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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Mailbag: Revisiting Hall of Fame discussion

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Adam from Seattle writes: Nice Hall of Fame article. Cortez Kennedy deserves a spot by the way he dominated. What current players, such as Shaun Alexander, Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Julian Peterson (no longer in the NFC West, but spent most of his career here), Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Patrick Kerney, Matt Hasselbeck, etc., do you think will make the Hall of Fame? I believe that Warner, Pace, Jones and Holt will make it, but Im uncertain about what other players may have a shot. What do you think?

Mike Sando: Bruce needs to make it. Jones, Pace and Holt are easy choices. Warner probably belongs. He can help himself with another good season. Alexander? I'm not sure. A couple more good years really would have helped him.

The retiring La'Roi Glover didn't spend much time in the division, but I think he deserves strong consideration. Larry Fitzgerald is headed in the right direction and is young enough to have a good chance. Anquan Boldin has a chance if he can play long enough. Enshrinement obviously awaits Jerry Rice. Steve Hutchinson has a good chance. Roger Craig's candidacy is worth discussing. Same for Ricky Watters.


Ryan from Denver writes: I have a question about Brian Dawkins. I know this is outside of your division of expertise, but your recent post on Cortez Kennedy inspired me to ask: Is Brian Dawkins a Hall of Fame player? I say likely, a friend of mine is positive he's not. I'd appreciate your take.

Mike Sando: He brought so much to the Eagles during his career -- enough for me to consider him a Hall of Fame player. He did not earn a spot on our all-decade team only because Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu needed to be on there, in our view. But he has been playing at a high level since 1996. Seven Pro Bowls. Five times All-Pro. He is on the Eagles' 75th anniversary team. I just love what he represents on the field. Tough player. Receivers can definitely feel his presence out there. I thought Boldin felt it last season at Philly.


James from Alberta, Canada writes: The Cardinals' successful run last year was obviously thanks in large part to Kurt Warner's season. But he's 38 years old. I'm wondering what the odds are of a 38 year old QB playing the entire season? Any chance you could whip together some stats on the average number of games played in a season by starting QBs based upon age, or age range? Or maybe games missed due to injury based upon age/age range, since 'starting' QB might be difficult to capture?

Mike Sando: There is always a chance. Thanks for asking. Brett Favre, Warren Moon, Phil Simms, Vinny Testaverde and Doug Flutie all started 16 games in a season at age 38 or older. Moon had another season with 15 starts and one at 14, all past age 37. Joe Montana made it 14 starts at that age, as did Brad Johnson and Ken Stabler.


Andrew from Washington, DC, writes: Can you explain the Joe Staley, Justin Smith and Nate Clements salary-cap charges? Is the Staley charge dropping significantly in 2010? What are the future Smith charges and isn't the Clements charge relatively low compared to his total contract?

Mike Sando: Staley's deal becomes quite cap friendly after the initial $13.5 million charge in the first year. The 49ers had ample cap room this offseason, so they structured the Staley deal in a way to use that room. That means diminished cap consequences later. The deal counts nearly $6.8 million in 2010 and then between $2 million and $.9 million over the next three seasons.

Clements' deal also carried a fat first-year cap charge (nearly $12.8 million in 2007). The deal works out to $10 million per season on paper, but the reality is that Clements will never see the full $80 million value on the eight-year deal.

Smith's cap figure balloons this season before becoming more manageable.


Brian from Spokane writes: Any news on Aaron Curry's contract talks with Seattle? Just wondering what is going on there with training camp getting close.

Mike Sando: The usual waiting game is in progress. I don't have much interest in rookie contract negotiations until players start missing camp. Most deals get done on time.


Robert from Waterloo, Iowa writes: Who is expected to have the better offensive line this year?

Mike Sando: The Rams' line should be most improved overall. Seattle's line will be much better than it was late last season, when all five projected starters were on injured reserve. Marvel Smith could help the 49ers' line improve.


Jarrod from Hungary writes: Any idea if the Cards are gonna truly/seriously look to extend Anquan Boldin's contract?

Mike Sando: I sense no urgency from the Cardinals on that one.


Mikkel from Denmark writes: Hi, Mike! I'm a big Seahawks fan and I really like Seneca Wallace. Now that Jim Mora, who has quite a lot of experience with a quarterback who can run the ball, is the head coach, will we see Wallace on the field more? Also, the introduction of the Wildcat last season seems like a good fit for Wallace because of his ability to use his legs.

Mike Sando: Yes, I do think we will see the new offensive staff use Wallace in Wildcat-type groupings.


Devin from Burlington, Conn., writes: Sando, thanks for posting my email and your withering response last week. Jury's still out on Aaron Rodgers in my mind. We've seen a lot of guys have a great first year as a starter. I'll admit to maybe just a little kennel blindness with Matt Hasselbeck as I am a lifelong 'Hawks fan. However, I am optimistic that the back injury is history and that he will be a young 34 this year. Thanks again for writing back. It was a real thrill to see my comment posted ... even if you did make mince meat out of me!

Mike Sando: Thanks, Devin. We had a nice little exchange there. Glad you also enjoyed it and had fun with it.


Chris from Evansville, Ind., writes: What are the Rams planning on doing to shore up their depth chart? Are they going after Michael Vick, a backup halfback or an experienced WR? Let me know if you find anything out.

Mike Sando: The Rams' roster appears largely set. Vick is not a consideration. Tim Carter is the veteran receiver they are hoping helps them. The battle at backup halfback isn't very sexy. Seems like the eventual winner should be a factor on special teams. Update: The Rams did acquire Ronald Curry from the Lions.


Jim from Mission, Texas writes: Why isn't Kurt Warner being recognized as the super quarterback he's proven to be?

Mike Sando: Consider it done. With the powers vested in me, I hereby recognize Kurtis Eugene Warner as the super quarterback he has proven to be.