Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Steve Ducharme from Jacksonville:
Could you just sum up where this weekend now puts us in terms of salary cap position and our options in terms of trades and signing our draft class. Great job!
In less than an hour, years of salary cap abuse by the Jaguars was remedied by the Texans. If the Jaguars take the hard approach to what is left to be done in cleaning up their cap this season, they should be back to square one in 2003. That's what the expansion draft did for this franchise. Without it, the Jaguars would not have been able to get under the cap by March 1 without a second consecutive massive contract re-structuring project, and that would've only worsened the problem and the prospects for 2003-05. The problem is all but fixed. Finding cap room to sign the draft class should be no problem. The ability to trade players has been greatly increased, since the Jaguars may now even be able to find the cap room to "eat" the amortization. However, all of that depends on this team's commitment to continue making the tough decisions required to complete the cap-repair process.
Brian McCue from Orange Park, FL:
Production is the issue; not the cap alone. Who are the high-cap, high-amortization players remaining? To me, Kyle Brady and Zach Wiegert are disappointments. Also, I'd get rid of Larry Smith, although the team is now thin at defensive tackle.
The high-cap, high-amortization players (excluding Kevin Hardy and Renaldo Wynn) remaining on the Jaguars roster are: Tony Brackens, Jimmy Smith, Mark Brunell, Marcus Stroud, Keenan McCardell, Hardy Nickerson, Aaron Beasley, Kyle Brady, Fred Taylor and Zach Wiegert. They are listed according to their remaining amortization figures.
Vince Tate from Quantico, VA:
I really enjoy your perspective on the salary cap and the need for the Jags to get financially healthy. It was gut-wrenching for me to see us lose Tony Boselli. Isn't there going to be the temptation to exceed the salary cap again sometime in the future, especially if we have a team that looks like it might contend for a Super Bowl title? If so, how can the fans be assured we won't have to go through this again?
The look in Wayne Weaver's eyes, the tone in his voice, his awareness of the magnitude of the problem, and his relief that the Texans assumed $12.5 million of the Jaguars' potential dead money Monday, tell me this will never happen again.
Travis Taylor from Ormond Beach, FL:
Is it safe to say Jacksonville can no longer be considered an expansion team? We have had more success than most of the older teams very early and now, as we are seeing, the Jags are having a "changing of the guard." Have the Jags officially arrived as an NFL mainstay, or do they need more than just money problems and the loss of star players to make them a veteran NFL team?
They have arrived.
Ryan Glenn from Atlanta, GA:
I read recently the Washington state senate voted the NFL's blackout rule was illegal for the Seahawks since the stadium they are to play in next year was financed by taxpayer money. Do you know if this will hold up? Is there any chance the Florida senate will follow suit?
A bill was passed in one house. It has not been enacted into Washington state law. We have to wait for the process to unfold. If and when it does, this will become a major issue.
Fred Ferro from Philadelphia, PA:
Now that the move is on to gut this team to the bone, and gut it they should, what will this team have on the offensive side of the ball? Can this team win some games? And do you see them able with a good draft getting back into the hunt in two years?
I can't answer your first two questions, but I can tell you I honestly believe the Jaguars now have the capability to rebuild their roster and become a contender in a short period of time. That would've been impossible had the Texans not relieved the Jaguars of $12.5 million of amortization. This team now has a legitimate chance to focus on rebuilding, without the obstacle of contract re-structuring. How quickly the Jaguars return to playoff contention will depend almost solely on their ability to draft wisely.
Ernie Stuckey from Fernandina Beach, FL:
On the way into work this morning, I started hearing rumors about the Jaguars considering retiring Tony Boselli's number. Is it true? What is your opinion on this issue?
There have been internal discussions about retiring Tony Boselli's number 71. It will not be retired at this time, however, it will be put out of service, which means no player will wear 71 for the Jaguars next season. Retiring numbers becomes a problem when a team has more players than numbers available. Instead of retiring numbers, a lot of teams have chosen to honor their all-time great players in "rings of honor," an ingenious concept created by the Cowboys. Other teams, such as the Steelers, put numbers out of service in the regular season, but may use them in the preseason when rosters swell. What would the Cowboys and Steelers do if they had retired the numbers of all the great players they've had? Nine Steelers from their teams of the 1970s have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Eventually, you run out of numbers.