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Crystal-ball business

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

Eric from Jacksonville:
Why in the world would the league even consider temporarily suspending "some of the salary cap provisions that will fall hard on teams such as the Redskins on March 3?"

Vic: I don't know that the league would consider doing something like that and you can bet no one inside the league is going to comment on something like that. I suggested it could happen if the two sides felt they were close to an agreement as March 3 drew near. In that circumstance, I would think it would only be logical to consider delaying the March 3 deadline or temporarily suspending salary cap provisions. Why have teams gut their rosters and plunge themselves into salary cap repair on March 3 when an agreement on March 4 could provide them with the years they need to re-structure contracts, push money out and avoid major roster losses? The Washington Redskins are one of the signature franchises of the NFL. It won't be good for the league if the Redskins have to gut their team. The same can be said for the Colts and the Chiefs. If there's no progress in February toward a CBA extension, then I don't see the league having any recourse but to the let the chips fall where they may. If there's significant progress, however, then it would behoove the league to delay the "executioner" and do everything it can to make people happy and get a deal done.

Sol from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I don't trust Daniel Snyder, therefore, I disagree with you about an uncapped year. The scenario that is most compelling would involve the Redskins taking their lumps in 2006 so they do not end up in the divisional round. Take a look at Article XXI, Final Eight Plan of the NFLPA CBA. Any team that is not in the "Final Eight" will be able to spend unlimited sums on free agents in '07. My guess is that an uncapped year will result in the Redskins and/or Cowboys trying to buy a Super Bowl in '07. Your thoughts?

Vic: If when 2007 arrives there is still no CBA extension, then the whole salary cap system is at risk. At that point there would be no cap so the Redskins and 23 other teams in the league would be able to spend as much as they want in free agency. You're right about a "Final Eight" plan. The eight divisional-round playoff teams in '06 will be limited as to how many free agents they may sign in '07, provided there's no cap. What is your suspicion of Daniel Snyder? He's a rich owner in a big market and his track record tells us he'll spend irresponsibly. You can count on that, if there's no cap. The issue for Snyder and the Redskins, however, isn't '07. The issue for Snyder and the Redskins is '06. The way the situation stands right now, if there's no CBA extension by March 3 the Redskins will not be able to keep their current team together, unless the league delays the salary cap deadline or provides the Redskins with some kind of special dispensation.

Jonas from Jacksonville:
If Elvis Dumerville is still on the board do you think the Jags should draft him?

Vic: In the fourth round, maybe. Dumerville is really undersized. We're talking about a guy who's under six-foot. He's not real strong, explosive or fast; he's a classic over-achiever. He reminds me of a guy the Jaguars drafted in 1998, Lemanzer Williams, who set pass-rush records at Minnesota but lasted into the sixth round because he didn't have the physical skills of an NFL-caliber pass-rusher. Williams, however, was bigger than Dumerville. If you like a guy such as Dumerville or Williams, you might as well fire your scouting department and just draft from the college statistical rankings. That's not how it works. Scouting is a crystal-ball business. You have to look at a guy and see what he'll become on the NFL level, not what he's been in college football. Dumerville was a super-productive player in college and that's going to get him drafted, but his physical shortcomings are likely to push him down the board as the postseason workouts play out.

Jordan from Switzerland, FL:
Is there any truth to the rumor Mike Tice is the new offensive line coach?

Vic: Mike Tice was at Alltel Stadium on Monday to talk to Jack Del Rio about joining the Jaguars coaching staff. My information is that it's unlikely an announcement will be made today. Your reference to "offensive line" coach is presumptuous. I think one of the issues Tice and Del Rio discussed was Tice's title. He could be named assistant head coach.

Kevin from Montreal, Canada:
While reading "Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning QB" by Peter King, he once again says how he likes the Redskins' chances next year for the Super Bowl. Considering he's a respected journalist who has been around for a long time, how can he be missing their impending salary cap demise? Either he or you have to be misunderstanding something.

Vic: Maybe Peter has inside information on a CBA extension or salary cap allowance by the league. My comments are based solely on the way the situation is right now, 31 days before the March 3 deadline.

Matt from Leonardtown, MD:
Do you think the Jags are missing out on an opportunity to try and get Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator?

Vic: Last year at this time everyone was bemoaning the fact that the Jaguars missed out on the opportunity to get Norm Chow. I got angry e-mails that the Jaguars let Chow go to Tennessee. It worked out well for the Titans, didn't it? It's not about plays, it's about players.

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