Chat with Kevin Seifert
Seifert joined ESPN.com in 2008 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for eight years. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and daughter.
Send your questions now and join Seifert Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kevin Seifert (1:00 PM)
Hi everyone. Let's get this week started off NFC North style. On with your questions.
scott, grand rapids,mi
doesnt it make sense for the lions to draft defense with the first 3 picks. like curry at 1, p.jerry 20, s.smith or michael johnson at 30.
Kevin Seifert (1:02 PM)
Scott, the Lions need plenty of defensive help, but they might also want to capitalize on the deep pool of tackles in the draft for one of those three picks. (The third is actually at 33.)
bob from new jersey [via mobile]
why hasnt ted thompson signed any veterans to help with the new defensive were doin this yr. aand im not talkin about smith because he stinks.
Kevin Seifert (1:03 PM)
Ouch. I'm not sure if Anthony Smith is that bad but I get the point. I don't know if I can explain Ted Thompson's approach any more than you can. Other than after his first season in Green Bay, he's just been reluctant to take big risks/spend big money on the free agent market. I thought he would have to be more aggressive this year because of the scheme change, but that hasn't been the case. In the end, it's going to be incumbent on defensive coordinator Dom Capers to figure out how to best use the players he has.
Kevin (Roberts, WI)
Football players are evaluated by their performance on the football field. How are General Manager evaluated? Please read the Ted Thompson Bio on the Packers website. Wow! Does he have an ego? Please remember that the Packers have only gone to playoffs once in his 4 years in Green Bay. Why do packer we (Packer Fans) have an extremely different opinion of him then NFL insiders and writers?
Kevin Seifert (1:05 PM)
I can already see there is a lot of Ted Thompson angst out there. As for his media bio, it's actually pretty standard for the NFL. All teams write those things to trump up accomplishments and market the team.
Peter (Chicago, IL)
Where will the Bears turn for their safety help?? After Sharper situation didn't work out, they need to bring in somebody!
Kevin Seifert (1:06 PM)
I don't know for sure, but if I had to guess, I would think the Bears will test out a couple guys in mini-camp next week -- Danieal Manning, Craig Steltz -- and then address the position afterwards if they think they need to. Often you can get a safety in the draft that can help you right away.
Bryan (Bay City, MI)
Kevin, what do you think about the lions not drafting a quarterback this year in the draft (or at least not in the first two rounds) and play Culpepper at least this year, if not next. Then hopefully get one in next years draft or through free agency?
Kevin Seifert (1:07 PM)
I like the idea of not reaching at No. 1 if you don't think Matthew Stafford is worthy of that slot. But I'm not sure Daunte Culpepper has done enough to merit complete confidence as a two-year bridge. The Lions should probably address the quarterback position at some point in the draft. It just might not come at No. 1.
Matt (St. Paul, MN)
Do you see anyone going after Vikings DL Fred Evans and giving up a 2nd rounder? Though the Vikes have the right to match do you think they would? It seems they are grooming Fred to replace Pat Williams at the end of his career.
Kevin Seifert (1:09 PM)
I'd be very surprised if someone signed him. I'm pretty certain he'll be back in Minnesota in 2009.
Can you explain to me the overvaluing of draft picks in the NFL? In one hypothetical, why wouldn't the Lions offer the #1 overall pick for Jay Cutler? Drafting a QB is hit or miss, PLUS you have to pay them comparable money to a guy who has proven himself in the league. It seems like you could trade ANY pick (particularly in the 1st round) for an established young starter (Cutler, Vilma, Cromartie) yet it is rarely ever done. What's the logic?
Kevin Seifert (1:11 PM)
I understand your question. In many cases, it's not easy to move the No. 1 pick because of the pressure -- and, more importantly, the cash requirements -- of making that pick. If you aren't completely in love with someone in the draft, you're often just as happy to not have that pick. If the Lions draft Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall, he'll get more than $30 million guaranted. That's more than than Denver might have to pay Cutler when his contract expires. So if I had to guess, I would say not many teams want the No. 1 pick.
