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Sensitive cap issue

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

Steve from Glenside, PA:
What happens to a player's contract if he dies suddenly after signing a big contract? Does the team have to take the salary cap hit for any remaining amortization in that year, or does the league grant them any special consideration for their loss?

Vic: Technically, there is no special consideration within the salary cap rules. All remaining amortization, or money paid to the deceased player that has yet to make its way through the team's salary cap, is to be declared on the upcoming season's salary cap, unless the player died after June 1. Of course, that would raise some very interesting salary cap and moral issues if the player is on life-support as the June 1 deadline nears. Just kidding, Steve. The NFL did establish somewhat of a precedent in this matter in 1998, when Raiders second-round draft pick Leon Bender died on May 30. Bender had already signed a contract that paid him a $1.2 million signing bonus. The league permitted the Raiders to carry Bender on their roster until June 2, which allowed the Raiders to declare a portion of Bender's signing bonus on the team's 1998 salary cap, and the remainder of his signing bonus on the Raiders' 1999 salary cap.

Jens from Mexico City, Mexico:
I have been a Jags fan since the team came out and will be for life. What is a respectable sprint speed for a wide receiver in the NFL? In what distance is that? How are the routes the wide receivers run established or timed? Is it a run straight two seconds and then run a post or is it a run straight for five yards and then run the post or is there another method?

Vic: Football speed has been traditionally judged in a 40-yard straight-ahead sprint. If a wide receiver runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds or faster, you want him. If he runs a 4.5 and has some size, he's gifted. At 4.6 or slower, he better have some real special physical skills or intangible traits. Route-running is important and can make up for a lack of straight-line speed, up to a point.

Walter from Jacksonville:
Excuse me but I have been away for four years in San Diego and now that I'm back I see the new training field and I wonder what will be done with the old one and why did we need a new one in the first place? By the way, great column.

Vic: The Jaguars' Alltel Stadium practice facility is being moved from the south end of the stadium to the north end, to accommodate stadium renovations. While you were away, Walter, Jacksonville was awarded Super Bowl XXXIX, which necessitated stadium upgrades. The site of the former practice fields will become an interactive area and grand entrance to the stadium.

Mike from Fernandina Beach, FL:
If the Jaguars really begin to struggle this season, does the coaching staff reach a point where they give Leftwich or Garrard significant playing time? And, if so, what do you feel that point is?

Vic: When making a switch will improve the team's chance of winning.

David from Woodbridge, VA:
My question has to do with the flood of violence-related news articles involving NFL players. It seems like every day there are one or more new incidents of NFL players or unsigned draft picks being arrested or being the victims of crime. Has there been a sudden upswing in the number of these incidents, or are they merely receiving more national coverage? If you think the frequency of these events is increasing, to what would you attribute it?

Vic: David, I'm not a sociologist and I wouldn't attempt to offer a reason for the recent rash of police-blotter incidents. But I will offer this observation: This seems to happen every year at this time; just before the start of training camp.

Vanessa from Jacksonville:
When will the next women's football 101 workshop be offered? Win or lose, I love the Jags and I would like to understand the game.

Vic: The date for that workshop has not been set, though it's likely to be scheduled for the bye week (Oct. 19).

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