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It has to be a done deal

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

Bo from Warrensville, NC:
Vic, I like the two signings. What's your take? Also, do the Jags have any insurance in signing a guy coming off an injury, or is it buyer beware?

Vic: The Kassim Osgood signing is what I had come to expect, which is to say low in risk and high in upside potential. The Aaron Kampman signing surprised me. Gene Smith must have solid information to support the belief Kampman will make a quick and complete recovery from knee reconstruction this past Dec. 4. As far as injury insurance, I'm sure the deal was structured in ways that offer some protection, but this is a pricey deal and it's not without risk. Wayne Weaver has shown, again, he will spend in free agency.

James from Jacksonville:
It astonishes me. People keep saying how Tebow has intangibles like his passion for football, leadership and his will to win and that's why we should draft him regardless of his faulty mechanics, yet, I recall a certain quarterback who had similar faulty mechanics who, during a Marshall-Akron game came back out onto the field with a broken leg.

Vic: No one ever questioned Byron Leftwich's toughness. It was his windup throwing motion and slow release they didn't like. Hmmm, I see what you mean.

Andy from Jacksonville:
Perhaps you've answered this before: Why is it that new signings are reported by an outside source first?

Vic: I've answered that several times. will not publish the report of a player signing until, in fact, the player has signed the contract, passed his physical, etc. In other words, it has to be a done deal. Simply put, this is not the place to go for aggressive reporting on free-agent signings.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
Osgood? Come on. Tell the front office their fans want a Super Bowl. If we're gonna reach on someone like Osgood, can't we reach for T.O. or Brandon Marshall or someone that can and will stretch the field?

Vic: I completely agree. I want more nefarious personalities. I'm tired of writing about all these "Goody Two-Shoes" GM Gene keeps signing. I want some discord. I want some angst. That's what people wanna read. I want receivers who alienate the quarterback, challenge the coach. We need guys like that to finally get some pub on "SportsCenter."

Cole from Jacksonville:
Antonio Cromartie was traded for a third-round pick that could become a second, based on his performance with the Jets. If the Jets traded away their 2011 second-round pick to acquire another player, would the Chargers get the Jets 2012 second-round pick if Cromartie plays well? Or are the Jets not allowed to trade that pick away because it may already be reserved for the Chargers?

Vic: You may not trade any pick that is conditionally involved in a trade until the terms of that trade have been made final, or the terms of the trade have been modified.

Preston from Patterson, NY:
What are the disadvantages to tendering a player? For example, why wouldn't a team place a high tender on every restricted free agent they have?

Vic: The higher the tender, the higher the salary you'll have to pay the player. You want to put a tender on the player that is commensurate with his value.

Bill from Jacksonville:
Doesn't every draft slot have a general value assigned for trade purposes? If so, what might the Jaguars expect in return for our pick at 10?

Vic: You're talking about a numeric table that puts a number value on every pick. According to the numeric table, the new pick or picks you acquire in a trade should equal or exceed in points the pick or picks you're vacating. I'm not big on the numeric table because it's only as good as the player or players you draft. In other words, forget the points and show me the players that are picked. The points don't account for the quality and depth in a draft class, or the lack of each.

Kelvin from Jacksonville:
What is wrong with the Jags front office? They probably won't draft Tebow and New England will. Why don't they just kill the ticket sales and move? If you draft him, they will come.

Vic: Yes, Kelvin, I understand that position. A lot of fans share your opinion and I appreciate that kind of loyalty to a local hero. I will remind you, however, that this is the National Football League, not the Hometown Football League. What bothers me most is that your tone sounds threatening. It's almost as though you're threatening the team with a do-it-or-get-out ultimatum. A lot of teams have passed on local heroes. The Steelers passed on Dan Marino, but the Steelers didn't have to move. The Texans passed on Vince Young, but Texans fans are supportive of Matt Schaub. If Tebow is the highest-rated player on the Jaguars' board when it's their turn to pick, in any round, I would heartily endorse selecting him. As I've said, I hope they draft him. I think he'd increase interest. I don't, however, endorse passing on a better player to draft Tebow merely because the fans want it to happen. The fans also want the team to win and the commitment to the pursuit of victory must be absolute.

Mike from Boston, MA:
The Jags went out and signed two Pro-Bowl caliber players. No more excuses. Management is committed to this team. Now we find out if the people of Jacksonville are, too.

Vic: That's another way of looking at it.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I am like you in that I am not a big free agent guy, as I have seen more teams get burned than hit winners. I do, however, like what the Bears did with the first day of free agency because they have no first and second-round picks and they are in a big market where they do have some cash to burn. What is your opinion on what the Bears did?

Vic: Everything they've done is in direct conflict with what I believe. They traded picks for players and chose age over youth. They're in the death spiral now and they have to find a way to make it work, which is what happens when you get in too deep. You have to change coordinators and throw money at your mistakes. Maybe it'll work, but my experience is that in most cases such as these, the result is disastrous. We're in a different day and age of the NFL. Immediacy has replaced patience. I acknowledge the possibility that I am out of step with the new NFL.

Jack from Jacksonville:
Where do you think a healthy Christian Ponder would rank in this year's QB draft class?

Vic: He would be the top-rated quarterback on my value board.

Cory from Valencia, CA:
What did you think about the Anquan Boldin trade? Are third and fourth-rounders too much to give up?

Vic: Yeah, I think they are, even though the Cardinals had to give back a fifth, but the picks aren't the big issue with Boldin, the contract is.

Eric from Jacksonville:
I love the Brandon Graham placement on your all-important value board. Give me production over guys who pass the eye test all day long.

Vic: For a 3-4 team, Graham passes the eye test swimmingly.

Jeff from Seattle, WA:
Your years of experience should provide some insight. What is going on in the minds of 30-year-old running backs that are now "over the hill?" Are they in denial? Do they understand their limitations? Is it money or pride that's the driving factor in continuing to play?

Vic: They're not in denial, they're in the money because they can find teams willing to believe any guy with a big name always has a year left in him. Mystiques die hard in this business. I don't blame players for getting all they can. They've dedicated their existence to football and sustained bodily injury that will leave them in pain later in life. Why should they leave money on the table? They shouldn't. Get all you can. It's professional football. It's about the money.

Jonathan from Jacksonville:
These kinds of moves give me hope and excitement for the upcoming season, especially the draft. Good work, Gene.

Vic: Hope is a good thing, as in I hope this will help sell more tickets.

John from Jacksonville:
With Kampman, we will not take a defensive end with the 10th pick. Do you think this ensures we will trade down?

Vic: It takes two to trade; somebody has to want to come up and I don't think anybody can ensure that'll happen. I sincerely hope you're wrong about the signing of Kampman causing the Jaguars to avoid drafting a defensive end. That, in my opinion, would be a big mistake because you'd be allowing what you do in free agency to determine what you do in the draft; you'd be allowing short-term thinking to determine your long-range outlook.

Bryson from Atlantic Beach, FL:
What goes into determining if a player has healed successfully from an injury so that he would be worth signing?

Vic: A team turns to its doctors for that kind of information. You don't just take the player's word for it, you ask him to submit to an examination, which would likely include pictures.

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