"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, what are your thoughts on Taysom Hill's new contract?
He's an overrated guy whose new contract is a cry for help and whose amortization and dead money won't matter because the Saints are dead team walking.
Oscar from Chicago, IL
Vic, if "passing was kept to a minimum," how were quarterbacks in that era used? As someone who hasn't seen a game from that era, I'm having some difficulty picturing what they do.
They converted third down and made big plays. In Super Bowl X, Bradshaw was nine of 19 for 209 yards and two touchdowns, including four completions to Lynn Swann for 161 yards and one touchdown, a 64-yard game-winner in which Bradshaw didn't know the result until after the play because he had been knocked unconscious by a blow to the head as he was releasing the pass. There was no penalty.
Hannah from McFarland, WI
What rules were different about the salary cap in the early '90's compared to today's?
The salary cap era began in 1993. At the start, there was a brief window of cap exemption that allowed teams to sign players, but once the cap kicked in, it was basically the same formula that's used today. Prior to '93, there was no cap. You could sign as many players for as much money as you wanted.
Lance from Milwaukee, WI
What would you guess is meant by describing a prospect as "quick with his feet but lags with his hips?"
He's stiff. If this is about a cornerback, it means he struggles to flip his hips.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
I'm confused. No need to chronicle the series of conflicting moves the Packers have made over the past few years. The signing of Aaron Jones to an extension most assuredly means the drafting of Dillon was a mistake. A backup for Jones deserving a second-round pick? The Love pick was idiotic. I don't really think they know what they're doing, but that's a story for another day. It appears there is no one questioning these moves in the organization. Why hasn't there been any, and I mean any, reports on how Love progressed this year? What could possibly be the reason for keeping it silent?
Media is barred from the part of practice that would allow evaluation of Love but, even at that, backup quarterbacks don't get much game preparation during the season. There was no preseason, so there was no meaningful way to evaluate Jordan Love. As for the team's evaluation of Love, there is no gain in sharing it.
Joseph from Acworth, GA
What I dislike most about the Jones re-signing is I don’t see a long-term plan with the Packers. It seems to me to be a haphazard, shotgun approach. Why take Dillon in the second round (when depth at tackle is non-existent) only to re-sign Jones? I don’t see the roadmap anymore, do you?
I'm still struggling to understand drafting a pass rusher and a safety in the first round after signing two pass rushers and a safety in expensive free agency, or you could say signing two pass rushers and a safety in free agency when you know you're targeting a pass rusher and a safety in the draft. If they hadn't gone overboard at safety in 2019, maybe they would've drafted Jeremy Chinn last year. The draft is a crystal ball business and nobody has one. You can be aggressive and chase your needs, or you can be patient and allow fate to do your work for you.
Greg from Danbury, CT
That “one player away” conundrum for the Packers might be the QB position. Your “what’s the rush?” comment when they re-signed Rodgers was loaded with truth then and carries the light of prophecy now.
I'm not Nostraketchman. The "what's the rush?" comment was solely about taking advantage of the time available to the Packers. Time was on their side. That's all I was saying. They had time to evaluate Rodgers' recovery. They had time to make his next contract his last contract. Now, I suspect they'll have to do another contract with him, and that'll further increase the dead money they'll soon have to unwind. On top of all of that, it appears they've also rushed into finding Rodgers' replacement, which flies in the face of recent comments about expecting Rodgers to play for a long time. What I'm sensing is jitteriness. I thought the Packers made a good, disciplined decision to let Aaron Jones go, but on the verge of free agency they caved. Ted Thompson was harshly criticized for being too rigid. In my opinion, the Packers could use some of that rigidness now.
Jake from West Allis, WI
Vic, I read the column because I respect your views and opinions. However, it seems like you are starting to say things just to get people riled up. For example, you said this: "It says to me they don't think he's as good as Jones. Dillon becomes the new Jamaal Williams. What was wrong with the old one?" How on earth do you expect the Packers to pay both Jones and WIlliams? Did you think Williams was under contract still or are you just trying to get people going? Either way, it is pretty lame on your part. We both know the money that would be spent on Williams is better off being spent on a different position. So what was the point of the comment?
The point of the comment was you don't draft backups in the second round. As for Williams, I suspect the Packers could've done a favorable deal with him prior to last season. As it stands, the two-year contract he's signed with the Lions is bargain basement. Money better off being spent on a different position? How about the draft pick being spent on a different position? By the way, don't use rough language in a question to me again. If you can't control your emotions, please don't participate in the column.
Dalton from Medford, WI
I think Drew Rosenhaus may be pandering Packers fans by saying Aaron Jones took a lesser deal to stay in Green Bay.
Winsome people don't want it to be about the money.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
What will tell you when the Packers have gone all in?
