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Finally, we get the truth

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

Don from Jacksonville:
What happens when you franchise your player and he is already the highest paid at his position? Would he still get the top five average salary and, therefore, be forced to take a pay cut?

Vic: You wouldn't put the franchise tag on a player who is already under contract. The franchise tag is used to retain the rights to a player whose contract has expired. I'm surprised that a lot of people don't understand that basic purpose. They think the franchise designation is used as a means of distinguishing or complimenting a player's performance.

Homer from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
If the Dolphins can do it (win the division), can we?

Vic: That's a fair question and the answer is yes, the Jaguars can, but let's not forget the ingredients to the Dolphins' division title last season. First of all, Tom Brady sustained a season-ending injury in week one. Secondly, Miami played a weak schedule that included games against Seattle, Oakland, St. Louis and Kansas City. Based on their performance in the playoff loss to Baltimore, what did Miami win? I acknowledge that they had a great turnaround, but I don't think we should start deluding ourselves by putting a lot of stock in this worst-to-first phenomena. Neither Miami nor Atlanta won a playoff game. Only Baltimore did, and one of their two wins was against Miami. In my opinion, we must keep it real this offseason. There's a lot of work to do.

Andrew from Toledo, OH:
If Maurice Williams comes back healthy, do you think he can fill the void at left tackle?

Vic: No, I think the Jaguars' left tackle will probably emerge in the draft. Williams is a guard who can play right tackle or center. He's a four-position offensive lineman and that versatility gives him a lot of value. I'd like to see him settle back in at right guard and provide the kind of veteran presence a team that may have a rookie at left tackle and/or center would need.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
I have a question about reporters and their sources. A-Rod has been accused of cheating by an unnamed source. The information leaked by this source may not have been legally obtained or distributed. Doesn't A-Rod, assuming he's innocent until proven guilty, have the right to know who just tarnished his career and his character without even showing his face?

Vic: The truth is the pure defense. "Knowledge is power. The truth shall set you free." I walked under those words every day in high school and I firmly believe in them. The unnamed source gave us the truth. A-Rod told us lies. He cheated. End of story.

Joe from Batavia, IL:
During the Pro Bowl broadcast, Cris Collinsworth stated that he would choose Andre Johnson over Larry Fitzgerald, if he had the option. What kind of case can you make to back the Johnson-over-Fitzgerald argument?

Vic: I can't think of any. Andre Johnson is a fabulous receiver, but I think Fitzgerald is a cut above Johnson.

Mike from Jacksonville:
With the combine coming up, what should I be looking for when watching prospects?

Vic: The scouting combine, which is to say all underwear-type workouts, is best for scouting defensive backs because it gives you a look at their back-pedal, their ability to turn their hips, close on the ball and play the ball in the air. The combine is also good for judging a quarterback's arm strength. Joe Flacco was a big winner in last year's combine, based on arm strength, and I remember people complaining that he got so much praise from the NFL Network guys covering the combine. Well, it looks like they were right, doesn't it? You can also use the combine to judge a running back's lean, an offensive lineman's feet and hands, a wide receiver's route-running, a pass-rusher's first step, etc., but I think you should watch everything with a degree of suspicion because football without contact isn't football.

Zach from Osceola, IN:
What are your thoughts on Nate Davis? I am a huge Ball State fan and I am attending the school next year. I haven't heard much about him, with Stafford and Sanchez getting all the talk.

Vic: I saw him a couple of times. What's not to like? He plays the game with a kind of ease that is usually reserved for dominant players. Am I supposed to look down my nose at the level of competition? I don't think so. The team that just won the Super Bowl has three Mid-American Conference quarterbacks. Davis has a chance to shoot his stock upward at the combine and at his pro and personal-workout days. He appears to have an NFL arm. He'll have a chance to confirm his arm strength at the combine.

Benji from Yreka, CA:
The Falcons must believe punters deserve to make it into the Hall of Fame. I just heard they are putting their "franchise" tag on Michael Koenen. What is your take on the move?

Vic: The franchise tag is $2.5 million. They have no one else to tag so why not use it on a guy you like, want to keep and with whom you'd like to do a new, long-term deal? In this case, the franchise tag is being used, in my opinion, to stimulate contract negotiations.

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