JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, so do the Jaguars go and get Amari Cooper?
This became a major inbox topic Friday after reports that the Dallas Cowboys could part ways with wide receiver Amari Cooper before the beginning of the 2022 League Year. This reaction was unsurprising – and the possibility indeed is intriguing. Usually in these cases, I immediately caution fans that there are various reasons why a released big-name player might not make sense for the Jaguars. That may indeed be the case in this situation, but there are many factors that do make sense about this one. One is that salary-cap space appears the primary reason the Cowboys could make the move, which means the reason isn't a lack of ability or a decline in skills. Another is Cooper is 27 years old and seems very much in his prime. The concern would be that Cooper hasn't quite been elite, but he undoubtedly would be an upgrade. I have no sense about the Jaguars' interest. It's quite possible they won't be interested. But considering the team's need at receiver, and considering the reality that pending free-agent receivers quite often don't become free agents … well, considering those things, if a player of Cooper's ability indeed becomes a free agent then this might be a case when the Jaguars indeed make the major move that would be necessary to acquire Cooper.
Al from Orange Park, FL
Both Pederson and Baalke spoke of getting our own draft picks to that second contract. I believe that our coaching carousel over the last few years has contributed to that failure. New coaches not having any investment in any of the current players. Could this be the regime that changes that trend?
Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Doug Pederson indeed both emphasized the need to draft, develop and re-sign players more consistently – discussing this in detail during the 2022 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this past week. Lack of continuity in the front office or coaching staff never helps anything, and it certainly doesn't help a team retain players to second contracts. But this is more a draft-and-development issue than anything else. The Jaguars over the last decade overall haven't drafted or developed well enough to have players they want to re-sign to second contracts. If you throw in a few weird situations – cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in particular – you get the overarching effect of very few core players and very second-contract player currently on the roster. That's a bad thing. Remember, too: the overwhelming most important position to sign to a second contract is quarterback. Get that player right, and get him signed to a second contract, then you're a long way toward continuity. Can this regime change the trend? Absolutely it can – if it drafts well, develops and wins.
Scott from Jacksonville
O-Man, you sure paint a rosy picture of Baalke's time in San Francisco. Many people would describe his tenure more like this: He inherited a stacked roster and made it worse every year he was general manager. He ran off the coach that took to team to the playoffs and the big game and turned the team into a bottom feeder before finally departing. Here's hoping that he learned from his mistakes and realizes that this is likely his last chance make a positive impact in his field.
So, one not fer Baalke, I guess …
Dan from Varna, Bulgaria
NFL owner says, "I'll look into straighten the organization with more knowledgeable football people." The fans they welcome that approach. NFL owner says, "In light of what I have seen so far from head coach and general manager, I'm feeling confident with this two running my football team." Jaguars fans: "He lied to us, we want executive vice president because he said earlier that he will hire one." What a baby fan base. Do you think Jacksonville still deserves to have an NFL franchise given the soft fan base? P.S.: I'm a Jaguars fan, I'll cheer for them in any city they call home.
Yes, Jacksonville deserves an NFL franchise. And their fans aren't soft. They're loyal and passionate, remarkably so. And don't worry about wondering what city the Jaguars will call home. It's Jacksonville. Period.
David from Ada, OK
I heard Shad Khan purchased the Jaguars simply because he hates all the fans and figured this was the best way to ruin their lives. It was a big investment, but his sinister plan appears to be working. While some fans have figured out his secret code and know what he's up to, I'm just too dumb to know how his latest moves are blunders years ahead of time.
Art from Orange Park, FL
Shad will get the benefit of the doubt from the fans when he earns the benefit of the doubt. This is the guy who "vetted" Urban Meyer and now after three weeks believes the "culture" has changed. The man hasn't proven to be a good judge when it comes to football and the front office.
Yep. The Jaguars must win for Khan to earn the confidence of fans. I'm not sure anyone around the Jaguars – Khan included – would say different.
Sam from Hittisleigh, UK
All Knowing Funk, if Khan decides he wants to hire an EVP between now and season's end next year, is there anything stopping him or can he hire anyone at any time assuming he's followed all other rules? Or would he have to wait?
Khan could hire an executive vice president of football operations any time he chooses so long as the team has followed the NFL's Rooney Rule.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, if we were going to use the franchise tag on someone this year, who do you think would be the most likely player to use it on?
Left tackle Cam Robinson, though in this case most likely doesn't necessarily mean likely.
Earl from Central Middleburg
John, with all the possible variables concerning the offensive line this offseason, I would find it strange if the organization decided to move left tackle Walker Little to guard and possibly take a left tackle in the draft if Robinson were to depart. With one year under his belt and a positive showing at left tackle, it would make sense to take a pass rusher at No. 1. The math is telling me edge at No. 1 all the way. Your thoughts?
My thoughts are sort of in line with your thoughts, though it seems more likely the Jaguars would move Little to right tackle than guard. I can't get away from the idea of re-signing Robinson and moving Little to right tackle, then adding a guard in free agency and rolling with Robinson/center Brandon Linder/guard Ben Bartch/free agent guard/Little with right tackle Jawaan Taylor somehow in the mix. Or allowing Robinson to leave and having Little at left tackle with Taylor at left. That would allow you to draft edge rusher at No. 1. That won't satisfy the revamp-the-offensive-line crowd. That also might be way off base. But it's a plausible scenario considering the circumstances.
Sean from Jacksonville
One often wonders...
And one often wanders, too. Life's weird like that.
Jason from North Pole, AK
There have been nine offensive tackles drafted in the Top 3 picks since the year 2000. Only two of them have lived up to expectations and become really good players: Jake Long and Joe Thomas. I don't think we can operate under the assumption that a high draft pick will step in and play at the same level at Robinson in Week One. Isn't the risk of being worse on the offensive line and not protecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence too great to let Cam walk?
This absolutely is a wrinkle in these possibilities. The Jaguars know Robinson. A rookie is by definition an unknown. Robinson is a good player and the Jaguars don't have enough good players. Not wanting to let good players leave could well play into the decision about Robinson.
Nathan from Utah, US
Zone, it's the video operators- and it is SO annoying how zoomed-in each and every one is on every individual player. Especially between plays. The fans watching at home can't see a play develop! Where are the receivers? What routes are they running? And what moves are they setting up defenders with? Where are the defensive backs? Yet in soccer, hockey, basketball, tennis, volleyball even billiards - where the viewer can enjoy seeing everything that is taking place during the game. And with only one video camera to boot. Tell the networks to be zoomed-OUT pre-snap! Then if it's a run they can zoom in if they must. Just quit trying to follow the football so closely. Then the video operator won't get faked out as they do. More cameras, more problems – and less "football" for the fans. "Help! Please help!"
Who hurt you, Nathan?