Tom from London, England
I have a salary cap question: When does a player’s annual salary count against the cap? Is it at the beginning of the year?
A player’s salary counts against the team’s cap on the first day of the league calendar year. If he doesn’t make the team, the salary is extinguished from the team’s cap. That’s the charm of salaries. If they aren’t guaranteed, they go away. Ah, but when you convert salary to signing bonus, it stays on the cap in the form of dead money if you release the player.
Dan from Grand Rapids, MI
Vic, do you see the franchise tag as a possibility for any of our free agents?
All offensive linemen get left tackle money when they’re franchised. Last year, that was $11.654 million. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a guy that isn’t a left tackle. The WR franchise tag paid $12.132 million and the CB franchise tag paid $11.834 million. That’s kind of pricey; it’s better to do a new deal.
Mike from West Bend, WI
The offseason is three days old and there are three NFL teams under investigation, four player arrests, one full-season suspension, and Johnny Football is in treatment. Let’s not forget the murder trial and an indictment of a player feeding his dog to his alligator. But, hey, more people watched the Super Bowl than ever before. So when does training camp start?
You made your point well. All of that is troubling. What troubles me the most is that we haven’t come to understand that punishment is not a deterrent for misconduct. The key is to keep those people out of the league. The NFL shouldn’t be a reform school. America is full of football talent. Find the guys that won’t embarrass the league and the game.
Todd from Knoxville, TN
McCarthy gets blamed for losing the game to the Seahawks due to too-conservative play-calling. Carroll gets blamed for losing the game to the Patriots due to too-aggressive play-calling. Is the definition of a successful strategy in football one of hindsight, simply, did it work?
Yes, it is. Chuck Noll said when you win you’re great and when you lose you stink. There’s no middle ground.
Mike from Windber, PA
Do you have any good stories about Bubby Brister?
He’s one of the great characters I’ve ever covered. He gave me and a couple of other reporters one of the best quotes of all time. He was competing with Todd Blackledge for the starting quarterback job. We asked him following a training camp practice what he thought his chances were of winning the job, and Bubby pointed to our notebooks and said, “Write it down, I’m ‘The Man’.” I get warm inside when I think of that moment. It’s a reporter’s dream.
Saul from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, do you think if Packers get the No. 1 seed next year and get to the NFC title game they can beat anyone who goes into Lambeau Field?
The 2014 Packers could’ve beaten anyone anywhere. The noise at CenturyLink Field was no factor. The Packers played the Seahawks off their feet. They just didn’t close the deal. What a shame.
Philip from Oklahoma City, OK
Vic, I love college football, but the way the media hypes national signing day and the demand adult fans have for it really bothers me for some reason. We’re talking about 18-year-olds who are promoted on respectable, big-name media sites and are then shown on TV putting on a hat, having stories written about them on how they are the saviors for their schools, and then grown adults get rabid based on the kids’ decisions. I guess I should have seen this coming with the way our society makes college athletes now into superstars; it just seems ridiculous.
It’s the media’s fault. The schools don’t want to pressure kids into committing to the school’s football program. The kids don’t want all that fame; they’re very level-headed. And the fans don’t want to know every little detail about every kid with a star attached to his name. What are we going to do about the stinking media? I’m disgusted. Nothing should be publicized until after it’s happened and it’s been proven to have been successful.
Michael from Toronto, Ontario
Vic, do you think Jeff Janis still factors into the Packers’ plans?
Of course he does. When have you known the Packers to quit on a talented, young player after his rookie season? This is a draft-and-develop team, and patience is at the root of everything the Packers do to develop the career of a young player.
Andrew from Greendale, WI
Would the Packers have beaten the Pats? “That’s the what-if game I won’t play.” A wise man named Vic once told me to read between the lines. It’s tough to think after those first 56 minutes that the Packers could have lost to anyone. What a great season. Thanks for helping me enjoy the journey.
Don’t read between the lines here. It’s a what-if game I won’t play because the Patriots made it to the big game and then won the big game, and they don’t deserve to have people question their quality and worthiness. They got it done. End of story.
Jim from Athens, Greece
Does it bother you that your theories are continually refuted by evidence?
Not at all.
Andy from Elkhart, IN
Vic, with all due respect, if we all take a deep breath and step away from football for a couple of weeks, wouldn’t that make your job a bit more difficult for a few weeks, or even a month, if there were absolutely no questions about football?
Sure it would, but that won’t happen. I left Green Bay for Edisto Beach, SC, at 11:30 a.m. CT on Wednesday. I drove straight through night, which included six hours of a snowstorm in Indiana, and arrived in Edisto at 8:30 a.m. ET today. I immediately sat down and penned this column. In the time it took me to get from Green Bay to Edisto, my inbox filled with 2,408 questions. That’s the number as I’m writing this column. I’m on no sleep. Please cut me a break.
Spencer from Denver, CO
Vic, you said Brady invented a bolder game, yet, the general consensus of the people (fans) I speak to think Brady is the biggest crybaby in the game. He seems to whine a lot, especially when it comes to penalties. I wouldn't call him bold.
Brady and his coach taught pro football to stop punting and start converting. That’s what I mean by bold.
Bill from Brooklyn Park, MN
Vic, Wednesday you answered a question about the Packers avoiding personality issues, and “being vigilant about their responsibility for the people they bring into their communities.” Later in the day, the Letroy Guion news broke. Coincidence? Or are you a jinx?
Nobody bats 1.000. Compare the Packers’ batting average to other teams’.
Anthony from Gilbert, AZ
Why is it so hard for people to understand how Thompson uses the best available player approach to draft for need? It’s one of the two reasons he trades picks so often.
That’s right. He moves to where need and value meet. He’s a master of it.
Al from Irondequoit, NY
What do you think of Seattle’s defense during their playoff run? They allowed 17, 22 and 28 points. Legion of boom or bust?
That’s a very good defense, but it’s not to be compared to the 1976 Steelers, 1985 Bears or 2000 Ravens. The ’76 Steelers allowed 29 points in nine games, including five shutouts in that stretch.
Amy from Newberry, MI
Was Aaron Rodgers the right choice for MVP this year?
I’m sure he was. He was the best player I saw. What he did on one leg is extraordinary, and I don’t think people took that injury into account enough in the NFC title game. It’s easy to see evidence of him favoring that injured left leg.
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