Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
John from Washington, DC:
What do you think about all this airing of dirty laundry in the media? Donovin Darius went from one of my favorite players to the most reviled in one week.
Vic: That's why I often write; "It's about the money." If you accept that fact, it'll keep events such as what's going on with Donovin Darius in perspective. Too often, fans get so emotionally involved in pro football that they begin to think this is a hobby or something players should want to do for free. Then, all of a sudden, we have a situation like Darius pop up and there's a sense of great disillusionment, maybe even despair and anger. That's illogical. Don't let yourself suffer those emotions. Keep the game in its proper perspective. This is professional football. It's about the money.
Steve from Jacksonville:
What's your take on Darius e-mailing the "Star Tribune" and begging the fans of Minnesota to get the owner and coaches to work out a trade for him?
Vic: It is not the kind of initiative I would expect from an esteemed professional football player.
Rob from Jacksonville:
Have you lost leave of your senses? Plaxico Burress' price is coming down. So what? Have you forgotten Plax spiking the ball on the 30-yard line against the Jags? The guy's an idiot and a malcontent. Anything over the minimum is too much for him.
Vic: I've come full circle on this one. When I wrote that the Jaguars shouldn't be interested in Plaxico Burress at the start of free agency, I was criticized by fans who thought he was just what the Jaguars needed. Now, after suggesting that Burress starts to become attractive as his price falls, you believe he's not worth anything more than minimum wage. Well, I think you're over the top on that one. He's not a premium guy but he's certainly more than "just a guy." The "spike the ball" and "malcontent" criticism is unfair and incorrect. He made a mistake in just the fourth game of his professional career. It's forgivable. As far as being a "malcontent," nothing could be further from the truth. Ask the reporters in Pittsburgh. Ask Bill Cowher. Burress is a team player. He's a dedicated guy who is liked by his teammates.
Todd from Baltimore, MD:
What is your assessment of the Ravens' two big acquisitions? Are they setting themselves up for cap disaster? Their pursuit of these high-priced free agents reminds me a little of Jacksonville a few years ago.
Vic: Mostly, I'm reminded of the Ravens' affection for free agency, when the team signed Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson, Sam Adams, etc. It worked for them once, so, maybe that's why they're trying it again. Everyone knows I'm not a big fan of free agency. I think it's an expensive way to build a roster and it always damages a team's salary cap if the team depends too heavily on free agency. Baltimore had to gut its roster as a result of having signed too many expensive free agents, but it was worth the problem it created because the Ravens won a Super Bowl. Will Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle help the Ravens win a Super Bowl? I'm inclined to think they won't, largely because Ray Lewis isn't the same player he was in 2000. In my opinion, the Ravens spent a lot of money on a couple of over-the-hill guys.
Chris from Jacksonville:
What do you think about the Jags signing Terry Cousin and do you think we got our money's worth? Will he be a potential starter next season or someone to add depth to the position?
Vic: I was flooded this morning with e-mails about the Terry Cousin signing. Everybody is perplexed and I don't understand why. The Jaguars signed Cousin to a one-year, minimum-wage contract that includes a $50,000 signing bonus. He's a guy who will offer training camp competition. He's someone with whom Jack Del Rio is familiar and who is worthy of a training camp roster. That's all. Don't read any more into it than that.
Vijay from Montreal, Quebec:
Justin Miller from Clemson: Have you heard of him? I really like this guy. He can play both zone and man, has great instincts and is a heck of an athlete. Clemson has put him at QB, WR and RB because of his athletic ability. Would you be happy to see him drafted by the Jags at 21?
Vic: Justin Miller fits in a group of cornerbacks that includes Carlos Rogers of Auburn, Marlin Jackson of Michigan and Brandon Browner of Oregon State. Antrell Rolle of Miami and Adam Jones of West Virginia are generally considered to be a notch above that group. Miller appears to be a late first-round candidate.
Dean from Jacksonville:
I have a problem with my wife to be. I have lived in Jacksonville all my life, but I met this girl in June while visiting my aunt in Phoenix. Now we just got engaged. She knows I am a big Jaguars fan but now she is suddenly telling me she's a Cardinals fan, wants me to move with her to Tempe and become a die-hard Cardinals fan. She says if I won't like the Cardinals she'll break off the engagement. I don't know what to do. I tried flowers like you suggested but she got mad because there were no roses in the batch.
