"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Tristan from Chicago, IL
I once heard a man say, “The greatest form of currency is gratitude." Thank you, Vic.
This column is my expression of gratitude to my readers for the riches their loyalty has bestowed on me. It's also a way of saying I enjoy writing this column as much as I hope they enjoy reading it.
Adam from Denver, CO
Do you think this offseason will determine whether Rodgers wins another Super Bowl?
That question requires deep thought, and before I can provide an answer I need to know what the Packers' approach to free agency will be. Soon we'll know. Let's revisit your question in a couple of weeks from now.
Jason from Austin, TX
During these CBA negotiations, if a new league with a lot of money came into existence and vowed to be uncapped, do you think that would be a threat to the NFL or is it too late for real competition?
No new league can compete with the NFL. I think a new league can exist on a somewhat minor league level, but it would have to be willing to lose a lot of money for a long time because injury liability is going to turn the books red. Is this new XFL willing to lose a lot of money for a long time? I doubt it and that's because I don't see an end game. What the AFL did was the result of growing markets such as Denver, Houston and San Diego being available to a new league. There was no NFL team in Boston, one of the country's largest markets. There are no such markets available today. A new league would have to push the NFL aside, and that's not going to happen.
Alex from New Richmond, WI
Do you think that after the XFL admitting the refs made a mistake and are holding them accountable, the NFL will learn from that and maybe do the same?
The NFL has been doing it for years. It reviews, evaluates and grades the performance of its officials following every game. Every penalty assessed is evaluated. I had an official tell me if he threw a flag for defensive pass interference on a play in which the receiver caught the ball for a touchdown, the official might wave off the flag to avoid being reviewed on the call. That's how intense the review is. Officials are promoted, demoted and fired based on the result of those evaluations. What you want is a public flogging. Fans have begun to confuse humiliation for accountability.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
How many defensive line stars of the caliber you think the Packers need currently exist in the NFL?
Do you consider linebackers part of the defensive front? I do and I can think of several defensive stars who'd be game-changers for the Packers defense.
Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI
How does an incentive-based contract work under the salary cap? Is it paid in advance, retroactive to the past, or put against the next year's cap?
If an incentive is new or hadn't been achieved in the previous season, it's not likely to be earned and, therefore, will be charged to the following season's cap. If it was earned in the previous season, it's considered likely to be earned and, therefore, must be charged to the current season. A team could find itself having to cap last year's incentive and this year's incentive in the same year. When that happens, a player's contract is often restructured to change the incentive in a manner that would move it out of the LTBE category.
Brett from Marietta, GA
I enjoyed the hypothetical look at the Steelers from a modern salary cap perspective. Would you be willing to share what you see with the Lombardi Packers through that same lens?
On offense, Gregg, Taylor and Kramer would've been priority signings. Everybody else would've been at risk to leave, though the Packers would've been willing to reach down deep to keep the others, just not as deep. Defense is where the money would've been spent. Davis, Adderley, Robinson and Wood would've been priority signings. Everybody else would've been at risk to leave, though I have no doubt the Packers would've been willing to reach down deep to keep Nitschke, Jordan and maybe even Jeter, just not as deep. Starr not a priority signing? Based on conversations I've had with Cliff Christl, I get the sense Lombardi thought Starr was limited and replaceable. Starr would've gotten big money in unrestricted free agency. His name had star power. A lot of teams needed to sell tickets back then and Starr would've sold them.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Vic, which players could the Packers successfully trade to get some more draft capital. Preston Smith?
Not this year, next year. The Packers paid him a $16 million signing bonus and $12 million of it remains to clear the cap. His salary this year is affordable. Next year, he gets real pricey.
Barry from Portage, WI
Hopefully, your generation and the generation of my father are eternally sorrowful for the bind of ecological catastrophe in which their progenies have been unwittingly placed. Would you gladly sacrifice the game of football if it somehow saved societal collapse?
Would there still be football in societal collapse and would it be on TV?
Sean from Arlington Heights, IL
Vic, I’ve started watching the Packers “Legacy” documentary series and during the 1950-59 episode, there is a video of Jack Vainisi saying: “The theory of the Packers is we’ll draft the best available football player at the time. And even though we may end up with three halfbacks, or three tackles, or maybe two guards -- we don’t know ourselves at the time -- but we hope to have the best available football player because you can always use good football players.” Was that philosophy rare in those days?
I don't know when that philosophy began being used, but it was the draft philosophy with which I grew up as a young reporter. In 1959, there were only 12 teams in professional football, the draft was 30 rounds, training camp rosters were unlimited in size but in-season rosters were limited to 36, and there was as much lightly scouted talent in the HBCU schools as there was high-profile talent at the big-time schools. Also, unrestricted free agency didn't exist and that meant players were largely exclusive property of the team that owned their rights, so teams could collect talent and address roster depth without fear of losing that talent at the end of a contract. In other words, the game was talent rich and didn't have to concentrate as much on fitting talent into a grand plan. BAP was the perfect long-term philosophy for building and maintaining a roster. Unrestricted free agency and the salary cap changed everything.
Ben from Alameda, CA
If the NFL decides to play games without fans in the stadiums due to the coronavirus, does the casual fan watching at home notice or care?
If stand-and-howl noise was piped into the stadium and the camera was trained on the field, nobody watching TV would know the difference. Football is a great studio game.
Malthe from Copenhagen, Denmark
How do you get a "killer" at pick No. 30?
You draft T.J. Watt. Yes, the chances of getting a "killer" decline as you go deeper into the order, but it happens and every team needs to be prepared to seize the opportunity. When you get the chance, don't pass on it.
Hugh from Sioux Falls, SD
GM Vic caught a leprechaun and was magically gifted this year's first overall pick. Who does he select for the Packers?
I think you're asking me if I would select Joe Burrow if I had the opportunity. I would certainly entertain trade offers, but if I didn't like what was offered to me and if Burrow was No. 1 on my board, I'd pick him. You just don't pass on the next Aaron Rodgers. The Packers didn't and look how it turned out for them.
Brandon from Lafayette, IN
What did you make of Rodgers' comments about drafting a QB?
They're logical. The day is nearing when the Packers will have to pick Rodgers' successor, but doing that now isn't going to help him win another Super Bowl. Take care of the future or all in for the present? That's the No. 1 question facing the Packers right now.
Mike from McFarland, WI
If you were commissioner, would you suspend the NFL season due to the pandemic?
If this virus is heat resistant, I would expect next season to be canceled.
Craig from Sheboygan, WI
I remember watching/listening to you and the Packers pregame show in the Atrium at Lambeau. They don't have the pregame show on the floor in the Atrium anymore. I miss that. Do you miss those days?
They are committed to memory and they help make me rich. I loved those days. I loved sitting at the broadcast podium, watching the fans in their cold-weather gear and waving to them. That was real fun.
Eric from Lansing, MI
Loved your Notre Dame memories. They made me like college football again for a moment. Any special memories about Michigan State, to warm my Lansing heart?
The game of the century: Clinton Jones, George Webster, Bubba Smith and the colorful and incomparable Duffy Daugherty. The hype was out of this world.