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Let's get the facts straight

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

Joe from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Would you rather see Andre Johnson or Taylor Jacobs be drafted by the Jags, if it came down to those two guys? Why? What about between Terrell Suggs and Terence Newman and why? I would like Johnson and Newman. Any of the four of those guys would be great and could contribute immediately. I am so excited about this upcoming season.

Vic: Every draftnik publication I've read rates Andre Johnson significantly above Taylor Jacobs, while Terrell Suggs and Terence Newman are each considered to be top five picks. Johnson is clearly bigger, stronger and faster than Jacobs, who has a reputation for being a little soft in physical matchups. I prefer Newman over Suggs because Newman has prototype size and speed for his position, whereas Suggs is a bit smallish. I consider Newman to be a sure bet, while Suggs might be a bit of a risk.

James from Los Angeles, CA:
I recently heard the Jags are trying to re-structure Tony Brackens' contract with hopes of keeping him. A front line consisting of Brackens, Douglas, Henderson, and Stroud would be one of the best in the league. Is this true and, if so, what do you think about it?

Vic: I believe the Jaguars will reach an agreement with Tony Brackens on a re-structured contract that will significantly lower Brackens' salary cap number this year. If that re-structured contract doesn't add to Brackens' already whopping $9.7 million of remaining amortization, I guess it would be OK, but I'm not in agreement with you on Hugh Douglas and Brackens being on the field at the same time. The left defensive end position is usually designed for a run-stuffer. Neither Douglas nor Brackens fit that mold. They are true blind-side pass-rushers. I consider the Jaguars' pending decision on Brackens to be very critical to this team's chemistry this season and its future salary cap health. I don't think it's easy as plugging names into a lineup.

Clay from Jacksonville:
If a player has part of his salary as incentives, how is it figured into the salary cap?

Vic: Incentives are designated as either "Likely To Be Earned" or "Not Likely To Be Earned." If a player rushed for 900 yards in 2002 and has an incentive for 1,000 yards rushing in '03, then that incentive is "NLTBE." The opposite circumstance would produce an "LTBE" incentive. If it's an "LTBE," the incentive money must be claimed on the upcoming season's salary cap. If the incentive isn't reached, the money is credited to the next year's salary cap. If it's an "NLTBE," the incentive money would not be included on the upcoming season's salary cap. If the incentive is reached, the money would be deducted from the next season's cap. Just remember this: You pay it, you claim it. There's no way for a team not to realize a cap hit for money it has paid.

Tom from Mississippi:
Will the Jags move Marlon McCree to strong safety?

Vic: It would seem to be a natural move for a player who was a college linebacker, but it's going to depend on Donovin Darius' fate with the Jaguars. Because he signed the one-year tender the Jaguars offered, the $3 million "franchise tag" salary is guaranteed. The only way the Jaguars can avoid paying Darius that money is by trading him.

John from Fruit Cove , FL:
I know you always say with regards to signing bonuses something like, "If you pay it, you must claim it," but if Tony Brackens signs a new contract, can it include wording to remove the remaining cap hit on the Jags? That is, can a renegotiated contract do away with the old contracts' signing bonus amortization?

Vic: No; not unless the player returns the money, and that's not likely to happen.

Nick from Jacksonville:
I like to think I am relatively well-versed for a fan on NFL contractual issues, but I cannot understand why the Jaguars wouldn't just trade Tony Brackens instead of cutting him? It would seem as if they would dump his contract, pick up talent or a pick, and avoid any amortization all at once. Are the Jaguars responsible for the money they guaranteed Brackens, even if they trade him? What would the team that picks him up be responsible for?

Vic: You've got a lot of misinformation confusing your thought process. Let's try to sort this out. First of all, there is no guaranteed money in Tony Brackens' contract. Secondly, the Jaguars are responsible for the $9.7 million of Brackens' remaining amortization. That does not go with Brackens to a new team in a trade; it would stay with the Jaguars and it would have to be declared in full on this year's salary cap. That's one very good reason not to trade Brackens; the Jaguars couldn't afford a $9.7 million hit on this year's cap. As far as any team who might trade for Brackens, they would accept his current contract, which includes a $5.5 million salary this season. That's a lot of salary money for a guy coming off major knee surgery and who may not be full speed for the start of the regular season. As you can see, trading Brackens wouldn't be attractive for the Jaguars or for another team to trade for him.

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