Chat with Mike Sando
Sando joined ESPN.com in 2007 after nine seasons covering the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune. He previously covered Washington State University football and basketball for the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review. Mike grew up in Northern California before attending Whitworth College, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in political studies. He lives in the Seattle-Tacoma area with his wife and their two sons.
Send your questions for Mike now and join him in The Show on Thursday at noon ET!
Dayton,Oh [via mobile]
What are the chances Leonard Weaver ends up in philly?
Mike Sando (12:02 PM)
Sounds like he's hoping to sign with Seattle. We've heard about the Eagles and Bucs being players. Not sure Tampa even has the need. The question now is how quickly Seattle might take him back. Would the Seahawks prefer to wait til after the draft?
why are people dismissing the possibility of the Rams taking a QB at #2. Bulger has been beyond terrible for 2 straight yrs. I know about the contract, but his performance cannot be overlooked.
Mike Sando (12:04 PM)
Mostly it's the money issue -- the team has lots of money tied up in Bulger -- and the fact that the Rams have needs elsewhere.
Steve (Issaquah, Wa)
Mike, Why is Malcom Jenkins 40 time so important? Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson are fast but they can't cover anyone...it seems Malcom Jenkins knows how to play the position good and that should be enough right?
Mike Sando (12:05 PM)
I agree to an extent, but you don't want to pay top-flight corner money for a player who projects to safety. The Cardinals fell into that with Rolle. Good player, but would you draft him that high if you knew he would wind up converting to free safety in a couple years?
McGunnigle (via Oregon)
Hey Mike, with the rosters as is... behind the Cardinals, who is the top NFC West team?
Mike Sando (12:06 PM)
Tell me if Matt Hasselbeck is healthy. If he is, I think Seattle can move past SF into the second spot, with a chance to challenge Arizona.
Ryan. The Bay, CA
Hey Mike. If the niners were to sign Marvel Smith, who do you see them grabbing in round 1?
Mike Sando (12:08 PM)
Who will be the best pass rusher on the board? That's where I lean.
Joe in Susprise, AZ
4 players left on the Board for the Cards @ #31. McCoy, Mack, English, Pettigrew. They could really use any 4 of them but what feeling are you getting from the Cards as to which direction they would go.
Mike Sando (12:10 PM)
Probably in the order you listed them, assuming they are all good players. The running back would make the biggest difference right away. The center might be up there, too.
First thing, Mike you picture makes you look a little too young. Second, I see on other sites that people actually picking Stafford for Seattle. Have you heard anything regarding that? Lastly, I feel if seattle going for offensive playmaker ..My gut says Crabtree and then release Branch in the near future. What do you think? Sidenote: Show me a bad secondary and Ill show you a defensive line not generating enough pressure.
Mike Sando (12:13 PM)
Too young looking? I'll take it. The Stafford dilemma would be a compelling one for the Seahawks. I think they wouldn't mind further enhancing the defensive front seven. The Bucs certainly targeted that area early in drafts when Tim Ruskell was employed there. Agree with your last sentence in most cases.
josh in fontana
Sando the Rams just signed Mike Karney a very solid FB who should fit in well with the team ,but we have a FB in Brian Leonard ,how do you see the Rams utilizing him or I think he can handle taking a few carrys .Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Mike Sando (12:16 PM)
Brian Leonard is listed at 226 pounds. Karney is more of a true fullback. The Karney move would not seem to be good for Leonard, though I haven't spoken with the Rams about Leonard specifically.
Hey Mike, Any word on Walter Jones' health? That has to impact Seattle's draft moves.
Mike Sando (12:17 PM)
The Seahawks think he'll be OK. I would not expect to see him on the field until the regular season, frankly.
Jon (Charlotte, NC)
Is Andre Smith a good pick for the 49ers? His draft stock has taken a huge hit lately, but with Joe Staley on LT, Smith could enhance our running game from the RT spot.
Mike Sando (12:18 PM)
Andre Smith seems like a high-risk proposition and not worthy of the risk, particularly if he is going to play right tackle.
