Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
If Fred Taylor had not been released prior to the start of free agency, would the Jaguars now be at minus one?
Vic: No, because Fred's attachment to the Jaguars would not have expired at the start of unrestricted free agency. Fred had time left on his contract, which included a $1 million roster bonus due early in March. Fred's contract would've expired had the Jaguars not paid that roster bonus, but he would not have counted toward compensatory consideration.
Kris from Worcester, MA:
There are quite a few people in the world of NFL reporting wondering why our old friend Byron Leftwich is still a free agent. Any insight into why or where Byron could end up?
Vic: Byron hasn't found the right team. He's looking for a team that will commit to him; a team that will give him every reason to believe – a big contract is the best of reasons – he'll be given a chance to win the starting job. Until he gets that, I think Pittsburgh remains the best place for Byron. They like him, they want him back and he's happy there.
Bryan from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I am not a T.O. fan and I would not want him on my team but, in his defense to your suggestion, he is not a criminal.
Vic: Some would argue that what he did to the Cowboys last year was criminal.
Jason from Virginia Beach, VA:
When can we expect to see your value board?
Vic: Soon; it's very important and I want to make sure there are no mistakes in it.
Jim from Jacksonville:
It's looking like the Chargers might receive a fourth-round compensatory pick for losing Drayton Florence last year. Not a bad move at all.
Vic: It's better to give, so you can receive.
Don from Jacksonville:
So an agent is part of a player's value? It makes sense. It is easier to buy a car from someone you trust.
Vic: I didn't say that. I don't think an agent is part of a player's value, but I think an agent who scares teams can cause a player to lose value. I don't know if there are any agents in the game right now who fit that description, but once there were.
Phillip from Sierra Vista, AZ:
You're the G.M., Vic. Looking at your board, you see Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith, B.J. Raji and Malcolm Jenkins all staring you in the face. Who would you select and who do you think would make the most dynamic difference to this team?
Vic: That's easy; Monroe. He'd be the highest-rated player among those players. Dynamic difference? I don't think any of those guys would make a dynamic difference
Jess from Highland, IL:
I'm curious as to why you don't have running back on your list of premium positions. Would you please enlighten me?
Vic: Absolutely, I will. Of the 16 rushers who gained 1,000 or more yards rushing last season, six were selected in the third round or lower. Steve Slaton and Frank Gore were third-round picks, Brandon Jacobs was a fourth-round pick, Michael Turner was a fifth-round pick, Derrick Ward was a seventh-round pick and Ryan Grant was an undrafted free agent. Also, Brian Westbrook was a third-round pick, Le'Ron McClain was a fourth-round pick, Willie Parker was undrafted, etc. You can find running backs and wide receivers later in the draft. That's why neither is considered to be a premium position.
Andy from Jacksonville:
You say, in regards to compensatory picks, a player must stick. What does stick mean? Make it to training camp? Make the final 53? What qualifies as sticking?
Vic: It means making the final roster and then logging play time. Compensatory pick awards are based on the number of free agents you sign vs. the number of free agents you lose, the size of the contracts the free agents sign, the amount of play time they accumulate and their overall performance. Obviously, the longer you stick, the more play time you're likely to get. At this time, I think we need to get off the compensatory pick thing for awhile. I'm now regurgitating the information and we've approached this subject from every possible angle.
Jason from Jacksonville:
What do you make of Andre Smith's pro day? Do you think it pushes him out of the top 10, or is his talent and size worth the risk to you?
Vic: He left the combine without telling anyone and then said he would rest his case on his pro day. Based on that pro day, his case isn't very good. He was a fantastic player last season, but there are a lot of red flags on Smith. Is he worth the risk? That's the $64,000 question and I can't answer it other than to say that you rank players on your board according to all your information and then you let your board do the pickin' for you. In my opinion, the postseason information on Smith has to be hurting his position on the board.
Brian from Ormond Beach, FL:
My head hurts when I read that we should pick a guy who needs a screw drilled into his foot. I'm all about risk vs. reward but, come on. Anybody remember risking a first-round pick on a short wide receiver in 2000? But at least that Reggie Williams thing worked out, right?
Vic: Jaguars fans may have the worst case of wide receiver fever I have ever seen.
Bryson from Atlantic Beach, FL:
If you could pick one player in this year's draft to make a team-changing impact (Matt Ryan, Adrian Peterson), who would it be?
Vic: I don't see a Ryan or Peterson in this draft. I think it's a deep and talented draft class, but I don't think it's strong at the top. This, in my opinion, is not a good year to be high in the order. I would love to see the Jaguars trade down and get an extra pick or two. There are lots of players I'd love to see the Jaguars draft, they just don't fit at number eight; or maybe they do and I'm just relying too much on the postseason workouts. For example, I love Knowshon Moreno and I would've had no trouble with the Jags picking him at number eight, but Moreno ran poorly at the combine and we're to believe that knocks him out of top 10 consideration. His pro day is coming up and he'll have a chance to redeem himself. If I was going to pick one guy in this draft who could produce immediate star potential, it would be Matt Stafford because he is so groomed and ready to go. He has an amazing understanding of pro-style offense, just as Dan Marino did and, obviously, Ryan had coming out of Boston College last year. Stafford, however, doesn't appear to have Ryan's or Marino's accuracy and that's why I won't put him in the team-changing category, but I think he's close. Mark Sanchez has all of the tools but, other than for his performance in the Rose Bowl, I sensed a hesitation in his game and that's probably because he's not fully seasoned. As a result, he has intriguing upside, but I don't think he's a team-changer.
Fred from Portland, OR:
The three most expensive franchise tag positions are QB, CB and WR. If WR is not a premium position, then why is it the third-most expensive position?
Vic: I could say it's because they score touchdowns and that gives them an advantage in contract negotiations. I could also tell you that wide receiver may lead the league in minimum-wage players and that the franchise designation is determined by those five touchdown-makers at the top of the pay scale, and that if you averaged all of the salaries paid to wide receivers in the league, the position might rank near the bottom of the pay scale, but you don't wanna hear that, do you? No, sir, you've got wide receiver fever and you wanna fight me on this one, even though every personnel man and coach in the league would tell you wide receiver is not a premium position. In fact, I know coaches who would tell you they'd never draft a wide receiver in the first round. Hey, forget all of that because I am officially going on record as saying I got wide receiver fever, too, and I want the Jaguars to draft one in the first round. After all, it's worked so well in the past.