"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Samuel from Phoenix, AZ
Percentage on the Packers signing Jordy Nelson?
It would be a feel-good move, not something that would make the Packers a better roster. The Packers have young receivers and more on the way. The collection and development of that talent will make the Packers a better team. My hope is the Packers are 100 percent committed to that pursuit.
Don from Oak Creek, WI
Do you think a large part of the reason the Packers jumped into first-day free agency was due to the poor drafts of 2013-16 (2017 and 2018 have potential)? Years '13, '14 and '15 were particularly bad, especially for a team dependent on draft and develop. Poor drafts caused desperate action.
Yeah, or those poor drafts will cause a team to move up in the draft where they can select better players and become a good team again. It's all a matter of what train you want to ride, the slow one or the fast one. Tickets for the fast train are very expensive.
Barry from Hayward, WI
Vic, so many fans think their team is one player away from greatness, but few contemplate the opposite. What team right now would you say best fits the description of being one injury away from disaster?
I think you know the answer to that question.
Adam from Madison, WI
What is your take on the idea the Packers just replaced the second contracts for their 2015 draft?
It makes sense, but had their '15 draft class produced the same caliber of players as the four the Packers just signed in free agency, the team would've seen that coming and been able to use the system to spread the hits out more equitably, instead of sustaining one big bang. A player coming through your draft will almost always be more affordable for you to re-sign than signing a player in first-day free agency. Plus, you will have had the opportunity to observe the player you drafted every day of his life as a professional football player, so your knowledge of his talent, his dedication and his character will give you much greater security in re-signing him than in signing a guy about whom you know little more than the team he's leaving didn't feel a need to keep him.
Torry from Colorado Springs, CO
Are there any facets of your life where you aren’t a bargain shopper? It seems like golf clubs, khakis, free agency, you always prefer bargains. Maybe it’s tools for your current home renovation or it was college tuition for a child? Is there anything you feel as though spending as much as you can reasonably afford on something is worth it?
Hey, I'm a sports writer. Excuse me, sir, could you please direct me to the most expensive pair of pants in the store? The reason I live on Edisto instead of Kiawah isn't that Edisto has better shrimp. A pick up truck? Mercedes aren't good for hauling tree limbs to the dump. Torry, free is me and I'll take three.
Dan from Madison, WI
If the Vikings are saying "All aboard" and the Packers are saying "All in," what are the Bears and Lions saying?
The Lions are saying "All new" and the Bears are saying "All the way, baby."
Jason from Austin, TX
How much different do you think the free agency period would be if the NFL didn't have a salary cap? Do you think teams that are typically quiet (like the Patriots) would be more active on day one?
The big-market/deep-pockets teams would dominate the signings. Be that as it may, I still believe there's enough football talent in America for the "poor" teams to be competitive. The draft, in my opinion, is a far better forum for talent acquisition than free agency. In fact, I think there's a chance the "rich" teams would over-use free agency and spend their way into a level playing field. Nothing beats good drafting.
Saif from Washington, DC
Is Tom Coughlin making the same mistake he did in his last stint in Jacksonville by giving Foles such a huge contract?
If Foles is a bust, the answer is probably yes. Coughlin is big on upgrades. He clearly believes Foles is the upgrade the Jaguars need or he wouldn't have accepted the risk signing Foles represents.
Shawn from Kissimmee, FL
Free agency isn't over, yet, but where do you think the Packers might use their first-round picks?
I get the sense the Packers already know who they'll target in the draft, and I also get the sense the targets are going to be on the offensive side of the ball.
Bob from Kennesaw, GA
With the Packers now being all in -- having signed two premium edge rushers in free agency -- what happens at pick No. 12 if the top of their board is another edge rusher? Do they trade down or stay and pick the edge rusher?
It doesn't work that way anymore. To succeed in today's personnel climate, a team needs a comprehensive strategy that blends free agency and the draft. In my opinion, if the Packers believed a pass rusher would be at the top of their board with their top pick, they wouldn't have signed two of them in expensive free agency. I have to believe their draft board reflects a different position in the pick No. 12 range.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
What's your final assessment of Ted Thompson's GM tenure?
It's defined by arguably the best draft pick in Packers history.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Does the Packers' season hinge on whether or not Aaron Rodgers can be new?
I think he needs to become a less mobile quarterback, and that would represent a style change for him.
Bret from Mililani, HI
What do you think of the Packers' current cap situation and what do you think it will look like in a few years?
If the players they signed are productive and if the Packers draft well, the Packers' cap won't show any signs of damage or strain. That is my official expectation.
Jim from Huntertown, IN
Vic, did we just spend by over-compensating for not getting Kahlil Mack?
The Packers didn't have to trade away draft picks to acquire the two pass rushers in free agency. What the Packers did was sign Adrian Amos because the Bears traded for Mack.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what grade would you give Gute on the free-agent signings?
I give him an A for targeting young, ascending players. I like that profile. I'm not crazy about having signed two pass rushers to big contracts in a year when the draft is thought to be deep in pass rushers, so I'll give him a C for over-reacting to what the market offered. I have to wait before I grade him on how he blends free agency with the draft. Until then, his grade is a B.
Paul from Green Bay, WI
By the Packers signing all these free agents and releasing Nick Perry, doesn't this prove the roster lacked talent, not head coaching?
I think that goes without saying. Matt LaFleur will be coaching a much better roster of players than Mike McCarthy did last season.
Randall from Sun Prairie, WI
People talk as if Antonio Brown owed something to the Steelers; loyalty or something. I think he owed them exactly what the Chiefs owed Justin Houston when they cut him because they didn't want to pay him what they owed on his contract. Le'Veon Bell did himself no favors, but people talk as if it's his just desserts. What's your take on players looking out for No. 1?
I only have one problem with what Brown did: He walked out on his teammates. Otherwise, he gave the Steelers as much or more than any receiver in the Steelers' glorious history, and that includes great players such as Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Hines Ward. Brown made big plays and tough plays. He took the best cheap shots Vontaze Burfict could dish out, and Brown never complained, he just kept making big plays. Brown was great for the Steelers and the Steelers were great for Brown. They got the most out of each other and it was time for them to part. I'm not big on hugs and kisses. That's not Steelers football. It's time to move on. Next!
Adam from Chicago, IL
Are the Browns for real?
As I predicted as last season was coming to an end, the Browns are the AFC North favorites in 2019. Yes, they're for real, but only if Baker Mayfield truly is "The Man." Ben Roethlisberger won a lot of games with a lot of big plays and fourth-quarter comebacks during the Steelers' long run at the top. Now we'll find out if Mayfield can do the same. Being a rookie sensation is one thing, delivering on expectations is something else.
Ben from Columbus, OH
What do you think about the Jake Ryan pick up by the Jags? He seemed to be playing well for the Packers before his injury.
I don't think Ryan is the next Paul Posluszny, but I think he has the ability to be the sure tackler the Jaguars need to complement Telvin Smith's and Myles Jack's free-wheeling ways.