Kevin- Whats the deal with Burnett from Dallas? did he visit the pack?
Kevin Seifert (1:11 PM)
To my knowledge, he has not visited Green Bay yet.
Dan (Mpls, Mn)
Hey Kevin...the Vikings seem to be pretty set, in thier minds, at all positions except the right side of the OL. They have Sullivan, Herrara and Cook who all have played C and could replace Birk. But it seems really out of character for them not to bring in a FA of high caliber to fill the RT spot. Are they planning on Oher to start as a rookie or do you see them going a different route?
Kevin Seifert (1:12 PM)
I think at this point they're looking at Cook and maybe a rookie competing for that right tackle spot. The St. Paul Pioneer Press has reported they were planning to make a big run at Jordan Gross from Carolina, but Gross re-signed before free agency began.
What is the latest on Tramon Williams? Will he be in the same situation the Ryan Grant was in last year?
Kevin Seifert (1:13 PM)
That's a question the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looked at over the weekend. He's not nearly established as Ryan Grant was a year ago, but ultimately the Packers probably can't expect him to merely sign their EFA tender and be done with it. They might have to give him something.
Now that the Lions are searching for a backup QB for Culpepper, does that mean that they are comfortable a the QB position? And if that is so, does that rule out Stafford as the Number 1 pick?
Kevin Seifert (1:14 PM)
No, I think it just means they're not satisfied with their depth for the first day of training camp. And they shouldn't be. None of the guys currently on their roster proved they deserve an unquestioned starting job in 2009.
If the Lions pass on Stafford, is there a chance that Sanchez falls to them at twenty? I personally don't want the Lions to draft a QB in the first round, but it has been rumored that the Lions really like Sanchez, and he might be too tempting to pass on at twenty. What do you think Kevin?
Kevin Seifert (1:15 PM)
No. If they pass on Stafford, they'll have to trade into the middle of the first round -- maybe as high as No. 10 -- to get Sanchez. That's my guess.
Mark (Marquette, MI)
Hey Kevin, great job covering the NFC North! I would like to know your opinion on the Packers restructuring their defense to a 3-4 base. Will it hold up in a snow-infested Lambeau Field around the second week of January? This assuming, after a year or two of building it up. Thanks.
Kevin Seifert (1:17 PM)
I think it will be fine over the 16-game season. The big thing will be finding enough players who are comfortable in the system, or at least creating a system that enough of their players are comfortable in. For 2009, it's going to have to be the latter.
Matthew (Denver, CO)
I firmly believe that the best thing the Lions can do with #1 is trade down and stockpile day 1 draft picks for either this year or next. Obviously the problem is finding a trade partner when there is no consensus "I have to draft this player a #1" type talent on the board. What is your sense of the Lions desire to trade down and their chances at doing so?
Kevin Seifert (1:18 PM)
Ultimately I think their desire to trade down will be greater than their chances. How's that for an answer?
Why hasn't more been made of Pat Kirwin's comment on Tuesday, that Jerry Angelo wasn't allowed to spend the money he believed was crucial for the success of the team?
Kevin Seifert (1:20 PM)
Yeah, I saw that and referenced it. I know Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times tried to interview Kirwan about it to flesh out his sourcing and information, and Kirwan declined comment. I'm not saying the story is untrue, but there hasn't yet been any direct evidence that Angelo has his hands tied. He has made two signings, Frank Omiyale and Kevin Jones. He hasn't done much else, but there could be any number of reasons why. This might be a story that takes some time to flesh out.
Thomas: Winona MN:
Pertaining to the Packers: I understand the injury situation that crippled our offensive line last season, so surely we should be looking for linemen in the draft. However, the focus seems to be on defense. With the way Andre Smith hurt his status, if he were still available at #9, shouldn't the Pack draft him? Something else; Kevin Burnett is a beast and I would forgive TT for everything if he could step up and make an offer for KB!
