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Ogunleye Miami's problem

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

Chris from Gainesville, FL:
If roster bonus is a way of giving a player up-front money without sacrificing the future, then why do most teams use signing bonus that spreads over the length of the contract? Is it because the player more often than not wants "hostage" power?

Vic: Players just want their money up front; they don't care in what form they get it. The reason teams can't declare all front money as roster bonus is because it must appear in full on that year's salary cap. In many cases, that would result in too much of a bite in one year, especially if you find yourself having to sign two or three star players in one year. Paying a portion of the front money in the form of roster bonus is a sound way of protecting your team's future, but you have to pick your spots.

Darryl from Washington, DC:
In what year of existence did the Jaguars first reach the AFC title game? What was their first-year record?

Vic: The Jaguars made it to the 1996 AFC title game by winning seven straight games following a 4-7 start. In 1995, their inaugural season, they were 4-12.

Juan from Charleston, SC:
I was reading Leftwich's bio and it said he was the ninth QB to start in franchise history. I can only come up with eight: Brunell, Leftwich, Beuerlein, Garrard, Johnson, Fiedler, Quinn and Martin. Who's the ninth?

Vic: Steve Matthews quarterbacked the Jaguars to a 40-13 win over the Giants in week two of the 1997 season. Rob Johnson had led the Jaguars to a win in the season-opener in Baltimore, but Johnson sustained a high-ankle sprain in that game. Mark Brunell returned to the starting lineup for the third game – against the Steelers in what was the first-ever Monday night game in Jacksonville – following a bye week. On a gimpy knee that left him to limp onto the field during pregame introductions, Brunell turned in a scintillating performance, throwing for 306 yards and leading the Jaguars to one of the most dramatic wins in their history.

Cadora from Jacksonville:
In terms of seats, where does Alltel Stadium rank?

Vic: Only FedExField (Redskins), Giants Stadium (Giants and Jets) and Arrowhead Stadium (Chiefs) have more seats than Alltel Stadium, though several stadiums have capacities of 70,000 or more.

Kyle from Jacksonville:
How many running backs do you see making the Jaguars roster this year? Will David Allen be one of them?

Vic: David Allen is a sensational kick-returner who has established himself as a third-down utility back. He'll make the team, but I regard him as more of a special teams player than a running back. I expect that at least three true running backs will make the final roster, but Fu is the wild card because I think he's gonna get a real good look at fullback.

Roland from Jacksonville:
What are the chances of us pulling off a trade with the Dolphins for Ogunleye? Greg Jones or Toefield, anyone?

Vic: You'd still have to sign the guy, and we know he wants a lot of money. We plowed this ground already. Adewale Ogunleye is the Dolphins' problem. I wouldn't want to make it mine.

Don from Jacksonville:
I think the site looks great! It's ranked number four by the fans on the NFL Forum I participate in. Number one is occupied by the Steelers web page, which I think looks great, as well.

Vic: E-mails I've received are running decidedly in favor of the new design.

Junior from Jacksonville:
Last year, every time the defense stepped onto the field for a defensive series at home, the announcer would play a song. You can tell that it kind of ignited the defense; they were even bouncing around to the music. What song did they play? Will they do that again this year?

Vic: Do you really think it was the song?

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