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Dangerous stuff

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

Jon from Jacksonville:
Will the Jags' preseason games also get blacked out if ticket sale requirements are not met? Or does the blackout rule only apply to the regular season?

Vic: The blackout rule applies to all telecasts of preseason games.

Jim from Winterville, NC:
While the entire site is very good, I really enjoy this portion. Is there a possibility a decision to move to Los Angeles could come sooner than many anticipate, so as to lock up that market? I mean if Mr. Weaver waits too long, there won't be a big market left.

Vic: The Jaguars can move at any time. I don't think Wayne Weaver is approaching the situation with that thought, but after reading the city's comments in "The Florida Times-Union" this morning, I think it's important to understand the flip side of the city's ultimatum: The Jaguars can move at any time. This is dangerous stuff. I hope for all of our sakes – and I am very definitely including myself – the people in control of this situation act responsibly.

Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I bleed teal and your columns are the best source of Jaguars news available. So, I want to hear what you think about the Fred Taylor situation. What do you think the chances are that he'll be ready to start on opening day?

Vic: Jaguars assistant athletic trainer Joe Sheehan has been Fred Taylor's personal trainer during Taylor's rehab and Joe told me yesterday that he's never seen Taylor more focused or motivated for a season. Sheehan praised Taylor's work ethic. Jack Del Rio gave Taylor's knee a thumbs up a couple of weeks ago following Taylor's much-publicized workout. My information is that the knee is doing well and so is Fred's head, and expectations are for him to be on the field on opening day. I think the big issue now is what will happen the day after his first full-speed practice or the day after his first 20-carries game. How will the knee respond? Will it allow for more activity, or will it require rest? We'll have to wait and see.

David from Boardman, OH:
What does red-shirting people in college do? Is there a point?

Vic: A red-shirt year allows a young man a chance to mature, get a start on his academics and achieve a degree of familiarity with college life before he burns a year of eligibility. That's in the case of an incoming freshman. A red-shirt can also be used on a player recovering from injury. Red-shirting is a practice that rose to prominence and controversy in the early 1960's. Opponents of the practice saw it as a means of manipulating and stockpiling talent, and there was basis to that criticism because there were no restrictions on how many players you could recruit and, as a result, the big programs had more kids than they needed and red-shirting allowed for even more exploitation of that talent. The numbers limits colleges face today, however, make red-shirting almost necessary. I think it benefits the program and the player to have five years to play four years.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I am pumped about the NFL, about the Jags new offense, the training camp battles and pumped about the "Ask Vic" golf tournament. Tell me how the post-golf festivities will go down. Are we going to ask Vic some questions? Do you have any guest speakers planned?

Vic: South Hampton Golf Club will serve a big barbecue buffet immediately following the golf. South Hampton did a great job with last year's buffet and I have no doubt you will be more than satisfied with this year's effort. We'll award prizes and there will be an "Ask Vic Live!" session. Jaguars salary cap boss Paul Vance will be one of the celebrity golfers, so he'll be on hand for you to ask questions about the cap, contracts, etc. Mostly, the post-golf will be about informal conversation. We'll be in an intimate dining room that's just right for these kinds of things.

Paul from Gainesville, FL:
In your opinion, Vic, is the three-year extension Darius signed a good deal for the Jaguars from a salary cap standpoint?

Vic: I don't look at it as a three-year extension as much as a four-year contract because the "franchise" tag has been recovered and completely replaced by this new deal. From a salary cap standpoint, the new contract represents little change from what the "franchise" tag would've done to the cap this year. That's what I like about Paul Vance's cap work. Vance could've pushed money out in this deal and, in the process, recovered a lot of cap room for this year, but he didn't do that. Instead, he accepted almost all of this year's $4.968 million payment on this year's cap, which protects the Jaguars' future caps and gives the team flexibility in any future decisions it has to make on Darius. That has always been the key ingredient to Vance's work: flexibility. Only $375,000 of bonus amortization on Darius' contract will remain on the books when this year is over. That's how I judge whether or not the way a deal is structured is good for the team. Does it protect the team's future? This one, like all of the contracts Vance has structured, does.

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