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'Storm' in Tennessee

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

Eric from Jacksonville:
Why do I get the feeling that we are about to have another Hugh Douglas fiasco on our hands if we sign any of these Titans players. I personally don't want to see any of them in a Jag uniform. I hate them that much.

Vic: Emotion must be eliminated from any personnel evaluations or decisions. Players must be evaluated objectively and a dollar amount must be assigned to their worth. If you want the guy, you bid up to that dollar amount. When the bidding goes above that, you say goodbye. It's not about hate or envy or revenge or any other emotion. This is professional football. It's about the money.

Rob from Fleming Island, FL:
Could you provide a link to last year's "Salary Cap 101?"

Vic: Go to the home page. Move the cursor over "News" on the left-hand side of the page, then click on "Feature Series." You'll see "Salary Cap 101."

Lee from Jacksonville:
You mentioned the cap hit that the Redskins would face if they granted Laveranues Coles' request to be released. Does Coles' offer to return signing bonus money change the hit that Washington would take in releasing him?

Vic: Yeah, it would decrease Washington's cap hit on Laveranues Coles by the amount of money he returned. Here's the catch: For the Redskins to get the amount of money returned credited to their 2005 salary cap, Coles would have to return that money on or before March 1. If he works a deal and returns money after that, the credit would go on the Redskins' '06 cap. I just don't see Coles getting a deal with enough money in it to benefit him and the Redskins. I'm not a high-finance guy, so I may be totally out of it on this one, but the dynamics of this proposal escape me. Released before June 2, Coles would represent a $5.9 million increased hit on the Redskins' cap. I can't imagine Coles returning that kind of money to the Redskins.

Lane from Lake Mary, FL:
I enjoyed your article on the players the Titans recently cut. I was thinking, why not just go ahead and try to lure Frank Wycheck out of retirement and sign him too?

Vic: Congratulations, you get it.

Tone from Lancaster, PA:
What round do you expect "Pac Man" Jones to go in? Do you think he would be a good fit in Jacksonville?

Vic: He's being projected for the first round and is shooting up boards. He's a great athlete who hits anything that moves. He was a special player at West Virginia.

Mosher from Orlando, FL:
Do you think Reggie Williams will develop into the lead receiver after Jimmy leaves?

Vic: The expectations are that he develops into the lead receiver before Jimmy Smith retires.

Richard from Murphy, NC:
"Big Ben" came in for Pitt and paid off big in his first year. How long before Byron takes off, and do you think he is really the future for the Jags?

Vic: I'm not into "breakthrough" years. My expectation for Byron Leftwich is that he continues to develop from year to year. He is the Jaguars' quarterback of the present, I expect him to be the team's quarterback of the future, and my expectation for him next season is to lead the Jaguars to the playoffs.

Mark from Rochester, NY:
I just heard that Drew Bledsoe was signed by the Dallas Cowboys. You told us that free agency didn't officially start until March 2. Can you explain this to me?

Vic: Drew Bledsoe was cut by the Bills on Tuesday. He immediately became a free agent.

Nick from Toronto, Ontario:
By tagging Darius, you mentioned the Jags now have around $17 million going into free agency. Does this include the money that will be used to sign their upcoming draft picks?

Vic: The rookie pool is not included in that figure.

Muhammad from Philadelphia, PA:
What happens if a player does not sign a tender?

Vic: You can't play without signing a contract. Not signing the tender would allow the player to shop his services to other teams, but he can't play for you until he signs the tender. When he does, that's a contract.

McKeel from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if a player's remaining amortization from a signing bonus could be restructured into a roster bonus, so that the remaining hit would accelerate onto the current cap? For instance, if there's a lot of cap room left after free agency, can the Jaguars convert Fred Taylor's remaining amortization from his signing bonus into a roster bonus?

Vic: No, once the money is declared "signing bonus" it stays that way until the expiration of the contract. About the only thing you can do to accelerate amortization into the current year is to re-structure the contract so that the additional years are eliminated. I don't think you wanna do that with Fred Taylor.

John from Jacksonville:
How does the Titans' cap situation compare to when the Jaguars hit the wall?

Vic: It's very similar, except the Titans don't have an expansion draft into which they might dump $17 million of amortization, as the Jaguars did on the Texans.

Scot from Jacksonville:
What if a team gets to the point that they are over the cap but they can't cut players to get under the cap because doing so would cause so much remaining bonus money to accelerate into the current year that it would keep them over the limit?

Vic: That's what I call the perfect storm, and that's exactly what the Jaguars were in a few years ago. In that situation, a team has no choice but to continue to re-structure contracts and push money out until enough amortization has been reduced for the team to be able to cut the player. The Jaguars would've had no choice but to follow that strategy had the Texans not assumed $17 million of amortization.

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