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Cap, cuts, Quinn and more

Eric Blackman from Jacksonville:
How much room under the cap will we realistically need just to sign draft picks? Also, I thought the cap was supposed to take some pretty drastic jumps during the final couple or three years of the TV contracts. Is that the case? Any idea what we're looking at next season?

Vic:
The Jaguars will need about $3-$4 million of cap room to sign their 2001 draft class. Projections for the 2002 salary cap are $72-$74 million, a significant increase from this year's $67.4 million.
 

Andre from Maryland:
Being a West Virginia alumni, I want to know what are the JAGS going to do with my friend Mike Logan? Also, is Aaron Beasley in the Jags' long-term plans? Thanks.

Vic: Aaron Beasley has completed the first year of a four-year contract that is high in bonus money and guaranteed salary that would seem to commit the Jaguars to Beasley long-term. In contrast, Mike Logan is an unrestricted free agent free to deal with any other team in the league. Of course, the Jaguars' salary cap situation leaves them unable to compete for Logan's services.
 

Alexander Petry from Emporia, Virginia:
With Smith, McCardell, Taylor, and Brunell, the Jags almost have a complete package on offense. Who is looking like they are going to be that third reciever? Will it be R. J. Soward or will Jags look elsewhere? I know at this point it seems not to be very high on the priority list, being that the Jaguars are hurting at other positions. Also, earlier in the postseason it looked like McCardell might have been cut to make cap room. He is not still a possibility do be traded or anything, in an attempt to gain draft pick, is he?

 
Vic: R.J. Soward was certainly drafted to be that third wide receiver and, in time, the Jaguars' feature receiver. At this point in time, nobody can know if Soward can be that kind of receiver. He'll have to prove he can do it dependably and without the threat of lifetstyle interference. Finding a dependable third wide receiver is certainly a priority, but it would have to take a backseat to the Jaguars' offensive line needs. As far as Keenan McCardell is concerned, his contract has been re-structured and he remains one of the Jaguars' most dependable players. Logic would dictate he will not be "traded or anything," since the Jaguars clearly need his talents, and because trading him or cutting him would accelerate his amortization and further damage the Jaguars' 2001 salary cap.
 

Scott Lewis from Nashville, Tennessee:
This year is going to be a really different year. I believe this is the year that will show how the salary cap has changed the NFL. There has been so many key players to be released. Out of all the players the Jags have cut, which one do you think is going to hurt the team the most and how do you think they are going to fill that void?

Vic:


You have to believe Leon Searcy represents the greatest loss, for the obvious reasons that he was one of the best offensive tackles in the game two years ago and the Jaguars don't have a clear replacement for Searcy (Todd Fordham is expected to sign with another team, and the Jaguars would like to move Zach Wiegert back to his true position of right guard). It would seem the Jaguars will use the draft to fill the void at right tackle. It's supposed to be a good year for offensive linemen.

 

Greg Parks from Wayland, New York:
Is there anyone in the XFL the Jaguars are looking at, or are they not even looking in that direction? They could probably pick someone up cheap from there.

Vic: All NFL teams have pro personnel scouting departments that keep tabs on every active prospect in the world. That means the Jaguars have their eyes on the XFL, the Arena League and NFL Europe. Placekicker Jim Tarle is an example of a player the Jaguars signed from the Arena League. You can trust the Jaguars are looking for any player who would improve the roster.
 

Ron Casey from Jacksonville:
Since Jamie Martin was the teams #2 quarterback last season, why was he cut instead of Quinn? I realize Quinn is playing NFL Europe, but he has been a disappointment up until now.

Vic:


Jonathan Quinn has the kind of size, arm strength and athletic ability every team in the league wants. He remains a young quarterback who needs time to prove he can or can not play in this league. On the other hand, Jamie Martin is a journeyman who is unlikely to rise above that status. In short, the risk of regret in cutting Quinn would be much greater than it was in cutting Martin

 

Pete Carlstedt from Jacksonville:
With all the cuts of the Jaguars, what about Bryan Barker? We heard that he was going to be released because of his salary.

Vic:
Bryan Barker is an unrestricted free agent. I think the Jaguars' dire salary cap situation makes it easily understandable why they can't spend more than minimum wage on a punter.
 

Dave from Port St. Lucie, FL:
Why in the world would the Jags consider retaining R. J. Soward? He is undisciplined and can't handle the pressure. It seems that cutting him would greatly help in the salary cap. He brought nothing to the receiver corps last year and thunder and lightning is all the Jags need for a high-quality, dangerous air attack. Let's get some help for the offensive line to make holes for Taylor and protect Brunell and the Jags
will be back at the top.

