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They are not average

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

Jonathan from Ellenton, FL:
Almost 80 percent of NFL players are flirting with bankruptcy two years after they retire, according to "Sports Illustrated." Sixty percent of former NBA players end up broke within five years of retirement. Not surprising but the numbers are much higher than I thought they would be.

Vic: The average fan doesn't understand or appreciate that these players are anything but average. Nothing about their existence is average. I'm average and when I stand in their presence, which is often, I am always intimidated by their size. I made a comment to Gene Smith at the combine about a prospect having a big head, which I have always considered to be a positive. Gene said to me the thing about the Hall of Fame that left a lasting impression on him was the size of the busts, which are made to the actual size of the heads they represent. These are men who were created for the sole purpose of being professional football players. They got an overload of genes for size, athletic ability and aggressiveness. They don't think like us. They don't live like us. We want to be like them but we can't, and in many ways they want to be like us and they can't. The NFL has done great things in attempting to educate and protect these players against losing the money they've earned and which should allow them to spend the rest of their lives on easy street. Why doesn't it work? Because safe isn't what they're about. If it was, they wouldn't be the great athletes they are.

Mike from Jacksonville:
They may have restructured the contract last year to save cap space by pushing some 2009 salary into 2010 as roster bonus. They would have had to have an unwritten agreement to not cut the player until after the roster bonus was due.

Vic: I'm shocked by your cynicism.

Chad from Orange Beach, AL:
Is there a limit as to how many private workouts a team can have with college players?

Vic: You can conduct as many personal workouts with a prospect as the prospect allows, but there are rules as to where you may conduct those workouts. A team can't conduct a pre-draft workout with a prospect at the team's facility. It has to be on the prospect's college campus or in his hometown. There are exceptions to prospects outside major college football. Brian Witherspoon, for example, played his college ball at Stillman but participated in the Alabama pro day.

James from Hephzibah, GA: did a poll asking who's the best-ever number one draft pick and more people picked the choke artist Peyton Manning over four-time Super Bowl champ Terry Bradshaw. Why is that?

Vic: It's because a lot of the voters probably are too young to have seen Bradshaw play. The past always takes a backseat to the present. I would venture a guess that if they conducted a poll asking people who's the better running back, Jim Brown or Adrian Peterson, Peterson would win.

Tim from Gainesville, FL:
Do you expect Jeremiah Masoli to enter the supplemental draft, given his recent suspension?

Vic: At what position? He's not a pro-style quarterback. He'll probably have to play wide receiver or safety in the NFL and I don't think teams would be willing to part with a draft pick to select a player they've never seen play either of those positions. I could be wrong, but that would be my original thought. I know nothing about Masoli or his personal life, but my inclination is to believe he should remain at Oregon and pursue a degree and personal recovery. If that is not his bent, then he should seek eligibility for the supplemental draft, but be prepared not to be selected, which means he would have to sign with an NFL team as an undrafted free agent following the supplemental draft.

Preston from Patterson, NY:
When teams receive conditional draft picks in a trade, does the league decide the extent of the draft picks or is it agreed upon by the teams in the negotiation process?

Vic: It's decided by the teams, but the commissioner can always void a trade if the terms are objectionable. Player-for-cash transactions are forbidden, as are nominal trades, such as a player now for a seventh-round pick in 2050. You can't do that.

James from Knoxville, TN:
What do you think about Mike Kafka as a potential late-round steal?

Vic: He's fun to watch but he was a system quarterback in a dink-and-dunk offense that's heavy on scheme and light on power. Does he have the arm to play at the NFL level? Can he make all the throws? I don't know the answers to those questions but based on the offense he was in, those are the questions that immediately come to mind. I'll also say this: Pro football is moving more and more toward dink and dunk.

Alex from Jacksonville:
What do you think about what the Browns are doing with bringing in Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace?

Vic: They're rebuilding. Delhomme and Wallace aren't the future. They'll be the caretakers at quarterback until a franchise quarterback has been acquired.

Dan from Orlando, FL:
What is your opinion of Brady Quinn? What's his problem?

Vic: In his rookie preseason, he looked great. Since then, it's been a steady slide. There were times when it appeared he was making headway, but he completely fell apart last season. He looked tentative, confused, shell-shocked, almost forbidden to do something important. At this point in his career, he's clearly a head case and he's got to rebuild his confidence. It appears he'll be given a chance to do that in Denver. Maybe the Browns were the problem. We'll see.

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