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Garrard will get his chance

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

Newt from Jacksonville:
Am I correct in assuming Jimmy Smith's $11 million hit would still be assessed as approximately $3 million this year and $8 million next year (discounting his salary)? Also, if he were traded, that $8 million would go against the team who signs him?

Vic: Newt, discard all of the numbers and all of the language you used above and start over. These are the facts: Jimmy Smith is a $6.5 million hit on this year's salary cap that has been reduced to about $5.75 because of the lost salary due to the suspension. Those are the numbers that are important to this season. The numbers you're throwing around in your question pertain to remaining amortization, and you're a little off. Jimmy Smith currently represents $10.2 million in remaining amortization. When you say "$3 million" this year and "$8 million" next year, I'm assuming you're referring to what it would cost the Jaguars on their 2003 and 2004 salary caps if they cut Smith. If that happened, the hits would $3.1 million this year and $7.1 million next year. Of course, that would all be in the form of "dead money." The answer to your last question is easy: When a player is traded, all of that player's remaining amortization stays with the team that is trading him, and it all accelerates onto the current salary cap, which means trading Smith would force the Jaguars to absorb $10.2 million on this year's salary cap, and that's not possible.

Justin from Jacksonville:
Even though Leftwich is the future, why wouldn't you play Garrard more in hopes of trading him next offseason? He is not adding any value or creating any value by holding a clipboard. Seems like poor asset management, in my opinion.

Vic: How do you know he won't play? It's a long season, Garrard has two years left on his contract after this season, and I fully expect his talents will be exposed before we know exactly who the quarterback of this team's future is.

Billy from Live Oak, FL:
If Leftwich does extremely well (even though we're favored to win), won't the fans go ballistic if Del Rio starts Brunell the following week? I mean, in this day and age of win-now attitude, isn't a player only as good as his last game? And does Mark deserve that?

Vic: That's why I thought Mark Brunell should've been released last spring. All of this was inevitable.

Marcone from Natal, Brazil:
Our offensive line seems to be OK so far, but I don't hear much about it. Is there any player from that unit who has stood out, played on a higher level than expected or pleasantly surprised you in some way?

Vic: What I keep hearing over and over from fans is that the offensive line is the problem. No way. The offensive line is absolutely the best part of this team because it symbolizes exactly what you want this team to be: young and on the rise. Rookie guard Vince Manuwai has been outstanding. I don't know if he qualifies as a surprise because he was expected to win the starting left guard job, but he wasn't expected to play as well as he has. At times, he has been dominant. Mike Pearson was the subject of offseason ridicule, but it all seemed to stop when the season started. Pearson is more than holding his own; he's giving this team reason to believe he can be their left tackle of the future. We're talking about left tackle; the most demanding of all the line positions. In just his second season, Pearson is going to get beat from time to time, and we're going to get a major indicator of where he is in his development when he faces Jason Taylor on Oct. 12, but the arrow is pointing up right now. Brad Meester has settled in nicely at center, his natural position, Chris Naeole is providing a veteran brand of football at right guard, and Maurice Williams is the perfect right tackle for this team; young, aggressive and powerful in run-blocking.

Josh from Woodville, OH:
I've noticed the Houston Texans have been signing many players who get released by the Jags. Could you tell me how many former Jags are on the Texans roster?

Vic: Counting Seth Payne and Jimmy Herndon, who are on injured reserve, the Texans have six former Jaguars on their roster. The others are Marlon McCree, Stacey Mack, Zach Wiegert and Gary Walker.

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