Vic: Cutting R.J. Soward would greatly hurt the Jaguars' salary cap, since the Jaguars would have to "eat" $1.6 million of signing bonus amortization. On the roster, he's a little over a $1 million cap hit this season. If he was cut now, he would be a $1.6 million hit. Beyond that, teams usually don't quit on first-round draft choices after just one season. Much will depend on Soward's offseason recovery efforts. Tom Coughlin needs to know Soward is making a genuine effort at recovery and maintenance. That will weigh most heavily in any decisions on Soward's future with the Jaguars.
Vic Ketchman
 

Mark Plotner from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Brunell is a very good quarterback. No doubt one of the best in the league. But is he worth half of the starting lineup? I thought football was a team sport. Teams change quarterbacks all the time and seem to still be competitive. Everyone acts like if we lost Brunell we will never go to the Super Bowl. But wasn't it Brunell who threw away our first chance of a Super Bowl to New England in the final seconds of the game, and wasn't it Brunell who threw the interceptions againist Tennessee to make us lose in our first AFC championship at home? I think Weaver might want to reconsider his options.

Vic:


Blaming Brunell for players having to be cut is unfair. The Jaguars spent a lot of money on unproductive players. Brunell has been the Jaguars' most productive player since the team's inaugural season. Consider ways in which cap money has been wasted. For example, Bryce Paup will be a $3.6 million cap hit this season. Is Brunell to blame?

 

Robert Bloch from Neptune Beach, FL:
With the CBA up for renewal soon enough, I have a proposal for the NFL to think about in the future concerning the salary cap. The problem is I don't know how or to whom to suggest it. So I guess I'll try to run it by you.

1 --- Keep the cap, but create a new "uncapped" players category. Allow teams to keep 11 players in it. These players' salaries would be completely exempted from the salary cap.
2 --- With the "uncapped" eleven in place, you can eliminate the franchise and transition player tags. They are horrible and nasty and create hostility.
3 --- Lower the cap and players' share of the GDR down. With the "uncapped 11" you can lower the salary cap. It will still be interesting, just not
as impossible to manage the payroll.

This isn't a perfect proposal and it needs more review, but it is a pretty neat idea? Could you ponder it or pass it along?

Vic: Your plan would result in higher salaries and signing bonuses. That's not the intent of having a salary cap. The intent is to control spending so that the game is affordable to the fan. Let me bounce this idea off you. The cap is our friend. Live by it.
 

Mark Snavely from Boca Raton, FL:
For transition and franchise players, what is the definition of a players "position"? Many players play more than one position either due to injury of another player or because he can make contributions on both sides of the ball.

Vic:


The definition of a player's position is obvious, other than in special circumstances. Carnell Lake was a special circumstances example when he was with the Steelers. Though he had been a strong safety all of his career, he was moved to cornerback in an emergency situation that existed most of that season. So, what would have been considered to be his true position, strong safety or cornerback? Bear in mind, cornerbacks make a lot more money than safeties. It's an issue the league would've had to decide, as far as whether or not Lake would've been paid the average of the top five (franchise) salaries or top 10 (transition) salaries in the league.

 

Danny from Fernandina Beach, FL:
When are the Jaguars going to start adding on to the south end zone?

Vic: Plans are to add luxury suites to the south end of Alltel Stadium for the 2005 Super Bowl. There are no plans to increase the seating capacity. The start of construction is not in the near future.
 

Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
What would the cap hit be for the 2001 season if Kevin Hardy is traded or released? Would trading him to San Francisco or Carolina for their first-round pick make sense if Dan Morgan is still on the board when those teams pick? A LB corps of Nickerson, Slaughter, Morgan and Clark would be great. I'm not trying to be anti-Hardy. I think he is one of the best in the league but we cannot afford to keep him. Keeping Nickerson and Hardy just does not appear to be an option. To select Morgan would be a move made with an eye definitely looking toward the future.

Vic: Kevin Hardy would represent a $2.2 million salary cap savings in 2001, if he was traded or released. According to his current contract, he is a $4.5 million hit on the 2001 salary cap. Of that $4.5 million, $2.3 million is amortized bonus money and $2.2 million is salary. The $2.3 must stay on the books; the $2.2 would be extinguished if he was traded or released.
 

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