Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Paul Beardsley from Jacksonville:**
Why is it that when a player has a problem like drug abuse, or anything else, for that matter, the team can't cut him without bearing the brunt of the rest of that person's contract?
Vic: When a player is cut, his contract is extinguished. The team recovers on their salary cap the amount of salary that player was due to be paid that season, provided that money wasn't guaranteed. In other words, the team didn't pay it, so they don't have to claim it. In R. Jay Soward's case, the salary he won't be paid during his suspensions has and will be restored to the Jaguars' salary cap. However, his signing bonus was paid up front, therefore, it must be claimed. The rule is simple: You pay it, you claim it. The intent is to make teams careful in how they throw their money around. I consider it to be a very fair system; a safeguard against reckless spending that would only serve to make tickets prices higher.
Dave McDaniel from Orange Park, FL:
In the aftermath of last week's tragic events, and the uncertainty of what is to come in the following weeks, do you think it would be a good idea for the NFL to lift its blackout policy? Let's face it, a lot of fans across the country may be leery of sitting in an enclosed area with 70,000 other people right now.
Vic: I understand your fears, but what you're proposing would only feed the problem. What about schools, churches, large businesses, etc.? If we lock ourselves in our homes, they've won. In my opinion, America's state of mind is the battleground on which this "war" will be fought.
Matt Kochan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
At what point do the Jaguars stop being as permissive as R. Jay Soward is dense and cut him? How unintelligent does this man have to be to get caught three times in a year, and are the Jaguars much smarter for letting someone like this chew up cap room? What is the cap fallout of letting Soward get stoned on some other team's roster, not ours?
Vic: The fallout would be an additional $1.2 million of salary cap hit right now, if the Jaguars cut R. Jay Soward and he was claimed by another team. Because he is a non-vested veteran, the pre-June rule applies, which means the Jaguars could not amortize his bonus money over two years. They would have to "eat" all of it right now, and the Jaguars don't have that kind of cap room. Soward is a $400,000 bonus amortization hit on the Jaguars' salary cap this season. If he was cut and claimed by another team, the Jaguars would have to assume another $1.2 million in remaining amortization on this year's cap. If they cut Soward and he wasn't claimed by another team, that amortization amount could be spread out over this year and next, but the Jaguars don't dare risk Soward being claimed. If the Jaguars cut Soward today and the Titans claimed him, the Jaguars would have to cut players to get under the cap for this Sunday's game. The Titans would be in a no-lose situation. Soward would go onto their roster as "reserve/suspended," which means he wouldn't cost the Titans a roster spot. They could also cut Soward the day after the game with no liability and have successfully compromised the Jaguars' roster for Sunday's game. Again, the intent is to make teams very careful as to how they spend their money.
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.