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Walk in the park? Forget about it

RFA tenders are part of the salary cap management process


Matt from London, UK

Vic, can you explain the logic behind making Sam Shields a restricted free agent? They must have known he wouldn't get cheaper. Does Micah Hyde make him replaceable?

They didn't make him an RFA, they tendered him as an RFA and obviously they did it at the right tender level because it protected the Packers' rights to him. RFA tenders are part of the cap management process. You have to use all of the resources available to you to manage your cap. I understand the Packers are now in danger of losing Shields in unrestricted free agency, but retaining him as an RFA bought the Packers time to attempt to negotiate a long-term deal with him and it bought the Packers time to develop new talent at the position, should the Packers lose Shields. It's a game of replacement, not roll over and ruin your cap.

Mike from Dallas, TX

In a year when some are speculating up to nine quarterbacks could be taken in the first round, does that create the atmosphere of a buyer's market for teams that may want to trade back?

It might, but after watching college football for two months, I am not as impressed with the quarterback crop as reports suggest I should be. I don't see an Andrew Luck.

Josh from San Bernardino, CA

I, for one, can't wait to see how our run defense holds up against Adrian Peterson this year. He tore us up three times last year and I think it will be a great test. What about you?

This is the acid test.

Scott from Fitchburg, WI

What other organizations have shown similar resolve and success with the draft and develop mentality?

The Giants, Patriots and Steelers are all draft-and-develop teams. All teams are draft-and-develop teams, it's just that some are especially stubborn about it.

Alec from Lake Zurich, IL

Vic, after the Super Bowl run in 2010, what was the major contributor to the decline in the defense?

Natural erosion. It's just a fact of life in the NFL that you're constantly rebuilding one side of the ball or the other. It's that way because too many times draft picks get hurt and other picks don't pan out. The 2011 draft class focused on the offensive side of the ball in each of the first three rounds. The following year, the first six picks were defensive players. It was no coincidence that the defense began improving in '12.

Jeremy from Saint Paul, MN

It looks like the Vikings will start Christian Ponder on Sunday night. I may be the only Packers fan that respects Ponder's game. The Vikes went 10-6 last season and Ponder beat the Packers despite four Rodgers touchdown passes. I don't think this game will be a walk in the park, do you?

I have too much respect for what Adrian Peterson can do to a defense to think this game will be a walk in the park. If Ponder is the quarterback, he'll be asked to play within himself, which is what should be expected of any quarterback that has Peterson in the backfield. The Vikings are a division and territorial rival. It'll be a charged atmosphere. I expect drama. We certainly had drama in last year's game.

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