Again, it's about the cap. When the Packers are restructured to the max, they'll be all in. And what about Davante Adams? He has a huge salary in '21 and he needs a new contract. A new deal could probably save $5-$6 million on the '21 cap. I'm not advocating throwing crazy money at a wide receiver, I'm just saying that's what a team does when it's all in.
Jay from Minneapolis, MN
Last year, the Packers drafted a new QB, RB and TE in rounds 1-3. Since then, we've given new deals to our old QB, RB and TE. What do you make of this?
Jay, I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. All you have to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.
Dave from Franklin, WI
So, are the Patriots going all in?
Dave, I'm not the keeper of the caps, and I don't want to do an audit of the Patriots' cap. What I can tell you is a quick glance at their restructuring money reveals it's minimal, and that means the Patriots are not all in, yet. Vic to readers: A team is not all in unless it has pushed out every dollar possible to make room on the current year's cap for talent acquisition. The Patriots blew it up last season. This is their reward. They're new! It's a wonderful feeling.
Matt from Winfield, IL
Vic, I’d love your thoughts on New England’s spending spree.
Bill Belichick is back to what he does best, patch. The Patriots' 2020 blow it up provided the cap room to do it. Now he needs to find the next Tom Brady.
Steve from New Britain, CT
What would it mean if Rodgers refused to make a team friendly restructuring deal of $25 million like Brady did for the Bucs? Could it reflect Rodgers doesn't have as much desire to win as TB12 does?
First of all, you can't just pick a number out of the air. Rodgers doesn't have $25 million in 2021 that can be converted to signing bonus and pushed out. He has a $15 million salary and everything above minimum wage could be converted, and he's due a $6.8 million roster bonus on Friday and that could be converted, but the total of those two figures would not equal $25 million. Secondly, I can't imagine why a player would refuse to restructure his existing contract unless he wanted a new contract. He's getting his money now instead of later. Who doesn't want to be paid now instead of later? Fans have this crazy notion restructuring is somehow a gesture of kindness to the team. Vic to fans: It's not a pay cut! The player is the winner. The team is paying the player now for grass he's going to mow later. In Rodgers' case it works because it's not likely he'll be cut before next season. The low league cap number this year has really brought management of the cap and its tools into focus, and fans are struggling to understand it. Unfortunately, if I write too much about the cap, people stop reading. They just don't want to spend the time and energy required to know the cap. In my opinion, you can't know football if you don't know the cap.
Paul from Cumming, GA
Tramon Williams has moved on to his life's work. How will you remember him as a player and a person?
He's a great guy; one of my favorite Packers. He gets it. True pro.
Robert from Schaumburg, IL
Can you explain the Taysom Hill extension? It says it is four years/$140 million, but it is all voidable.
I'll explain it this way: The Packers sign me to a four-year contract that voids after the first year. What that means is the Packers effectively are announcing I will be cut after the first year of my contract, and all of the salaries in the forward years will be extinguished. That's what a voidable does. It pre-determines a player's release. So why do teams sign players to voidables? Because it's a way of putting signing bonus money in the player's hands and pushing that money out over the life of the contract before its remaining proration becomes dead money when the player's contract voids. In other words, it helps make cap room in the current year at the cost of lost room in subsequent years. I think voidables are disingenuous and should be forbidden. That would require agreement between the owners and the players union in the CBA. If memory serves me correct, voidables were a Broncos creation in the late '90's. I have railed against them in previous columns, but nobody seemed to care until now. Why, because of Taysom Hill? Come on, folks, get over him. He's just a guy.
Taylor from Amarillo, TX
So, the Packers essentially spent their first three picks in the 2020 draft on backups?
Essentially? No, absolutely. I'll put it this way: If Jordan Love and A.J. Dillon are starters in 2021, the Packers have a huge problem.
Eric from Colorado Springs, CO
You thought the league would do something to adjust the cap rules for lost revenue between the seasons. Why do you think they did not?
Because the lost ticket revenue isn't as big a deal as I thought it would be. I talked to a cap guy who also thought the league would have to create some kind of adjustment. Apparently, we underestimated the degree to which TV is carrying the NFL.
Scott from Saint Charles, IL
It has been reported the Bears offered the Seahawks three first-rounders, a third-rounder and two unnamed starters for Wilson. A few years ago, the Bears gave up two firsts and a third for Mack. Can you run a railroad that way?
32. Bears -- All the screws are loose.
Kevin from DePere, WI
Vic, so the Packers restructured contracts for most of their highest-paid guys, except Aaron Rodgers. Does that mean: 1) Aaron was unwilling to accommodate them due to general unhappiness with the front office, or won’t restructure without a commitment to use the cap savings on a key free agent. 2) The Packers didn’t want to push out any more of his cap hit to still allow for flexibility to move on from him in the next 1-2 years. 3) A little of both. 4) Neither.
Or: 5) He wants a new contract.