"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Ben from Alameda, CA
Did the Colts overpay?
I think they inherited a bad contract and spent some draft capital without making themselves a better team. They should've waited to see what the Steelers do with Roethlisberger.
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
Can OL be good at pass and run block?
The good ones are.
Nathan from New York, NY
What do you think about Chris Doyle's resignation? Are second chances only for physical assault but not for racism?
Second chances begin with sincere apologies that reflect deep regret for the right reason. I think such an apology is best expressed with an accompanying act of contrition, such as contributing community service hours or establishing a fund-raising charity. I'm not familiar enough with Doyle's situation to know if such an apology exists. If it does, I would support his efforts to reclaim his career.
Douglas from Binghamton, NY
The phrase "I can answer the question but I can't understand it for you" comes to mind, but forgive me. How does the Packers being $20 million over the cap not mean this past year wasn't an all-in year.
It wasn't an all-in year because the Packers weren't all in. A team isn't all in until all of its players' salaries -- at least the big ones -- above minimum wage have been converted to signing bonus and pushed out. The Packers have plenty of high-salary players on their cap, beginning with Rodgers and the Smith Bros. That means the Packers have plenty of money that can be converted to create cap room in the current year. They could even create cap room by doing a new deal with Davante Adams. There's nothing wrong with the Packers' cap; no problem getting under the new cap. Fans hear a team is $20 million over the cap and they freak out without knowing the details. A team $1 million under can be in far worse shape than a team $20 million over. I consider it lazy and disingenuous of media to use these tactics to alarm readers without explaining the details.
Mike from Boscobel, WI
I haven't followed Urban Meyer's career but from what I've seen he has always favored a spread passing offense. Can he or will he be able to implement a sound running game in this type of system?
Meyer is a very good evaluator of personnel. As he accumulates talent in Jacksonville, he'll do what the talent will allow him to do. He loves the physical game. He wants to run the ball.
Joshua from Modesto, CA
Who would you cut to create cap room? I'm assuming this is what you meant when you said you could create the room without pushing money out.
Before I can answer your question I have to know if we're all in or trying to maintain a flat cap for the future. If it's the latter, then I'm trying to limit the money I push out, so I'll cut some people who can provide some cap relief and can be easily replaced. The Packers did that by cutting Kirksey and Wagner. If we're all in, then I'll cut players I can replace with free agents who are upgrades and whose contracts I'll structure to provide as much cap room as possible in the present. All in means doing everything you can to load your roster for now.
Tom from Healdsburg, CA
If the Packers are in fact going all in, what do you think of releasing Preston Smith to make room for J.J. Watt?
If you believe Watt is still a dominant player, that's the kind of all-in move you might make to load your roster. Smith can provide cap relief and indications are Gary might be an upgrade. On top of that, you sign Watt to a contract that's high in signing bonus and low in salary and you've trimmed your cap and improved your roster.
Will from Salt Lake City, UT
What happens when a team stays over their salary cap at the start of the league year? What penalties are there if a team stays over; has a team willfully done so out of defiance or any other reason?
The league would step in and begin voiding contracts in reverse order of when they were signed, until the team is under the cap. The penalty for failure to comply with the cap would be stiff and almost certainly would include the loss of high draft picks. It's never happened. The cap is your friend. Take care of the cap and the cap will take care of you.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
Are you of the opinion a reporter's job is more than stenographer for authorities?
Reporters have become slaves to their tape recorders. They've become obsessed with including all of the unimportant language in a quote. "At the end of the day, you know, I've expressed this to you many times and I can't say it loudly enough, and this is certainly another example of it, we need to run the ball," can be shortened to "We need to run the ball" and nothing will have been lost or misrepresented. I would write "The coach was adamant in repeating his weekly theme, 'We need to run the ball.' " I think that says more than all of that wimpy professorial language in the coach's space-eating quote. I think reporters should use more of the space allotted to them to frame their stories, set a tone, paint a picture and talk to their readers instead of being so concerned with being stenographically correct.
Jack from Middleton, WI
Wouldn't you think fans would have gratitude for periods of losing, enabling the winning to retain its meaning?
Yes. It's rebirth. It's shedding the shackles of age and learning how to walk again, with the promise soon you'll be running with the speed of youth. It's a rest from the pressure of trying to hold on one more year. In the salary cap era, it's paying off the credit cards and being debt-free again. In my mind, the losing record to which the Steelers are headed is much better than the 12-4 they just concluded. In my world, it's all about the arrow and the direction it's pointing. Nothing beats young and on the rise.
Taylor from Hull, IA
I get very annoyed with the complaints about the Packers not doing enough to surround Rodgers with elite talent (and the rumors that he is also upset by it). Why doesn't anyone ask why Rodgers hasn't reduced his salary to the bottom tier of the league to insure the team can pay all these other great players? I bet if Rodgers willingly dropped to the league minimum the Packers would gladly sign J.J. Watt. It is a difficult line to find between paying the man what he is worth and having enough to satisfy said man.
So, if Rodgers agrees to restructure his contract by converting everything in his salary above minimum wage to signing bonus and pushing the proration out into future years, would that satisfy you?
Ryan from Hayward, WI
Does signing bonus have to be spread over the life of the entire contract? Or could teams choose to allocate the signing bonus cap hit to just two or three years out of a five-year contract, for example? It would seem to me if a team wanted to truly go all in before going all out, it would be good practice to limit the dead money on future caps by paying off the signing bonus early. Can teams do this?
Again, that's not all in. All in means all in for the present with no concern for the future. Signing bonus must be divided evenly over the life of the contract, but roster bonus can be used to achieve what you're suggesting. Roster bonus must be charged in full in the year it's paid. It's a means for bringing money forward; signing bonus is a means for pushing money out. A balance of the two is a way to protect future caps. Some years ago, the Eagles used roster bonus as a means of pre-paying on future caps. They loaded the contracts of young players with roster bonus at a time when the team wasn't ready to go, so to speak, so when the team was ready to go it would have plenty of cap room to spend in free agency. The tools are available to be creative. How do you wish to die?
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
Cap hit minus dead cap equals cap savings that year?
Yes. Roethlisberger is scheduled to be a $41.25 million cap hit in 2021. He's $22.25 dead, therefore, he's a $19 million cap savings cut. Such is the siren song of quarterbacks.
Max from Toledo, OH
When Green Bay had first and goal from the eight, do you think a run was called on the first, second or third play?
I think you're asking me if I believe Rodgers changed a running play to a pass play. I won't lay that on him. True running teams would run the ball because they want to run the ball. It's at the heart of everything they do. The Packers aren't that kind of team and LaFleur isn't that kind of coach. It was late in the game, the pressure was on and the Packers reverted to their true identity: pass, pass, pass. That's who the Packers have been for a very long time, and until LaFleur proves differently, I believe that's who he is as a coach.