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QB value is skyrocketing

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

Jack from Jacksonville:
How do you feel about news programs running April Fools Day jokes? Are they harmless fun or do they do some credibility damage?

Vic: It's harmless fun, if not taken to the extreme, but I'm not a fan of April Fools Day jokes. It's a worn out and annoying annual ritual. PTI did one in which they reported that Kentucky was backing out of the deal with John Calipari so they could name Rick Pitino the coach. I actually believed it. Then they came clean, and then I turned the channel.

Laramie from Lowell, AR:
Who would fit the Jaguars' system better, Sanchez or Stafford?

Vic: Those two guys would fit in any pro system because they have the arm to make all of the throws. They are not system quarterbacks. They're quarterback talents.

Steve from Jacksonville:
Speaking of players who changed the game, what about Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb? His size and speed ushered in a new era for defensive linemen.

Vic: It sure did. It began the era of giant-sized, unblockable defensive linemen. There has always been a lot of suspicion surrounding his death, which was ruled a drug overdose. He was such a fantastic player, but he was clearly living life in the fast lane and it claimed his life. What a shame. Had he played a full career, he might've gone down in history as the greatest defensive lineman ever.

Tom from Clearwater, FL:
How much bias toward positions do you think there is when players are graded?

Vic: I think there's a lot of position bias. How do you not mark up a guy who plays one of the premium positions? You don't dare pass on a guy at a premium position and take a nonpremium-position player who would otherwise be of the same grade. There's a lot of money involved and you have to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.

Jeremy from St. Augustine, FL:
Are two preseason games enough for teams to do the evaluation they need to do?

Vic: Yes, I think two games are enough, but why is it important that mistakes not be made? Mistakes make for great stories. How about Johnny Unitas? Players who fall through the cracks fall into other teams' laps and I think that's a good leveling tool. Why does everything have to be perfect?

Trevor from Deland, FL:
How long before you get sick of all the Cutler questions? Is it only in Jacksonville where we must go through QB drama every offseason?

Vic: It's not only in Jacksonville but these kinds of things really do flourish in Jacksonville, and for good reason: In Jacksonville, because there's no NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball team to occupy people's attention, every little rumor becomes a "Hot Stove League" debate. In Jacksonville, the offseason truly is the offseason and issues such as the Jaguars' reported interest in Jay Cutler was ridiculously overplayed and debated. Frankly, this kind of stuff wears me out. There was no chance Gene Smith would give the Broncos David Garrard and two first-round picks for Cutler.

Chris from Palm Coast, FL:
Does anyone know how the visit with Torry Holt went? What's the latest news?

Vic: What's to say? They met. At some point they talked money and Holt went on to Tennessee this week to see what his worth to the Titans is. Either way, what's the big deal? At the right price, Holt would be a nice addition, but he's not a game-changer and that's what the Jaguars need. They need to find a wide receiver who can be a difference-maker, and they need for him to be a young, ascending player who they can depend on being a difference-maker for the next several years. They'll find one.

James from Fleming Island, FL:
Well, you called the Cutler trade: a king's ransom. Your feeling on which team got the better value?

Vic: Franchise quarterbacks are expensive. In this case, it's a franchise quarterback who's just coming into his prime years, which means the Bears traded for a player who is expected to quarterback them for the next 10 years. I think the Broncos got the better value, but any time you trade for a franchise quarterback you know you're going to lose the value battle. Look at it this way: The Bears now have a quarterback who can take them into the postseason. They have a player around whom they can build an offense. I honestly believe this trade goes hand in hand with my editorial this week, about heading into a new golden age of offense. With the direction the game is headed, the quarterback has never been more valuable, and when you consider how vigilant the league is in manipulating the rules to protect him, quarterbacks can be expected to play longer than ever before. In trading for Cutler, the Bears don't have to waste first-round picks and a lot of money on quarterbacks for a long, long time. That's the way I would look at it if I was a Bears fan.

Josh from Lethbridge, Alberta:
Is the Cutler trade good or bad for the Jags?

Vic: The only thing that's changed is that the stunning value the Broncos got for Cutler serves to increase the value of the quarterbacks in this draft. The position is so hot it's on fire. I seriously doubt, now, that either Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez will make it out of the top five. Now you can expect Josh Freeman to begin climbing. I'm not sure how this affects the Jags, but I don't think it's good for them. They may be stuck at eight.

Kenny from San Diego, CA:
Does B.J. Raji's drug test failure take him out of contention for the Jags? If they trade down, he may still be available to them in the mid-teens.

Vic: When have you seen me speak or write of Raji as a candidate for the Jaguars?

T.J. from Jacksonville:
On "Total Access," Warren Sapp gave our drafting class a "D" since 2004 and said if it wasn't for Matt Millen we would be first. How do you feel about his comments?

Vic: That surprised you? T.J., when a guy loses his job, it's usually because things didn't go well. That has to change beginning this year and it has to stay changed because you are what you draft. It's just that simple. When you start cutting first-round picks, you've got a problem.

John from Jacksonville:
With the likely termination of the current CBA and the salary cap, do you think there will be more player trades than in the past?

Vic: That's a good question for a lot of reasons. Yeah, if there's no salary cap, then there's no acceleration of amortization to discourage a trade, and that could cause a trend toward player for player trades or even more player for draft picks trades. There's more involved, however, and I'm not sure what it is, it's just that I feel major changes in the game coming on us. I see the NFL going into a new age. I just feel the game I've covered for 38 years changing in a big way. Teams are starting to bring in draft prospects for visits and I'm seeing teams bringing in more late-round guys than ever before. I've noticed that one team has brought in guys who project in every round of the draft. What does that mean? It means they're targeting guys. It means they've already got an idea how the draft is going to fall in each round, which really says something about the expertise of the scouting and evaluating system league-wide. Everybody wants bang for their buck. Personnel directors are under the gun not to waste money and to make sure all their needs are addressed every year. When you combine the two, you're talking about a greater need to fit yourself to your pick and that will require more trading on draft day and probably more player trading, too. These are different times. Believe me, I've done this for 38 years and I'm seeing things I've never seen before.

Blake from Jacksonville:
Look into your crystal ball. Who are the Jags gonna pick?

Vic: I'm leaning toward Beanie Wells right now, but that could change. I think his pro-day workout pushed him up the board.

John from Jacksonville:
I'm confused how the NFL can have such a huge difference in pay scale for a drafted rookie compared to an undrafted rookie; $5K signing bonus and $1K per week is an insult. Doesn't this build up resentment when you are playing and getting hit as hard as the other guy making millions?

Vic: Sure it does, and that's why you want them on your team. They got an edge to them and they're determined to prove they should've been drafted. I've always loved the undrafted guys. They make for great training camp stories. Based on what James Harrison did in the Super Bowl, the undrafted guys are gonna be hot this year. I have a feeling some of them are gonna pull down sizable signing bonuses.

Dan from St. Augustine, FL:
Between the recent Cassel and Cutler trades, I think everyone should be completely OK with drafting a QB in every first round from here to eternity. The return is incredible.

Vic: That's a great point. It's all about the quarterback. The position's value is skyrocketing.

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