Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Dennis Holler from Jacksonville:
Bill Prescott's major concern is for the years 2010-2011, when new stadiums in Dallas and New York will open. Will this impact be lessened because the Jets and Giants are sharing the stadium?
Vic: No, that'll only double the problem. It'll count twice.
Kenneth from Las Vegas, NV:
I know you love pro football and I value your opinion. Tell us, honestly, is the NFL on a path of self-destruction in light of these absurd free agency signings? Are my concerns legitimate or is this fan overreaction?
Vic: The average NFL fan is in a tough spot these days because he or she has to know the salary cap and the CBA as well as a GM or a personnel director does to be able to evaluate these moves. Once upon a time, all you needed to know was how good a player was. Everybody had an opinion on a player's ability and that's all that was required. It goes much deeper now. You have to know the caponomics of each move. You have to know how they were impacted by the CBA. The NFL isn't on a path of self-destruction, but it is on a path to something different. In my opinion, the league is headed for a level of revenue and expenditure that would boggle the mind. What if the game goes international? What if the season is expanded? I'm not saying those things are going to happen, but I think you'd have to be a world-is-flat kind of thinker not to consider the possibility. Roger Goodell is more than a commissioner. He's a chief executive officer.
Mark from Yulee, FL:
Just curious, have our RFA's garnered any noteworthy attention from other teams yet?
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
"It's time to find out how deep the passion is for football in Jacksonville." Don't you mean how deep the fans' pockets are? C'mon Vic, I completely agree when you say it is up to the average fan to fill the stadium seats, but the club seats? The average fan doesn't have that kind of money. Jacksonville employers don't pay well enough.
Vic: The theory is that Jacksonville doesn't have enough fans of club-seat means to fill the club seats. I don't know that to be true or false, but I'll accept it as fact and give the town a pass. What I won't do is accept any excuse for any area of seating in the general bowl. Those seats are priced to this market and represent an outstanding value. At no time should the Jaguars play a game without every one of those general-bowl seats sold, regardless of the fortunes of the team. If the seating capacity of the stadium was still 76,000-plus, I could understand why the seats wouldn't be sold during times of losing. Ten thousand seats have been taken out of service, however, and there are only 50,000 general-bowl seats to sell. They should be sold for every game, period. They were sold last season and it must be that way every season. In time, hopefully, the town will grow into the club seats. That's the plan.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
We always hear that the Jaguars average ticket prices are some of the lowest in the league, but I'm interested to know how the club seat prices compare. Are the Jaguars club seats, at $200 a game, on the high, low or middle range?
Vic: The average cost in the league of a club seat is $3,094 a year. A Jaguars club seat costs $2,000 a year. There are 28 teams that have club seats and only three of them have lower-priced club seats.
Patrick from Columbia, SC:
What motivations do large-market owners have for changing the current CBA to help out small-market teams?
Vic: As I see it, they have no motivation other than to strengthen their competition for the overall good of the league. That's called "leaguethink." Pete Rozelle coined the word and it's how the league operated under his leadership. The philosophy of "leaguethink" began to unravel in the late 1990's, when Dallas owner Jerry Jones cut his own sponsorship deals and other owners began pushing the revenue envelope in their own signature ways. That trend toward not sharing is what triggered all of the ills of the current CBA and the reluctance for owners to accept revenue-sharing, and it's going to be very difficult to turn the clock back. About all the small-market/low-revenue teams can do is throw themselves at the mercy of the large-market/high-revenue teams. I think they'll get something in the way of revenue-sharing but I don't think it'll be close to what they want and need. The time to have stood firm was last March, as the league was trying to get a new CBA. That's when the large-market/high-revenue teams were motivated. Washington needed a new CBA just to be able to get under the cap.
Marc from Gainesville, FL:
Our team seems pretty set at every position, assuming all of our injured players return to their previous level of play. Are the Jags finally in a position to draft the best player available?
Vic: Jack Del Rio shares your opinion. He told me recently that the Jaguars don't have a glaring weakness on their roster and should be able to draft any player at any position.
Scott from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
You brought up an interesting point with regard to the new CBA that I was not aware of. What is the minimum cap number for a team? At what point must you comply with the minimum salary cap?
