Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Nick from Jacksonville:
Can you explain what restricts NFL teams either financially or otherwise from making trades? If we were in any other league, Mark Brunell would have been traded the day after the draft. But it's not just the Jaguars' situation with Brunell. You rarely see trades in the NFL. Why is that?
Vic: The three main reasons for a lack of trading in the NFL are: Draft picks are usually more valuable than players; contracts often exceed a player's worth; and a player's remaining amortization accelerates into the current year when that player is traded. That means that if a player has $10 million in remaining amortization, and though that money was to be amortized over the final four years of his contract, all $10 million of it must be declared on the trading team's salary cap this year. If he was to make $2 million in salary (which would've made his scheduled cap hit $4.5 million), his cap hit would then be $8 million, and most teams can't afford that kind of increase. However, that is not the situation with Mark Brunell. His remaining amortization is significantly less than his salary, which would result in a salary cap savings to the Jaguars if he was traded. In Brunell's case, his salary and corresponding cap hit are too high to attract teams in a trade. Remember, when you trade for a player, you inherit his contract.
Sonny from Fayetteville, NC:
I write a sports question and answer column for The Fayetteville (NC) Observer. A reader asked about origins of NFL team nicknames. I have not been able to find the story behind Jacksonville choosing Jaguars as its nickname. Can you provide any information?
Vic: Jaguars was recommended by NFL Properties, who also offered the helmet logo and other assorted uniform design. The basis for selecting Jaguars is the alliteration it offers with its companion Jacksonville; you know, Jax Jags. Sonny, it's all marketing.
Bert from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
My question has to do with Tony Boselli and shoulder problems in general. It seems to me Tony wore undersized shoulder pads for his size. It seems strange that both shoulders are problems for him and cost him a season. Do players have a choice on the equipment they wear for the sake of being able to move more freely, and can a big lineman wearing undersized shoulder pads, taking the pounding day in and out, cause damage to the shoulders?
Vic: A couple of years ago I told Tony that if he hadn't worn those midget-football shoulder pads he wouldn't have this shoulder problem. He jumped all over me. He said the shoulder pads had nothing to do with it. As far as rules regarding equipment: Players must conform with NFL rules regarding equipment, which fall under the heading of the "uniform." Of course, players stretch the limits of those rules with their own versions of the "uniform." Everyone is looking for an edge.
Aaron from Jacksonville:
What is the supplemental draft and how does it work?
Vic: This year's NFL supplemental draft is scheduled for July 10. Those players who missed the deadline for declaring eligibility for this past April's draft, or have since graduated from college and become eligible for the draft, may declare eligibility for the supplemental draft. The league's waiver-wire order will be followed in allowing teams the opportunity to select. If a team selects a player, the team will surrender its pick in the corresponding round of next spring's draft; you make a first-round pick in the supplemental draft, you lose your first-round pick next spring. If you don't have a first-round pick next spring, you can't make a first-round pick in the supplemental.
Steve from Glenside, PA:
When does the training camp schedule come out? I am planning a trip to Jacksonville and I want to make sure I can see some of the camp over a weekend. Are there any particular camp weekends you would recommend?
Vic: Jaguars.com will release the training camp schedule sometime this week. Camp will open on July 25. My recommendation for visiting camp is for the first full week. That's when you'll see the most contact work. As teams get into their preseason schedule, the camp regimen begins to lighten.
Clay from Jacksonville:
I want to tap into your mind for my fantasy football team. Last year I was very excited that I got Jimmy Smith in the second round. Jimmy had a good year compared to most other receivers, but it definitely wasn't the same numbers he put up the year before. I know Jimmy's getting older and getting closer to retirement, but do you think with the "West Coast offense" his numbers will change much from last year, or do you see a near mirrored performance or worse?
Vic: The "West Coast offense" should pump up Jimmy Smith's numbers. I would think he'd be a good draft pick.
Jay from Jacksonville:
How does missing games due to injury affect a player's annual salary? Are there any financial incentives to play while hurt instead of sitting a game out, or are today's contracts designed to protect the players in those situations?
Vic: An injured player's base salary is paid in full during his injury. If his contract includes incentives -- for example, games played -- he obviously loses money when injury prohibits him from playing. In that case, he has a lot of incentive to play hurt.
Sean from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
My questions always ask for speculation, as most do, so what do you think the fans will feel about coach Del Rio if the Jaguars have the same or worse record as last year?
Vic: Jaguars fans should be savvy enough by now to know any coach in Jack Del Rio's situation is deserving of the fans' patience. This team is coming off three consecutive losing seasons and is in the process of rebuilding its roster. Judging Del Rio must include looking at more than just the record.
Ben from Jacksonville, FL:
My question concerns the guys we shipped off to NFL Europe. Do any of them have any real chance of making the team? The only one I could see having a chance is David Allen, and that's only if he beats Elvis Joseph for the third-down job and Jermaine Lewis for either punt or kickoff-return duties. Your take?
Vic: David Allen is the guy everyone wants to see. He could become one of the feature performers of training camp.
Antonio from Jacksonville:
Since we do not have a backup running back, yet, and you believe in developing young players, what do you think of Dan Alexander?
Vic: I would consider Dan Alexander to be a longshot.
Chris from Albuquerque, NM:
Do you think the wide receiver problem is fixed for at least this season, with Smith, Stokes and Hatchette?
Vic: I'm not willing to pronounce the position "fixed."
Andy from Jacksonville:
How many TV blackouts do you think there will be for the Jags this year?
Vic: San Diego, Indianapolis, Houston and New Orleans carry the potential for being blacked out.
Jon-Michael from Starke, FL:
How much control does the franchise have when dealing with the Super Bowl?
Vic: The franchise is certainly involved in the planning stages. It's required to deliver on the promises it made, but during the week of the Super Bowl, the franchise steps aside and the league takes over.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
Could you please address the health situation of the Jaguars defensive line. I've heard speculation about Henderson (back), Douglas (knee) and Brackens (knee, appendix). I believe when/if healthy the Jags could boast one of the more formidable defensive fronts in the league. How do you see it?
Vic: You have raised a very valid concern.
Daniel from Rowland Heights, CA:
My question concerns J.J. Stokes. I think he's an OK receiver; maybe overrated. I truly believe Donald Hayes will win the number two receiver position. What is your input?
Vic: I have to believe J.J. Stokes has the inside track.
Lynn from Jacksonville:
Do you think preseason training camps are a true indication of how a team will perform during the season?
Vic: In most cases, yes.
Buttface from Fattville:
Why does my dog stink so bad?
Vic: Change his brand of beer. Buttface, I usually don't answer prank questions, but you've given me the perfect opportunity to tell one of my favorite stories. Once, after a game in which Bubby Brister threw three interceptions, a reporter with a beard asked Brister what he does after having a game like this. Brister said, "I'll go home and kick the dog." The reporter asked, "What kind of dog do you have?" Brister replied: "One with a beard."
Roland from Jacksonville:
Can teams change names and colors whenever they choose? I vote to banish the Cleveland Browns from the league unless they do something soon. Is it just me or are Browns games hard to watch no matter how good the team is?
Vic: Changing uniform colors requires the league's approval. What would you have the Browns wear, pink? They're the Browns.
Bill from Jacksonville:
Is it true the Jags need to clear cap space in order to sign their draftees?