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Win would make Panthers underrated champion

Cash over cap favors high-revenue teams


Tal from Ascot, UK

Why do different teams have different salary caps?

They don't have different salary caps, it just seems that way because of the different cash-over-cap amounts they spend and push into the future. It gives the high-revenue teams a decided advantage over the low-revenue teams, and that's why I favor a hard cap. I'd like to see teams have to cap in the year what they pay in the year. That's a true cap. Of course, the players would never agree to it now, so it's a waste of time to think it could happen, but I remember the players being OK with that idea in the very beginning and it was the owners that favored a soft cap. I think it was a mistake.

Caleb from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, what role do you see JC Tretter filling next season?

What's wrong with the role he filled this past season? He was a valuable member of the offensive line who played his best game when the team had a desperate need at left tackle in the playoffs against the Redskins.

Tim from Madison, WI

Braxton Miller was one of the most exciting quarterbacks in college football two years ago. Now he is reportedly turning heads at the Senior Bowl as a wide receiver. Was Tony impressed?

Tony says: "Moving up boards. Looks like a natural wide receiver. Fast, fluid and ran great routes at the Senior Bowl. We'll see if he returns any kicks today."

Weston from Lake Geneva, WI

Do you think teams will start looking at these college spread-option quarterbacks more as just great athletes to develop into another position?

I think teams will begin looking at college spread-option quarterbacks as their quarterbacks of the future, because they're running out of options at the position.

Mac from Appleton, WI

Vic, with all the receivers we have returning, why do you say we have a need to fill at WR?

I think last season revealed a lack of depth at that position. I don't think we should use two Hail Mary passes in the last game of the season to proclaim the position fixed.

Darren from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Football is a year-round game now. What part of it do you think fans should appreciate more as we head into the offseason?

I'd like to see fans gain a better understanding of the salary cap and how it shapes teams' roster decisions for the present and the future. You don't know pro football if you don't know the cap.

Quentin from Matthews, NC

If Cam and the Panthers win Super Bowl 50, where would you rank this Panthers team all-time? Also, do you feel Carolina can win more Super Bowls in the future?

If the Panthers win the Super Bowl, especially if they win it convincingly, they might qualify as the most underrated Super Bowl champion in history. I don't think we fully appreciated their 15-1 record this season. This is a heckuva team with a scintillating talent at quarterback. It's a team built to last in a division with another such talent at quarterback.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Vic, would you consider swapping first-round picks plus Hundley to move up for Ragland?

No, because I'm not willing to trade away Brett Hundley after what I saw last summer. The quarterback position is far too important to use a young one with upside as a throw-in to a trade. I agree the Packers have need at inside linebacker, but they shouldn't have to trade up to find their guy. Eric Kendricks and Denzel Perryman are examples of that.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Vic, do you take a walk every day? If not, try it, it might give you some perspective.

I ride my bike. I rode it around the island on Friday. It's about 12 miles, door to door. I think as I ride. It really helps clear my head. It helps me appreciate how lucky I am.

Bruce from Savage, MN

How could they not include Bart Starr on the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team? Bart was a two-time MVP.

Terry Bradshaw is a two-time MVP and he won four Super Bowls, but I doubt he was even a consideration. The position, as it pertains to the Super Bowl, is defined by Joe Montana and Tom Brady.

Bernie from Chesterfield, VA

Vic, what do you consider the most important need of the team now, and how would you go about fixing it for this coming year? Draft or free agency?

I think inside linebacker is the position of greatest need, because I think the Packers must acquire talent there to be able to move Clay Matthews fully to the outside. I favor finding an inside linebacker in the draft, but I'm not opposed to signing one in free agency. I favored doing it last year but I didn't see one that interested me. Truth be known, the talent available in free agency just isn't that deep. Teams are doing a better job of retaining talent.

Josh from Pullman, WA

Can we do lots of predictions in the offseason, let us make them and you respond with your opinion? I love making predictions. I feel like I hit a decent percentage. Here's mine: We draft a TE in round one, a TE with speed to run the seam route.

Why do I have the feeling Hunter Henry is going to be this year's Ha Ha?

Jeff from Ellensburg, WA

How soon is the coaching staff expecting to see change in Lacy?

Eddie Lacy will be the top story of the offseason conditioning season this spring. The reporters will be camped out at the players' entrance to get a look at a slimmer, trimmer Lacy.

Eivind from Nordfjordeid, Norway

Vic, how has the art of being a sportswriter changed through the years? You have talked much about using stats to find the truth. When did you first start to use statistics in your work and how was it before?

I've always used stats, but never to advance a lie, only to confirm what I believe to be the truth. I use them to shape, confirm or abandon an opinion. The Internet and social media have changed the art of sportswriting. The almighty lede isn't as important as it once was. We worked hard at framing a story. It's still a big deal to me, but when I go to the combine and see the growing army of young sportswriters tweeting with their thumbs on their phones, I'm reminded of the distant era that is my roots. By the way, I think you've set an "Ask Vic" record for consonants, so you have that going for you, which is nice.

View photos of Packers players and coaches during Pro Bowl week from Hawaii. Photos by AP Images, Jennifer Stewart/NFL and Jason Wahlers,

David from Los Angeles, CA

Vic, this Pro Bowl idea/format is the stupidest tradition I can imagine. For a league focused on player safety, why play a totally senseless and meaningless game? Obviously, it's just another money grab. The rules may be modified, but I am guessing aggressive tackling is still allowed. If I were a head coach, I would pay my players a bonus to not participate. What do you think of that idea?

You'd have to cap that bonus money. I wouldn't waste cap room on something that silly, plus, why anger the league and disrespect its product?

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, with the emergence of Janis in the last game, will he now be taken off the special teams squad? Seems to me we'd be losing a heat-seeking missile but gaining an up-and-coming star at wide receiver. Or will he be likely to play both positions?

I don't see the sense in making those kinds of decisions based on one game.

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