Marc Bulger (state of Misery)
Hey Rick. Give me some time in the pocket and I'll look good again. Pick me a big horse at #2!
Mike Sando (12:20 PM)
You might need a full season behind a solid line to feel right again. I don't think the Rams have much choice in the short term. They've got so much invested in Bulger that they need to give him every chance this season, then reassess the position.
The Cardinals have signed cornerback Bryant McFadden. What will McFadden mean to this defense?
Mike Sando (12:21 PM)
He'll give the Cardinals a physical presence at corner to pair with their cover corner, Rodgers-Cromartie. I like the signing.
Kevin: (Everett WA)
Is my dream scenerio a good idea? Seattle delects Stafford should he fall to #4, then immediately offers Oakland a 4th round pick for Michael Bush. Take the best DB in the second round, best safety in the 3rd round, and begin the new regime. Thoughts?
Mike Sando (12:25 PM)
The fourth player taken in the draft needs to play as a rookie in most cases. You might make an exception for a quarterback, but I'm thinking they'll go in another direction most likely.
Brandon (Bellevue, WA)
A lot of teams fall off after the Super Bowl. The Cardinals have been able to keep most of their players in Arizona and have even added a couple. However, they did lose both coordinators. Will they follow the trend and slump or is losing coaches not enough to get them down?
Mike Sando (12:27 PM)
I don't think they'll slump too badly in terms of the record. They were 9-7 after all. I do think it's unrealistic to expect another run to the Super Bowl.
The Seattle Seahawks have re-signed offensive lineman Ray Willis and signed free agent tight end John Owens. What kind of impact will these two guys have on the Seahawks in 2009?
Mike Sando (12:29 PM)
Willis will probably wind up starting some games. I think his re-signing was important for Seattle. Owens could play more extensively than Will Heller did last season, but it depends on what the Seahawks get from their receivers. A healthy WR corps could lead to more 3WR with 1TE, and that TE would be John Carlson. In that case, Owens might project more in short-yardage situations.
Matt (New York)
Mike, have you looked at the Seahawk's schedule this season? It seems fairly easy, with few difficult matchups. Any scheduling thoughts?i
Mike Sando (12:30 PM)
I see only one game in the Eastern time zone (Colts), so that's a start. They do face eight games against teams that finished the 2008 season with winning records. That includes games against the Titans (13-3), Colts (12-4), Vikings (10-6), Bears (9-7), Cowboys (9-7) and Bucs (9-7), plus two games against the Cardinals (9-7).
Mike, I know you followed the Seahawks for 9 years but could we get some questions posted related to the other 3 teasm in the West? Do you believe the Cardinals are being offered similar compensation for Anquan Boldin as the Cowboys offered for Roy Williams?
Mike Sando (12:32 PM)
No, I do not think the Cardinals are being offered that type of compensation package. Jeremy Green and I were talking about that Monday, wondering how people view Boldin around the league and whether the Cardinals could get more than a first-rounder in return.
Eric (Tri-Cities, WA)
How long will it be before the St. Louis Rams awake from their slumber and challenge the division?
Mike Sando (12:34 PM)
I would think that could happen in 2010. They could take a few steps backward personnel-wise this season after dumping Orlando Pace and Torry Holt, but they will almost surely get more from the talent on hand. I'll need to see them make upgrades at OL, WR and in the defensive front seven before feeling as though they will challenge for the division title.
Guest 49ers (Bay Area, Calif)
Hey Mike. With the decline of Ari's coaching and Warner's recent operation, how can you imply Ari may not have a bad year? I feel they're going to go 4 and 12 this year, Warner won't last 16 games.
Mike Sando (12:36 PM)
Kurt Warner's operation doesn't sound like a big deal. I do question whether he can hold up physically for another full season. He took a pounding last season and stood in there admirably, but I thought it was an upset he started 16 games. I'm not anointing anyone in the division, but the Cardinals do have a good thing going offensively.
