T.J. from Tampa, FL
In your eyes, what’s Darrelle Revis’s legacy?
For a short time, he was the best cornerback in the game. That makes him an unforgettable player, but I don't think he's a Hall of Famer because his time was too short.
Pete from Chapel Hill, NC
Vic, what would you name the team in London?
A team in London will have relocated from another city, which means it'll carry its name with it. My hope is that name won't be Jaguars.
Anthony from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, would contract negotiations be easier if the NFL forced all contracts to be guaranteed? Is that something you would like to see?
It would be a game killer. Incentive would be extinguished. Anybody who thinks these guys don't play for the money is either naive or chooses to delude themselves. The number of games lost to injury would explode. Effort would suffer. The old college try would be replaced by the guaranteed money flop. The only way to cope with the problems associated with guaranteed money would be to shorten contracts. One-year contracts would become the norm, which means the players would be free after every season. Roster turnover would be huge and the subsequent loss of identity would erode a team's fan base. I don't think it would be good for the game.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what is the hardest thing for an aging, accomplished athlete to relinquish? Is it the money, the attention, the accolades?
It's the money. It's always the money. If you think it's anything but the money, then ask yourself this question: How many of these guys would play for free?
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
I've only lived through three presidents in my lifetime. Have you ever seen a president backtrack like what Trump did after the Putin meeting? Is there precedent for that?
It's sheer genius. Speak and write in action-word phrases and you can always say you made a mistake. Did Kennedy get the not in the wrong place? Did he mean to say ask what your country can do for you, not what you can do for your country?
Bret from Mililani, HI
Do you think someone will pay Le'Veon Bell close to what he is asking for, or will he make less than what the Steelers have offered him? What do you think of the whole situation?
I think he's going to find out he's a running back.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
If the Titans are the surprise team in the positive, what team do you expect to not live up to projections?
I have a feeling the clock might've struck midnight in New England.
Ryan from Bloomer, WI
Vic, you have spent the majority of your career with good, stable franchises accustomed to lots of success. What are some signs or attributes somebody can look for in a team as an indicator of how well run an organization is? Could you share an (example) of some red flags you have seen in your career?
There are a lot of indicators. Good franchises have strong leadership at the top, instead of a lot of high-paid executives in a multi-layered structure that becomes Machiavellian. Good franchises also have a long-term strategy. They live in the present, but it's according to their plans for the future. In other words, the cap is their master. I don't like what I'm seeing in the Rams. They're all in for now and I think they should be preparing for their future, when they move into that new stadium and become confronted with its huge debt service. I'm not sure the fan base in Los Angeles is strong enough right now for the Rams to establish anything lasting. I kind of saw that in Jacksonville. There was a mania in the beginning to be real good real fast, which the Jaguars were, and I think it hurt the Jaguars' future. I think it spoiled the fans. The steel was never hardened by the fires of losing. Expectations were high right from the beginning and it caused the Jaguars to treat the salary cap and their future with disdain. By year six, the franchise was capped out and headed for a long run of darkness. That was bad management, in my opinion. Good franchises are disciplined. They do things fans don't like but the fans know have to be done. Good franchises don't hear the howl of the wolves.
Braden from Milwaukee, WI
Aaron Rodgers is trying to break the mold on contracts. Could the Packers offer Rodgers a contract that pays him $20 million a year -- this number hits the salary cap -- but then make him a partner in the organization as long as he plays for the team, and pay him .06 percent of the net revenue each year? In this scenario, it would be an extra $13.5 million. Is that legal in NFL contracts?
You pay it, you cap it. The commissioner would flag any attempt to circumvent the cap.
Dan from Saint Peters, MO
For as fortunate as the Packers were to have Rodgers fall to them in the 2005 draft, were they nearly as unfortunate to have Le'Veon Bell go just before them in 2013?
That's the charm of the draft. You rely on mistakes being committed by the teams above you in the order. Sometimes the competition makes a mistake and you get lucky, and sometimes you make a mistake and the competition gets lucky. Teams in desperate need of a quarterback passed on Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers benefitted. In 2013, the Packers passed on Bell and drafted Datone Jones, and the Steelers benefitted. Looking back on those two situations begs the question: What were they thinking? It happens.
Brian from Kingston, NY
What is the most beautiful throw you've ever seen?
It's Terry Bradshaw's game-clinching touchdown pass to Lynn Swann in Super Bowl X, and Bradshaw never saw it. He was knocked unconscious by a blow to the head from Larry Cole after releasing the ball.
Ben from Indianapolis, IN
I'd like to hear a Gabe Rivera story, if you have one.
First of all, he was going to be a great player. He was going to be a dominant defensive lineman, the next Joe Greene. When I saw Rivera had died, I recalled the sad days following his car accident. I remember the flight back from Seattle. It was the game immediately following Rivera's accident. Coach Noll updated the players on Rivera's condition and then said, "Drive safely on your way home." Then I remember the players leaving the airport parking lot as though they were competing in a demolition derby. I think it taught me something about men who play football. I also remember the two-beer ritual ending shortly after Rivera's accident. Back then, each player was handed a plastic bag with two beers in it as the players boarded the plane for its return flight. It was that way all over the league. I think Rivera helped end that insanity. It's one of the ways I'll remember him.
Phil from Marietta, GA
Before the rule changes that liberalized blocking, how in the world did linemen keep the defense off the QB long enough for him to complete the seven and nine-step drops that were the norm at that time?
By chop-blocking and leg-whipping and collapse-blocking and any other means they could use to get the job done. A high-low combination block was common back then; all of the feared pass rushers faced it.
Bill from Phillips, WI
Do you think it possible for the NFL to establish a percentage of the cap a team can be allowed to pay a quarterback? This would help manage what other players can get.
The players wouldn't agree to it. A cap within a cap would limit free agency.
Jason from Morrisville, NY
Vic, in regards to the Bell contract situation with the Steelers, do you expect the Steelers to run him until the wheels fall off this season?
I'd do just the opposite. I'd prepare to pound with James Conner. It wouldn't bother me should Bell decide to sit out the early part of the season. He'd be fresh for a late-season run, which would help the Steelers shift gears and take their game to a higher level when it matters most, and Bell would be motivated to kick it into high gear for a run to free agency. I think the Steelers need to play their cards right with Bell, and then bid him farewell and hope he gets a big deal in free agency that'll bring the Steelers a nice compensatory pick.
Jim from Central New York
Love your description of a football pro. What is your description of a reporter pro?
He's committed to his craft, but he does it without creating enmity among his subjects. The best reporters I've known have been faithful to their readers and respected by the owners, coaches and players on whom they report. It's a difficult blend of truth and personality, but it can be done and, in my opinion, it defines a reporter.
Barry from Hayward, WI
Vic, could you rank the divisions by strength for this upcoming season?
1) NFC South, 2) NFC West, 3) AFC South, 4) NFC North 5) AFC East, 6) AFC North, 7) NFC East, 8) AFC West.
Tim from Peshtigo, WI
With Rodgers still having two years on his current deal, wouldn't it be a little wise to make sure this collarbone doesn't become a Tony Romo situation before guaranteeing a ton of cap space to him? I do believe he is the best in the game and worth it when healthy, but how bad would it be for the franchise if this collarbone became an annual problem and they paid Rodgers $120 million in guaranteed money?
It would cause the franchise to go dark for a long time.