We've converted the regular mailbag feature to Twitter-based. But I just made a trip to the mailbag and thought I could do an old-school version this afternoon.
Adam from Cookeville, TN writes: Is there a maximum number of players a team can have on the roster at this time of the year? At what point will each addition require a cut? When is the date that the team has to be under the cap?
Paul Kuharsky: Maximum is 90 now. Teams had to be under cap at start of league year in early March. The most expensive 51 players have to be under that cap from then through camp. The cap count then goes to all 53 when they cut to 53.
Jim from Greenville, SC writes: Any chance you could do an article on how the undrafted free agents are signed? Questions I have include-Can the teams contact the players before the draft is over? How are the players paid, enticed, etc. beyond the obvious potential playing time?-Seems that players in the 6th and 7th rounds would benefit from NOT being drafted at some level. Thanks for the informative, objective writing.
Paul Kuharsky: You can't technically negotiate until the draft is over. But teams typically are in contact with guys they want. "Hey, we really want to draft you in the seventh but we have a hole at center and may have to go that way. If that's what happens, we're going to want to sign you as a free agent." If he gets drafted by someone else, you are obviously out of luck.
If he's undrafted, you compete with anyone else who's interested and try to lure with opportunity and signing bonus. Those bonuses aren't generally much unless you can really get a couple teams bidding. It's typically a one-year deal for the minimum. If you make it, you'd be an exclusive rights free agent the next year and have no freedom if the team wants you for four full years.
Paul in Jacksonville writes: I see this draft as being like a home renovation. The wife (fans, some media) wants a new kitchen and master bathroom (QB and pass rusher.) She's focused on things like cabinets and flooring - the flashy stuff people will notice. The contractor (Caldwell, Bradley & company) is more immediately concerned with the fact that the house has major structural issues. He's happy to do the kitchen and master bath, but first let's make sure the house doesn't cave in when we hang those cabinets on the shaky kitchen walls. To me, it looked like the Jags spent their picks strengthening the structure of the team. Thoughts?
Paul Kuharsky: That's about right, though we don't need to run with the stereotype that a wife would care more about the cabinetry than the foundational stuff.
One thing you need to note about your structural issues vs. home renovations: Gene Smith talked all about foundation building at the start of his term as GM. It's one thing to think that way, and another to make the right choices in that thinking.
Terrance from Memphis writes: Just looking at your last piece on VY. Funny how you're so anxious for Vince to go off quietly into the night. Don't worry, nobody cares about how invested you are in his failure. When he finally succeeds nobody will care that you worked against him. Brown nosers like you will always be fine.
Paul Kuharsky: Who am I brown nosing, exactly? I'm not following your logic.
Vince Young has been out of the league for a while now. You say he will finally succeed. When will that be? What's the timetable?
Say what you will about my feelings on Young. What you need to realize is that 32 teams have zero interest in him. Seems to me their sense of whether he has a chance to be good trumps yours.