Pedro (Puerto Rico)
Hey Mike how about Bulger, 1st-round pick for Cutler and a 3rd?
Mike Sando (12:36 PM)
The Rams would take a pretty good cap hit for Bulger and they would then probably need to think about a longer-term deal with Cutler. They would also be parting with the second overall choice in the draft. Yikes.
Aaron mn [via mobile]
hey mike with the rams upgrade at center and drafting an elite tackle do you think steven jackson can finally reach his potential?
Mike Sando (12:37 PM)
I think Steven Jackson will indeed have a very good statistical season. He has battled some injuries, so there is always that risk, but he won't miss training camp this summer and the Rams will presumably continue upgrading their offensive line.
mike-do you think the ny giants will be able to sign boldin away from the cardinals? now that toomer and burress are gone, the giants definitely need help in the receiver corps.
Mike Sando (12:39 PM)
That would be tampering. Boldin is under contract. The Giants would have to trade for him. I've seen no hard evidence suggesting the Cardinals will make such a move. There's been more smoke than fire to this point. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. did make a compelling case for trading him when we spoke Monday. He thought the Cardinals could potentially pick up enough draft capital to emerge from this draft with upgrades at RB, C, LB, TE, etc.
alex(wichita,ks) [via mobile]
there are still a lot of quality d lineman out on the market why is Ted Thompson being so nonchalant or are there any names being linked to the Packers
Mike Sando (12:40 PM)
Ted Thompson does not like unrestricted free agency. The Packers are one of four NFL teams with zero UFA signings from other teams this offseason.
I'm as tired of Cutler specualation as most people, but I still can't understand why I'm not hearing the 49ers' name in talks? Any insight as to why they wouldn't be interested? He makes them immediate NFC West contenders.
Mike Sando (12:41 PM)
Perhaps they think they can set up their offense to pound the ball, in which case they might not get their money's worth from a flashy passer? Just a thought. I do think they're hoping Alex Smith can break through finally.
Is Steve Breaston ready to be a #2 if Boldin gets moved?
Mike Sando (12:42 PM)
As long as Larry Fitzgerald is the No. 1 receiver, sure. That makes the matchups more favorable. If they get a tight end, too, that would help the second WR in theory.
Steve (Issaquah, Wa)
Mike, Do you see the Hawks going after a RB in the draft or are they happy with Jones and Duckett?
Mike Sando (12:43 PM)
Yes on both. I think they like those backs and they will still probably draft one.
Kevin, San Diego
Any word on the Hawks possibly moving down in the draft and with whom?
Mike Sando (12:44 PM)
As we've discussed, no team since 2003 has traded into the top five from lower in the hround. So it's unlikely, probably.
What is the deal with Alex Smith? Last year he was basically thrown away by Nolan. Do you think he has the possibility to still develop into a quality starter?
Mike Sando (12:47 PM)
I would say it's less than 50 percent likely in part because Smith just hasn't been able to stay healthy. If I knew he could stay healthy, I would upgrade that percentage. In the right system, with the right support, I do think he could be a decent starter -- not necessarily worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, but good enough to start.
Mackay (Pleasant Grove, UT)
I have heard next to nothing about Early Doucet, wasn't he supposed to be better than Breaston? If he emerges this year as a possesion receiver, which would mean he would have to actually play, I see the Cards trading Boldin next year. What do you feel the potential for Doucet is? Shouldn't he be better than Urban? Hopefully you've kept up on this more than I have.
Mike Sando (12:49 PM)
Doucet had a tough rookie season. The hamstring injury he suffered opened the door more widely for Breaston. Also, Jerheme Urban is a pretty good third or fourth receiver. Doucet should emerge as more of a factor this season.
Chris (Norman, OK)
I get that the 49ers might feel like they'd waste money if they were a running team, but they seemed willing to change for Warner? Besides, wouldn't a running game benefit from having a passer who scared defenses from stacking the box?