Kevin Seifert (1:21 PM)
It sounds like Andre Smith will most certainly be available at No. 9. And at this point, that would probably be too high to take him. His status has really sunk since the combine.
Arnold (Chicago Il) [via mobile]
With the lack of moves the bears have made to help a porious offense do you think they will draft a receiver first round?
Kevin Seifert (1:22 PM)
If they do, it's unlikely the receiver will bring them too much immediate help. For whatever reason, it's pretty rare when a rookie receiver becomes an instant success.
With the cap room they have, do the Packers get Jennings and Collins re-signed prior to the season
Kevin Seifert (1:23 PM)
I think it's pretty likely they do something with Jennings. Not sure on Collins, but it would make sense.
Please say flesh out again.
Kevin Seifert (1:23 PM)
fl....esh .... ou..t. And, I'm spent.
shouldn't the packers draft another solid wr to give rogers more options?
Kevin Seifert (1:24 PM)
I can't say that should be one of their primary needs, no. They spent a high pick on Jordy Nelson last year.
If the lions dont take Stafford at 1 do you think its possible they use one of their third rounders to move up in the 13-16 range and get him there.
Kevin Seifert (1:26 PM)
They won't get Stafford that low but it's possible Sanchez will be there.
Ben (Chicago, IL)
What other teams are bidding against the Bears for St. Clair. Any reason this deal isn't going to get done?
Kevin Seifert (1:27 PM)
I'm not aware of a ton of other interest. Sounds like a disagreement on his value that will ultimately be cleared up based on what, if any, offers he receives.
Pete (Fort Wayne, IN)
Will Chris Williams be starting for the Bears this year? I hate to see them use another first round pick on an OT if they can just use Williams and re-sign St. Clair.
Kevin Seifert (1:28 PM)
Yep. He's been penciled in as the starter at left tackle.
Pete (Fort Wayne, IN)
Has John Tait actually retired yet? Initially all the talk was that he was strongly considering retirement, then nothing but now it's assumed he is retired, are the Bears trying to talk him out of it?
Kevin Seifert (1:29 PM)
Lovie Smith was talking about Tait in the past tense at the combine last month, so it sounds like it's pretty official. I haven't seen any official announcements, so I guess it's always possible there could be a change of heart. It also might help the Bears in negotiations with St. Clair to have the possibility out there that Tait might come back.
John: Stamford, CT
What are the chances Malcolm Jenkins slides to the Bears at #19? Would love to have him as our FS of the future!!
Kevin Seifert (1:30 PM)
Not out of the question. I think he disappointed some people with his 40 time at the combine.
Ben (Chicago, IL)
Do you think Marinelli can improve the Bears DL issues all by himself. They have a lot of supposed talent on the roster, guys who have put up numbers in the recent past.
Kevin Seifert (1:31 PM)
I don't know if he can turn it around all on his own, but I do think he gives them a better chance to get more out of the guys they have.
Tania (Rio de Janeiro)
Kevin, not all us Packer fans have a negative view of Ted Thompson. I don't think he gets enough credit for avoiding salary cap hell and restocking the roster from the Mike Sherman debacle. Any chance a bidding war for Mark Sanchez could erupt for the Pack's No. 9 pick in the first? I think the Packers would be better off trading down in the first round to get some picks to stock up the defense - especially the late first early second LB crop for the 3-4.
Kevin Seifert (1:32 PM)
Fair enough, Tania. You make a good point. The Packers are a in decent spot if someone out there really wants Sanchez. I don't know if a bidding war breaks out, but the Packers could move down a few spots and net another pick along the way.
scott (grand rapids,mi
can you explain, why is aaron curry at #1 overall its regarded as a bad move, when him being drafted is a good move for stlouis or kc. money shouldnt be the issue. talent should........
Kevin Seifert (1:34 PM)
Agreed. This is just one of the many burdens of having the No. 1 overall pick. Traditionally linebackers haven't been taken that high, so you are stepping out on a pressure limb by doing so. If he's the best player in the country, then ultimately it'll be a good pick.
