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Bounty story aiding commissioner's cause


Taylor from Greenfield, WI

Vic, don't you think it would be a good idea to pick up at least one free agent this year, whether it's an offensive lineman or some sort of safety?

I believe in using every resource available for talent acquisition, including free agency, but only when it makes sense, not for the purpose of entertaining your fans at a dull time of the year. The Packers could benefit from signing a free agent that addresses a need, but only at a price commensurate with that player's value, and there aren't many bargains in the first week of free agency. As the process unfolds, the sensible signings will emerge, and then I'm all for adding depth to the roster.

Joe from Fond du Lac, WI

With the release of Peyton Manning, I have heard some interesting things from Colts fans. I have heard them say they will never cheer for the Colts again, burn their Colts jersey, never allow their children to be fans, and hope the Colts lose every game in the future. This seems absolutely ludicrous to me. I just feel like a team is bigger than one player. I understand Andrew Luck is not a lock for greatness, but between the question marks of Manning's health status and his extremely high contract, isn't this the only smart business move for the Colts to do? What are your thoughts?

These are the same fans that would be screaming for Luck to be the quarterback next season if it turned out Manning wasn't recovered from his neck surgery. Loyalty is measured in victories. What the Colts did is a no-brainer. It had to be done. Logic dictated that it was the only option. They have a chance to replace an old Manning with a young Manning. Who wouldn't pick the young Manning?

Anthony from Leroy, NY

Do you think RG3 will be the real deal or just another bust like Jamarcus Russell?

That's a bad comparison. Cam Newton should be the comparison and I think Robert Griffin III compares favorably to Newton.

Jack from Hayden, ID

Hi, Vic, as longtime Wisconsin residents and Packers shareholders, we are planning a summer trip back to Wisconsin for the shareholders meeting. Is there any word, yet, as to when that meeting is scheduled?

Not yet; they're looking for a stadium that seats 250,000.

William from Jacksonville, FL

Who do you think should pursue Peyton Manning? Where do you think he is most likely to land? My sleeper picks are the Texans or the Broncos. The Texans could get picks for Schaub and upgrade at QB. I figure landing Manning might be the only way to avoid the PR disaster of the inevitable switch Tebow will have to make to H-back.

If I'm the GM of a team that believes it's a quarterback away from contending for the Super Bowl, and if I haven't committed my team's future to the development of a young quarterback, then I'd be interested in Peyton Manning, but I'd need to see him throw first. I don't know the particulars of Manning's rehab from neck-fusion surgery, but I've had neck-fusion surgery and I know all of the issues that go with it. For me to be interested in Manning, I would need him to throw for me. I would need to know he can make the "honey hole" throw against cover two. That's one of the throws that defines a quarterback's arm strength, and if he can't make it, then that's the throw every defense will force him to make.

Eli from Boston, MA

How does Peyton's release impact the market for Flynn?

It might decrease it by one team, but only if the team that signs Manning is a team that was also interested in signing Matt Flynn. They're quarterbacks at different stages of their careers and, for that reason, I think they'll attract different teams. Flynn is going to attract teams that are building for the future. I think RG3 and Ryan Tannehill will impact Flynn's destination more than Manning. Frankly, I think Flynn might impact Manning more than Manning impacts Flynn. Flynn could drive down Manning's price tag.

Sergio from Winnipeg, MB

Vic, your opinion sealed the deal for me on "bountygate." If a guy like you who loves old-school, tough-guy football is disgusted by this type of organized malice, then it's clearly wrong. Yes, it's a tough man's game but, without rules, the fans would not come. I know I wouldn't.

I didn't say it disgusts me, I just said it's wrong. I'm trying to change, Sergio, but change is going to occur slowly, incrementally.

Andy from Madison, WI

Who decides on the round in which an RFA is tendered? If it's the team the RFA plays for, why not always tender an RFA at the first-round level?

The higher you tender an RFA, the higher the salary is you guarantee to pay him if he's not signed to an offer sheet by another team. Mike Wallace has been tendered at the highest level, which means the Steelers would have to pay him $2.7 million next season. If they could tender him at a less expensive level and retain his services, they certainly would have done that.

Tyler from Eden Prairie, MN

Who are the Packers looking to take in the top two rounds of the draft?

I don't know.

Keith from Indianapolis, IN

I felt the way Peyton Manning and the Colts parted ways in the press conference was very classy. Do you think it's possible the Colts encouraged Peyton to move on based on their rebuilding status?