Vic: You sure do have a problem. First of all, she lied to you about being a Cardinals fan because the Cardinals don't have any fans. We're talking about a team that has only had one winning season since 1984. I'm inclined to believe something else is going on here. Forget the flowers. I have a feeling she's getting flowers from somebody else. Find yourself a nice Jaguars fan, buy season tickets and live happily ever after.
Scott from Thunder Bay, Canada:
Now that David Boston has been cut by Miami for failing his physical, would he be Jaguars material? I always thought he was a very overrated, overpaid player, but if his price goes down is he a good fit?
Vic: You don't have to sign every player who's been cut. There's this thing called the draft and it has a lot of young, healthy players who are willing to play for affordable contracts. They'll even play special teams. I think those guys are the best fits of all.
Nick from Jacksonville:
How can you even suggest that Kelly Holcomb is an upgrade to Drew Bledsoe? There is no statistic to back you up on that one. Bledsoe has proven to be an upper echelon QB in the NFL.
Vic: How about this statistic? Drew Bledsoe had a 76.6 passer rating last year and a 73.0 the year before. It's hard to find a quarterback who wouldn't be an upgrade over that.
Charlie from Jacksonville:
What's up with Donovin? Now he's e-mailing different newspapers to persuade teams to trade for him. It seems like he has pinned himself in a corner that he can't get out of. The poor guy is starting to look really bad. Your thoughts?
Vic: If there's one place in the league where a guy could say I'm sorry and expect all to be forgiven and forgotten, Jacksonville is that place. But I don't know if it's possible to fix the damage Donovin Darius' image has sustained among Jaguars fans. I sincerely hope he is able to attract a team that will give him the contract he wants and work a trade with the Jaguars because I think he needs a change of scenery.
John from Jacksonville:
I read that Quinn Gray has signed his exclusive-rights tender offer from the Jaguars. Would you please explain what that means?
Vic: All players who have less than three years of NFL experience and whose contracts have expired are considered "exclusive-rights free agents." If they want to continue their NFL careers, they have no choice but to sign the tender because they are the exclusive property of the team that is making the offer.
Rajesh from Jacksonville:
Coach Jack Del Rio indicated he's not eager to trade backup David Garrard unless they get a good offer for him, even though we will lose him in free agency in a year if we don't trade him this year, right?
Vic: What that means is that David Garrard is worth more to the Jaguars as a backup quarterback this season than a late-round draft pick. That's easily understood.
Seb from Waterbury, CT:
Expanding on the topic of prices dropping, how much more appealing is Andre Dyson? I think he'd be a great addition? He's young and talented. Do you agree?
Vic: I agree that Andre Dyson is a talented cornerback who is entering the prime years of his career. I agree that he'd be a great addition to the Jaguars. Now, it's all about price. What is his true value? Football players are like water: They seek their own level. Dyson is in the process of seeking his.
Dan from Thousand Oaks, CA:
The Raiders re-did Moss' deal. Did they push money from this year to later years and won't this put them into future cap hell?
Vic: They pushed out $3.75 million. The Raiders are already in salary cap difficulty. They are on their way to becoming the next Tennessee.
E.J. from Jacksonville:
I'm a strong believer the base of a team's success is the salary cap and the Eagles and Patriots are proof of it. But I am getting really upset with the Jags. They look more like the Cardinals and Vikings of past years. There's a thin line between being good cap managers and just being cheap and the Jaguars are playing with it. What are your thoughts?
Vic: You think a five-year, $25 million deal that includes a $10 million signing bonus is being cheap? Is it possible you're just bored and want the Jaguars to spend all of their money so you can have something to talk about with your friends?
David from Oviedo, FL:
Who is the highest paid safety in the league?
Vic: In terms of average dollars per year, it's Darren Sharper. He signed a six-year, $30 million contract in 2001. Over the first four years of that contract, he has averaged $4.5 million per year. Rumors are that Sharper is going to be released because his salary in 2005 is set at $6 million, which, quite frankly, is too much to pay a safety.
Nate from Macclenny, FL:
On ESPN.com they were talking about Romanowski and the trial he is in. The article said he has been "fined more than $100,000 for head-butting, head-kicking and spearing." What exactly is spearing?
Vic: Spearing is the act of using the top of the helmet as a weapon in tackling. Once upon a time, spearing was not illegal. In fact, it was an accepted defensive technique that was taught in drills during practice. I can remember a three-man drill in which the first defender stood up the ball-carrier and turned him for the second defender to spear the ball with the top of the helmet.