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Big Cat Country Q&A: How much is Gardner Minshew worth in a trade?

Chicago Bears v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions on the eve of Super Bowl Weekend!

Today we’re talking about Jalen Ramsey, Deshaun Watson, potential free agent targets, Gardner Minshew’s trade value, and more.

Thomas from Gainesville, FL

Q: Do you see a lot of similarities with the Deshaun Watson situation and the Jalen Ramsey snafu?

A: Maybe? I think there are some similarities but it just feels like the Houston Texans took what the Jacksonville Jaguars did in 2019 and just did it five times as big. Yannick Ngakoue is good, but he’s no DeAndre Hopkins. Jalen Ramsey is good, but he’s no Deshaun Watson. The Texans have (at least for now) a top-five quarterback in the NFL. You can win with even decent pieces around him, but Bill O’Brien absolutely dismantled this roster. At least Dave Caldwell got legitimate draft assets from his trades. The Texans got a six-pack of beer and a bologna sandwich. Also, Deshaun showed he was committed to Houston long-term with his contract extension — Jalen wasn’t staying in Jacksonville, so we got what we could and moved on.

Joey from Tallahassee, FL

Q: Since the Jaguars have hired Joe Cullen as the defensive coordinator and now Zachary Orr as the linebackers coach, do you think we make a run for Matt Judon in free agency?

A: Yes, I think you’ll see quite a few free agency targets from the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks this offseason. Matthew Judon is an easy one, but what about Tyus Bowser? Quinton Dunbar? We have a lot of connections to those two franchises and I’d watch them closely.

Chevin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: If this is a weaker draft class for defensive tackles, would that put a slightly higher premium on the position than it normally would in other years? Is this the way teams look at it?

A: Some teams might, but I don’t know if I would. My thought is — you rank your players based on a combination of talent and positional need, create a big board, and draft accordingly. What would put a slightly higher premium on a certain position is if I need that on my team. I think Christian Barmore is a very talented player and a position of need on this Jaguars team so... yeah, he’d be high up on my rankings if I were a general manager.

Jason from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Do you think the Jaguars trade Gardner Minshew for additional draft picks?

A: I wouldn’t, simply because he’s on his rookie contract and that’s still cheaper than a decent veteran backup. I think Gardner is a good backup and will bounce around the league for many years if he can accept that. But if the Jaguars were willing to trade him, they could probably get an early Day 3 pick for him — something in the fourth or fifth round.

Ryan from Lancaster, PA

Q: Is it possible the Jaguars don’t draft Trevor Lawrence?

A: Yes, but in the same way it’s possible I get hit by a bus on my way home from the office. Could it happen? Sure. Will it happen? No, probably not.

Jason from Brooklyn, NY

Q: Is there a player not named Kyle Pitts who you would move up into the top-10 of the NFL Draft for? For that matter, how high are you willing to move up for Pitts?

A: I think Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts are the only two players worthy of trading significant draft picks for and moving into the top-10 of the NFL Draft. As far as how high I’d go, I’d be willing to trade every single pick I have to the New York Jets and select him at No. 2 overall. I’m not even kidding. Build the defense in free agency and let Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts cook for the next decade.

Dustin from Fresno, CA

Q: Should the Jaguars draft more players on offense or defense?

A: This year? It’ll probably be more defense. The offense isn’t terrible with Trevor Lawrence under center. They need some depth — but it’s the defense that needs the most help, and they need it at nearly every position.

Jason from Jacksonville, FL

Q: What college is most represented in the Super Bowl this year?

A: If it’s not Penn State, then they have some explaining to do about this tweet.

Ben from Chicago, IL

Q: How do we reconcile wanting to cheer for Urban Meyer while knowing he concealed a domestic abuse occurrence one of his assistants committed, without feeling sick?

A: You don’t. I know that’s not a good answer, but you don’t. You hold those two things at the same time or you walk away. Urban Meyer should have done better. And his apology sucked. You can draw the line wherever you want for when something is too much to continue cheering for a team — but the important thing is you draw the line. I can’t do that for you. This isn’t the line for me, but if it is for you then I understand.