to 2019 Training Camp in an armored truck on Wednesday. Ramsey did this on his own time and reported to camp on time – presumably in shape and ready to perform. When he does something detrimental to the success of the team … well, I suppose when and if that happens, there will be an issue. Oh, and superior talent gets a pass in some situations because of the super talent. That’s how life works.

Steven from Duval

Sup, O: If they offered Yannick something around three years, $57 million with $50 million pretty much guaranteed, why isn’t this a better deal than the ones it’s being compared to? Seems to me he could make $50 million, which isn’t that far below those other guaranteed deals, and would still be young enough to command another monster deal when the going rate goes up like it does every year.

You’re referencing a report that the Jaguars offered defensive end Yannick Ngakoue a short-term deal with more than $50 million in the first two years, a contract that essentially would guarantee Ngakoue more than $50 million. Ngakoue turned down the offer and the Jaguars on Thursday placed him on the reserve/did not report list a day before the opening of training camp. Why wouldn’t Ngakoue take the offer? A few thoughts. One is that players want long-term deals because they tend to offer more security. Another is that time is on Ngakoue’s side here; if the Jaguars are going to offer that a day before camp, logic would tell you that they may offer more as his holdout continues. A third thought is that this issue seems likely to last for a while now. Essentially guaranteeing $50 million over the first two seasons of a deal is a pretty high-end, short-term offer from the Jaguars’ perspective and is in keeping with their approach in recent seasons of structuring contracts that allow flexibility after two seasons; considering that, I don’t know much their offer will change in the next few weeks. From Ngakoue’s perspective, there’s little incentive to report to camp until 30 days before the regular season; that’s when he can report and still become an unrestricted free agent after the season if he hasn’t received a contract extension before the season. Those factors make it seem likely Ngakoue will remain out for a couple of weeks.

Logan from Wichita, KS

I am beyond sure at this point that our front office is going to follow in the Oakland Raiders’ footsteps and trade an elite pass rusher for peanuts because they are idiots. Maybe we can give another worthless quarterback a top-end contract so they can play water boy for us instead of helping us win. Worked great last year ...

There’s a long way to go with this. We’ll see.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL and currently in Fort Lauderdale

What's up, Zone? Ramsey's arrival to camp was classic, if not epic. Those who have complained of or questioned Ramsey's value to this team (given his talent, and his persona on this small-market team), needs to get a reality check. Go Jags!!

Ramsey showing up to camp in an armored truck was funny. It was clever. He’s dynamic. He’s a star – and as long as he plays at a high level, there’s nothing wrong with what he did Wednesday.

Josh from Harrisburg, PA

Do you feel Jalen Ramsey showed up the way he did because this franchise is on the “Brinks” of a super bowl?

I think Ramsey showed up to ’19 camp as he did because he has a flair for the show and because he has star power, and because it’s OK to have fun before the grind of camp begins.

Al from Orange Park, FL

All emotion and rhetoric aside, I don't see where Ngakoue has anything at all to gain by sitting out, do you? Jags hold his rights for two more seasons. I would think that the best thing he could do at this point would be to show a whole lot of good attitude and build whatever goodwill he can. What am I missing here?

I expect Ngakoue to report before the deadline of 30 days before the regular season because I don’t expect him to be willing to lose a season toward free agency. I don’t know if he will have signed a long-term deal by that point, because I have no way of knowing if he will sign the offer that has been extended. If and when he does report, I expect he would work phenomenally hard and give maximum effort – not only because it would benefit him to do so, but because I never have seen him do anything else.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL

What do you think being listed as PUP means for running back Ryquell Armstead and left tackle Cam Robinson's ability to play in the regular season?

Nothing. Teams routinely place players who won’t be practicing early in training camp on the physically unable to perform list because there is no reason not to place an injured player PUP at the beginning of training camp. Doing so keeps the option open for being on the regular-season PUP list on the off chance the player is unable to practice during camp. It in no way should be seen as an indication the player won’t be ready for the regular season. That’s not what it means.

Dave from Dallas, TX

Hey Mr. O: We gave Telvin Smith a new $45 million contract after Year 3 (2018) because his form was awesome. And how did that work out? Do you think that lesson is affecting Jags positioning regarding Yannick Ngakoue?

No.

Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436 Since 1995

Regarding the 30-day-prior-to-regular-season deadline for players reporting, is that in the CBA? I've never heard about it before this year. Is it because the Jags stunk so much on player acquisition prior to the last couple of years that we didn't have players who had a legitimate case for holding out?

Yes, the rule that a player doesn’t accrue a season toward free agency if he reports later than 30 days before the start of the regular season is in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I don’t know why you hadn’t heard about it before.

Raymond from Orange Park, FL

John: Maybe all of the fans upset that Ngakoue has not been signed a year before his contract expires (and two before he may leave) could start a GoFundMe page and kick in some of their own money. One of the easiest things in the world to do is to spend someone else's money.

I love spending other people’s money. It’s one of my few strengths.

Sonny from Melbourne, FL

I think part of what Greg was asking is how does a rookie retire, not why? If I got hired by a company, I can't retire the day before my first day. I could quit.

You’re referencing Jaguars rookie undrafted Zedrick Woods submitting retirement papers to the league rather than reporting for training camp on Monday. The answer is in the first sentence: You retire in the NFL by submitting retirement papers to the NFL. You do this because you signed a contract with an NFL team upon being signed as a free agent or upon signing your contract after being drafted.

Kenneth from Fernandina Beach, FL

Is training camp mandatory? If so, how much in fines will be accrued by Yann if he does hold out to August 8? He already is $80,000 in debt for missing three-day mandatory minicamp. And do you know of any precedent of other players doing the same thing?

Yes, training camp is mandatory. And yes, many players hold out of minicamp and training camp. Players – except those who signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent – can be fined $30,000 per day for not reporting, and also can be fined the equivalent of one week’s salary for every preseason game missed.

Chris from Space City, TX

So O, we have a Top 5 young pass rusher not showing up for camp, and arguably the best corner in the league pulling up in an armored truck accompanied by a hype man! Could Grumpy Grandpa Coughlin and useless Caldwell have messed this up anymore? Obviously, youth and incredible talent doesn't justify getting paid in Jacksonville. We allocate that money to undeserving, bust, detriments like former QB Blake Bungles.

Not paying players when they want to be paid is not the same as not paying them. Ramsey and Ngakoue deserve to get paid. I believe both will get paid by the Jaguars. It’s just not as easy as snapping your fingers and having it happen on a whim.

Scott from New York City

Dead Zone over. We the fans thank you for keeping up the daily habit over this stretch. See you next year.

Yippee. I can’t wait.

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