David from Newcastle, Australia

Is “the highest reward” a better shot at a ring or a few extra million?

For the fans, this is a game of the heart. For the players, football is also a game of the knees, the hips, the shoulders, the neck. It’s a game of injuries that shorten and threaten a player’s career and the reward he might earn for having dedicated his life to the game.

Noah from Brisbane, Australia

Vic, who would you draft if you were in the position to do so?

I would draft the highest-rated player at my position of greatest need, regardless of where that player fit on my value board. Yeah, I might be allowing the competition to draft a better player than the player I’ve drafted, but now that I’ve filled my greatest need, I know my team is going to win the Super Bowl. I’m sorry, Noah; I’m in a playful mood this morning. I think everyone knows what my answer to your question is: I would draft the best available player, or I would attempt to move to where the best available player also addresses need. At this time, there appear to be defensive linemen, linebackers and cornerbacks that fit late in the first round.

Pat from Altoona, WI

Do you buy into the rumor Chip Kelly wants to trade up to draft Mariota? Where does he realistically have to move to draft him and what will it cost? Seems like a make or break career decision?

If you’re going up that far, you need to go all the way up and trade with the Bucs because there’s no guarantee another team won’t go up to No. 1 for Mariota. Or, you could wait until the Bucs pick Jameis Winston No. 1 and then go up to No. 2.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

GM Ketchman, what strategy would you use to re-sign the Packers free agents?

I would appeal to their comfort level. They’re Packers. They’re comfortable being Packers because they’ve been treated well and they’ve been raised in the organization. If they have families, their families are no doubt comfortable living in Green Bay. They no doubt feel safe living here. Green Bay has the safe and comfortable feeling of a small town. This is the first place I’ve ever lived I haven’t had to arrange my schedule according to rush-hour traffic. A man and his family can breathe in this town, and a man can grow in this franchise. In most cases, moving to another team introduces shock factor, especially for a player’s family. I think it’s a big selling point in retaining free agents. Green Bay and the Packers feel good.

Roger from Auburn, CA

Vic, wouldn’t it make sense to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cobb in hoping some team may be willing to cough up two first-round draft choices? This seems to give the current team an upper hand in negotiations.

I wouldn’t count on getting two first-round picks; that’s a long shot. If you use the franchise tag, you have to prepare to house it in your cap, or you better have a strong sense you can negotiate a new contract. Time’s running out; it’s decision time on the tags.

Greylorn from Cochise, AZ

Vic, I just tried to listen to Mike’s interview of Frank Winters. Could not pick up on his comments thanks to the ongoing burble of background elevator music. Putting a hearing aid into my one working ear simply made the stupid music louder and more annoying. OK, so the problem is clearly mine, a physiological deficiency, but what is the point of having this garbage music burbling on in the background, for anyone? Does it enhance the viewing experience? I think it stupefies the experience. Is stupefaction your choice?

Yes.

Parker from Cortland, NY

I just completed my own mock draft: Carl Davis, Stephone Anthony, Josh Shaw, Jesse James, Antwan Goodley, Jake Ryan, Tyler Heinicke. Thoughts?

Not enough big guys.

Alex from Orlando, FL

Is there a chance Ndamukong Suh could be our next Reggie White deal, with Julius Peppers on one side and Clay Matthews on the other?

That would not be my expectation.

Todd from Thousand Oaks, CA

Can you explain your thoughts on Tom Brady restructuring his contract to free up money for his team? Is this the sign of a player that cares more about championships and legacy than money in the bank?

Brady didn’t free up money, he freed up cap space, for which he received money. Did you think he did that nice thing for free?

John from Verona, WI

Vic, how are you? I gave up reading “Ask Vic” for Lent, so I miss you. I hope you are well.

This makes no sense.

Evan from McMinnville, OR

Are the Packers necessarily looking for a three-down ILB, or just a run-stopper?

They’re looking for a four-down inside linebacker, which is to say a player that can also play special teams.

Greylorn from Cochise, AZ

Vic, your comment to Ann Marie, “Protect your children by forbidding them to play football but give them the keys to the car? That makes no sense,” was irrelevant to anything she wrote. Not typical of you. She deserves a big, fat apology.

You’re having a bad day, Greylorn.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, is there a difference between the most valuable player and the best player?

Yes, there is. The best player can be at any position; the MVP must be a quarterback.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

Who are the fans selecting this year?

Right now it’s a close race between Carl Davis, Eric Kendricks and Denzel Perryman.

Dusto from Belleville, IL

Sir, don’t you think we still need offensive line help?

Depending on what happens with Bryan Bulaga, I think the Packers have a lot of depth on their offensive line, especially considering Don Barclay’s return and JC Tretter’s development. Be that as it may, the offensive line is an area of the team that must be addressed on an annual basis. You don’t ever want to get caught short on big guys.

Jake from Rodgers, AK

Vic, you always talk about reading a good book. My question is what kind of books do you like? I mean, you don’t strike me as a “Fifty Shades of Grey” kinda guy?

I’m reading a history book on South Carolina. It was given to me as a gift by my attorney in Edisto Beach. The most shocking thing I’ve learned about South Carolina history is the sea islands in the low country weren’t formed by the sea washing up onto the land, they were formed by rivers carrying silt to the sea. I’ll bet that took a long time.

Aaron from Catania, Sicily

Did Desmond Bishop fit your definition of a thumper?

Yes, but I’d like a bigger thump.

Matt from Appleton, WI

You mentioned players having a good sense of a team’s financial situation during contract negotiations, and I assume that’s partly because of helpful agents. What’s been your impression of agents over the years?

Prior to the salary cap years, I thought they were an obstacle teams had to overcome. Since the salary cap era began in 1993, I think agents have become an extension of the team. They understand the challenges teams face in structuring contracts to fit within the team’s salary cap. I don’t sense the same adversarial role agents played in the pre-cap years.

Greylorn from Cochise, AZ

The $4 tickets for No. 4’s Hall of Fame induction is a classy touch. Curious that you did not pick up on that. Or did you, hoping a few fans with three-digit IQ’s would chime in? Maybe they did. The fan comments are mostly unreadable drivel.

Congratulations, Greylorn, you’re the first reader in “Ask Vic” history to have three questions answered in the same column. I’ll let the readers answer this one.


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