Vic: The minimum salary cap number for this year is $92.87 million. Teams must be at or above the minimum for every season, but not until the final day of the league year.
Andrew from Orange Park, FL:
How would you feel if the Jaguars drafted Reggie Nelson from the Gators? Do you think he would fit well?
Vic: I think Reggie Nelson is the best athlete in this year's draft class. He'd fit well on any team.
Brian from Jacksonville:
Who sets the total number of club seats in NFL stadiums? Do the Jaguars have more club seats than other small-market teams? If yes, is this why we have the empty club seats?
Vic: Each team determines how many seats it wants to designate as premium or luxury seating. The Jaguars have 11,200 club seats, which is the fifth-most in the league. Yes, the high number of club seats in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is a major reason the team has struggled to fill them. Don't forget, however, it's that high number of club seats and the revenue from them that sold the NFL on awarding a franchise to Jacksonville.
Evan from Middleburg, FL:
No more Lynn Swann talk for Kyle Brady.
Vic: Not in Jacksonville, anyhow. Brady's going to catch and pass Swann and I'm not going to be there when it happens. It's very disheartening.
Danny from Monroe, MI:
Why don't you get out of the press box and into a club seat?
Vic: This is my job, Danny. I don't go to the games for fun, I go there to work. I am the owner, however, of two club seats.
Danny from Jacksonville:
How would you set up the CBA if it was your call?
Vic: In a TFR (total football revenue) model, I think the percentage of the players' take has to be lower and the CBA must be accompanied by a revenue-sharing plan acceptable by a consensus of the league's ownership, or everybody pays the player costs their specific revenue generates.
Josh from Jacksonville:
Yo, how you doin' today, Vic?
Vic: I'm doin' well, Josh. Thanks for asking. I hope you're well, too.
Tony from Jacksonville:
OK, Vic, you're Jack Del Rio. It's your turn to pick at the 17th spot in the draft. We just signed a slot receiver and a proven tackle. If the best available guy is a receiver, then do you pick him or do you try to fill a void elsewhere on the team? I know you said that your philosophy is to pick the best available guy, but given the situation we're in, what do you do that's best for the team?
Vic: Pick the best available player or trade down and recoup the value of the pick with extra draft picks. Next.
John-Martin from Hot Springs, AR:
Do you think Chris Houston from Arkansas would be a good addition for our secondary on the other side of the field from Mathis? We need another fast, strong, aggressive corner.
Vic: I don't agree that the Jaguars have a need at cornerback, but Chris Houston is a fantastic player. He was very impressive against Dwayne Jarrett.
Clay from Jacksonville:
If you could change one thing that Wayne Weaver has done in the past, what would it be?
Vic: If I could snap my fingers and change one thing, it would be the size and configuration of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. If it had been built for the Jaguars and the Jaguars only, we wouldn't be talking about any of this now.
John from Jacksonville:
Wanna sell tickets, Jaguars? Just win, baby, win.
Vic: They have. According to the "2006 NFL Record and Fact Book," which includes a 10-year won-lost rankings in each year's edition ('06 is the most recent edition), the Jaguars are tied with Miami for the seventh-best winning percentage in the league for the 10-year period from 1996-2005. The Jaguars were 90-70 (.563) during that time. Denver (.663) is number one and Green Bay (.638) is number two, followed by New England (.631), Pittsburgh (.616), Indianapolis (.575), Minnesota (.569), Jacksonville and Miami (.563). That means 24 teams in the league won fewer games than the Jaguars.
Rajesh from Jacksonville:
I enjoy reading "Ask Vic" every day. I don't send very many questions, though, because most of them are asked by other people and the last thing you need is a few more e-mails to read every week. Just wanted to let you know there's a huge faction of us out there who don't write in very often, or ever, that are daily readers. "Ask Vic" is now a movement or phenomenon.
Vic: That's great. I love doing this column.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I know you always say that football should not be emotional and that it is only a business, but the loss of Kyle Brady has hit me deep. He is one of the most friendly and open members of the team and was instrumental in my decision to become a season ticket holder when I met him at training camp. I, for one will miss him on and off the field and wish him and his family the best of luck in their future.
Vic: Kyle is a cool dude. He genuinely likes people and people like him. Yeah, we'll miss him, but let's not get too mushy about this, OK?