Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Sonny Lighston from Melbourne, FL:
Are the 91 players now in camp all under the salary cap? If so, will the Jaguars have some cap room when the roster is cut down? What will they do with that cap room if anything?
Vic: The 51 top salaries and the bonuses of all 91 players count against the salary cap at this point in time, however, the bonuses of players 52-91 are not significant. If the Jaguars replaced a more-expensive player with a less-expensive player, they would realize more cap room, but there aren't many players on their roster who would represent a cap savings by cutting them. Most players have been re-structured to the point that the accelerated amortization from cutting them would make them an even greater cap hit than if they were on the roster. The Jaguars made it under the cap, but they are tight against it. Any cap relief they might gain in cutting their roster will likely be used for in-season operations and maintenance of their existing roster.
Walt Gallahan from Orange Park, FL:
With Kevin Hardy having re-structured his contract to fit Stroud under the cap, what are the chances the Jags will re-work Mike Hollis' contract? Or is it likely he will be released after this season?
Vic: The Jaguars are going to have to go all through this again next winter. Repairing their salary cap will be an ongoing process for probably the next 2-3 years. It may be an even greater struggle in 2002, because the massive contract re-structurings executed this year have pushed even more money onto future caps, and many of these players have reached the point that they can't be re-structured any more.
Robert C. McBride from St. Augustine, FL:
How much will the salary cap affect the team in 2002?
Vic: : The Jaguars are going to have to go all through this again next winter. Repairing their salary cap will be an ongoing process for probably the next 2-3 years. It may be an even greater struggle in 2002, because the massive contract re-structurings executed this year have pushed even more money onto future caps, and many of these players have reached the point that they can't be re-structured any more.
Rob Johns from Jacksonville:
Any chance we'll see Larry Smith get some work at DE during camp? DT seems to be a strength now with Stroud in the fold, but DE is a bit thin. Smith has always struck me as having more of a DE build than DT build.When teams cut down to their final roster at the start of the season, how many of each position does a team normally keep both on offense and defense? I mean, is there a standard formula that gets tweaked a little, based on that year's team needs.
Vic: : Larry Smith is listed on the current roster as a defensive tackle/defensive end. He is practicing at both positions.
Mark Kroes from Tipton, CA:
Kevin Hardy's revised contract has me confused. Can you please explain the voidable year? Also, will the Jags receive compensatory picks in next year's draft if or when he becomes a free agent after this season?
Vic: A "voidable year" is a salary cap loophole creation used by teams who need immediate cap room. Kevin Hardy's contract is such that on the next-to-last day of the 2001 NFL calendar, which will be two days before the start of 2002 free agency, Hardy's current contract will expire. In short, a "voidable year" contract is a contract that determines there will be no contract. The idea is to gain another year or two of amortization. Why doesn't everyone do it? Well, the downside is that a team will have pushed a portion of a player's salary cap amortization onto future seasons, which means it's possible the team will have that player on their cap when he is off their roster. Hardy's re-structuring has moved $860,000 onto the Jaguars' 2002 salary cap. In this case, it was probably the best choice. The other choices were to cut Hardy or cut other players. Voidable years are a clear violation of the spirit of the salary cap, but there is no legal language that prohibits them. As for your other question: The Jaguars are likely to receive compensatory picks next spring for having lost Mike Logan, Bryan Barker and Todd Fordham in free agency this year. The contract Daimon Shelton signed is probably not significant enough for him to be considered in the Jaguars' compensation package. If the Jaguars lose Hardy in free agency, they will be compensated in the 2003 draft.
Camron Smith from Pontiac, MI:
I hear that by the end of this upcoming season, the Jags will be over the salary cap. Just how much will they be over it? If they are over a lot, then who will they have to release? Brunell? Smith? Hardy? If that happens, a lot of rebuilding will need to be done. What will happen?
Vic: You've posed questions that will be a whole offseason's worth of decision-making. The Jaguars are currently about $20 million over their 2002 salary cap. Yes, players will have to be released, but only if their releases represent a cap savings. Kevin Hardy will likely be an unrestricted free agent. Mark Brunell's and Jimmy Smith's amortizations would cripple the Jags' cap if they were cut. You must remember this: Cutting a player doesn't extinguish his cap hit. In many cases, cutting a player only accelerates his cap hit.
Scotty Moir from Port Orange, FL:
Can you give me information about the Jags' practice on August 3 with the New Orleans Saints? I would like to know when, where, and is the practice open to fans.
Vic: The Jaguars will practice with the New Orleans Saints at Ferrell Fields (outside Alltel Stadium) this Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Both practices are open to the public.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.