Matt Birk (Baltimore)
note to self, you can't ice fish in baltimore harbor.
Kevin Seifert (1:35 PM)
Ah, but you can't find blue crabs in Lake Mille Lacs.
I think that the TT angst as you describe it has to do with his desire not to overspend for players who under deliver. Does the name Joe Johnson ring any bells? Ultimtely he will be judged on wins and losses resulting from players he has drafted right?
Kevin Seifert (1:36 PM)
That's true. The one added dimension this year is that the defense is switching to a 3-4. Typically that requires some adjustment in personnel. You would think free agency would be a part of that. To this point, however, it has not.
Scott (Viking in Newbury Park, CA)
Hi Kevin, really enjoy your perspective. Are the Vikings looking at ANY DB Free Agents, like Chris McAlister? Still seems an area where at least some veteran depth would be a big help.
Kevin Seifert (1:37 PM)
The only name that's been reported so far is Karl Paymah of Denver. But he's had a few other visits and it's not clear if he'll remain unsigned long enough for the Vikings to have a chance.
Chris - Wausau, Wis
How long has Birk's hatred for Childress existed?
Kevin Seifert (1:38 PM)
I really don't think he's ever hated Childress. I just don't think Childress' style endeared itself to many of the Vikings' holdover players. They co-existed but won't be going ice-fishing, or crab catching, anytime soon.
pat (Vail, Co)
Do you see Favre signing a 1 day contract with GB in a few years to re-re-retire as packer?
Kevin Seifert (1:39 PM)
It's probably going to take some time before that happens. Some people have speculated that it won't happen until Ted Thompson leaves the Packers, but I imagine cooler heads will prevail before then.
What do you think of the Lions taking RAJI #1. I love it!
Kevin Seifert (1:40 PM)
Certainly would fill a huge need, even with the signing of Grady Jackson. But is he the best player in the draft?
Not many Vikings questions. Why have they been so quiet this offseason? Besides resigning Kleinsasser and Farwell and the trade for Rosenfels(all relatively minor moves), they have done nothing to improve. And then they lose Birk. They need CB help, are they considering kicking the tires on Chris McAllister at all or are they just planning on improving through the draft? Thanks Kevin.
Kevin Seifert (1:41 PM)
Just trying to branch out a bit, Zac. ... I think they'll look at some second- and third-tier guys but I don't know that McAllister would be one of them. They seem pretty committed to the draft at this point.
Can we expect there to be any more major cuts before the draft?
Kevin Seifert (1:42 PM)
Everyone is keeping an eye on the LaDanian Tomlinson story in San Diego.
Mike (Boston, MA)
Hi Kevin, It's not just that the Bears are filling their (many) holes, it seems like they aren't even inviting people in to talk. Is that true? Or do we just not hear about things like that?
Kevin Seifert (1:43 PM)
It's possible that some visits haven't been public, but Chicago's media market is pretty aggressive and I don't think they've missed much, if anything.
Randy (St. Paul)
Matt Birk is smart to leave for Baltimore, he knows that they have a better chance of winning because he's snapping the ball to Flacco and not TJ!
Kevin Seifert (1:44 PM)
You said it, not me. But seriously, I think Birk really likes the idea of trying something new. He decided last year when the Vikings didn't want to extend his contract that it would likely he would move on. He's lived most of his life in Minnesota and will return at some point. But for a couple of years, he's going to step out of his comfort zone and I commend him for that.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KS: You are the only NFL blogger scheduled for the rest of the day. Everyone might need to get their fix in!
Kevin Seifert (1:44 PM)
Too ... much ... pressure!
Chris, Long Island
Kevin, what are your thoughts on the Vikings fullback situation? Will/should they look into fa/draft to get some better run blocking at the position? Who might they look at?
Kevin Seifert (1:45 PM)
Honestly, I think it's silly that they use a fullback when two of their best two players are tailbacks. I'd like to see them design an offense around Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor rather than force a fullback into the mix just for the sake of it.
