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My inbox doesn't like the punishment

Packers' sixth-round picks have steal appeal


Nikola from Maribor, Slovenia

Is the punishment of the Patriots bigger than you expected? I sure didn't see that coming.

Tom Brady got off easy. I like taking the draft picks. That's a stern rebuke to the franchise that it needs to provide greater institutional control. I am completely opposed to the million-dollar fine. Money should not have been involved in this punishment because this crime was greater than money; it was about the integrity of the game. It almost feels dirty to equate the two.

Owen from Portland, OR

What would you say to whiny Patriots fans today if you were editor?

Accept the punishment and move on.

Darrell from Austin, TX

Vic, do you want to know who I really feel bad for in this whole situation? Roger Goodell. No matter what he did, he was bound to be vilified.

The commissioner exploded out of the blocks when he got the job. He took an early hard line against any kind of nefarious behavior, which earned him the title of "Enforcer". So where does he go from there? He ran out of wiggle room early in his reign. His early decisions now lack precedent. That's the criticism he was bound to face if he didn't come down hard on Brady and the Patriots. I don't think he came down hard on them, relatively speaking.

Joe from Key West, FL

Vic, what's worse in your opinion, Deflategate or headset tampering?

Anything that disturbs competitive balance is a crime against the integrity of the game. I see no difference. The headset stuff should've been aggressively investigated. If it had, maybe Spygate and Deflategate wouldn't have happened and the image of one of the great franchises and great quarterbacks in NFL history wouldn't be tainted as it is now.

Jake from Yorkville, IL

Vic, who do you see as being this year's darkhorse from our draft class?

I like all of those guys in the sixth round. They all have potential steal appeal. The Packers are masters at finding those guys in the late rounds.

Del from Sterling, IL

Vic, did the league hear the fans' outrage?

I don't think the league wanted to hear the fans' outrage, and that's why the league acted as quickly as it did. My inbox today is outraged. I didn't think I could find enough questions about topics other than the Deflategate ruling, and the volume of traffic to my inbox is Fail Maryesque. Ninety percent of my inbox believes the punishment is too light. Is this the end of it? Did the league rule quickly enough to put this topic to bed? I'm not sure about that. I have a feeling more information will leak out.

Steve from Eau Claire, WI

Is Canton now a distant probability for Brady?

No, Brady deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Deflategate will taint his reputation, but he's as good as I've ever seen.

Adam from Toronto, Ontario

Vic, what happens to the Patriots' first-round pick? Does the team with the 33rd pick move up or will there only be 31 first-round draft picks next year?

There will only be 31.

Tyler from Apple Valley, MN

Vic, why do your columns seemingly have two headlines?

One is called a head and the other is called a subhead. They introduce two different subjects, which helps attract readers to the column.

Sam from New Berlin, WI

Tom Brady's first opponent after his four-game suspension is the Indianapolis Colts. I know you have some fun opinions on the schedule-maker. Do you think he has a crystal ball for suspensions as well?

Great, great theater.

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

The real punishment is the validation of the asterisk next to his legacy.

I invented the asterisk, and I was vilified for it. It was just the truth.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

What's "Ask Vic Day" going to look like this summer?

I'm working on that right now. The best I can tell you right now is we're looking at the week of the shareholders meeting.

T.J. from Chicago, IL

Vic, do you think Quinten Rollins can be a starter in the slot, or will Damarious Randall win the job? Or does Hyde start and surprise everybody?

Coach Capers will find a way to use every ounce of defensive backfield talent available to him. Defensive coordinators love guys that can cover. You can't blitz if you can't cover.

Kevin from Seattle, WA

Vic, with the news a 6-5, 320 beast like Matt Rotheram passed on more money for a chance to make the Packers' roster as a UFA, can you speak to what kind of advantage Green Bay has with the undrafted guys? It seems pretty unique in the league.

It's an advantage they've earned by having so many of them on their final roster. It sends a message that undrafted free agents get a real shot to make the team. The draft-and-develop part of it is also big. Agents know the Packers like to keep their own players on their practice squad and commit real development to them.

Jon from Wausau, WI

Don't you think we'd see fewer field goal attempts, and thus more action, if we went back to the old hash marks?

The hash marks were moved in for the 1972 season. The intent was to create more passing in a game that was becoming dominated by the running game and defense. The result was an explosion of thousand-yard rushers. I think we need to leave the game alone.

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