He knew this was coming. This is the way of the pro football world. It's a tough game for tough guys. You don't pay a guy millions of dollars because it's nice to see his face at the facility every day, and you don't play for a lot less money because you like the way your uniform looks on you. This is a business, for both parties. What you saw yesterday is a player and a team that understands that and appreciates each party's position. The show of emotion, and it was real, not fake, lets us know it's not just about the money, it's also about the heart, but the business aspect of the game always wins out and we have to understand that, too. They said goodbye the right way, with dignity and grace.

Greg from Bellevue, WA

I've heard people say it takes three years to evaluate how a team did in a draft. Do you believe that, or can you grade the 2010 and 2011 Packers drafts now? In your mind what constitutes a successful draft, one great player like Rodgers or Matthews, or a host of role players?

What did Justice Stewart say, you'll know a good draft when you see one? Well, not exactly, but, yeah, you will. An Aaron Rodgers instantly makes any draft a success, even if everybody else is a bust. If a draft lacks a star-quality player, then it better have produced some starters or it's not a success. A good draft can surface sooner than in three years, but I agree that it has to be given at least three years to surface. The 2010 draft produced four starting-caliber players and is on its way to a nice run of success. The 2011 draft includes several candidates to become starting-caliber players.

Paul from De Pere, WI

Any chance Gregg Williams is banned from the league? How far reaching is the issue with head-hunting bounties?

Every day brings us another story on another former player confirming the evidence of a bounty system. This story is getting deeper and deeper and a part of me thinks the commissioner doesn't mind all of this information coming forth because it is certainly aiding his attempts to change the culture of professional football. I don't know what the punishment will be, but I think it's obvious Coach Williams is the victim of bad timing. Remember the Buddy Ryan bounties when Ryan was the coach of the Eagles? Relatively speaking, it created barely a ripple of interest from the league or fans. These are different times and this is a different game.

John from West Bend, WI

While I agree that Roger Goodell has been successful in changing the culture of accepted violence in the NFL, do you think he might be going too far?

If something isn't done to provide for increased player safety, especially as it pertains to protecting players from head injury, litigation will threaten the future of the game, on all levels. It has to be done.

Paul from Crawfordsville, IN

What are your thoughts on Peter Konz?

I have to believe the Packers have done a lot of homework on him.

Harry from Waupaca, WI

In all your years of being a fan, do you have a favorite player that you really did not want to see retire or leave the team he spent most of his career with?

No, because I view retirement from the game as a wonderful celebration of a great career and, hopefully, a step into a peaceful future that includes financial security. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing my favorite players get their "gold watch," so to speak. I wasn't able to attend Fred Taylor's retirement press conference, but I watched it online and I smiled through the whole thing. The growth in Fred has been fantastic. He's a happy man with a family around him, and it appears he has provided for his financial security. That was at issue early in his career after Fred was scammed by his agent. I talked to him about it then and he was suffering from the betrayal, but his new agent assembled a recovery team and they found the money in the Cayman Islands, I believe, and the whole incident became a lesson in professional football that changed Fred's perspective on the game and on life, too. Football is a young man's game. The notion that these players can play forever is ridiculous. When they hit 10 years, the end is near, and that's when it's time to think back on how they've entertained us and be thankful for it.

Jeff from Saint Paul, MN

Yesterday, you explained about incentives. Since Peyton Manning did not play at all last year, will all of his incentives be NLTBE, or do they go back to his previous year of action?

I don't know the particulars to his contract, but if they included incentives that were likely to be earned (LTBE), which would mean the Colts would've had to carry them on their 2011 cap, then they will be credited to the Colts' 2012 cap because, obviously, those incentives weren't met. If they were not likely to be earned (NLTBE), then they weren't carried on the 2011 cap and, therefore, are extinguished.

Marty from LoMack, AZ

What kind of backs do the Packers have?

Ones that can run, catch and block in blitz pickup. That's what the Packers' offensive system demands of its backs.

Terry from Regina, Canada

I don't understand the process with Mike Wallace and how they put a first-round tender on him if he was actually a third-round pick. Can you clear this up for me?

The tender that returns original draft pick compensation is the next tender level down from first-round compensation. It would decrease the salary the team would have to pay should the player not be signed to an offer sheet, but I think it's safe to say the original draft pick compensation level wouldn't accomplish much in the way of protecting Wallace from being signed to an offer sheet.

Joe from Virginia Beach, VA

I'm sorry to sound like a whiner here, but it just isn't fair what the Packers will receive for Flynn.

The rules are the same for everybody.

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