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Jags would be game out of AFC South lead

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

Robert Beyerle from Tampa, FL:
If Taylor would have had a big season in 2001, he and his agent would have pushed for an extension/major contract. With him being sidelined all year, where does that leave him? Does he play out his current deal and hope for a big season, or do the Jags try to lock him up for under his market value?
Vic: Fred Taylor is under contract to the Jaguars through the 2003 season. Given the Jaguars' salary cap problems, they may attempt to re-structure his contract, but I don't expect Taylor to get a major deal.

Ben Corby from Jacksonville:
Damon Jones was placed on the waived/injured reserve list. My understanding is that with this list, if Jones clears waivers, he'll be placed on injured reserve. As far as I know, this doesn't save any cap money. If it doesn't, what's the difference between placing a player on waived/injured and just sending him straight to the injured reserve list, and how does a team decide which course to take?
Vic: When a player is waived/injured, it is usually for the purpose of releasing him to another team. If he is claimed, the claiming team assumes that player's medical liability and what remains of his salary for that season. If he is not claimed, the player's medical liability reverts to the team that released him. They then may put him on injured reserve or come to an injury settlement. Damon Jones cleared waivers. Because he's a vested veteran, the Jaguars must pay him the remainder of his salary for this season. In effect, that is Jones' injury settlement. The Jaguars released Jones because his shoulder injury is such that he was not expected to be able to help the Jaguars in the remainder of this season. The Jaguars released him for the purpose of creating a roster spot. Putting him on injured reserve would serve little purpose because Jones was in the final year of his contract with the Jaguars. Any way you slice it, there's no salary cap savings for the Jaguars.

Milan Rowe from Kitty Hawk, NC:
Please let me have your honest opinion: Are we going to see a flash of brilliance in the next few weeks? In other words, are the Jags going to return to greatness as we all know they are capable of?
Vic: My expectations do not match yours.

Don Hilton from Jacksonville:
Why would the Jaguars release Damon Jones, a good catching, blocking, scoring tight end? After all, they kept Rich Griffith on the roster for six years and he did none of the above.
Vic: The fact that no other team in the league claimed Jones off waivers would seem to validate the Jaguars' decision. Rich Griffith wasn't a tight end; he was a long-snapper.

Robert Wibbing from Orange Park, FL:
Talk a little positive about our offensive line. The rookie season of Maurice Williams has been better than expected. When you don't hear the name of offensive linemen it's a good thing and we have not heard his name called out much at all. From what I have gathered, he is playing better than Kenyatta Walker at Tampa Bay. Let's give some credit where credit is due. I think this guy might be a force at right tackle for a number of years.
Vic: Maurice Williams qualifies as one of the Jaguars' best-ever draft choices.

Ray Grimes from Baltimore, MD:
I have been a Jacksonville fan since they came into the league. Living in Baltimore with the trash-talking, overrated Ravens makes this season even more difficult. My question is what is your prediction for how long it will take for the Jaguars to get back on top, or least middle of the pack?
Vic: Given the Jaguars' current state, their greatest advantage is that they will be moving next season into what appears will be a very weak AFC South. The combined records of the Jaguars, Titans and Colts is currently is 11-19. Of course, the fourth team in the AFC South will be the expansion Texans. Given the apparent weakness of that division, the Jaguars can be playoff contenders next season. What the heck, if this year was next year, the Jaguars would be a game out of first place. Beyond that, I expect it will take the Jaguars 2-3 years to repair their salary cap and restore their roster to a level that might compete with the top teams in the league.

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