Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Money creates the edge

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

Andy from Daytona Beach, FL:
Jason La Canfora is right. I think T.O., for one year, could spark our passing game.

Vic: I've got some bad news for you and Jason. There's about as much chance of the Jaguars signing Terrell Owens is there is of me playing wide receiver for the Jaguars this year. This will probably have to suffice for our annual dosage of T.O. mania because it's really gotten old, just as T.O. has, and I really don't wanna do it anymore.

Dan from Chicago, IL:
I'm sure I'm not the first to e-mail this but wouldn't LeBron make many times more money in New York or Chicago (especially New York) with all the bump in advertising dollars he could get playing in a big city?

Vic: Playing in Indianapolis has never seemed to hurt Peyton Manning's marketability.

Mike from Springfield, MA:
For Scott from Boise, it was Dr. James Naismith, not Joe Naismith for basketball, and it was created here in Springfield.

Vic: Yeah, I know, but I just couldn't resist letting it go. Old Joe Naismith was a heckuva guy. He did a lot of good things with peach baskets.

Llyr from Cardiff, Wales:
John does not represent our generation. It frustrates me that such cheating results in such a lenient sentence in the NFL. Four games is nothing. Two years should be the standard. It'll be better for the game in the long run.

Vic: I agree. I assure you, whatever muscle the player developed from his performance-enhancing drugs abuse isn't going to wear off in four weeks. He'll still enjoy an unfair competitive advantage after he comes back from his suspension.

Sean from Arlington, VA:
ESPN recently aired a documentary on the Raiders' tenure in Los Angeles. For awhile, they owned that city, especially when the Rams defected to Anaheim. Can't imagine why Al moved back to Oakland when the venue there remains as out of date as the LA Coliseum. While not a fan, I do have great respect for the franchise and its place in NFL history. What does the future hold for them? Is it status quo as long as Al Davis is alive?

Vic: The most intense football games I have ever covered were between the Raiders and Steelers in the 1970's. We called them the "unholy wars" because they were the most savage, sinister and salacious sporting events of our time. When I look at the Raiders now, I can't help but wonder how it got to this. After watching the documentary to which you have referred, I think I know. It's something one of the Los Angeles reporters who was interviewed said. He said that if you play the victim long enough, you'll become the victim, and that's exactly what the Raiders have become. In the '70's, they weren't victims, they victimized. They actually started playing the victim in 1977 with the "criminal element" trial, but it was in the '80's, with the lawsuits in which they painted themselves as pawns of the league being unfairly constrained, that they really stepped into their victim's personality. They won those lawsuits against the league and, in the process, sent the league into franchise free agency. All these years later, the league has recovered, but the Raiders haven't. They stopped being a feared football team and, instead, became whiners.

Mike from Green Cove Springs, FL:
What are your thoughts on Rashean Mathis as a no-show for OTAs? I watch him year after year getting beat, avoiding tackles, etc. and now he wants a new contract? Jags would be better off without him and Reggie Nelson. Cut them and their hair.

Vic: My thoughts are that OTAs are voluntary and players are free to attend or not attend. Attendance is preferred, of course, for the obvious reason that good football teams are molded on the practice field. There are those few players, however, who are so talented that they can skip OTAs – in Brett Favre's case, training camp, too – and still excel. Fred Taylor is the perfect example. Having said all of that, it's important to remember what Jack Del Rio said on Monday: "In the end, our choices lead to consequences." I hope Rashean has thought this out carefully with his agent, because skipping OTAs could invite consequences. You're opening the door for a young player such as Don Carey. I think Gene Smith has shown that he's not afraid to take bold action. It's my hope that Rashean will report to OTAs and will have merely used a brief absence to underscore his desire for a new contract. I would have no problem with that. It's pro football and it's about the money, but that goes both ways. If he skips the spring, he's inviting trouble.

Graham from Perth, Scotland:
Over here we play rugby. It's more physical. We play without pads, without helmets. We play with soul and heart. We take a beating and we get injured, but we put the tackles in and we make sure we wrap up. We tackle hard. Someone should send the players who can't wrap up or tackle to train here for a month, and then they will tackle. Trust me.

Vic: I believe you.

Lane from Longwood, FL:
Why aren't OTAs mandatory? Is the voluntary nature of them something that's negotiated in the CBA?

Vic: Yes.

Cary from Montreal, Quebec:
A sports writer for the Montreal Gazette reportedly had his tires slashed and plates stolen in Philly because of the Quebec license plate. You ever have any backlash like that toward you by another city's fans? Not so much now, but in the past when you worked for newspapers.

Vic: No, I never did. The hostility in stadiums today is palpable. Hey, I can feel it in this column. It's a shame.

Alex from Jacksonville:
I heard Peter King say that Colts President Bill Polian told him Alualu was the safest pick in the first round. He said the Colts did not have one negative on him. Why do I think the more time passes we will find Alualu wasn't a reach pick?

Vic: I was watching Tyson Alualu in practice on Monday and I said to myself, "What's not to like?" He's already running with the first team defense and, frankly, he's the most athletic and active guy on the line.

Fred from Jacksonville:
What's your opinion on players wanting to renegotiate their contracts? Is it justified sometimes? Can it be handled with incentives? Can it be viewed as the player leveraging a situation? I'm old school on this and would like a more informed opinion.

Vic: It's pro football and it's about the money. Do whatever you can to get the money, but remember, the other guys are thinking the same way. This door doesn't swing one way only. If you're gonna play hardball, you better be able to take one up and in. Hey, I kind of like this stuff. I'm not offended in the least when a player goes for the money. It's an edge game and money creates the edge. I like to see which players are worth the big money, and I like to see which teams are stupid enough to pay it to the ones that aren't worth it. That's pro football. Players and franchises are judged by their ability to earn and manage money.

Shon from Bryan, TX:
I was reading about Andre Johnson wanting to negotiate a better contract. You have said that wide receivers are a dime a dozen, and I know that you are the type of person that doesn't shy away from controversy. So, do you think that wide receivers are worth $60 million or more?

Vic: As I have said, the great ones are not a dime a dozen, but the woods are loaded with very good ones. The question you have to ask yourself before you pay that kind of money to a wide receiver is: Is he truly a great one, or just a very good one? Johnson is probably in the "great one" category.

Jim from Palatka, FL:
Just received mine and my son's Denver Broncos Tim Tebow jerseys. As a diehard Jags fan, I know I should feel guilty, but I don't. We love Tebow and all that he stands for. Go Jags.

Vic: I have no doubt you and your son will wear your Tebow jerseys proudly on Sept. 12. The combined presence of Tebow jerseys will make for a stunning visual the national media will, no doubt, capture and display for the world to see. Stinking media!

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content