"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Bob from Marshfield, WI
Aaron Rodgers is nailing it as the host of Jeopardy. It's been brought up that maybe he would consider retiring if he was offered to do it permanently. A dream retirement job he could love doing for decades, making seven figures a year. Think he would take it after one final year in the NFL?
Seven figures? Try eight. If it's offered to him now, he absolutely should take it. The problem for the Packers is it would likely create a Jim Brown/Dirty Dozen kind of distraction. Could they live with it? If I was Mark Murphy or Brian Gutekunst and Rodgers was offered the Jeopardy job and accepted, I'd silently hope he'd retire from football. In my mind, it would be time for Rodgers to move onto his life's work and for the Packers to move into their future. This column's readers know I haven't been comfortable with the Rodgers saga since the team traded up to pick Jordan Love, and my mood went to Defcon One following Rodgers' NFC title game postgame remarks. This great mystery, as Rodgers has termed it, has become very unsettling.
Maxwell from Milwaukee, WI
Can a No. 1 ever be a slam-dunk pick? The expectations are so high.
No, but Joe Burrow had the look.
Chad from Appleton, WI
What is the safest position to draft within the top five picks?
I think it's left tackle. You could always move him to right tackle. You'll get your money's worth.
Aaron from Chesapeake, VA
Are you at all concerned with MLB moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta for political purposes? Sports seems to have always been a unifier and is no longer immune to political divisiveness. As someone who is generally politically neutral, it bothers me to have one more aspect of life torn apart by politics.
I can deal with it. It's just a meaningless game. The message is more important.
Mark from Sheboygan, WI
Your response to NCAA debt has me wondering: What are your thoughts on players being unable to make money off their likeness?
Slowly but surely the courts will force the NCAA to accept what it doesn't want. I'd like to see the players unionize. When that happens, the NCAA can collectively bargain with its players. Then, and only then, might we get meaningful standardization of football the game so desperately needs.
David from San Francisco, CA
I respect the recent Trevor Lawrence questions might be nauseating but I have one point I want to ask. If he’s so valuable to the Panthers in their effort to earn the fan support of the South Carolina television market, then what is so different about that same value to the Jaguars fan base? I’m not from the region, but is Jacksonville just as close to Clemson as Charlotte?
No. In the Panthers' inaugural season, as their stadium was being built, they played their home games at Clemson. As for the potential for trading the first pick to the Panthers, that ship sailed on Monday when the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold.
Jimmy from Jacksonville, FL
One thing you've continually preached even since your days as the Jags' senior editor was the importance of having "The Man" at QB. Not even additional draft picks trumps having "The Man." By even suggesting the Jags should entertain trading the first overall pick tells me you don't believe Lawrence is "The Man." Am I correct?
Not true. I think he's "The Man," I just don't think he's the only man. Draft depth is developing at the quarterback position.
Joseph from Acworth, GA
If anything, fans should view restructuring as a pay increase, not a pay cut or even keeping money flat. If I were a player, I'd happily restructure every year.
Here's how fans should view the conversion of salary to signing bonus: It's time invested for players, investment time lost for teams. The Jaguars converted every contract they could in the late '90's as they swung for the Super Bowl fence. What do you think that loss of float cost them as markets were exploding in the final Clinton years? Let's go back to 2009, when the Dow spiked nearly 50 percent. The Jags were in an austerity campaign at that time and I remember the Jags CFO telling me how glad he was the team wasn't doing conversions. I won't even get into dividends. Fans have to begin thinking of pro football as a business; businesses don't allow money to lie around collecting dust. Converting salary that's paid over 17 weeks to signing bonus that's paid in one lump sum six months before a fractional installment would be paid is a loss of cash flow and investment earnings. Go Pack Go needs to be replaced by an appreciation for a P&L statement.
Chris from Bozeman, MT
How much of the draft decision-making in round one is done way before draft night?
Nearly all of it. Teams target a few players, depending on where they are in the order. They also consider what they would offer to trade up or accept to trade down. The strategies are locked in. Jordan Love was targeted and it had to be a consensus strategy. You don't make a decision with such far-reaching implications while you're on the clock, so to speak.
Zibi from Krakow, Poland
Vic, five QBs were picked in the top three in 2016-2018. Four of them changed teams this offseason: Darnold, Trubisky, Goff and Wentz. I am astonished with the lack of commitment, patience nowadays dedicated to the most crucial position of the game. Maybe, all of a sudden, it is not bad idea to take the QB in the first round and develop him to the role as Packers do? Even if it comes down to sitting Love for as long as Rodgers did behind Favre.
It's a different game than it was when the Steelers drafted Bradshaw No. 1 overall and hid him in a run-the-ball offense and behind a great defense until he was ready to be a star. As for Rodgers, there were reasons the Packers had to exercise patience with him. As I've written, I was told there was a shoulder injury that required time to heal. Today's game will waste picks and it'll waste money, but it won't waste time. It's get 'em good or get 'em gone.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
In reviewing some mock drafts for the upcoming NFL draft, it appears there could be as many as five quarterbacks taken within the first seven picks. It sure seems like some teams are jeopardizing their teams' futures by trading away future draft picks in hopes of selecting "The Man." How does GM Vic view this draft class of quarterbacks vs. past draft classes during your career?
It's a deep crop and they seem to be getting deeper every year. Is that because it's never been easier to play quarterback or because you have to score a lot of points in today's game to win and teams are manic to find a quarterback, or both? The fact of the matter is, as I see it, the supply of quarterbacks is increasing. Guys are even coming off the bench and throwing for big stats. Mason Rudolph nearly beat the Browns in a game the Browns had to win to make it into the playoffs. Taylor Heinecke nearly ended the Bucs season. As the crops deepen, so will the ranks of the discarded: Darnold, Trubisky, Haskins, etc. I think it's possible we're headed toward the day when supply softens the position's drain on caps.
Charlie from Waukesha, WI
The Pats are down. The Bills are up. Both the Dolphins and the Jets are loaded with draft picks the next two years. While there can be just one AFC East champ, are we looking at a prolonged period of the three others beating up on the Pats?
It's possible. The Bills have "The Man." The Jets are about to take another shot at "The Man." If Tua isn't "The Man," the Dolphins have the picks to draft or trade for one. Belichick better find his quarterback real soon or even his seat will begin getting warm. In the NFL, time is on no one's side.
Randy from Westminster, CO
Though we know no one bats 100 percent when drafting, most football pundits and fans enjoy pointing out the misses. In your mind, what type of batting percentage does a GM need to be considered successful?
He needs to hit on the quarterback. If he misses there, it won't matter what he bats at the other positions.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
Well, I guess that takes the Jags trade out of the equation. Your thoughts on the Darnold trade?
Matt Rhule sees something in Darnold he likes. That would worry me if I was the Jets GM.
Frank from Wausau, WI
I see one of Tom Brady's rookie cards sold for over $2 million. It made me take out my old collection. Any fond trading card memories?
I was a baseball card kid. What I remember is it seemed every pack I bought included either Larry Sherry, Minnie Minoso or Roman Mejias.