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No need to be exciting

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

Brian Whitaker from Jacksonville:
I have been hearing the draft is deep for offensive and defensive linemen. If the draft is indeed deep for those positions, would the Jaguars consider taking a receiver with the first pick, considering Jimmy Smith's condition? Also, would they consider Drew Brees if he drops to the 13th pick and have him learn behind Brunell for a couple of years? With the crop of good linemen in this year's draft, I would draft another need first and go for the linemen in the second and third round.

Vic: Most people are trying to find a reason for the Jaguars not to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. The reason is that offensive linemen are not especially interesting or exciting selections. Yes, the line crops are deep this year, but quality decreases as the picks fall. There's no denying the Jaguars' need for linemen, and Tom Coughlin is a definite "needs" drafter. Where the Jaguars are selecting, it looks like a linemen will even fit the best-available-athlete philosophy of drafting.

Lance Nizinski from Knoxville, TN:
If the Jags can't reach a long-term contract extension with Kevin Hardy to free-up needed cap space, it appears they have several options: 1.) Trade him for any draft choice possible; 2.) Release him to sign the draft class; 3.) Release him after June 1 to spread out the cap hit; 4.) Let him play under the terms of his contract and make other roster moves to accommodate the (cap). If he stays without an extension, what players would provide the most relief by being released after June 1?

Vic: The only players who would represent a cap savings by releasing them after June 1 are Lonnie Marts and Carnell Lake, and the savings on Lake would be minimal. By the way, three of your four options are correct, however, you could not spread out Hardy's cap hit over another year by cutting him after June 1. To be able to spread the money out, a player has to have more than one year remaining on his contract. Hardy has only one year left.

J. Ross from Jacksonville:
Do you think Tom Coughlin could ever imagine what a Santana Moss could do? Think of lining up Jimmy Smith, R. Jay Soward, Alvis Whitted and Moss. Add Fred Taylor in the backfield and you have changed the way the Ravens, Titans and Steelers defense you. Shades of the Rams, maybe. I believe we should take the defensive tackle in the first round and fix the offensive line in the second. Need to protect the middle linebacker more. Comments, please.

Vic: In my opinion, Coughlin has a very fertile mind for offense. His enthusiasm for what you described is what led him to draft Soward. This year, it's more likely the Jaguars will address their need for a "big guy" in the first round. Marcus Stroud or Steve Hutchinson would be perfect fits. If it's Stroud in the first round, I like Illinois offensive tackle Marques Sullivan in the second round.

Matt Amato from Vero Beach, FL:
I'm curious as to how incentive-based contracts affect the salary cap?


If a player reaches his incentives, that money must be applied to the salary cap. If the team has room remaining on the cap from the season in which the incentives were reached, the money may be applied to that season's cap. If there is no room remaining on that season's cap, the incentive money must be applied to the next year's cap. If that player has the same incentives in his contract for the next season, that money is considered "likely to be earned," therefore, it must also be counted on the next season's cap. That would result in a double hit, which would probably result in the team asking the player to re-structure his contract so the incentives might be extinguished.


Andy Strack from Syracuse, NY:
I think the Jaguars should focus more on the secondary and take a guy like Will Allen and team him up with Donovin Darius. We lacked pretty bad in the defensive backfield last year.

Vic: Aaron Beasley's and Fernando Bryant's cap hits are too high for the Jaguars to draft a cornerback in the first round and have one of the three sit the bench.
*Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247. *
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