With Bob Labriola enjoying a summer break, we've gone through recent editions of Asked & Answered and selected a few memorable questions…and answers.
Let's get to it:
May 29, 2022
JACK FOSTER FROM ROUNDUP, MT: I'm getting excited for the upcoming season. I love it when no one gives us a shot, and we are working quietly behind the scenes with some good additions during free agency. But I just read on Steelers.com that Myles Jack was not an unrestricted free agent and that Jacksonville had released him. Do you know why they may have? Was it injury or a cap issue for them?
ANSWER: In 2017, the Jaguars advanced to the AFC Championship Game with a defense that ended the regular season ranked second in the NFL in points allowed, second in yards allowed, and first in passing yards allowed, and after Myles Jack was released, there is only one player on the team remaining from that defense, a unit judged by some to be the best in franchise history. Money, salary cap space, was a factor. The release of Jack will save the Jaguars $8.35 million on the cap, while the team will take on $4.8 million in dead money. Jack, who was set to earn $10.5 million in 2022, was set to have the third-highest cap hit on the Jaguars' roster this season at $13.15 million, behind only Cam Robinson and Shaquill Griffin. And the coach who drafted Jack is now two coaches ago in Jaguars franchise history.
November 8, 2021
ZACH RAVES FROM SCOTTSDALE, AZ: I don't understand why a team wanting to sign a released player has to absorb their previous contract. If the money isn't guaranteed and the player is released for cause wouldn't that void the contract allowing a different team to negotiate a new deal?
ANSWER: When it comes to a team having to assume a player's existing contract vs. when a team can negotiate its own deal with a player has to do with the category through which the team acquires the player. When a player is acquired by a team via a trade or claims a player on waivers, the team must assume the player's existing contract. If a player is released, or if a player is waived and then clears waivers to become a free agent, the player and any interested team are free to negotiate a new deal, as long as it conforms to the conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
December 7, 2021
JOHN BRAGG FROM FAIRMONT, WV: Just about every week, I hear the announcing team(s) of NFL games talking about how, "They won the coin flip and deferred." They make it sound like it's a genius master stroke of strategy. How is the "defer" option different than the "old days" where you win the toss and either receive or elect to kick-off?
ANSWER: The first thing to know is that even in the "old days," the winner of the coin toss got to choose how to start the game – receive, kick-off, or defend a goal – while the team that lost the coin toss got to choose how to start the second half, with the choices being the same. OK, now for the purposes of this question, let's pretend you and I are the opposing captains at the middle of the field for the coin toss. If I win the toss and elect to defer, that means I am saving my choice of whether to receive, kick-off, or defend a goal for the start of the second half. If I win the coin toss and elect to kick-off to start the game, then you get to choose how to start the second half, which means doing it the old way means you could get the ball to start both halves. That's the difference.
May 12, 2022
STEVE YOUNG FROM ST. DAVID, AZ: The Steelers will not have to travel outside of the Eastern time zone for any of their regular season games during the 2022 season. I realize that the majority of NFL teams reside east of the Mississippi River, and a great number of those teams are in the Eastern time zone. Do you consider it somewhat of an advantage for the team?
ANSWER: During the January 1969 press conference called to announce his hiring as the Steelers coach, Chuck Noll was asked why he believed he was the man who was going to be able to turn Pittsburgh's NFL team into a winner. Noll answered, "Losing has nothing to do with geography." I contend that line of thinking applies to your question as well.
November 21, 2021
DEWAYNE SAMPLES FROM BOLT, WV: I know the Steelers and the Pitt Panthers both play home games at Heinz Field, but do each of them have their own locker room at the stadium, or is that something they share on game day?
ANSWER: Each team has its own locker room facility at Heinz Field, and each is laid out and decorated in the respective team colors, etc.
November 4, 2021
CANDY GRIFFITH FROM MYRTLE BEACH, SC: I just wanted to say that Asked and Answered is wonderful, refreshing, educational, and entertaining. Thank you so much.
ANSWER: Thank you for being a fan of Asked and Answered. I assure you that not everyone is.