- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Shaun in Nashville writes: Paul, People are saying that there is going to be much more trading in the off-season than usual. With that in mind, do you think LenDale White for Antonio Cromartie makes sense for both sides?
Paul Kuharsky: Here is why not: Brent Schrotenboer reports Cromartie’s got financial issues pertaining to child support.
Also Kevin Acee says Cromartie’s not particular good or willing to contribute to run defense and has a casual attitude.
The Titans were majorly wary of Travis Henry when his child support issues came up, and they ask their corners to be physical.
My colleague Bill Williamson suggested a third-rounder would be fair for Cromartie, so Cromartie for White might actually be a doable swap, barring the aforementioned issues.
Jim in Memphis writes: Paul, I enjoy your articles, comments, etc. What are the possible places LenDale White could land in a trade? Realistically, what can we expect to get for him?
Paul Kuharsky: I would think a second would be high. My guess would be a fourth. Seattle with the connection to Pete Carroll would be one possibility, I’d guess. I like the idea of him in Houston with Steve Slaton. But I don’t know what either of those teams think of him.
In the AFC South he’s a compelling guy in that he’s got a good résumé, he’s restricted, his team appears ready to move on and he’d certainly like to get out. That’s why I think he will be one of the most interesting stories to watch.
David in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Would the Jaguars draft another WR in the first round after spending two first-round picks on WR's this decade and another on a TE? The Jags need talent at most positions but I have to think that the DL and pass rush have to be at the top of their list.
Paul Kuharsky: Well, you go best player available, but if he isn’t at a position where you feel it’s wise to spend your pick, you back out. So if they see Bryant as the best player there but don’t want to go receiver, they trade down.
He’d certainly help them, but I’d agree it’s not a priority spot. And they really need to address those priority spots -- pass-rushers first and foremost.
Susan Solnick in Nashville writes: Do the Colts, given the same Super Bowl results they had, now reflect that a PERFECT season would have been sweeter than the fat GOOSE EGG they hauled home from Miami?
Paul Kuharsky: I don’t think it makes a difference to them. They are miserable from losing the Super Bowl. A perfect season wouldn’t be perfect anymore. Didn’t seem like much solace to the Patriots a few years ago.
Allen in Houston writes: Hey PK. So now Owen Daniels has said he might skip training camp all together. So now you have another player coming off an injury like Dunta Robinson last year, and they are going to want a big contract. For Owen Daniels this is his third ACL tear he has had. If you’re the Texans, do you franchise him and deal with all the same stuff Dunta put us through last year, or do you pay the guy?
Paul Kuharsky: Like some other emailers, you’re confusing UFAs and RFAs. Unrestricted free agents can be tagged until the 25th. Daniels is a restricted free agent. Restricteds don’t get franchised, they get a tender offer. See details of that here.
If the Texans are willing to match any offer sheet Daniels gets, they are at no risk of losing him for 2010. He can hold out to make a play for a long term-deal, but has no alternative for getting on the field. I’d sign him long-term if I could. I’d take him for the season without camp if I had to under the tender.
I don’t think they can franchise Robinson, who will be unrestricted, again. Odds are someone gives him big dollars and he’s gone.
Daniel W. in Berea, Ky., writes: Indy is a solid team that will make it to the playoffs maybe even the Super Bowl next year. Both the Texans and Titans are iffy but should be pretty good. The Jags have sucked it up as of late. Do you think it is coaching, GM, or just general lack of star players? Or maybe because Florida already has three NFL teams and should share one with another state, say, Kentucky?
Paul Kuharsky: You’re kidding about three teams in the state, right? Why would that have a bearing on anything?
Coaching hasn’t been great, old GM was bad, team overestimated David Garrard in a big way, division is tough. That’s a tough recipe. New GM Gene Smith has them on an improved course.
Dustin in Stanford, Calif., writes: Hey Paul, Do you have any sense of the confidence level the Titans might have in Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton? It is clear the Nick Harper is a gone and something needs to be done opposite Cortland Finnegan and I was wondering if one of those two might be it. Also, Jason's brother Devin is getting a lot of draft buzz. Is there a huge difference in Jason and Devin's skill set?
