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A way of checking yourself

Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Durell from Washington, DC:
The Redskins are in salary cap trouble and they want Jeremiah Trotter gone so bad that local media outlets say he can be traded for with a fourth-round pick, so do you think the Jags would likely go after him?

Vic: You better check your local media. Jeremiah Trotter is so high in remaining amortization that trading him would only worsen the Redskins' salary cap. Trotter is more likely going to be a June cut. Then we'll see what the Jaguars' reaction is.

Keith from Jacksonville:
The Jaguars are well under the cap right now. After signing their draft class, would the team try to pull more money forward from future caps or just go into the season with a cap surplus.

Vic: They'll use every dollar of salary cap room to their present and future advantage. As far as moving money forward, they'll probably do some of that. Remember the difference between roster bonus and signing bonus? Roster bonus is declared in full in the year it's paid and signing bonus is spread out evenly over the contract. If the Jaguars maintain a significant amount of cap room, I would expect them to use that roster bonus technique in a new contract or two, which would be, in effect, prepaying on their cap. A team needs to keep a couple of million dollars in cap room as an emergency fund during the season, too. Then, late in the year when you see how much of that emergency fund remains, you do a new deal with a core player and use the roster bonus technique again to prepay on his contract.

Josh from Las Vegas, NV:
At what time can a team begin negotiations with the player they intend to draft first?

Vic: San Diego is on the clock now. They can begin contract negotiations with any player eligible for this year's draft. If they sign that player to a contract, then Oakland is on the clock and can do the same thing. Of course, San Diego can trade the pick and that team would then be on the clock. Maybe we could get the whole thing done before April 24.

Shaun from Australia:
I remember about a year ago you picked Vince Manuwai as a second-round talent who could drop to the third round. Do you see any players in this year's draft who are in the same situation.

Vic: I don't think I predicted Vince Manuwai would fall to the third round. I think I was asked to name a player who might be a prospect for the Jaguars in the later rounds, and Manuwai was the guy I named. As far as this year is concerned, Marquise Hill of LSU and Brandon Miree of Pitt are two players who interest me as possible "steals." Hill is a big guy, 6-7, 300, who's a prospect at defensive end and defensive tackle. Guys his size usually don't make it out of the first round, but he worked out bad at the scouting combine and has some medical concerns, and if those circumstances cause him to fall, he could be a major value pick for a team willing to take a chance. Miree missed almost all of his senior season with a leg injury. He had a great junior year with monster games on the road at Virginia Tech and Miami. You might remember that Curtis Martin missed almost all of his final season at Pitt due to a leg injury, and that caused him to fall into the third round. Is Miree the next Curtis Martin? Miree doesn't have great straight-line speed, but he has some power and some wiggle and can catch the ball. He could be a "steal" on the second day.

David from Chippewa Falls, WI:
What do you think of Sean Taylor?

Vic: Sean Taylor is a top player who is on the Jaguars' radar. His performance against Florida State in the regular season last year was scintillating. But I can't get it out of my mind what Kevin Jones, Greg Jones and Quincy Wilson did to Taylor last year. They blew him up, and great players don't get blown up like that. My understanding is the scouts attribute those three plays to Taylor's penchant for playing high. To be as successful in the NFL as he was in college, Taylor will have to become more of a knee-bender and play with his shoulders instead of his chest.

Ralph from Middleburg, FL:
I read where Deke Cooper and Akin Ayodele were awarded bonuses by the league for low-salaried players who accrued a significant amount of playing time last year. Who pays this and is this counted against the Jaguars' cap?

Vic: The league provides a million dollars per team in money to be paid to low-salaried players. The payment formula allows that a player highest in play-time and lowest in compensation gets the most bonus money. Deke Cooper is that player for the Jaguars. The program is part of the players' benefits package that is provided by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is not included in a team's salary cap.

Thrill from Jacksonville:
You are absolutely right about displaced Jaguars fans and their need for a voice from home. As a Marine reservist, I was activated for "Operation Iraqi Freedom." At this time last year, I was in Iraq preparing for our big push into Baghdad. When I got back to the U.S. after the war, the first thing I did when I settled into my barracks room in Camp Pendleton was to log onto It was a great comfort to read the latest "Ask Vic," as well as the rest of the archived articles about our Jaguars team. On behalf of those around the world who can't be here in Jacksonville to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, I thank you for doing your part to give them a reminder of home.

Vic: You warm my heart. Thanks.

Zach from Orlando, FL:
What was the contract the Jaguars gave to Ephraim Salaam?

Vic: It's a two-year deal that is highly incentivized and includes a $200,000 signing bonus.

Abdulah from Jacksonville:
Who do you think is the most valuable player to come into the NFL ever?

Vic: I'm not sure what you mean by most valuable, but if you're asking who is the most dominant player in the history of the NFL, that player is Jim Brown, period.

Rob from New Jersey:
I submit great questions every week, so why do you pick these lame ones about the salary cap? You have some money; mail these people some cash so they can buy a clue.

Vic: Welcome to "Ask Vic."

Tim from Tennessee:
Should the Jags trade their first-round pick to the Titans for McNair?

Vic: Absolutely. You know why? Because if they traded for Steve McNair all of McNair's remaining amortization would stay with the Titans and accelerate into this year, and that would put the Titans so far over the salary cap they might have to forfeit the season. Then the Jaguars should trade for Peyton Manning.

Charles from Jacksonville:
I think you once said to draft the player you least want to play against. Sounds very wise. There is no "need" in that method.

Vic: Yeah, that used to be one of my favorites; haven't used it in awhile. It was just a way of checking yourself: Are we drafting the right guy? If you don't want to play against him, he's probably the right guy. I'll give you another one. When I think about making preseason predictions, I like to ask myself, would the Jaguars trade rosters with the Titans? The Colts? The Texans? Do it with each team. The team that gets the most no answers is the favorite to win the division.

Sharon from Jacksonville:
How about an update on the "Ask Vic" travel club. Is Alan getting things organized?

Vic: Alan's got everything so screwed up that if the Jaguars were playing in Green Bay you might end up in Buffalo. Apparently, Alan doesn't acknowledge the existence of anything outside Florida's borders.

David from Orlando, FL:
Every year the marketing team comes up with a new slogan to get everybody excited about the coming year. I think last year was "Take Back Our House." If we don't have one, yet, maybe the readers of "Ask Vic" should get a shot at it. After all, we are the most die-hard Jaguar fans around.

Vic: Please, no more slogans.

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