Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Clay from Jacksonville:
I was really hoping to see us make a run at the Super Bowl next year when we're hosting it. I'm afraid that with all of our free-agent pick-ups this season, we have put ourselves back in salary cap hell. Please shed some light on this. Have we cost ourselves our next season with all these acquisitions? I did notice several of the contracts signed this year don't have their biggest salary cap hits until their third year. Was this designed to give us a run at the Super Bowl next year?
Vic: I don't think the Super Bowl is the consideration; the immediate future and the long-range reconstruction of the Jaguars roster are the issues. The Jaguars are attempting to accomplish two objectives simultaneously: Rebuild for the future and, at the same time, put a competitive team on the field for this coming season. Can that be done? That's the big question. Buffalo was in a similar situation two years ago and chose to dedicate itself completely to rebuilding for the future. Of course, with that decision a team accepts hard times for a couple of years. What I have noticed about the Jaguars' spending in free agency is that the contracts are structured responsibly. In each case, the Jaguars are able to get out from under those deals after two seasons. That would indicate the team is protecting its salary cap. But there's a danger any time a team takes on a lot of bonus money, which the Jaguars have with free-agent acquisitions such as Mike Peterson and Hugh Douglas. The danger would involve re-structuring. Don't start pushing that money out. As for now, there's no need to worry.
Jared from Edison, NJ:
Many players are signed to teams in May and June, but cut before or during training camp. My question is how does that affect the salary cap?
Vic: Let this be your guide: You pay it, you claim it. Therefore, if a team signed a player to a contract that included a signing bonus, they must realize that hit on their salary cap. But salary is not paid until the season begins, so, if a player is cut before the season begins, his salary does not count against the cap.
Ralph from Jacksonville:
I heard about the Jaguars hiring Charles Bailey as the director of pro personnel. Doesn't that mean he's going to be James Harris's boss, and if not, isn't it the same job?
Vic: James Harris is the Jaguars' director of personnel. That's the team's top personnel position. Directly under Harris are Gene Smith, the team's director of college scouting, and Charlie Bailey, the Jaguars' new director of pro personnel. Bailey's job will be to direct the scouting of all professional football players and leagues.
Walter from Louisville, KY:
How is Tony Brackens looking? Do you feel he will be able to beat out Marco Coleman for the other end job by the season opener? Or is there going to be a rotation in order?
Vic: Before we can begin addressing those questions, Tony Brackens has to be cleared by the doctors to practice. That won't happen until at least training camp. The surgical procedure performed last fall on Brackens' knee is of major consequence. Nothing should be assumed.