Paul Kuharsky: If the Titans go into the season expecting Mouton or McCourty to be the guy opposite Finnegan, they are showing way too much faith in them. They need to bring someone in to be the starter opposite Finnegan. Not up to speed on Devin McCourty at this point. Mel Kiper has him 16th in his most recent book.
Scott in Ottawa, Canada, writes: Paul, Iunderstand that the Titans usually put a value on a player and are loathe to pay more than that. The Titans must have a value in mind for guys like Keith Bulluck and Kyle Vanden Bosch. So my question is why don't they contact these guys before they hit free agency and see if they can make a deal at whatever value they think they are worth? Unless they see no value in KB or KVB, I don't see what harm it would do to reach out to these guys and at least have preliminary discussions about a new contract. Do you?
Paul Kuharsky: Because they decide, a) they are moving on and don’t care to have them back, or b) telling them what they think they’re worth would be insulting and just make the exit worse, or c) their agent has made it clear what he thinks they are worth and it’s not in the same ballpark.
While I don’t think it’ll apply here, I also think this is an important point: I’m not obligated to tell you what I think you're worth if I think it could potentially help me in negotiations down the road if you don’t get what you want elsewhere.
What player approaching free agency where he expects at least one new team to come forward and express love is going to be excited about his old team telling him frankly how it values him and go jump into negotiations?
James Williams in Old Hickory, Tenn., writes: If you could control what the Titans do with their 1st round pick, would you A.) Select a DE to go along with Jacob Ford and William Hayes. B.) Draft a CB to slot along with Cortland Finnegan. C.) Take an OLB to replace Keith Bulluck. D.) Try to trade down to replace the second rounder lost last season?
Paul Kuharsky: I appreciate the kind words. Please keep clicking.
I’d wait to see a) what happens in free agency and b) who’s there at my pick.
From my vantage point, they should hunt a free-agent linebacker and look to draft corner and defensive end. In February I can’t go a lot further than that.
Aaron in West Point, N.Y., writes: I'd like to start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and as an exiled Texan rely on it for scintillating Texans talk. In your esteemed opinion, do you think that the team's running woes last season were more indicative of a problem with the interior line or a lack of a stud back? Given the imminent free agency of Chester Pitts and more important needs on the defensive side of the ball, what do you think the Texans will/can do to fix it for next year via the draft and free agency?
Paul Kuharsky: Nice of you to say, thanks.
It was definitely a combination problem with the blocking and the backs. Pitts may be done. On offense, they need interior line help and a back to go with Slaton. Defense: Free safety, defensive line and a corner if Robinson leaves. They can address all of that in some through free agency and the draft.
Mike in St. Augustine, Fla., writes: What do you think of the Jags LB corps? We were told locally that it was one of the strengths of our team at the beginning of last year, but now it sounds like no one in that unit is a lock to stay other than unheralded Daryl Smith.
Paul Kuharsky: I think it’s a bit overrated. I see flashes, but for all I have heard for the last two years they don’t consistently live up to the billing. Part of it is the group in front of it and behind it have not been sufficient, so the backers have been asked to do too much.
Eric Cox from parts unknown writes: Paul, What free agents (UFA or RFA) do you perceive getting away from Indy? I am concerned about the safeties and DTs because they seemed to play such a huge part this year. I am certain they will get Gary Brackett taken care of, but I think Antoine Bethea and Melvin Bullitt are just as important, especially Bethea. That said, people are saying how important Antonio Johnson was. That's a little harder to tell on TV, but he and Daniel Muir certainly made the run D look much better.
Paul Kuharsky: I think the significant restricted free agents -- Bethea, Bullitt, Marlin Jackson, Charlie Johnson, Antonio Johnson, Muir -- will be tendered in a way that teams can’t afford to come after them or that the Colts would be likely to match an offer sheet. If they didn’t match, they’d be getting a pick or picks, and picks for Polian are a pretty good way to fill holes that departures could create. I feel like the 2010 Colts will look a lot like the 2009 version.