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O-Zone: World leader pretend

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Nelson from Jacksonville

I read somewhere that the Jags are expected to be about $39 million over the salary cap next year. Is there any truth to that – and if so, how will that impact us as we look to sign veteran players and potential free agents?

It's true right now that the Jaguars are projected to be well over the salary cap next offseason. It's also true that the Jaguars planned for 2019 to be an offseason when difficult decisions would be made in terms of the cap; you can't spend in free agency as they have done the past few offseasons and not eventually face such decisions. That's part of the story. The other part is that the Jaguars have structured contracts to minimize the aftereffects of releasing high-salary players, and they drafted in recent seasons with the idea of developing those drafted players to replace players about whom difficult decisions will be made. The Jaguars in the coming offseasons will have to release some players and sign fewer free agents from other teams than they have signed in previous offseasons. Drafted players must take their place, and they must make choices about which of their own free agents to sign. That has been part of the plan and next offseason will be the offseason when that part of the plan comes to pass. It's also life in the NFL and a necessarily difficult part of having a good roster.

Matthew from Fort Worth, TX

I am groot! I am groot. I am groot? I'm groot; however I am Groot. I am groot, and I am groot.

No, you're not.

Brian from Middleburg, FL

Hey O-Zone, what should I ask you?

How about if you ask me a bunch of personal questions, things that are none of your business and things that feel intrusive? And then how about if I opt not to answer them because they weren't appropriate questions? Or maybe just ask about the offensive line.

Bruce from Jacksonville

I'm confused.

You're welcome.

Sid from River Falls, WI

I have literally believed the Jaguars would win the Super Bowl every year since 2005. But I'm sure we will win this year. I know it. There's no way I'll be brutally disappointed this time, right?

I don't have a clever answer for this question. And though some would say that's a normal occurrence, what I mean is I obviously can't guarantee a Super Bowl. I believe the Jaguars have a real chance to make a deep playoff run. They have the talent to do it. They obviously showed last season they're capable of making the Super Bowl and winning it. They are one of a few teams that can do it this season. Actually doing it? Well, that very often takes some good fortune in terms of injuries, a break or two in big games, etc. Can they do it? Sure. Will they? Stay tuned.

Stephen from Jacksonville

The new website is cool and a lot of people really like it. What would make it even more cool is if y'all made the right half of the webpage gold, like those helmets that so many people liked and thought were cool. Me, personally, I'm not a fan of the change but thankfully I'm a patient individual. How long do we have to wait until we go back to a plain, no frills website that embodies a bold but classic look? I feel lost on the new website. I just want something that's straight forward and familiar.

One sort of fer – or at least it seemed that way and really not fer …

Cliff from Everywhere with a Helicopter, FL

John, should I look for you at the Alarm show in PVB?

Very, very, very regrettably no. The Alarm are playing Ponte Vedra on August 15, which conflicts with the Jaguars' joint practices with the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota. I would rarely go to a show during a weeknight in training camp or the regular season, but the Alarm would have been an exception. #takethissongoffreedom

TJ from Orlando, FL

Hey Zone, could you make my day and put an ad right in the middle of my question? That would be terrific, and I'd get to have a rare moment of joy. Thanks in advance.

Be patient, TJ.

Ryan from Apopka, FL

Maybe, just maybe the Jags are waiting to sign a backup/veteran running back until closer to the season or even when the season starts. Once you play the first game, veteran contracts are no longer guaranteed. As you mentioned, John, a running back can come in pretty quickly and learn the system. My guess is someone is signed after Week 1.

That's a possibility. Here's the thing to remember, though: while I believe the Jaguars could sign a veteran running back, I don't get the sense that this is nearly the nerve-wracking issue for the team as it is for some fans and readers of this site. The Jaguars saw that backup running back Chris Ivory couldn't get on the field late last season, and they saw that Leonard Fournette played through a lot of issues last season. They also saw that T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant filled in when necessary and that the Fournette/Yeldon/Grant combination was effective late last season. They also know – as you mention – that reserve running back is one of the easiest positions to fill off the street in effective fashion.

Scott from Jacksonville

You seem a little snarkier than usual. The new website must make you happy. Could it be?

The new website does not make me happy. Don't blame the website. Hardly anything else does, either.

Chris from Norfolk, VA

I'm wondering O, how many of your readers have actually worn a helmet? They probably don't realize that the locker room regulates itself in many ways. The fan boys only need to realize one thing. Blake Bortles has the respect and the backing of the coaches AND the players, especially those 300-pound defensive linemen. This aspect is no different than the one guy in any office stopping your bonuses and pay raises. They'd get out their bud nipper. That's OUR quarterback.

Yes, he is. By the way, your question was fine, but some of the language you used was a bit confusing. What are "bonuses" and "pay raises?"

Bill from Folkston, GA

Can we go back to the other format? This one sucks.

Sorry. No.

Peter from End Zone Dog Park

Any chance that Tom Coughing fills in for a day on the O-Zone? That would be cool.

It would be cool except for except for all that coughing. That would be unhealthy. And probably pretty annoying.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Jags Fans gave up a home game to London in order to make this franchise economically viable and so that we would not have to suffer through ads on your "free" website sponsored by Ticket sales, merchandise sales and parking fees. That contract has been broken. If we gave up home game 7 to Munich would that be enough to stop the ads?

Probably not. And that wasn't why the team started playing a home game in London. It started playing a home game in London so that the local revenue could begin getting close enough to the NFL norm to stabilize the franchise in a smaller market. And the number of ads is a league decision, not a Jaguars decision. I don't care enough to dig deeper on this answer and I assume no one else does, either. If this assumption is incorrect I still won't care enough to dig deeper on this answer.

HiBye from Jacksonville

Would it be reasonable for O-Zone readers to go on strike? Ya know, they don't like change!

O-Zone readers are fans. Fans fan. Reason doesn't enter into it.

Ron from 101

HATE THE NEW FORMAT welcome to 1987

One not fer …

Kramer from New York, NY

I like the site redesign. The old white text on black background made my rods and cones all screwed up.

One fer …

Tommy from Orlando, FL

Not impressed with the new webpage. Hope it's not permanent. Please pass along to IT

Sorry you're not impressed. It's a site designed by the league, not IT – and it's permanent in the sense that it will be until the league designs another

David from Oviedo, FL

The new look and taste of this website is equivalent to New Coke...why mess with a good thing? Am I right?

I suppose some people might be old and experienced enough to understand your New Coke reference. I doubt many involved with this change fall into that category.

Steve from Wonderwood

I am old. Changing things is not nice. I will get used to it but for the slanted letters. My wife is getting tired of holding the screen back and forth. Any ideas?

Not really. No.

Ape from Apeville

I'm not a senior writer; I just pretend to be one online.

Me, too.

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