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Draft picks more valuable than players

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

Wesley Scruggs from Jacksonville:
I know blackouts are something to get used to, having an NFL team. However, Jacksonville's kind of spoiled in that these are our first two blackouts. Do you think there's a small chance the team might be relocated, or are fans overreacting?
Vic: There is no chance the team will move. Ownership knows it takes time and patience to root a new team in a community. I think we're all starting to realize the start-up enthusiasm for the Jaguars caused us to get carried away with our expectations. Now, we're dealing with the reality of what it takes to support an NFL team. The Jaguars ownership will deal with it.

Ron Stewart from Orlando, FL:
Can you please explain the policy on blackouts? I thought it was a 75-mile radius, but we are getting blacked out in Orlando and we are 142 miles away.
Vic: The blackout is for a 75-mile radius from the stadium in which the game is being played. If a TV station's signal penetrates that 75-mile radius, it is not permitted to show the game. That's the case with Orlando.

Jim Edwards from Jacksonville:
It seems to me that year after year the Jaguars are losing starting players to injury at about this time of the year. Do these players practice too hard or do they have a different offseason regimen than other teams?
Jim, I'm sorry, but I don't have the answer to your question. Every team has an offseason conditioning program. Some might disagree with me, but I find nothing about Tom Coughlin's practice regimen that is alarmingly different from other teams. In fact, I thought the Jaguars' training camp this past summer was the softest I have ever seen.

Chris Sharky from Tallahassee, FL:
Can you explain "dead money?" It seems to be part of the Jags' and Bills' salary-cap problems.
Chris, "dead money" is that part of a team's salary-cap hit that belongs to players who are no longer on the team's roster. For example, Leon Searcy is a $2.3 million "dead money" hit on this year's Jaguars salary cap, which includes a total of $11 million in "dead money." Buffalo's new president, Tom Donahoe, decided to attack the Bills' salary-cap problem this year by clearing as much bonus amortization as possible. He cleared $21.5 million in "dead money." Donahoe will have a little more to clear next year, then the Bills' cap will be back to square one. The Jaguars will begin their serious salary-cap repair next year.

Chris Purvis from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Why is it we never see player-for-player trades in the NFL like we see in major league baseball?
Simply put, draft choices are more valuable than veteran players. Why? Well, first of all, draft choices are young and injury-free players with no baggage. Beyond that, they enter the NFL through the least expensive form of player acquisition. Coaches love to trade a marginal veteran for a future draft choice because they believe they can find a player with that pick who is better and less expensive than the veteran they're trading. In baseball, draft picks are not nearly as valuable because it takes so many years for a drafted player to advance through the minor league system. The percentage of misses in the baseball draft is also much greater than it is in football. All of that makes an established major-leaguer more valuable than a future draft pick.

Tom Neal from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Is it time to throw up the hands and say the season's over? I mean, is it time to start playing all rookies, having the front office scout for a new coach and the accountants to look for the fastest way to dump the salary cap?
There will be plenty of time for review and recovery planning when the season is over and, make no mistake about it, the Jaguars are facing a winter of serious review and planning. Now is not the time for that kind of stuff. Now is when you play.

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