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Make it look mean

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Aaron from Cincinnati, OH:
Do you think we will give up a third-round pick to get Travis Henry?

Vic: My information is that no team has stepped up and offered a clean third-round pick for Travis Henry, but the teams interested in Hardy believe it'll take a third-round pick to get the deal done. What might happen is the trade will be for a fourth-rounder with the potential of it being upgraded to a third-rounder if Henry achieves certain standards; in other words, a conditional third-round pick. What's most important to understand about this trade possibility is that it's not so much about the compensation to the Bills as much as it is about the Bills not wanting to trade Henry to a team that can hurt them. I put that information prominently into the story I wrote yesterday and it should not be ignored. If the Bills get their pick of teams with whom they can do the deal, Seattle would be first, Tennessee would be second and Jacksonville would be third. Why? Because Seattle is in the NFC. Tennessee and Jacksonville are in the AFC and, therefore, could use Henry to beat out the Bills for a wild-card spot. The Jaguars, of course, are considered a playoff contender, whereas the Titans are thought to be in a rebuilding year. The Jaguars' status as an expected AFC playoff contender could hurt them.

James from Hernando, MS:
When should we expect to hear news on what the Jags are going to do with their running back situation?

Vic: News on a Travis Henry trade could come today, tomorrow, next week, etc. Whenever the Bills get the deal they want, it's done. Should the Jaguars not get Henry, I think Jack Del Rio will have no qualms about sticking with who he already has.

Travis from Vilonia, AR:
Which rookies have signed contracts and which ones are still working on contracts?

Vic: Third-round cornerback Scott Starks, fifth-round safety Gerald Sensabaugh, sixth-round linebacker Pat Thomas and seventh-round cornerback Chris Roberson are signed. First-round wide receiver Matt Jones, second-round offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, fourth-round running back Alvin Pearman and sixth-round kick-returner Chad Owens have yet to sign.

Jason from Jacksonville:
Who do you think is the best backup QB in the NFL?

Vic: That's a real good question. The problem in answering it is that in many cases we don't know who the backup quarterback is because there's a battle for the starting job. Jon Kitna is a guy I like in a backup role. Tommy Maddox is a good caretaker type. I think David Garrard is excellent insurance. If Billy Volek is the backup in Tennessee, he might be the best of the bunch. Where does Phillip Rivers fit? When I think of a true backup quarterback, I think of a guy who has accepted and embraced that role. Neil O'Donnell did that for the Titans and I think it was one of the reasons the Titans made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 1999. A true backup quarterback is a caretaker. He steps in when he's needed and steps out gracefully when he's not.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
If we give up a third-round pick for Travis Henry and he and Fred Taylor become a formidable duo, how can the Jaguars possibly afford to sign Henry to a new deal after the 2005 season? Or would Henry just be considered insurance for the season?

Vic: The Jaguars have the salary cap room to do a new deal with Travis Henry, should they trade for him. Tennessee wouldn't seem to have the cap room available to give Henry the kind of deal that would satisfy him. If Seattle uses the July 15 franchise deadline to do a contract with Shaun Alexander, it's not likely the Seahawks will be looking for another running back who wants a big contract. That's what the Jaguars have going for them in the Henry trade talks; they have motive and opportunity, so to speak.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
Were you permitted to watch Fred's workout? Can we take coach Del Rio's optimism at face value?

Vic: I'm not permitted such luxuries. I'm just a sportswriter. Coach Del Rio poked his head into my office on Tuesday and I asked him about the Travis Henry talks. Del Rio confirmed that the Jaguars were pursuing Henry and then Del Rio told me he had just observed Fred Taylor in a workout and that Taylor looked real good. I used that information on the Wednesday radio show, then I went to Del Rio yesterday for the purpose of doing a story detailing Taylor's workout and the status of the Henry trade talks. I have no doubt I got accurate information on both counts.

George from Jacksonville:
I don't know much about Buffalo's situation, although I was wondering why, if Henry is such a good back, is McGahee the starter?

Vic: Prior to Willis McGahee's catastrophic knee injury in the 2002 national title game, the Bills had McGahee rated as the number one player for the 2003 draft. The Bills were drafting 23rd, so they had no chance of getting McGahee. The injury, however, sent McGahee's stock into free-fall and when he was still available with the 23rd pick, the Bills picked him. Their thinking was that they were getting a chance at a talent they otherwise would've been denied, and that he was worth the risk. McGahee is a major talent. He rushed for 1,128 yards, 13 touchdowns and a 4.0 yards per carry average last season, and the Bills will tell you that McGahee was far from fully recovered. They think he has major upside and, of course, they have a lot of money invested in him. Henry made comments about not wanting to be McGahee's backup and wanting to be traded, and that's what started the ball rolling. If Buffalo doesn't get a third-round offer for Henry, however, they may just keep him for one more year.

Mark from King of Prussia, PA:
In regards to the supplemental draft, are the players who were not selected now free agents or do they have to wait for the conclusion of the regular draft next spring to reach that status?

Vic: Any player granted eligibility for the supplemental draft who was not selected becomes a free agent able to sign with any team in the league.

Mike from Jacksonville:
As I understand it, Permanent Seat Licenses are simply a claim to a seat. You pay big money up front for the exclusive right to buy tickets for a particular seat that is yours for however long the license lasts. The people in Tennessee who bought those tickets in 22 minutes were already invested in a PSL and, therefore, pretty much had to buy tickets or risk losing the PSL, right?

Vic: Wrong. The single-game tickets sold in 22 minutes were odds and ends tickets that were not attached to PSL's. They numbered about 3,000 per game, which isn't a whole lot. It is the Titans' strong season-ticket base, however, that keeps those available single-game tickets at an odds-and-ends level, and it's the PSL concept that keeps that season-ticket base strong. Simply put, people are hesitant to surrender money they've invested in a PSL.

Tim from Jacksonville:
What do you think about the Jags' new "Ice Cream Truck?" I kind of like it. It's creative.

Vic: I'm OK with it, except for one thing: How do you promote the image of a down and dirty, nasty, blue-collar defense on a team that owns an ice cream truck? Maybe the Jaguars should do what the Charlestown Chiefs did to their team bus in the movie "Slapshot:" Beat holes into the side of it with a sledgehammer to make it look mean. Of course, that might scare the kids and you don't wanna do that.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA:
I've heard some talk the Seahawks, who are looking to acquire Travis Henry as well, might try to trade the unhappy Shaun Alexander to Jacksonville. Personally, I think we've put together a solid team and Alexander's price tag might be a bit much.

Vic: You can trade for Shaun Alexander and it won't even cost you a first-round pick. Trading for Alexander isn't the problem, negotiating a contract with him is. You're right, he wants too much money.

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