Jeremy from Grande Prairie, AB
Vic, what’s the advantage of letting a player walk vs. signing him as a trade asset? Wouldn’t Cobb be worth more if they could get a five-year contract and then put him on the open market for draft picks?
The bonus money in that five-year contract would become dead money on your cap the moment you traded him. What you’re suggesting is not doable.
John from Hutto, TX
If a player is franchised and then signs a long-term contract before the season starts, what amount is the team accountable to the salary cap, for the franchise amount or the long-term deal’s first-year amount?
The franchise tag and its guaranteed money would go away and the team would be charged with whatever the first-year cap amount is in the new contract. The risk in what you’re suggesting is the uncertainty of reaching a new contract agreement. Once he signs the franchise tender, the money is guaranteed. If it’s more than you want to cap, and the player would certainly know that, he’s got leverage in contract negotiations. The franchise tag is a wonderful means for promoting a new contract, but it has to be used very carefully.
Uriah from Williston, OH
Vic, it’s rumored Russell Wilson wants a fully guaranteed contract. Is it just me or are they crazy if they give it to him?
It would set a precedent that could cripple the cap of every team in the league that has a quarterback with that kind of bargaining power.
Ben from Alameda, CA
I like line play and miss Dr. Z. Who’s writing about the big guys with a sense of romance and confrontation?
Nobody wrote about offensive line play with the skill and verve with which Paul Zimmerman did. I remember the respect with which Chuck Noll, a former offensive lineman and devotee of offensive line play, treated Paul. Paul’s work was special.
Andrew from Davenport, IA
Vic, not only are we lucky to be Packers fans, but you must also feel lucky to be writing for a team that shares a similar management philosophy to your own. That couldn’t have always been the case as you watched the Jaguars sacrifice the future for a run at an immediate championship. Were you able to honestly report your opinion without insulting your employer?
Yes, I was. Tom Coughlin once said to me, “The draft is all about needs.” He saw the look on my face and he shook his head and then went into a diatribe about having to answer to the guy down the hall that wants to know why you didn’t make it into the playoffs last season. I got the point. It was something on which Coach Coughlin and I respectfully disagreed, and I think every Jaguars fan that read my work will tell you the disagreement was obvious. The Jaguars came into the league with ultra-aggressiveness, and they nearly went to the Super Bowl in just their second season. They spent big in free agency and they drafted to address needs. They were in the AFC title game twice in their first five years, and then they were gone. The cap killed them and it caused them to fire one of the finest coaches I have ever known. I wish he had been allowed a more patient approach to building the team. Had that been the case, I think he’d still be the team’s coach and the Jaguars wouldn’t have endured the hard times they have.
Kirk from Goodhue, MN
Has any receiver the Packers let go ever been more productive than they were in Green Bay? I cannot think of one in the last 20 years.
Facts, facts, facts. I get tired of the facts. Hey, this is free agency, which is all about overspending and illogic. The fans deserve to be entertained and allowed false hope. Cap, schmap. Now, go out there and overspend.
Travis from Fort Walton Beach, FL
Vic, how much have combine drills changed over the years?
Not much. What has changed is coverage of them. NFL Network has turned the combine into the pro football winter Olympics. Once upon a time, you had to know someone to get 40 times. Now, all you have to do is turn on the TV.
Matthew from Eau Claire, WI
Vic, what are the chances of Aaron Rodgers winning a third MVP ring next year? Who would you say has the best chance in the NFL next season?
Andrew Luck, in my opinion, will become Rodgers’ competition. Luck plays in an offense that allows him to produce the kind of stats quarterbacks need to become an MVP.
Luke from Fitchburg, WI
Everyone knows the Packers are revamping their inside linebacker corps. On draft day, could other teams drive hard bargains with the Packers on the assumption they’re desperate to trade into a spot where an ILB fits?
That’s the danger of other teams knowing what you need and want, and that’s why discipline is so important. You can’t allow need to rob you of your picks. Ted Thompson won’t allow that to happen. That’s why I think the Packers know they’re sitting in spots where linebackers are likely to fall.
Peter from Mount Horeb, WI
Vic, aren’t you excited thinking about the next crop of Packers we’ll draft? They change the character and feel of the team so much, every year. Look at how much Eddie Lacy has added to our team’s identity in just two years.
You are what you draft. In my opinion, it’s the most important event in the league.
Cooper from Simpsonville, SC
Vic, I love looking at film of the linebacker prospects this year and saw McKinney is about 6-5 and plays slowly but effectively, while Perryman is 5-11 and plays with speed and explosiveness. I understand you want size in the inside linebacker position, but I love the way Perryman moves up and down the field and makes almost every tackle. Please tell me your opinion and keep up the good work.
I view Benardrick McKinney as a thumper and Denzel Perryman as a chase guy. That’s the combination I like at inside linebacker in a 3-4. I’d be fine with drafting both of them. You never know.
Nathan from Denver, CO
What’s your scouting report on ascending reporter Spofford?
Great technique and consistency. Effort guy who plays above the X’s and O’s. Gets to the edge of his ledes. On the verge. Has a higher gear. Shooting up boards.
Ann Marie from Granger, IN
Vic, thank you for the column and insight. My comment is this: Although I am female, I truly wish all the overly protective moms would give their (children) the opportunity to compete in a forum that teaches teamwork, personal growth and goal achievement. No one slapped a helmet and pads on this girl when she learned to ride a bike. We really need to stop and let our little people crash and burn. Start over and learn.
Protect your children by forbidding them to play football but give them the keys to the car? That makes no sense.