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Mailbag: Tuesday afternoon edition

3/24/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for another edition of the mailbag. In this one, we once again tackle the much-discussed potential trades for Julius Peppers, Jay Cutler and, in this case, Jake Delhomme. We also look at why the Bucs and Patriots in London might not be as much of a given for prime-time television as you might think.


Richard in Baton Rouge writes: The Bucs are playing the Patriots in London. Given how much the NFL loves broadcasting the Patriots at the moment, right up there with the Cowboys, that game screams Primetime.

Pat Yasinskas: A lot of readers seem to be thinking the Bucs and Patriots is an automatic for prime time. Makes total sense if the game were being played in the United States. But there's one big problem here. Say you wanted to start this game at 8 p.m. ET. That's a 1 a.m. start (on Monday) in London. As much as the NFL loves to gear things toward the television audience, this game is especially geared toward the European audience. This game is treated like the Super Bowl over in London with day-long parties and such. Getting 80,000 people into Wembley Stadium at 1 a.m. isn't practical and doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the NFL and the European audience.



Mark in Houston writes: Hey Pat, In your "On the Clock" series, you have the Falcons taking Michael Johnson in the 1st round if he's available. I don't know. Johnson has the potential to be something special, but all he's done thus far to warrant the pick is rush the QB. He hasn't had great success stopping the run; he tends to "disappear"; and there are questions about his commitment to football. He doesn't seem to be a "gym rat" and unless I've heard wrong, isn't fully committed to the game. Also, with his great frame for the position, he would able to bulk up quite a bit without losing speed. But would he do that? Seems to me like he's a high risk-high reward kind of player, and I'm just not sure if we should take him with our 1st round pick. What do you think? Should we take a chance on this guy or try to get a "safer" pick?

Pat Yasinskas: There are no guarantees with any player and there are some questions about Michael Johnson. But I think the Falcons will take a look at him. They need a pass rusher to complement John Abraham and Johnson certainly has raw potential. I'm not making any definitive predictions on who the Falcons will draft at this point. At No. 24, there are too many things that can happen ahead of them and we're a month away from the draft. But I think Johnson is at least a consideration. I also think there's a chance the Falcons would be open to trading down a few picks to add a pick or two.


Rick in tampa writes: Hello Pat: Am sure you have had this question come your way many times already,Do the bucs really have a shot at cutler? Lions, and Jets seem to be front runners in his services but I have to assume thats the case but men it would be nice to upgrade so whats your take and is it possible ?
Pat Yasinskas: Yes, this question keeps coming. As I said last week, I think it's a long shot. I don't think the Bucs have enough ammunition to make a trade for Jay Cutler. Also, the Broncos are publicly doing their best to make it sound like they won't trade their quarterback.


Bluto in Blacksburg writes: Hey Pat. What are the chances of a Peppers for Cutler trade between Denver and Carolina? This would be similar to the Portis-Bailey trade a few years ago where both teams were unloading unhappy players. If Denver insists on getting a QB, how crazy is Peppers+Delhomme for Cutler and at least 1 good draft pick? I know Carolina loves Jake, but getting Cutler in is prime, w/o the necessary grooming of a rookie, would seem like a better option than Jake at this point in his career.

Pat Yasinskas: I'm also getting a lot of this one from readers. Sounds like a great potential trade for the Panthers. But try to look at it from Denver's point of view. How are you going to sell fans on an aging Jake Delhomme in place of Jay Cutler in his prime? And how are you going to afford to pay Julius Peppers? Again, the Broncos haven't even said Cutler's available for trade. If he is, I think the Broncos will be looking for draft picks, not established players. They've got a salary cap and a future of their franchise to worry about.