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Graham provides sense of security

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

Bharat from Jacksonville:
Will the return of Jimmy Smith really prove to be that much of a catalyst for the struggling offense? I ask because he's been out of football shape for some time and the rigors of a game may be too much for him. Will he still command double-teams and, in turn, free up the run and other receivers? Give me your thoughts on this, Vic. I think it's unreasonable to think he'll provide such a spark early in the season, let alone week one.

Vic: For what Wayne Weaver just agreed to pay Jimmy Smith, the answer better be yes to both questions.

Ray from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How much did the signing of Kent Graham have to do with needing a veteran QB vs. wanting to get info on the Texans? It would not be the first time the Jags have signed a guy within the division for that purpose.

Vic: The Jaguars don't play the Texans until Oct. 27. Tom Coughlin doesn't allow himself to think that far ahead. In my opinion, Kent Graham was signed so Coughlin might have a greater sense of security about his quarterback situation.

Gary Sachs from Orange Park, FL:
Now that Smith has forced a new contract, won't that open the door for other key players who perform well to do the same? Taylor, for example.

Vic: That's a definite risk.

Miguel from Mexico City, Mexico:
In your opinion is Wayne Weaver giving a bad example to the rest of the league, in regard to the Jimmy Smith situation? Now, every time a player wants more money, they will know what to do?

Vic: As I've said above, rewarding a holdout player with a new contract is a dangerous precedent, but that example was set by other owners long before Wayne Weaver did it. Contract holdout is an age-old strategy. At some point, every owner has to say no.

Kevin from Marietta, GA:
Does every player in camp have a contract? What happens to a contract once a player is released? What about somebody like Darnay Scott?

Vic: Every player must be signed to a contract before he can participate in a practice. When a player is released, that contract is extinguished. In some cases, such as Hardy Nickerson, a player's salary or a portion of his salary may be guaranteed, which means he must be paid that amount when he is released. Darnay Scott had a minimum-wage contract that provided for no guaranteed money. Had he been on the roster on opening day, the Jaguars would've owed him a whole season's salary because Scott is a vested veteran.

Frank from St. Augustine, FL:
I know the salaries of practice-squad players count toward a team's salary cap, but do they receive the same salary as they would if they were on the 53-man roster?

Vic: No; a practice-squad player earns $4,000 a week.

Donny from Orlando, FL:
While the Jags offensive passing woes are well noted, the national media has been critical of our offensive line, as well. Vic, how does our offensive line look overall at this point? Has Chris Naeole been the player we thought we were getting? And when do you think Mike Pearson can become a consistent starter so Wiegert and Meester can slide to the right?

Vic: The offensive line may be the position that offers more potential for long-term quality and development of depth than any other area of the team. Chris Naeole has been sound and, in my opinion, he and Maurice Williams offer the best shoulder-to-shoulder combination on the team. Mike Pearson is the key to the offensive line reaching its full potential. I believe Pearson is the Jaguars' left tackle of the future, but I don't see that happening this year unless injury forces Pearson into the lineup.

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