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Ask Vic

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Packers aren't only ones that can play in the cold

Posted Feb 8, 2013

I won't be offended if the snow stops now


Alex from Jacksonville, FL

Vic, any thoughts on the new Jaguars logo? It wasn't something I fell in love with initially but it’s really growing on me.

New head, same tongue; the tongue is the important thing. Get some guys that can block like Boselli and run like Taylor and you can put eye shadow and lipstick on that logo and no one would mind.

Dave from Sumter, SC

I just heard Osi Umenyiora’s contract was voided. What does that mean? Is that just a fancy way of saying he was cut?

He had an automatic voidable in his contract that meant his contract with the Giants voided on a certain date, but he still doesn’t become a free agent until March 12.

Dennis from Sacramento, CA

So let me get this straight. Teams that have too much cap space actually have to spend money to get up to the salary floor, as outlined in the CBA. I never knew there was a salary floor. Could you please elaborate?

There’s a cap and there’s a minimum cap, which insures that the percentage of the gross revenue that’s promised to the players in the CBA is distributed.

Travis from Bloomington, IL

Vic, thanks for the tickets to Driver’s retirement event. My sister and I had a great time. It was a wonderful and memorable experience. The only thing we missed was getting to say hello to you. We’ll have to catch you another time. Thanks again.

I am delighted that you and your sister were able to use the tickets. Your story touched me. It had a very innocent quality to it.

Kris from Irvine, CA

With many people thinking there are no home-run type picks at the top of this year’s draft, do you think this could be a good year for the Packers to move up to try and grab a player ranked highly on their board?

If they think there’s a guy worth moving up to get, and they can get there without giving away too much, go ahead and do it, but you don’t move up to the top of the draft to pick singles hitters. Scouts are telling me this is a good year not to have a high pick.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

Do scouts check players to see if they are acclimated to cold weather?

If they’re scouting for a cold-weather team, they have to consider a prospect’s ability to play in bad conditions. Does a quarterback have small hands? You don’t want him soap-dishing the ball in the cold. Does he have the arm to cut the wind and the cold? Matt Ryan will never play fewer than nine dome games a year. That was a consideration when the Falcons picked him because Ryan doesn’t have a cold-weather arm. As far as looking into a guy’s heart to know whether he has the resolve to play in the cold, I don’t know how you do that. Terry Bradshaw is the best cold-weather quarterback I ever covered and he’s from Louisiana. Dan Marino is from Pittsburgh but played his whole career in Miami, which was probably good for Marino because he had small hands. The Packers quarterback trio – Starr, Favre and Rodgers – are all from warm-weather climates and they won titles playing in the cold.

Jon from Green Bay, WI

If a team doesn’t use all of its cap money, can it carry the remainder over to the next year?

Yes, teams may carry cap space over to the next year, but they are not required to do so.

Jack from Toronto, Ontario

Vic, can you see the Packers trading up in the first round for a top offensive lineman like Chance Warmack or Eric Fisher, or trading up for a top linebacker like Alec Ogletree or Jarvis Jones? Could any of these players mentioned land on the Packers lap at 26th overall?

Warmack, Fisher and Jones would likely require a big move up in the draft. Ogletree is thought to fit closer to where the Packers are picking. Based on the strength of this draft, I don’t think the Packers need to move up to get a player at a position of need.

Thomas from Milwaukee, WI

Poor draft year for quarterbacks, it seems. Do you think there will still be some taken in the first round?

I think Geno Smith is going to be overdrafted. He’s a certain first-round pick and I see that as a risky pick because, in my opinion, Smith has “system quarterback” written all over him. I don’t see another quarterback taken in the first round, as it stands right now, but I expect two or three prospects to be overdrafted in the second round. It’s a quarterback league.

Guy from Prattville, AL

Vic, explain what happens when a player is franchised.

