Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jeff Haynes from Blackstone, MA:
What would Keenan's hit on the salary cap be next year? Should he stay with the Jaguars? I appreciated your explanation regarding why players whose salary exceeds the amortization are likely cuts, but I'd like to know how the dollars paid to him would compare to other players, such as Smith, Brackens, Hardy and Taylor. Wouldn't it be better to make the cuts from a porous defense? Would a crop of rookies really play substantially worse than a squad that has blown six fourth-quarter leads?
Vic: Keenan McCardell is scheduled to be a $5.315 million hit on the Jaguars' 2002 salary cap. His remaining amortization when this season is complete will be $4 million. The Jaguars are not going to cut players according to whether they play offense or defense. Cuts are going to be based on cap maneuverability. Any player whose release would provide cap relief is a candidate.
Marcone Martins from Natal, Brazil:
I think this question is on every Jags fan's mind now: Is it better for the Jaguars to give Fred Taylor a new contract this offseason or they should wait until 2003?
Vic: The Jaguars' salary cap situation is dire. They need to clear room, not add money. Fred Taylor will almost certainly have to wait another season.
Tony Jenkins from Jacksonville:
After the comments from Fred Taylor concerning his willingness, even desire, to leave the Jaguars, do you feel there is any hope someone in the Jags hierarchy will finally have the courage to say, "Enough, already; time to cut our losses and go in another direction." His remark concerning bringing in "a 12-year veteran who's already sat out a year" certainly intrigued me, personally, as I've dreamed all season long of bringing in Barry Sanders, who has at least two or three good years left in him, while we draft a good running back and bring him along. I feel Sanders would be a great fit to the deal because at this stage he's possibly more interested in a shot at a ring and a shot at breaking the rushing record than he is in the money. Any grain of truth to my thoughts, or am I wishful thinking?
Vic: I participated in the interview with Fred Taylor that produced the comments to which you are referring. His tone of voice did not match the words he spoke. The interview was mostly conversation and at no time could Taylor's tone of voice have been described as demanding. I like this guy and I think his talent level is off the charts. In my opinion, the Jaguars need to draft a running back and fortify the position. Why is it that when you have depth at a position, nobody seems to get hurt? That's my plan for keeping Taylor healthy. Barry Sanders? You gotta be kidding.
Mike Brown from St. Augustine:
Here we are at the end of our second straight miserable season, with everyone limping, including our mascot. What does this team need to do to rebuild? I think we need to definitely draft a running back. Our running game is as bad as the Taliban's. I think we are in good shape with Brunell behind the wheel, but we seriously need to get a quality backup quarterback. Quinn is horrible. I know injuries cannot be prevented, and I know that has a whole lot to do with why we are in the shape we're in, but we need quality guys to step up to the plate when Fred or Mark is down and out. Your thoughts, Vic?
Draft, baby, draft; not with the idea of patching an immediate need, but with the idea the player you've selected is the best player left on the board and one day may be a long-term starter. This team needs to replenish its roster. In my opinion, the Jaguars need to begin thinking about the long-range future, instead of thinking about next season. Last spring, the Jaguars selected a punter in the fifth round, though quarterback Mike McMahon was still available. It was a complete needs pick, but now the punter is gone and McMahon is establishing himself as the Lions' quarterback of the future. This team no longer has the luxury to draft that way.
Ben Corby from Jacksonville
: The spectacle at Sunday's Browns game sickens me, but not nearly as much as Carmen Policy and Al Lerner's comments and the fact the Browns' website had barely a mention of the incident in their game reports and are encouraging Browns fans to continue this behavior by calling them "the best in the world." Certainly, some fines are in order here, but who is the NFL most likely to go after? I'm certain owners have been fined before, but would there be any kind of precedent for fining a team's media department for the website's comments?
Ben, you're getting into a "first amendment rights" issue that would require a lot of attorneys and billable hours to decide. I don't think the NFL would want to create the image it is censoring or manipulating the flow of information on one of the websites in its nfl.com network.
Brian Rhodes from Davenport, IA:
I would like to know why everyone is making a big to deal about one bad call against the Browns. I mean, the Jaguars have had many bad calls. What do you think about this all?
Vic: The right call in Cleveland was made. NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira has already made that clear.
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