Mike Sando (12:51 PM)
Kurt Warner scares people a lot more when he's throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. He's able to throw into tight spots against pressure and trust the receivers to win at the ball. I don't see him being nearly as effective throwing to the 49ers' receivers. I think we would see his age exposed more readily in another offense. Don't get me wrong, he's terrific at what he does. But I'm not sure how well he could do some of those things in another offense at this stage. The 49ers would have weakened the Cardinals by making that move. And, yes, Warner would have been better than what they already have.
cgolden: (Fort Worth, TX)
How high on the Cardinals "wish" list would you put the tight end position? They got almost zero production from the position last year and the best player won't be ready by the start of camp.
Mike Sando (12:53 PM)
I would put it behind running back and probably behind OLB/pass rusher. I might put it behind OL, notably center, depending on which players are available. TE is something to address, but not at the expense of those other positions if the values are equal. That is just my view.
Zack (Seattle, WA)
Housh is great. Carlson is a pro-bowler in the making. But, how effective can the Hawks hope to be without a true number one receiver, like Fitzgerald?
Mike Sando (12:54 PM)
The Seahawks have gone to a Super Bowl in the last few years without having a No. 1 receiver. I think a team can win with good receivers, even if none qualify as a true No. 1.
How good to the 49ers think Josh Morgan can be? A true #1, or just a good #2 who was great value for where he was drafted?
Mike Sando (12:55 PM)
I cannot speak for the team on this one because I'm sure there are varying opinions within the organization. The last part of what you said -- relative to where Morgan was drafted -- is part of the assessment. I think they see him, in general, as a guy who can start for them. They love the way he approaches the game and grasps concepts.
Thomas Clayton's looked good the past 2 offseasons.. is he the RB2 in SF? Or will they be drafting another one in this draft?
Mike Sando (12:56 PM)
I think they'll draft one. Scot McCloughan pretty much said so. He thinks the team can find a bigger back to supplement Frank Gore.
I was talking about Cutler scaring defenses from stacking the box. I actually think Cutler is the better QB of he and Warner, and am confused why the 49ers would push so hard for Warner but not kick the tires on Cutler. Sorry for the confusion.
Mike Sando (12:57 PM)
No sweat. One difference would be compensation. Warner was an unrestricted free agent. A team could pay him without parting with draft choices. Not so with Cutler. That could be one sticking point.
Aaron, Tel Aviv, Israel
HI, any chance the rams take aaron curry at #2, they need RT more then LT, and there are better tackle prospects in the second then linebackers. why is this not even being talked about? barron was drafted to replace pace, why not give him that chance?
Mike Sando (12:59 PM)
They might need two tackles realistically given that Barron is entering the final year of his deal. I wouldn't rule out Curry for the Rams. I just question whether this team can afford to risk not emerging with one ore more starting OL. The Rams would have a better feel for this. If they were reasonably sure they could find a starting OL in the second round or later, I would think the Curry move would really pay off. I like what he would offer that defense and I think the needs on defense should not be understated. They are real needs.
Hey mike! m glad i caugh you. Im wondering how you would rate the rams offseason so far
Mike Sando (1:01 PM)
So far, so good. It's painful severing ties with iconic players, but I agree that now is the time to do it given all the considerations (new staff, the ages of the players, salary-cap implications). Upgrading at center was hugely important. Finding a younger alternative to Corey Chavous was important. I still think the team needs help on the OL, at WR and in the middle of the defense. But it's tough to fix everything overnight.
Matt (New York)
On that subject, what are the chances of the seahawks drafting curry at #4? I understand that part of trading Julian was lowering the team's investment in the LB position, but isn't curry projected as the best player in this draft by many analysts?
Mike Sando (1:02 PM)
I think the Seahawks might have a hard time passing on Curry if he were available in that spot. But I'll be honest. It's a guessing game with Seattle right now. No clear mandate to go in any one direction with that pick.
Mike Sando (1:03 PM)
Thanks for dropping by today. See you on the blog.