"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
John from Peoria, IL
As I recall, 2010 was an uncapped year due to the CBA situation. If the same scenario plays out and 2020 is also an uncapped year, wouldn't now be a great time to be thinking about pushing a lot of money into 2020? Could a team get in trouble for doing so?
What if 2020 isn't an uncapped year? Now you've got to push money out of 2020 and that would likely mean converting a lot of salary to signing bonus on contract restructurings that are going to cost you more money and eat up future space you otherwise might not want to use, and the restructurings would probably leave you considerably above your cash-over-cap tolerances. Don't try to beat the cap. The cap is your friend and wants to protect you. Be good to the cap and the cap will be good to you.
Luke from Horicon, WI
I was driving past the soccer fields by my work on the way home and a young kid kicked his ball in front of my vehicle. I could have locked up my brakes and avoided it. I didn’t and I heard a loud pop. I smiled and drove away without an apology.
The kid's mother is going to hunt you down and cover your car in soccer ball stickers.
Ryan from Plymouth, MN
Jace Sternberger, you mean.
David from Madison, WI
How did this NFL mentoring baloney begin?
Older players used it as a means for deepening their worth and hanging on for another year or two. Young players played to it because it meant the older player had become less competitive. A few years ago, Keyshawn Johnson was doing draft-day commentary when Johnson's team, the Panthers, selected a wide receiver. Johnson feigned excitement for the pick, gushing about his opportunity to mentor the young receiver. Soon after, the Panthers cut Johnson.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, let's say an NFL owner owned a business other than his football team, and that business wanted to sponsor a WR from the football team. Could the business that's owned by the same owner of the NFL team sponsor that player without it affecting cap numbers? If so, what's to stop an owner from offering a player a huge sponsorship deal to make up for a low-cap NFL salary?
The league would see the player's contract wasn't up to market value and the commissioner would void the deal. The bigger problem would be the intent of such a ridiculous attempt to circumvent the cap. The owner would be announcing himself to be duplicitous, a reputation that would put him in the commissioner's doghouse and dog the owner in a myriad of ways.
Eric from Seattle, WA
Gase somehow fell forward into a GM role. Which other current coaches could pull off the coach/GM combined role? Belichick seems to be the obvious one but who else?
Sean Payton seems to have a good feel for talent. So does Doug Pederson, and I think time will allow the same to be said of Frank Reich. Most coaches are technique crazy. They'll draft a player of average talent but who plays with great technique over a player with bad technique but great athletic ability. Scouts favor upside. The coaches who are the best talent evaluators see the upside and accept the challenge of teaching the technique. It was one of Coach Noll's greatest strengths.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, is this your last season doing "Ask Vic?"
Do you know something I don't? I can hear Coach Noll saying in a haunting voice, "Nobody knows."
Bo from Iowa Falls, IA
If football isn't a proving ground for masculinity anymore, what is it today? Can it ever go back?
Football is still a tough game for tough guys, but what was once a game played with hips and shoulders is now a game played with hands and feet. Ram has been replaced by reach, and dip has been replaced by dance. Today's game is more of an exercise in athletic grace, rather than the test of will it was when injury was regarded as an opportunity to prove your grit. That's not to say elements of each don't exist in each era, it's just the balance of those elements are tilted. There was no place in the Lombardi era for a cornerback who wouldn't tackle, and there's no place in today's game for a skill-position player who isn't a top athlete. The game has changed so much. Putting that change into perspective is startling. Ray Nitschke would play fewer than half the snaps in today's game. Paul Hornung would probably have to play slot receiver.
Dave from Savage, MN
Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State: People knew. Why is it hard to do the right thing?
Because we celebrate winning more than we respect virtue.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
What is your perspective on Josh Jones skipping OTAs and wanting to be traded?
It's a non-story. It only becomes a story if Jones does something with his career. The Packers didn't sign a safety and draft a safety because they like what they've seen in Jones. Vic to Jones: Do something!
Lee from Marshfield, WI
Vic, it’s been awhile since you talked about the football gods. So why have the football gods looked at the Patriots so favorably?
Because the Patriots have Tom Brady.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Vic, one of my friends is a graduate of Kent State University. I believe he graduated in 1966 with a degree in journalism. He must have been hanging on in Akron through the early 70's, for he claims to have been near, or on, campus during the tragedy of 1970. He has a man crush to this day on Jack Lambert and will begin conversations with perfect strangers by telling them stories about Jack. Other than producing a world class coffee drinker living in Bismarck, a margarita-sipping Pittsburgh homer sunning himself in Carolina, and maybe the best middle linebacker in the past 50 years, what else has Kent State done for us lately?
Kent State produced the player who made the greatest play in Super Bowl history, and also the most recent Super Bowl MVP. I don't drink margaritas.
Craig from Cedarburg, IA
The NFL just asked teams to stop doing the Oklahoma drill. Is your NFL of old officially dead?
A big chunk of it is. The physical rite of passage that was training camp is certainly dead. I mourn a little at the news, but memories make us rich and my memories make me the richest man in the world. I cling to them. I'm sorry for the young fans who'll never know that game. It was wonderful.