If he gets an exclusive franchise tag, he can’t negotiate with another team in free agency but he may be paid at a higher tender than a nonexclusive franchise player, depending on the contracts of players at his position who are signed in free agency. A nonexclusive franchise player may negotiate with other teams in free agency. If the nonexclusive franchise player signs with another team, his original team may match the contract and retain the player or elect to lose the player and receive two first-round picks as compensation. A nonexclusive franchise player is paid at the average of the five highest salaries at his position. Once a franchise player signs the tender, his salary is guaranteed.

Donna from Richmond Hill, GA

Does every team have the same salary cap and how is the cap determined?

Every team is capped at the same figure, which is determined by a percentage of the league’s gross revenues divided by 32. The CBA provides for different percentages in different revenue categories. For example, 55 percent of national media, 45 percent of NFL ventures and 40 percent of local club revenue. The players get somewhere in the neighborhood of 47-48 percent of the gross.

Nick from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I was wondering what your honest opinion is regarding Driver's chances of being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In my opinion, he should be in, but I’m consciously aware of my extreme bias.

I don’t expect it to happen. He played a position where they’re lined up to get in.

Kevin from Jacksonville, FL

Vic, it seems to me you’ve lived and covered football during its growth of coming to the national spotlight to the present day. My question is when/how did “Ask Vic” start?

It was created as a place for Jaguars fans to ask salary cap questions, at a time when the Jaguars were dealing with the worst salary cap mess in salary cap history. The column’s intent was to provide information on how a player’s salary cap number is determined, and what happens when you re-structure a contract by converting salary to signing bonus, and how roster bonus and signing bonus impact the cap differently, etc. You might say I owe everything to the salary cap.

Adam from Oceanside, CA

Vic, I remember the two most inspiring pregame speeches given to my high school football team. Our offensive linemen were ready to move mountains and our linebackers were ready to tear heads off. We lost both games. Players, not speeches.

Maybe that’s what happened to the 49ers player that covered the tight end on the first play of the Super Bowl. Maybe he was so excited from the pep talk he got that he forgot he was supposed to be off the line of scrimmage. I think that penalty was a big momentum swing in that game. I think it cost the 49ers a field position problem from which they didn’t recover until after the lights went out.

Kris from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, now that Donald is retired, will he still count against the cap?

No, his contract expired; no dead money, no cap savings.

Koigi from Lynchburg, VA

Vic, I despise the idea of national signing day and the circus that surrounds it. What’s your take?

It’s one of the major drivers of college football’s popularity. In the South, national signing day is as big as the NFL Draft.

Monte from Memphis, TN

If the Steelers release Mike Wallace, would the Packers go after him? He would give the Packers a deep threat.

The Packers already have several deep threats, but Wallace is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and he has the kind of scintillating speed that makes you think long and hard about pursuing him in free agency.

Bruce from Greenville, WI

I just read that the Raiders are going to tarp off 10,000 seats in their stadium to avoid local blackouts. Is this a sign that the NFL may be beginning to slip in popularity?

Some of the biggest games I ever covered were in Oakland in the 1970s, during the Holy Wars. I have memories of Oakland Alameda that time can’t erase. Those games shaped my view of professional football, and I thought it was egregious for Al Davis to have moved the Raiders to Los Angeles in 1982. Now I fear it might happen again. I think that’s the message 10,000 tarped seats in a stadium that only seats 63,000 sends.

Brett from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Vic, what do you think about Leon Sandcastle? He might be a good pickup if he goes undrafted.

Has all the tools. Can flip his hips. Good bubble. Gets to the edge of his blocks. Plays bigger than his body. Can mirror and close. Looks like Jane, plays like Tarzan. Looks like John Dorsey got himself a winner.

Jimmy from Panama City Beach, FL

Vic, I looked at the weather in Green Bay and it’s snowing. Great! I don't believe an old man like you gets out and blows his snow; I think you hire it out. Show me and my friends a picture of you blowing snow and when I come back, I’ll get you a gift card to Fleet Farm. Can an old man like you blow snow? Do you use a walker?

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Do you have a question for Vic? Your question could be posted on packers.com. Vic has covered the NFL through 42 seasons, including 23 years covering the Steelers and 16 years covering the Jaguars.

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