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Defense can happen quickly

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

Tammy from Waycross, GA:
In a case like Tony Boselli's, if a player were to retire mid-contract, what would happen to the remaining money in his contract? Would he receive the rest of the money and would the team be stuck with the cap hit or is there some kind of compensation?

Vic: Let's look at two kinds of retirements. In one, the player is retiring because injury has rendered him unable to play. That may become the case with Tony Boselli. In the other retirement, the player is retiring because he doesn't want to play. Such was the case with Barry Sanders. In Sanders' case, he had to return a portion of the signing bonus that had been paid him. Of course, the Lions were credited that amount to their salary cap. But in the "can't play" scenario, the bonus money is not returned and the team must take the full hit of all bonus money it has paid. You pay it, you claim it. The player's salaries, unless they were guaranteed, will not be paid and, therefore, are deducted from the salary caps on which they appear.

David from Yalaha, FL:
What Del Rio did to the Panthers defense (bringing them all the way to number two) was phenomenal in just one season. If the Jaguars draft well and find some bargains in free agency, what's the possibility of Del Rio having similar success with the Jaguars defense?

Vic: I've always believed defense will respond to change more quickly than offense. Get a couple of players who can run and hit and all of a sudden everybody looks better. I believe that can happen this year, provided the Jaguars find a few of those run-and-hit guys.

Ralph from Jacksonville:
Why do people think Mark Brunell should be traded or released? He is one of the best West Coast quarterbacks in the league. His accuracy is amazing. Just surround him with a second receiver, like an Andre Johnson or via free agency, and keep Bobby Shaw at third receiver and see how he does. People have to open their eyes and see the kind of caliber arm he has. What do you think, Vic?

Vic: There's no questioning Mark Brunell's talent. He's the best quarterback on the team; no question about it. The issue is whether this team wants to focus on the present, or clear the deck for the future. The Jaguars have four players who represent $28 million of what's expected to be a $75 million salary cap. That's clearly an out-of-balance situation; especially for a team coming off three consecutive losing seasons. That's why Brunell has become a topic of discussion. Something has to be done about that salary cap burden, and it would seem to accompany a decision about this team's plans for the future.

Jay from Orlando, FL:
How do you feel about safety Marlon McCree's potential, and will the Jags move him to strong safety and Darius out?

Vic: If Donovin Darius is not re-signed, I'd have to believe moving Marlon McCree to strong safety would be a natural. He's a former college linebacker and is probably more comfortable in close-quarters action. If that occurs, McCree would give the Jaguars a somewhat rare talent for a strong safety; the ability to catch the ball.

Ben from Jacksonville:
I've heard talk about Kordell Stewart being a "vested veteran" of the Steelers and, therefore, not having to go through waivers when he's cut. How does a player attain this status and do the Jaguars have any "vested veterans" on board?

Vic: All it means is that Kordell Stewart has played four years or more in the league, which qualifies him for unrestricted free agency. When Zach Wiegert was cut by the St. Louis Rams, he was signed by the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent; he didn't have to go through the waiver process. Any player on the Jaguars roster now who has four or more accrued seasons is a vested veteran. Mark Brunell is an easy example.

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