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Committed to value

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

Vijay from Montreal, Quebec:
I am so excited for the draft this year, but I don't seem to have the confidence in our team to be pulling the same strategy that was a success last year for us. Last year, they clearly went for talent before need, but this year it seems like everyone expects us to take a WR and a DE in the first two rounds. Do you think the huge need for these positions are going to make our personnel team reach for guys in the draft?

Vic: As I wrote in a "Vic's view" recently, I think it's likely "best available player" and "need" will meet in the first round for the Jaguars. In other words, I expect a wide receiver or defensive end to be at the top of the Jaguars' draft board when the ninth pick of the draft rolls around. But that kind of projection can't be made for the second round. We'll have to wait to see how the first round unfolds and what the Jaguars decide. I believe "Shack" Harris is committed to value over need.

Glenn from Savannah, GA:
Where will the Jags' much-needed pass-rush come from (if anywhere)? Paul Spicer and company? The draft? June free agency? Patriot-like scheming with creative blitzes? A blanket-like secondary? Or have I missed something?

Vic: The Jaguars will be in Los Angeles tomorrow for the USC pro-day workouts. Maybe the pass-rush will come from there.

Jason from Macclenny, FL:
If you were managing the salary cap for a team and Mike Vick wanted $150 million for 10 years and your team has cap issues, do you sign him or let him go?

Vic: It's not that simple, but if you're asking which I consider to be more important to a team, its star player or its salary cap, make no mistake about it, my vote always goes to the salary cap. Let him go.

Jon from Jacksonville:
Vic, after looking over the preseason opponents, I'm inclined to believe this is the most attractive preseason schedule ever for this team. I know I'm certainly looking forward to the Bucs and Packers at Alltel, along with the opener at Miami and the finale against the defending world champs. My question is, do you find this to be a very attractive schedule for a preseason, and what input, if any, does Mr. Weaver have in setting these opponents, so to maybe impact ticket sales?

Vic: It's an attractive schedule of names; two Florida teams and two high-profile franchises. The two home games (Tampa and Green Bay) should please season ticket holders, and the two away games should deliver some local TV ratings. The league does the preseason scheduling now, and it promised to honor Wayne Weaver's home-game requests, in exchange for Weaver's approval on the realignment formula three years ago.

Shawn from Three Rivers, MI:
Personally, I don't think a wide receiver is a good pick in the first round. On to my question: Where do you think would be the best away game to see the Jags at this year? I'd love to go to Green Bay but I've heard it's impossible to get tickets there. Is this true and, if so, where is your next pick for an away Jag game?

Vic: The Packers don't usually have tickets available. Given your location, I would think Indianapolis and Buffalo would be logical choices.

Bharat from Jacksonville:
Just read "Vic's view" and do you think the Jags like Fitzgerald enough to trade up (considerably) for him? Of course, I'm relying completely on your intuition here. Also, what do you think of the Favors signing? Seems a little steep to me.

Vic: Larry Fitzgerald appears destined to be drafted in the first two or three picks. Of course, that's not a certainty, but if that's how it turns out, I'd have to believe moving up that high from number nine to select a wide receiver would cost too much in the way of extra picks to justify the move in a draft that will offer one of the deepest crops of wide receivers in draft history. As far as the addition of Greg Favors, I'm troubled that Favors had bounced around with three teams in two years, but I can appreciate the Jaguars' position in making this move. The team obviously felt a desperate need at strong-side linebacker and didn't want to go into the draft without some insurance at the position. Favors is clearly a "need" signing, which is how free agency should be used. As far as Favors' contract, my understanding is it includes incentives that make the reported total value of $3.6 million a bit misleading.

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