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No Dick and Jane reader

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

Keith from Jacksonville:
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I haven't seen it in awhile. How many season tickets have been sold to date? Are we ahead or behind of last year, as of today?

Vic: The Jaguars have sold about 53,000 season tickets to date. That figure includes club seats, which do not count against the TV blackout number. The Jaguars expect to have about 55,000 season tickets sold by the time the regular season begins. Those figures are ahead of last year's pace.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Wasn't there a time when the Jaguars dominated the Titans?

Vic: The Jaguars won four straight against the Oilers/Titans between 1996 and 1998.

Shawn from Three Rivers, MI:
Concerning the whole covering-the-seats issue, I don't know how much money advertising would bring in, but would just selling 10,000 seats for $1 each instead of covering the seats be a solution? The Jags would still get concessions off that and it would be a great publicity stunt. Is this an option or am I just in seat-covering denial?

Vic: The Jaguars did better than that. A couple of years ago, if you wanted a ticket all you had to do was go down to Winn-Dixie and you could get one for free. This team has really worked at putting people in the seats and its current upper deck season ticket offer is the second-least expensive in the league. It's time to cover the seats.

David from Oviedo, FL:
How complicated are the NFL playbooks compared to what a player might see in college football?

Vic: College playbooks are Dick and Jane readers compared to what a kid is handed when he joins an NFL team.

Zach from Boston, MA:
With Naeole, Meester and Williams signing long-term deals and with most of our starters having three years or less experience, is it safe to say the team we field this year will pretty much be the same team we'll field for the next five or so years (with the exception of Jimmy Smith)?

Vic: That's a logical assumption. The Jaguars would appear to be building the foundation of a team that will, for the most part, stay together for the next several years, but I caution against thinking that far down the road. Today's game is not about maintenance, it's about replacement.

Chris from St. Augustine, FL:
With the recent contract extensions of Williams and Naeole, our offensive line looks like it's in good shape. What is the status of the contracts we have with our defensive line anchors, Stroud and Henderson?

Vic: Marcus Stroud is signed through 2005 and John Henderson through 2006.

Steve from Glenside, PA:
What do you think about the Jags backing down with their request for five-year deals with the second-rounders and four-year deals with the others?

Vic: Backing down is a bad choice of words. When a contract is being negotiated, one issue massages another issue. In other words, more years means more bonus money and fewer years means less bonus money. I compare negotiating a contract to operating a camera. For every lens-opening adjustment you make, you have to make a shutter-speed adjustment. Frankly, I don't see the difference between a four-year deal and a five-year deal, other than the extra year. In each case, the player will be an unrestricted free agent when his rookie contract expires. In fact, I like the four-year deal from the team's perspective because it reduces the signing bonus money, and you know how I am about amortization. The thing that really confuses me is why a player would want a three-year deal over a four-year contract. The four-year deal would include more signing bonus and would send him into free agency when the contract expires. The three-year deal would lessen the signing bonus and would allow the team to use the restricted free agent process to its advantage in year four. In my opinion, when you put those factors together, the player on a three-year deal is cheaper to the team in his fourth season than the player on a four-year deal is in his fourth season.

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