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Combine, FA made us nuts

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Christopher from Deland, FL:
If Jones-Drew does not get a new contract this season, will that make him a restricted free agent next year since the uncapped year makes unrestricted free agents six-year players instead of four, or am I missing something?

Vic: Under the current CBA rules, he would be a restricted free agent in 2010 and 2011, if the owners and players don't agree to a new CBA.

Alfie from Jacksonville:
Am I the only one who finds it funny fans get upset when the team tells them exactly what their plans are in free agency and they do it? What did people expect when Smith and Weaver said they were not going to spend big bucks in free agency?

Vic: Free agency has become entertainment for the fans. They don't care if the players are worth the money or not, the fans just want their team to throw money around so they can be entertained and have something to debate. Name a player the Jaguars allowed to leave in free agency the team regretted not having signed? Good teams turn a deaf ear to fans on personnel matters.

Aqeel from Toronto, Ontario:
What are your thoughts on the Considine signing?

Vic: It's a value signing. The financial risk is small, yet, Considine offers upside. It's the kind of free-agent signing that makes sense. It's a patch and that's how free agency should be used.

Rick from Pearl Harbor, HI:
In the report on Brad Meester's re-signing, it was mentioned that he is one of 10 Jaguars to have seen action in 100 games. Who are the other nine?

Vic: Ryan Robinson compiled the information, so I asked him for the other nine and, upon further review, he found out that there are actually 11 Jaguars players who have played in 100 games. Here's how they rank: Jimmy Smith (171), Fred Taylor (140), Rob Meier (138), Brad Meester (129), Joe Zelenka (128), Kyle Brady (120), Mark Brunell (120), Donovin Darius (115), Paul Spicer (115), John Henderson (109), Maurice Williams (101).

Doug from Jacksonville:
I'm looking forward to a draft that includes character towards the top of the list. How much do you think it can move a player on a team's board?

Vic: Gene Smith is adamant about a player having high character. He mentions it in every question he answers. Knowing him as I do, I know it's not baloney. This is a big deal with him and I have no doubt the Jaguars' locker room is going to become a better place. I don't think high character will move a guy significantly up the Jaguars' board, but I am absolutely sure low character will move you down or off their board. I'll be surprised if there are any character risks in the Jags' draft class.

Ryan from Nanticoke, PA:
I love your column but have one problem with it. Whenever someone tries to make a counterpoint to whatever you say (such as BAP), you always make a snarky, sarcastic remark instead of comparing the two points. I would appreciate it if you would explain your reasoning sometimes instead of disregarding the other points of view.

Vic: I don't agree with your observation. I think I have been extremely patient in explaining my position on, for example, BAP. I have explained it over and over and then over again. I made a point last December of telling, no, warning readers that I was going to be vigilant about BAP this year; that I got soft last season and those days were over. The challenging questions, however, just kept coming. When we reached the point of "what if a quarterback is the top-rated player on your board in all seven rounds?" that's when I said enough is enough. That's when I got, as you put it, snarky. You know what I think, Ryan? I think the readers have been unduly argumentative. Maybe you're not a daily reader, so I'll ask you to go back through the "Ask Vic" archives and then tell me if you think I always got snarky.

Tim from Tucson, AZ:
Sean Considine fits the "Plan B" level, but were you surprised the Jags signed him the first day?

Vic: Yeah, I was, because Considine isn't a first-day kind of player. He is clearly a "Plan B" type and those guys usually hang on for awhile. All it can mean is that the two sides were reasonable in their contract expectations.

Rick from Jacksonville:
I like that Sean Considine has gone from a walk-on at Iowa to four years in the NFL. How does he compare with Sensabaugh?

Vic: Considine has never been in Kingsport, TN?

Lyle from Akron, OH:
Clay Matthews is a late second-rounder to third-rounder at best. You're a (expletive) liberal idiot. Die (expletive).

Vic: You are very passionate in your disdain for Matthews.

Farris from Atlanta, GA:
I understand Fred and Paul are old but, seriously, we couldn't put together any kind of trade for these guys?

Vic: They had no trade value, Farris. Trust me on that one.

James from Knoxville, TN:
I wonder what made all the hate come back?

Vic: The combine did. Everything was fine until the combine came along, and then came free agency and that sent everyone into Nutsville. It's amazing what this hot stove kind of stuff does to people. The only explanation I can offer is that each player has his own legion of adoring fans and they go nuts when anyone offers an opinion of their guy different from theirs. It's nuts.

Jonathan from Southern Pines, NC:
Apparently New England could have gotten a top 15 pick for Matt Cassel, but turned it down because it was to Denver. What's your take on all this?

Vic: The Patriots have four picks in the first two rounds. Bill Belichick said he didn't want another first-round pick, especially a high one, because it would've created a financial hardship for the franchise. He believes the talent difference between a high first-round pick and a low first-round pick isn't as great as the difference in the money they get. It's professional football. It's about the money.

Michael from Toronto, Ontario:
Surprise, surprise, Jason Taylor was cut by the Redskins. All the people that were writing into "Ask Vic" last year, hoping Jacksonville would trade for him, need to realize that quick fixes with old players is no way to win the Super Bowl.

Vic: Only a fool wouldn't have seen it coming.

Shon from Bryan, TX:
If you could change one rule in the NFL to be implemented this season, what would it be and why?

Vic: Last year the league did away with the would-he-have-gotten-two-feet-down rule, and I think it was a great decision. It made ruling on sideline catches much simpler and I can't recall one controversial play. I'd like to see the league work on an adaptation to the arm-moving-forward rule; something along the lines that if the ball is knocked loose while it's still in the quarterback's hand, it's a fumble, regardless of the arm's motion. I understand that introduces other issues, but I'd like to see some thinking on the subject.

Chris from Red Bluff, CA:
I was very upset by the free agency pickings last year, Jerry Porter and Drayton Florence. It was money just given to them and they didn't do anything with it, and all it did was put us right back into the same situation, and even worse. We are letting go of players we need, thinking six picks are gonna solve the problems. We have got to go to free agency and fill something, or we might as well just give up. It just does not make sense to me.

Vic: Chris, I want you to calm down, go back through the "Ask Vic" archives, read on this subject and then give the whole thing some thought. After you've done that, if it still doesn't make sense to you, then it's not likely I can explain it to you.

James from Orange Park, FL:
In your "deleted scenes" video on the combine, you called Indy's quarterback Peyton "Crunch Time" Manning. I thought you were of the belief that he is a first-round Hall of Famer, but has trouble getting it done at crunch time. I respect your opinion either way, but were you being sarcastic or serious?

Vic: James, you have just been inducted into the "Ask Vic" Hall of Fame.

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