Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jason from Hagerstown, MD:
Are there still June 1 cuts?
Vic: Yes, there will be a June 1 rule this year. There wouldn't have been a June 1 rule this year if a new CBA hadn't been ratified because 2007 would've been an uncapped year. The June 1 rule provides that players cut AFTER June 1 may have a portion of their bonus amortization assigned to the following year's salary cap. Remember it this way: What's in the year stays in the year; everything else goes into the next year. That means the bonus proration that is scheduled for the current year stays in the current year, and the remaining bonus amortization is assigned to the next year. The new CBA modified the June 1 rule a little. Under the new CBA, each team may include in its June 1 rule cuts two players it cut prior to June 2.
Evan from Philadelphia, PA:
Before the CBA extension, the two teams you used most as examples as teams in salary cap trouble were the Redskins and Colts. Now I see the Redskins signing more and more players and the Colts losing players. What is the difference?
Vic: The difference is the Redskins have decided to push more of the problem into the future and deepen its consequences. The Colts decided enough is enough. The Colts have decided it's time to begin protecting their future.
Jeff from Boonsboro, MD:
I thought you said the Patriots are great at dealing with the salary cap. Why do they have to cut players like McGinest, Givens and I heard rumors they were gonna cut Rodney Harrison? Maybe they are looking to the future, but what do you think?
Vic: How many times have I said it's not a game of maintenance, it's a game of replacement? To be good salary cap managers you have to be willing to let players go. You can't keep everybody, which is why I've also said you have to have jars on the shelf. The Patriots are fantastic salary cap managers because they are not afraid to lose players and they seem to always replace the players they lose. There are those players, such as Tom Brady, who are irreplaceable and the Patriots have a keen eye for extending those core players without suffering major consequences. Look at the Steelers. They've lost two key receivers, Plaxico Burress and Antwaan Randle El, in the last two free-agent periods. The Steelers have also lost defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen and will lose safety Chris Hope. These are all players the Steelers could've found ways to keep by re-structuring other contracts and making cap room by stealing from future caps, but they don't do that because they know they'll be mortgaging their future. Instead, they bite the bullet now and put the onus on their scouting department to find replacements. The Patriots did that with Joe Andruzzi a year ago and they found Logan Mankins. They did that with Lawyer Milloy in 2003 and found Rodney Harrison. There's a popular belief that the best salary cap managers are the teams that invent tricks and move money around to keep their players. That's bull. The best salary cap managers are the teams that have the guts and skill to lose players and replace them.
Adam from Binghamton, NY:
What's your take on Mike Williams? I've been hearing people call him a bust but I think he'll be a good fit for the Jags.
Vic: He's what's called a reclamation project. The Oakland Raiders won Super Bowls with reclamation projects such as Jim Plunkett. You can't have a whole team of them – we call that an expansion team – but you have to find ways to patch holes on your roster affordably and Mike Williams is an attempt to do that. The Jaguars need depth on their offensive line and Williams will try to fill that role. He's a former number four pick of the draft. The Jaguars had him rated as the number one offensive lineman on the board in the 2002 draft. Williams had a good year in 2004 but fell off hard in 2005, largely due to injuries. He has to commit himself to success. In the Bills' '04 training camp, Williams missed a day's practices because he was unsure about his desire to play the game. That has to be behind him. If he is to have any chance of re-claiming his career, he has to be 100 percent sure this is what he wants to do. He knows that and he conveyed that to Jack Del Rio on Monday. This has the potential to be a home-run signing. There's a lot of reward potential without significant risk. The Jaguars paid Williams a $1.4 million signing bonus. I consider that to be a reasonable risk for the potential reward.
Gavin from Jacksonville:
If you buy from nfl.com the proceeds get divided up among all of the teams, whereas if you buy from jaguars.com the proceeds stay with the Jags. What about local retail stores? Do the revenues for Jags merchandise go to the NFL or to the specific teams of the product sold?
Vic: If you buy from an NFL-licensed local retail store, the profit from that merchandise is shared by the league's 32 teams.
Mike from Pensacola, FL:
What is our compensation for Ayodele going to Dallas? Did we tender him? I seem to remember the NFL awarding compensatory picks for free-agent players and I'm wondering if you can give us insight into what pick would be gained from this loss.
Vic: Akin Ayodele was an unrestricted free agent. You cannot tender an unrestricted free agent. There is a system for being awarded compensatory draft picks for having lost players in free agency, but compensation consideration for having lost Ayodele won't occur until 2007 and the system weighs what you lost vs. what you gained. So far, the Jaguars have spent a $10 million signing bonus to acquire Brian Williams; Ayodele signed with the Cowboys for a $5 million signing bonus. I wouldn't count on compensation in '07; the Jaguars are likely to sign more free agents than they lose. Pittsburgh is a team headed for compensation.
Chris from Mansfield, TX:
Could Jacksonville somehow package some picks and players to draft A. J. Hawk? Would he fit your description of a Del Rio linebacker?
Vic: If Jack Del Rio was given his pick of any player in this year's draft, he might pick A.J. Hawk. Yeah, Hawk is a Del Rio linebacker. Could the Jaguars somehow package picks and players to move up and draft Hawk? Not likely.
Jordan from Lincoln, NE:
How will future caps be affected for the Colts since they didn't re-sign James and push more money into the future?
Vic: It's real simple: Take all of the money the Cardinals are going to pay Edgerrin James and subtract it from the Colts' future caps. That's what James would've probably cost the Colts to keep him and since they decided not to keep him, that's how much room the Colts have on their future caps to replace him and other players, such as David Thornton, Mike Vanderjagt, etc.
Brady from Richmond, VA:
Ha, ha, ha, Vic. The Jaguars keep surprising the fans with these free agents and you have not foreshadowed any of them. Are you out of the loop right now?
Vic: I guess I am.
Dan from Frederick, MD:
I just got my season ticket order form (Redskins) for next year and the price per game has gone up by 20 dollars. Is this because of the new salary cap?
Vic: I feel so sorry for you people.