Are there any players that actually DO like Childress?? I suppose T Jack because of Chilly's need to love him to avoid owning up to a failed pick.
Kevin Seifert (1:47 PM)
Pat Williams has been pretty vocal about Childress. But that topic can be overstated. No matter how players feel about him, it generally hasn't hurt recruiting and -- other than in the final game of the 2006 season -- I've never seen one of his teams not play hard.
Would the Vikings consider moving up if Sanchez starts to fall past pick #10?
Kevin Seifert (1:49 PM)
Not totally out of the question. Last year, the Vikings cited the USC offense as one of the main reasons they drafted John David Booty. Sanchez is more talented and played in the same offense.
Scott Kalamazoo, MI
Is there any possible way the Lions don't take Jason Smith with the leading pick? Any chance on moving up and getting Andre Smith in the middle of the 1st?
Kevin Seifert (1:50 PM)
I don't think they need to move up to get Andre Smith. He'll be there at 20, at least from what people are saying right now. I also think they're giving a good bit of though to Aaron Curry at No. 1 overall.
Why are none of the black and blue div interested in m. harrison he will rebound
Kevin Seifert (1:52 PM)
It's possible that he will, and I wouldn't rule out someone in the NFC North signing him closer to training camp when his price probably would have gone down. Chicago will have a need, that's for sure.
Bob (Madison, WI)
You and every single Ted Thompson hater says the same thing about our switch to the 3-4: that we needed to sign players. But nobody can seemt o answer the question "who did you want". Haynesworth was never coming here and Canty got Pro-Bowl money for a non-Pro-Bowl caliber performer. Who else was their? Nobody.
Kevin Seifert (1:55 PM)
Fair points, Bob. I would argue that you have to overpay in free agency to sign one of the better players available. That's just how it works. And the Packers have a big need for a Chris Canty-type player. They don't have a left end and they might or might not get one in the draft. Their decision to switch schemes necessitated that they be more aggressive in finding good fits, or else the improved scheme will be negated by poorly-fitting players. As for linebackers, you're right, there aren't a ton available. But they have sat back and waited to see what happened with the ones that are available. An example is Kevin Burnett. He's not the greatest player ever, but the Packers need someone to fit into the other outside linebacker spot. To me, you don't make this type of dramatic shift if you're not willing to fill the holes -- even if it means overpaying.
Just out of curiosity, is Steiny (NYC) a former colleague at ESPN, or just attend every chat known to man? Because he always seems to get a warm welcome, or at least a question answered, in every chat.
Kevin Seifert (1:55 PM)
Steiny works VERY hard to get a word in.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Correct me if I'm wrong but you like Rice as the #2 WR in Minnesota, right? Can you figure out why they'd even look for a 3rd WR when T-Jax can't find the two he already has?
Kevin Seifert (1:57 PM)
I do like Rice in that type of role, although the Vikings obviously were looking to upgrade with Houshmandzadeh. I do think that the Vikings' quarterback -- Jackson or Rosenfels -- has enough tools at his disposal right now to be successful.
Kevin Seifert (1:57 PM)
Ok folks, one or two more questions here.
Birk's had his house for sale for a long time, so I believe he knew his time was up. Rumor has it that Kevin put a bid in but was a couple million short...
Kevin Seifert (1:58 PM)
Nah, I wasn't a big fan of the purple floor on the basketball court. And I expect my countertops to be from Cambria because they're completely non-porous.
What do you mean he works very hard? Do you like him?
Kevin Seifert (1:58 PM)
Oh, yeah. Just asks lots of questions.
Kevin Seifert (1:59 PM)
Ah, I get your drift now. Not that way.
Kevin (St. Paul)
What do you think of the chances Andre Smith falls to the Vikings in the 1st round, and if so, is there any reason they wouldn't take him?
Kevin Seifert (2:00 PM)
I think the character issues he showed at the combine will devalue him big-time in the Vikings' book.
Kevin Seifert (2:00 PM)
Ok everyone, thanks so much ... Chat with you next week!