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Going 'North' in realignment

Join Senior Writer Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Dan Hilton from Jacksonville:
Mark Brunell is the reason we go to Jaguars games. Does anyone really think people would pay to see Quinn or a reject from another team throw passes in the general direction of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell? Why doesn't Weaver give Mark his money, which he will have to do sooner or later, and get on with his life?

Vic: The reasons are buried in the salary cap.

Scott Walden from Columbus, OH:
Tell me what you think of my solution to the salary cap problem: 1.) Trade Brunell for a second-round pick; 2.) sign Beuerlein; 3.) trade Kevin Hardy for a third-round pick; 4.) sign Jeff Smith; 5.) sign Willie Jackson. We then would have seven picks in the first four rounds of the draft, to be used for two offensive linemen, two linebackers, one defensive lineman, one safety and one wide receiver.

Vic: I don't like it.

Brian Nash from Atlantic Beach, FL:
What is R. Jay Soward's status for next season? Is it true he's likely to be suspended for the first few games?


Vic: Though there has been no official announcement, Soward is expected to serve a four-game suspension at the start of the 2001 season, for violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. The Jaguars are expected to receive a $144,000 salary cap break for the four games Soward would be suspended.

Mike Caudill from Jacksonville:
How do you feel the NFL will realign itself for the 2003 season?

Vic: Realignment play will begin in 2002. I expect the Jaguars to be in the AFC South with the Colts, Titans and Ravens or Texans. The AFC East will be the Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots. AFC North--Bengals, Browns, Steelers and Texans or Ravens; AFC West--Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers or Seahawks. NFC East--Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Redskins; NFC North--Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings; NFC South--Bucs, Falcons, Panthers and Saints; NFC West--Cardinals, 49ers, Rams and Chargers or Seahawks. Notice that "Central" has been dropped in favor of "North."

Tony Penna from Jacksonville:
I'm always hearing about how strong the Jaguars management team is, yet, we are in deep cap trouble and many of our later-round draft picks have not panned out. Who is at fault for both of these situations?

Vic: Any strong franchise shares blame equally for poor decisions. Wayne Weaver has accepted blame, and Tom Coughlin is a "one voice" guy who will tell you the fortunes of the franchise are ultimately his responsibility.

Rick Kitchens from Honolulu, HI:
What are the cap implications for the past and future teams when a player is traded?

Vic: The team trading a player must immediately realize on that season's salary cap all of that player's remaining prorated bonus money. For example, if a player had three years remaining on his contract and each of those years' caps was to include $2 million of that player's prorated bonus money, then the trading team would immediately take a $6 million hit on their cap in the year they trade the player. The team trading for the player would not have to include on their cap any of the money the trading team had previously paid. Ryan Leaf is a perfect example.

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