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Big Cat Country Q&A: Will the 2020 NFL season be cancelled?

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re a little late this week. Blame a global pandemic.

We’re back to answer your Jacksonville Jaguars questions — this week about Marqise Lee, veteran quarterbacks, and the importance of the cornerback position in this year’s NFL Draft.

Dalton from Tallahassee, FL

Q: Is Marqise Lee ever getting cut? If so, why hasn’t it happened yet?

A: There are one of two things happening here — either we have greatly underestimated Marqise Lee’s value in the eyes of the Jaguars front office or the team is trying to trade him and if they can’t get anything for him he’s worth enough to where the worst case scenario is they keep him on the roster for this year. I think it’s more the former than the latter because I don’t think he’s a great talent, but this team needs bodies at receiver. They’ll surely draft a receiver (or two!) this year, but he’s still probably the third or fourth most talented receiver on the team, injuries not withstanding.

Trey from North Liberty, IA

Q: Given our history with young talent leaving the team so early in their careers, how much value should we put in our draft picks vs. signing or trading for experienced and proven players?

A: Unfortunately, drafting young talent is necessary towards putting together a winning football team. It won’t work (and hasn’t worked) when teams just tried to put together a team full of veterans if they didn’t have young playmakers on the roster. Thanks to an awful CBA deal, teams still own a player’s rights for the first four years of their career. There is not enough talent in the NFL to focus solely on veterans. It’s not a choice of draft picks vs. veterans. It’s a choice of draft picks vs. losing.

Thomas from Gainesville, FL

Q: How badly does Yannick Ngakoue want out of Jacksonville? Is he willing to take significantly less money (than the Jaguars offer) to play for a different team?

A: I have no idea what is going on inside the head of Yannick Ngakoue. I don’t even think he knows. It seems as though he wants out at all costs and is doing everything he can to alienate the fan base, thereby motivating the front office to deal him for less than they think he’s worth. It hasn’t worked... yet. But I’d be surprised if he’s playing for Jacksonville next season.

Diz from Frisco, TX

Q: Any chance the Jaguars sign a veteran quarterback soon?

A: I think they’ll see what the free agent quarterback market looks like after the NFL Draft. Teams aren’t going to want to trade or cut veteran guys if they didn’t get the rookie they were targeting.

Phil from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Who would you look at the Jaguars to draft if guys like Derrick Brown, Isaiah Simmons, and Jeffrey Okudah are off the board?

A: Tristan Wirfs. But there’s a lot of differing opinions of who they will draft with their first pick of the first round. Check out all of our thoughts here.

Steven from Misawa, Japan

Q: What’s the likelihood of Yannick Ngakoue holding out through the season if a trade or deal doesn’t get done?

A: Zero, I think.

Pat from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Given the comments of Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone about the offensive line (and John Oehser’s writing on the subject) what is the likelihood we don’t take any offensive linemen in the first four rounds? Could we focus on other positions and not draft any offensive linemen early?

A: This one I know is zero. I’d be shocked if we didn’t draft one in the first two rounds. I’d put the chances of drafting an offensive lineman in the first round at above 50 percent.

Dre from Tallahassee, FL

Q: Will she ever come back, man?

A: No, Dre, she will not.

Matthias from Dortmund, Germany

Q: Here in Germany, the soccer league is planning to finish the season with games in empty stadiums. Would this way find acceptance in the NFL for both fans and the league?

A: I think it’s a question that Roger Goodell will have to ask himself very soon because I do not see how stadiums and arenas are going to be able to open to the public by August or September... and just yesterday Donald Trump held a conference call with all the owners from major sports leagues across the country. This quote from his briefing really stood out to me:

“Sports weren’t designed for this. The whole concept of our nation wasn’t designed for this. We have to get back. We want to get back soon. Very soon.”

It’s a uniquely relatable quote from a president who has seemed distant and out of touch through this whole coronavirus pandemic. And it’s something I’ve probably thought to myself a million times over the last few weeks. But sadly, it’s an emotional response not really grounded in any facts.

California’s governor is on record saying he doesn’t see how sports can happen with fans in the stands this year.

The NFL’s chief medical officer is at a loss for how to reopen team sports in general as long as the virus is still out there and a vaccine hasn’t been created.

We’re going to have positive cases for a very long time. I think what major sports leagues should be putting their heads together on is how to broadcast live games without threat of exposure to each other or fans. Whether that’s isolated venues with bare bones production crews like wrestling or some other option, I don’t know. But if we can get a head start on figuring that out, I think we can have some sports in the fall. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long wait to 2021.

Christopher from Downey, CA

Q: Is Telvin Smith ever coming back?

A: Much like Dre’s wife, he is never coming back.