Robert from Erial, NJ:
With Matt Stover being an unrestricted free agent, and the Jags having failed in their first attempt to acquire a kicker, do you think the Jaguars will pursue him?
Vic: The Jaguars have made an offer to him but my information is that Matt Stover has decided to remain with the Ravens. Obviously the Jaguars are going to pursue another kicker, but it doesn't appear as though they'll be able to solve their kicking situation from the current crop of free agents.
David from Woodbridge, VA:
Does the current state of the Jaguars salary cap include the expected cost of the rookie class?
Vic: When I wrote a few days ago that the Jaguars were about $13 million under the cap, that figure did not include the rookie pool. Subtract another $4 million for the Jaguars' 2004 rookie class.
Tyler from Birmingham, AL:
What are we doing in free agency? All we have signed are good backup players. Could you give us some information on what the Jags are looking at signing? We need some playmakers on offense and defense. I think we should go after Adewale Ogunleye; probably give a second-round pick for him and go after Brock Marion, plus trade down to get some more picks.
Vic: Brock Marion will be 34 this June. Signing Adewale Ogunleye would require compensating the Dolphins with first and third-round picks. Now, with what are you going to trade down? Be patient.
Chris from Jacksonville:
Last year, just before the Douglas signing, you mentioned that you thought the Jags would surprise everyone with a blockbuster signing. Also, just 24 hours before the Mike Peterson deal was announced you clued us into the fact that a deal would be signed in the next couple days, so I have to ask, what's the local Swam' think is on the horizon for the Jags, and none of that BAP business?
Vic: The next announcement will be that the Jaguars have signed former Steelers cornerback Dewayne Washington. Then, stay tuned this afternoon for something that could happen that you'll want to know about.
Sharon from Port Charlotte, FL:
I again saw the film "Football America." A few months ago I asked you about this film. Every time I see it, I see something different and special the football community has given us. Maybe you would like to share this with our readers again. Your "Ask Vic" column has grown considerably.
Vic: One of the featured subjects in "Football America" is one of my best friends. He's a long-time and successful high school coach who had a quarterback trumpeted in the movie to be the "next Dan Marino." The player's name is Tony Zimmerman. His pursuit of a big-time college career didn't work and he ended up playing small-college football, in which he set several passing records. He got some looks by NFL teams but didn't make it. Well, Zimmerman persevered and last year he quarterbacked his AFL2 team to the league championship, for which he was named league MVP. This year, he is quarterbacking the Indiana team in AFL. Maybe he's the next Kurt Warner.
Bryan from Milwaukee, WI:
I'm guessing Todd Yoder wasn't an expensive acquisition, but I'm confused as to why the Jaguars would feel the need to sign another TE when it looks like they already have four on their roster. Any insights, Vic?
Vic: Todd Yoder is an accomplished special teams player and blocking tight end. He was signed for those reasons. Obviously, the Jaguars were not satisfied with their depth on special teams or at tight end.
Nate from Tampa, FL:
I checked out your prospect rankings and can't understand why you have Manning as your third-best quarterback. He excelled for four years and seems to have the work ethic and natural ability to duplicate Peyton's success. So, why are you hating on Manning?
Vic: I have him rated as a top 10 player, but only because he's likely to be drafted very high. From a talent-only standpoint, I'm not that impressed.
William from Redlands, CA:
Vic, you are a best-player drafter. From what perspective are you coming from on your value board? Is it purely who you believe are the best players, in order? What other factors do you take into account on this, if any?
Vic: I mix my opinions with what I'm hearing from scouts and personnel people.
Mike from Middleburg, FL:
I was wondering, if a player is given a $7 million signing bonus on a seven-year deal (so the cap hit is $1 million per year on the signing bonus), but the player can void the remaining part of the contract in year five, would the cap hit in year five be $3 million?
Vic: Vic: First of all, if you're signing a player to a seven-year deal in 2004, you can only amortize the signing bonus for six years. It involves the "three-year rule," which states that bonus money may not be amortized beyond three years of the last capped year. Currently, 2006 is the last capped year. Permit me to stop there and refer you to "Salary Cap 101."
Mark from Jacksonville:
Love your offseason coverage; it's great. My question is, if the Jags wanted Fitzgerald really bad and the only way they could get him is to trade their first and both of their thirds, do you see that happening or are they content on where they are?
Vic: That's too much to spend on a wide receiver. With that said, let me add this: The Pitt workout day is scheduled for March 22. Larry Fitzgerald is scheduled to participate. March in Pittsburgh is not exactly a fast-track time of year, though Pitt has an amazing complex that includes an indoor facility. Fitzgerald is a great wide receiver but he's not a burner; good speed, but not blazing speed. As I've asked before, what if he runs bad? In my opinion, he would fall hard; maybe right to the Jaguars. Be patient.
Wes from Clermont, FL:
Vic, don't let some of these guys get you down. They forget that defense wins championships. If acquiring expensive free agents is the way to go, then the Redskins should have several more Lombardi Trophies lying around. My question is, what big-name free agents did the Patriots and Panthers sign last year to help them get to the Super Bowl?
Vic: The Panthers signed Stephen Davis, and clearly he was the driving force in their success; the best free-agent signing of the year. The Patriots signed Rosevelt Colvin and he didn't help much.
Jordan from Kill Buck, NY:
What Jaguars game do you think would have the best chance to be played on Monday Night Football?
Vic: Well, the Jaguars and Steelers have a Monday night history; I would think that game might qualify as a solid contender. Tennessee and Indianapolis would also qualify. There are others to consider, but those would be my top three.