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Bright lights in the sky?

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

Lee from Jacksonville:
Peyton Manning's new contract reminds me a lot of Alex Rodriguez's initial deal with the Texas Rangers. Of course, Indianapolis has the luxury of the TV contract to help pay for Manning's deal. Typically, how much of a team's revenues come from the national TV contract, and where does the balance of Wayne Weaver's (Jim Irsay's) revenue come from?

Vic: Peyton Manning's $34.5 million signing bonus is worth close to half of the television revenue the Colts and every other team in the league will receive this season. The bulk of each team's remaining revenue stream is represented by ticket sales and sponsorship sales. In the Colts' case, they have one of the league's worst ticket revenue situations, the result of the league's smallest stadium and a limited number of luxury suites and club seats.

James from Mobile, AL:
I've always read your column but never had a question until now. I was wondering how the term "touchdown" originated? Does it have anything to do with scoring?

Vic: Once upon a time, when a player crossed the goal line he had to touch the ball to the ground for it to be ruled a score.

Chad from Easley, SC:
Why would a player decide not to work out at the scouting combine? Thanks for the offseason fix.

Vic: Because he wants the workout to be conducted his way and on his turf, and the top players have the leverage to do that.

Gene from Keystone Heights, FL:
Did you ever dream "Ask Vic" would become an international sensation?

Vic: My high school coach used to say to me, "There's got to be something you can do." Maybe this is it.

Justin from Jacksonville:
If the signing bonus is in the rookie's checking account before he calls his girlfriend, then how long will it take for her to spend it all? My guess is half of it is gone before he even gets home to see her.

Vic: It depends on whether he got to the rims store before she got to the mall.

Jason from Macclenny, FL:
Terrell Owens landed in Baltimore. Do you think this is one of the elite teams of the AFC?

Vic: The situation in Baltimore is becoming rather interesting. Without mentioning any names, you might say the Ravens have a very intriguing collection of personalities and backgrounds. I don't think "elite" is the word I would use.

Fred from Portland, OR:
Everyone has been reporting that, as of now, the Jaguars should be just shy of $15 million under the salary cap, but John Clayton just reported that, in fact, the Jaguars are now only $12.54 million under the cap. Do you have an explanation?

Vic: That cap number is going to change on a daily basis. I assure you that on Tuesday, when I reported the Jaguars were "about $15 million" under, that was accurate. So, what changed? Well, tenders have been made to "exclusive rights" free agents, and Joe Zelenka was signed, and you must remember that every time there's a change on the roster there's also a secondary effect because the cap, at this time of the year, is your top 51 salaries and associated other monies. So, when you cut a guy and gain credit for his salary, you must also figure in the salary of the player who just moved into the 51st spot on the roster. Fred, as I said in one of my "Salary Cap 101" installments, don't put too much stock in the hard figure right now because it changes daily and, in many cases, doesn't include events that must take place. The example I used was Peyton Manning, who was an unrestricted free agent and didn't even appear on the Colts' cap until they "franchised" him. Instead of accepting the over/under figure as a hard number, use it as an overall indicator of where the team's cap is. Oh, by the way, as of this morning, the Jaguars were about $13 million under the cap.

Mike from Jacksonville:
With most people agreeing the extra third-round pick was a bonus, how many spots do you think we could move up in round one if we threw in our bonus pick with our number one.

Vic: That's not going to move you up much, but you may only need to move up a spot to get the guy you want. That's all the Jags needed last spring to get Byron Leftwich.

Wayne from Cocoa, FL:
What does $15 million under the cap do for you if you're not signing anyone? I understand fiscal restraint but at what cost? All the quality players are quickly being signed by other teams and we've yet to make a splash. We can't take the $15 million with us into the season; that wouldn't be too smart either.

Vic: First of all, I commend the Jaguars on exercising restraint, and I assure you they will spend some money wisely on necessary fixes in free agency. But I'm concerned about your opinion that having cap room is useless if you're not signing someone. Where did I go wrong? Haven't I explained satisfactorily the merits of using room to move money forward; to use room now to secure your future? The Patriots did that a couple of years ago with Tom Brady. Do you think they're glad they did? The Colts didn't do that with Manning. Do you think they regret it? Having cap room is always a good thing because it gives a team flexibility as to how it deals with its roster.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I'm desperate and I need you to answer this, please. All the top-notch free agents are starting to fall off the board and we haven't even attempted to sign anybody. What is going on, man? Terrell Owens went to the Ravens for their second-rounder and we didn't offer our second and it's higher then the Ravens. What happened with the need for a play-maker mentality? I'm lost. We desperately need to address our secondary because other WRs are just gonna terrorize us. The Jags are starting to become too cheap. They would rather pay three OK players $1 million a year than one Pro-Bowler $3 million a year. Help me, Vic!

Vic: You'd be the perfect personnel man for Dan Snyder. By the way, find me a Pro-Bowler for $3 million a year and I'll take him to Wayne Weaver myself.

Scotty from Middleburg, FL:
Vic, let's face it, some people are idiots when it comes to the draft and it just so happens you are one of them this year. You like Udeze in the Jaguars spot? You are crazy! The Jaguars need a solid number one CB and a solid number one WR to take over after Jimmy retires. Also, Fernando is a good corner but not great, so I say draft Mike Williams or Roy Williams, the two-best WRs in this draft. Forget about Larry; he will be the next Peter Warrick. Roy and Mike got what it takes, especially Mike. I mean, 6-5, 230; the man is a beast among insects. And then you got DeAngelo Hall and Chris Gamble. Gamble can go WR or CB for ya, plus, he's the second-best return man this year behind Hall. So, screw Udeze, Will Smith or any other supposed good DL. You better post this so all the true football minds can see what everybody really thinks. The fans of Jacksonville don't want a defensive end drafted. So, my question is, why are you such a jackass? Your number one Jaguar fan, Scotty.

Vic: I got several such imaginative e-mails this morning. Did something happen in Jacksonville last night? Did anyone see bright lights in the sky?

Rick from St. Marys, GA:
How much money was Mark Brunell paid by the Jaguars over his nine-year tenure with the team? Do you have any idea how this compares to other NFL quarterbacks over the same period?

Vic: By my calculations, Mark Brunell earned nearly $49 million during his nine years with the Jaguars. When you subtract his first two seasons with the Jaguars, when he earned $800,000 and $953,000 respectively, it's clear to see Brunell was compensated at a level with the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. He also played at that level.

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