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Don't get emotionally involved

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

Josh from Richmond Hill, GA:
What are your thoughts on a rookie who has never played a game in the NFL holding out on a contract when he hasn't even proved himself worthy of an NFL cent?

Vic: Hey, I'm a regulations guy. I like big government and lots of regulations and lots of regulatory people making sure things such as price-gouging don't occur. Of course, that stance isn't popular with the free-markets people who believe strongly that the market will bear what the market can bear and government should never interfere. So where do you stand? Are you a regulations guy or are you a free-markets guy? If you're a free-markets guy who believes government should never interfere with business, then you couldn't possibly believe there should be rules limiting what rookie players can earn, right? I mean, hey, that's un-American, right? My position on this is simple: Don't pay them. Don't give in. Let 'em sit. Hey, it's gonna hurt them a lot more than it's gonna hurt you. If he has to go back into the draft, it's not likely he's gonna be a top 10 pick again. This is it. This is his chance to get the big buck, as long as it's not too big. I think that's the message that has to be sent.

Drew from Jacksonville:
Based on what I saw at the scrimmage, the Jags have great depth at running back. You have said great things about Cotrone and Giles, but Washington looked explosive on the plays he was in.

Vic: Last week, I used the term "coming out party." That's what Friday's scrimmage was for Chauncey Washington. It was his coming out party. Now he's in the mix.

Steve from Orange Park, FL:
Can't a smart defensive back take advantage of the new push-out rule and just focus more on getting that player out of bounds while he is in the air?

Vic: The answer is no because there's a rule against carrying a player out of bounds. The media met with the officials on Friday for our annual briefing on rules changes and points of emphasis. The "carry out of bounds" rule was discussed and it caused me to wrinkle my nose a little bit because when the league first presented the "two feet down in bounds" rule change at the March league meetings, the point was made that a defender couldn't carry a receiver out of bounds because the whistle would've already blown, ending the play with the receiver in possession of the ball, regardless of where his feet are. Now we have an actual rule that forbids a defender from carrying a receiver out of bounds and I'm starting to get the feeling that this whole two feet down in bounds thing is going to be a problem. If an official has to rule that a defender attempted to carry a receiver out of bounds, isn't that the same as ruling that the receiver would've gotten two feet down in bounds?

Jim from Little Rock, AR:
I saw an article about the 10 best players not in the Hall of Fame. One of them was Jerry Kramer, the offensive guard of the Packers in the '60s. Do you feel he should be in and, if not, what else does a guard have to do?

Vic: Yeah, he should probably be in the Hall of Fame, but everybody has their own favorite guy who should be in but isn't and my guy is Dave Robinson, the Packers linebacker from that era. Robinson is, in my opinion, the most underrated player in NFL history. He made the game-winning play in the 1966 NFL title game; a play so dramatic that if Lawrence Taylor had made that play it would be one of NFL Films' most used video clips. Yet, you almost never see it. Robinson was L.T. before L.T. even knew what football was. Robinson was the L.T. prototype. He was 6-3, 245, a bigger version of L.T. The difference was that in Robinson's day linebackers had to do it all – stop the run, defend against the pass and rush the passer – and that's exactly what Robinson did. He did it all. He had 27 interceptions in his career. How many sacks? Ah, there's the problem. They didn't keep sacks back then. Had Robinson played in today's game, he'd be dominant. He would be a double-digit sack guy every season. By the way, his big play in the '66 title game was causing Don Meredith to throw a ridiculous interception to avoid a sack with the Cowboys on the goal line and about to tie the game. Robinson and Kramer's Hall of Fame bids, of course, have been penalized because of the high number of Packers from those great teams in the Hall of Fame.

Gabriel from Jacksonville:
Watching the Hall of Fame induction this weekend got me thinking: What Jaguars players do you believe should be in the Hall of Fame?

Vic: Fred Taylor offers the best possibility, but he needs to push his rushing yards total considerably higher.

Mike from Chicago, IL:
How is Quentin Groves doing so far in camp?

Vic: I have to believe the Jaguars are delighted by the pick.

Mike from Fruit Cove, FL:
Is the "Ask Vic" tournament full?

Vic: Yeah, it is. Registration is closed.

Sam from Interlachen, FL:
What happens if Derrick Harvey doesn't get signed? Can he go to another team if they'll meet his demands? Does he not get to play anywhere this year? I'm curious. Some of us out here don't know the answer to that question.

Vic: The Jaguars own his rights from now until next year's draft. If he doesn't sign with the Jaguars, he can't play anywhere else this season, unless the Jaguars trade him.

Carl from Jacksonville:
I feel the Jags jumped up to eight to get Derrick Harvey, so they should at least honor the system that everyone else has used. Your thoughts?

Vic: They traded up into the top 10 and they knew it would cost them a lot of money, but they weren't expecting that contracts for top 10 players would increase as significantly as they have. Hey, they don't have to do anything. It's their money and it's their salary structure and they have a right to approach this any way they wish. Free markets, right?

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
If I was a GM in the NFL, I would trade every first-round pick I had for second-rounders and more picks. It makes no sense to pay a rookie what they are paying them.

Vic: You're too late, Don. The other GMs beat you to the punch. That's how the Jaguars were able to move up as far as they did without the points value equaling the move up. Fourteen of the 31 picks in the first round of this year's draft were the result of trades. A lot of teams want to trade down. It's a trend that's been increasing every year for the past several years.

Sal from El Paso, TX:
If the Jaguars can't come to terms with Harvey, what happens next?

Vic: Whoa! It's too early for that kind of talk. The guy has only missed a week of training camp and, based on what I've seen, I refuse to believe that what he's missed can't be made up quickly. They call this training camp, but it's nothing like it used to be. He was at all the OTAs and other than for a 10-minute Oklahoma drill and six live goal-line plays at the end of one practice, what I saw last week was an extension of OTAs. Give this some time. Don't get caught up emotionally in this because when they finally agree to a deal, they'll stand up in front of the media and hug each other and praise each other's willingness to get the deal done and yada, yada, yada. It's professional football. It's about the money. Let them worry about it.

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