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Nothing unique about it

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

Nick from Toronto, Ontario:
What do you think a loss would do to Tom Brady's career, especially if he does not get back to the Super Bowl? For whatever reason, he already has his share of detractors, even with two Super Bowl wins. If he never wins his third, do you think he would still be Hall of Fame worthy?

Vic: It's not all about winning Super Bowls. Ask Jim Plunkett. Tom Brady only needs to play at a similarly-high level for another five years or so and he'll be a lock for the Hall of Fame. That's if he doesn't win another Super Bowl. At this point in time, it would take a complete collapse for Brady not to become a Hall of Famer. Barring some kind of catastrophic injury, I don't see that happening.

Fred from Jacksonville:
What do you think about the Jags signing Surtain or Law to a two-year contract, maybe overpaying (that's the idea of a short contract) and wait for jars to develop? They can use the Darius money I believe they won't use on him.

Vic: In my opinion, Law is at the end of his career and Surtain is in the last half of his. I see them as expensive, older cover-corners in a game that now employs its corners in more zone coverage than man-to-man. I don't think you have to spend big at corner in today's game. I prefer young and affordable.

Ryan from Vancouver, British Columbia:
I don't understand how you tag a player as a franchise player and why would they tag Darius, why not Fred Taylor or Byron Leftwich.

Vic: The "franchise" tag is used to retain the rights and/or services of a player whose contract has expired and is about to enter free agency. Fred Taylor and Byron Leftwich have long-term contracts. You need to do some homework on the "franchise" designation. Use the "search" on You'll get all of the information you need. If you have any specific questions after that, stop back.

Greg from Winter Park, FL:
What are the terms of the "one-day contract" Emmitt Smith signed with the Cowboys just before retiring? How much money is he given and does it affect next year's cap number?

Vic: There can be no contract with Dallas until March 2, when Smith officially becomes a free agent. Until then, Smith is under contract with Arizona. What he did with Dallas was nothing more than a ceremonial retirement. On March 2, the Cowboys will submit to the league a one-year, no-bonus, minimum-wage contract signed by Smith. Then, he will quickly retire, which will effectively take him off the Cowboys' salary cap at no cost to the team, and he will officially leave the league as a "reserve/retired" Cowboy. Don't dig too deep into this kind of stuff. It's just procedural so that Smith can say he officially retired a Cowboy.

Ed from Kansas City, MO:
It's been said the NFL is a copycat league, where teams will do what they can to emulate a successful team's schemes. As the Patriots are now recognized for their near-dynasty status and Romeo Crennel leaves New England, do you think we may start to see other teams begin to emulate the unpredictable way New England plays defense, similar to the way the "West Coast offense" scheme was been adopted by a number of teams since the 1980s? Or is what New England does too unique to be imitated?

Vic: What's unique or unpredictable about what the Patriots are doing? You couldn't play a more vanilla defensive scheme than what the Patriots used to beat the Colts and Steelers. It was simple zone; mostly cover-two, which is the most basic of all defensive strategies. I don't know why the Colts couldn't score more than three points. The Steelers did move the ball for a lot of yards and points but Tom Brady overwhelmed them. I think you've bought into this genius stuff a little too much.

Todd from Baltimore:
Will somebody please say something good about Jacksonville hosting the Super Bowl? Have the conditions really made the NFL think twice? Please let all of us displaced hometowners know how things are really perceived there.

Vic: The sun came out this afternoon for the first time this week. Perceptions immediately began to change. The forecast for the weekend is for more sun and that should help send people home with a better opinion of Jacksonville. Bad weather really put a damper on this week.

Todd from Yulee, FL:
I really don't understand why Darius continues to be disrespected. The guy shows up for work and gets the job done. If he was in any other market I think he would be regarded as one of the best safeties in the game. He brings an attitude to the game that everyone wants for the Jags; hard-hitting, hard-working and whenever he makes a routine play he acts like a professional. I hope he stays in Jacksonville and finally gets the respect he has earned.

Vic: What disrespect? Donovin Darius has been paid over $7 million in the last two years. That's disrespect? What criticism have you ever heard of him, other than he has had difficulties at times in coverage. He has been praised for his effort and dedication, and he has been rewarded handsomely. Are you suggesting that playing in Jacksonville is the reason he hasn't been selected to the Pro Bowl? I'm not buying that. If playing in Jacksonville is as important to Darius as having him in Jacksonville is to you, then he needs to get serious about negotiating a contract.

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