I know we have to pay big money for our offensive guys (Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, Amari Cooper). If these guys get paid big money, what does that mean for our young defensive guys down the road who will also deserve big paydays? - RICHARD PINHEIRO / JERSEY CITY, NJ
Bryan: In talking with guys that handle the contracts they assure me that they’ve planned for those contracts to be accounted for. They don’t think about these deals just year to year. They have an understanding of what they can spend on each player three or four years from now. They also have the ability to project the cap and what it might be and adjust their roster accordingly. I trust what they’re doing and you should do the same.
Rob: It’s worth noting that the league’s salary cap has risen by at least $10 million every year since 2013. I imagine certain players such as Byron Jones, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch will be in their long-term plans, of course. But the reality is not every defensive starter down the road can get a big payday. Teams have to be selective, and that’s why drafting rookies on four- to five-year friendly deals is so important.
One of the most fascinating aspects to pro football to me is player development and roster decisions. So often the team shows that they value position flex – offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs and wide receivers are all great examples of this. Why is it that we don't see any placekickers who can also punt? Seems as if that would be obtainable and would free up a priceless roster spot. Is there an aspect to those two jobs that makes doing both either unlikely or impossible? - BEN BROWN / BRYAN, OH
Bryan: It’s a great question and I agree with you, but the two requirements are vastly different. It’s rare that you have a guy who can do both. Austin Seibert from Oklahoma was a guy I liked in the draft last season (taken in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns) who did both. But just to handle one of the jobs on the NFL level takes so much preparation on a weekly basis that clubs would rather have a guy just focus in that one area.
Rob: Some players can do both. Kasey Redfern, the second punter they signed for training camp, did a nice job kicking field goals when we saw open practice this offseason. But he’s been primarily a punter in his career. I’ve always looked at the kicker’s role like a golf swing: It’s about precision and repetition. You don’t want to mess around with your mechanics moonlighting.