"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Austin from Denver, CO
Vic, with the Bakhtiari restructure, has the first domino fallen for the all-in move, or is it still too early to call it?
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, if you could change anything about free agency, what would it be and what impact do you believe it would have across the league?
I would have it immediately follow the draft. In concert, I think the two would create a huge and exciting personnel event. I don't think it would depress or devalue the market. March would be salary cap month and would feature contract restructurings, cap casualties and cap preparation for the big draft/free agency event. I think we're just now finding out fans have interest in and are capable of understanding the salary cap. It doesn't have to be a secret event.
Kyle from Osceola, WI
Why did the Texans grant J.J. Watt an outright release instead of trading him?
The feeling must've been his $17.5 million salary diminished his trade value. Instead of keeping Watt on the Texans' cap to start the new league year, by cutting him the Texans immediately cut $17.5 million from their 2021 cap; no muss, no fuss, no dead money. Watt was to be in the final year of his contract with the Texans and there was no remaining amortization.
Ryan from Waukesha, WI
Now that J. J. Watt has been released by the Texans, what do you think are the most likely landing spots?
If the Packers are all in and they believe Watt still has game left in him, Green Bay is a likely landing spot. Go back to the first question and answer in last Thursday's column. This is likely to be a unique offseason. It could produce one of the best free-agent classes in years, and I can't imagine it coming at a better time for the Packers. I say go for it. Restructure everybody, sign everybody and go all the way in. I'll have the pressure washer ready next year if it doesn't work. Oh, how I love to pressure wash.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What do you think the Colts will do at quarterback?
Their silence is deafening. Are they waiting to see what the Steelers do with Roethlisberger? If the Steelers elect to begin their rebuild -- I think they should -- Roethlisberger would become a free agent. In my opinion, Roethlisberger would be a perfect fit for the Colts. If the Steelers move on, would Roethlisberger want to play somewhere else or would he retire? Behind an offensive line that can protect him and a running game that provides balance, I think Roethlisberger can still play at a championship level. I think he would make the Colts the favorite to win the AFC South.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
What is the difference between roster bonus and signing bonus as to how they affect the cap?
Roster bonus is charged to the cap in full in the year it's paid. Signing bonus is spread out evenly over the life of the contract and is often used to create cap room in a given year. Roster bonus is often used as a boundary in a contract. Roethlisberger's situation is a classic example. His $15 million roster bonus was created to force a decision on his career with the Steelers: end it or do a new contract.
Jeff from Alexandria, VA
What are the Texans doing?
Trish from Ohio
We all know raw speed can’t be coached. What about playing well under pressure?
The players are under pressure every day. It's the pressure to keep their job.
Justin from Canton, NC
Vic, I love your what-if draft rabbit holes we go down because you have all this extra knowledge of what happened before and after. What's the biggest mistake you think has ever happened in a draft and how different would it have made the league if it hadn't happened?
There are too many to consider. What if the Packers had drafted Jim Brown? They had two shots at him. How do you pass on Jim Brown twice? What if the Steelers hadn't cut Johnny Unitas or had drafted Dan Marino? Those are two hometown guys. Without Unitas in Baltimore, there's no "Greatest Game Ever Played" and pro football's popularity doesn't explode. What if the Jaguars had drafted Aaron Rodgers?
Jerry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I was surprised Urban indicated Doyle's hiring was vetted with Shad. It makes all the Jaguars have done in the past year on race relations ring pretty hollow.
There's no way Doyle was investigated. I know people in that organization who immediately would’ve waved a red flag. If the owner was involved, then it says everything about his distance from the game and the total faith and control he's entrusted to Urban Meyer. Coach Meyer needs to understand he's in the big leagues now. This isn't college football. The days of cheating in recruiting and blowout wins are over, and this media doesn't look the other way.
Tim from Denver, CO
Let's play the game of altering one play in football history and speculate the fall out. In 2010, instead of DeSean Jackson returning a punt vs. the Giants with no time remaining, he falls short. That play gave the Packers control of their own destiny and we know how it goes from there. How different are the Packers today if they aren't given that break?
Not much different. Aaron Rodgers is trying to win his first Super Bowl but Packers fans still think he's better than Tom Brady.
Peter from Bath, OH
I'm new to pressure washing. I just bought a small cheap one. Is 1700 psi enough power to rinse off the disappointments and regrets of a football season and make me again believe the Packers are back?
Mine is 1700 and I use it on everything. I even use it on driftwood. Recently, I bought a no-kink replacement hose. It's wonderful! The pine pollen season is only a couple of weeks away; that's when the real fun begins. Disappointment? That requires a different kind of pressure washer.
Taylor from Clarion, PA
What do you make of the Joe Cullen hire in Jacksonville?
He's a good coach who's had to overcome personal adversity. He gets the most out of his players.
Ted from Ohio
Aaron Rodgers said he looked at film from 10 years ago and realized he was not putting enough weight on his leg anymore while throwing due to adjustments from his injuries. He worked to strengthen his lower body and was able to revert to previous form. With all the coaches and conditioning staff who have worked with Rodgers over the past few years, why did no one notice his change in mechanics and work with him previously? Isn't that a big part of their jobs?
Milan from New York
I burst out laughing at your Russell Wilson answer.
I wasn't joking. He'd be a huge dead money hit, but his dead money would only be $7 million over his cap hit, so it's doable. The Seahawks could get a huge return for Wilson in a trade. His value will never be higher. His amortization would stay in Seattle, which would make him a salary cap bargain for a team trading for him. He's heading into his 10th year in the league, and those have been hard years for a quarterback who relies as much on his legs as he does his arm. He didn't look the same in the second half of the season. His best years might be behind him. Oh, how I love to pressure wash.
Neil from Cheddar, UK
Vic, with all this talk of all in or all out, I'm surprised you have not reminded us of the league's dirty little secret you let us in on some years ago. Should the Packers just stay true to this, get to the playoffs and see if they get hot?
That's the strategy I favor, but fans like the all-in approach. I'll go along with it. It allows for better columns.
Adam from Denver, CO
Would J.J. be an upgrade over Za'Darius Smith?
Are you getting your Watts confused? In what I expect will be the Packers' new defensive system, J.J. Watt would play the penetrate-and-disrupt defensive end position. If Watt can still play at a high level, he and Kenny Clark would be a formidable one-two punch up front. It would make Smith a better player because he wouldn't have to do the matador routine as often.
Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador
Vic, J. Alfred Prufrock said, "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." How have you measured out your life?
I don't use spoons to stir my coffee. I put the cream in first and then pour the coffee into the mug; it does the stirring for me and it's one fewer spoon to wash. I measure my life by memories of it. Prufrock is weird. I'm glad Elliot renounced his American citizenship.
Louis from Columbus, OH
Vic, if you were an upcoming free agent, would you consider taking a one-year deal with a team with the expectation of earning a much larger deal when the cap goes back up?
If the money is guaranteed, absolutely I would. Years are pie in the sky. Guaranteed money is what it's all about. So, how does a one-year deal help the team lessen my cap hit in a year with limited cap space?