Chat with Mike Sando
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll have ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando stopping by to talk about the latest NFL happenings.
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 now and join Sando on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
As a huge niner fan I was never big on Martz do you think he will do well for the bears?
Mike Sando (1:04 PM)
They should see quick results and, ultimately, a flameout that was probably coming anyway. Not liking how that organization is set up right now. It goes beyond Martz. One thing, though: Cutler does have talent. It just strikes me as an unstable marriage.
Jerry (Folsom, CA)
Hey Mike, happy Thursday!Here are some truths:1. The Rams need a LOT of help.2. The Rams are in dire need of a franchise QB.3. It is fairly universally agreed among the NFL powers that Suh is the best player in the draft.4. It is fairly universally agreed among the NFL powers that there is no QB worth the first overall pick this year.With those truths, it seems obvious to me that the Rams MUST trade down, or barring that, take Suh. Pick a QB later or pick Suh at #1.I know the QB is more important but he's not there at #1 this year so don't take him.What am I missing?
Mike Sando (1:05 PM)
Trade down for what? If those are truths, why would anyone else trade into that spot? Is anyone really a rookie defensive tackle away from winning it all?
Mike, why has there been no talk of the Seahawks making a move for Anquan Boldin? Deion Branch or Kelly Jennings or Seneca Wallace and a third-rounder wouldn't suffice?
Mike Sando (1:07 PM)
The general feeling has been that Arizona probably would look outside the division when trading Anquan Boldin. If I were the Cardinals, I would take Seneca Wallace and a third-rounder any day, but I would not want to send Boldin to a division rival.
Richard Lopez (Folsom)
Sando, What big name do you see the 49ers going after in free agency if anyone at all? Thanks, Love the blog.
Mike Sando (1:07 PM)
Thanks, Richard. The 49ers have indicated they probably will not chase big names in free agency. That has been their philosophy of late.
Hey Mike, with Cleveland looking for a quarterback, do you see Seattle possibly shopping Seneca Wallace to see what they could get?
Mike Sando (1:09 PM)
That could make some sense depending on how Seattle addresses the QB situation this offseason. Wallace knows the offense Mike Holmgren wants the Browns to run. Wallace has quite a few years invested in that offense. He has more value in that offense.
Sando, if the Cards could get an extra third-round pick for Anquan Boldin, should they try to go after Kirk Morrison and give up that extra pick, or do you think Larry Foote could do just as good as Morrison. Thanks
Mike Sando (1:12 PM)
I would much rather have the third-round choice and Foote than no third-round choice and Morrison. Foote would fit the 3-4 mold in Arizona. Foote was with the Steelers when Ken Whisenhunt was there, so that would be another potential bonus. Foote would know what the Cardinals are trying to accomplish scheme-wise. I think he also has some leadership skills that could be valuable.
Out of the 4 teams in the NFC West, which team do you see being the most active in Free Agency?
Mike Sando (1:13 PM)
If I had to pick one, it might be Seattle just because the Seahawks are a bit of a wild card. Still, I am not expecting a frenzy.
Carlos (Los Angeles)
Mike, San Francisco wants to get younger at corner. Why wouldn't they go after Dunta Robinson?
Mike Sando (1:15 PM)
Getting younger often means getting less expensive. Robinson will command a lot of money. I don't know if the 49ers have ruled out such a move, but they have been pretty restrained in free agency recently.
Jacob (Bay Area, CA)
Hi Sando,love what you do great work! Question about how many offensive linemen does a team usually carry on the 53 man roster? And how many do the 49ers usually carry? Thanks Sando.
Mike Sando (1:17 PM)
Thanks, Jacob. The 49ers have carried nine offensive linemen on each of their last three opening-week 53-man rosters. That is typical. The 49ers carried 10 to open the 2006 season and eight to open the 2005 and 2004 seasons. They carried nine to open the 2003 season. Generally a team likes to keep nine. Seven are usually active with the 45-man game-day roster. Sometimes injuries will cause a team to carry more or fewer.
DUSTIN (MINOT, ND)
Mike, with the release of Antrel Rolle, who do you see making the biggest push to sign him? Do you see a team like the Minnesota Vikings jumping at this to solidify a defense in need of another solid cornerback? Also do you know when he will clear waivers?
Mike Sando (1:20 PM)
Rolle might not be subject to waivers because he has five years of NFL experience. He might just be a straight termination. Either way, he's going to hit the market pretty quickly once the Cardinals make that move. An agent called me Wednesday night trying to figure out which teams might make a play for Rolle. We did not reach a consensus. I think the market could be disappointing for some of these guys given the uncertainty looming in 2011. Arizona still might have a chance.
Mike Sando (1:21 PM)
The Seahawks just announced their RFA tenders. I'm going to blog it quickly, then come right back.
Mike Sando (1:26 PM)
Ben Obomanu, Rob Sims, Chris Spencer and Darryl Tapp were tendered in their original draft rounds. That means the Seahawks would get a seventh-rounder for Obomanu, fourth-rounder for Sims, first-rounder for Spencer and second-rounder for Tapp if they declined to match offers from other teams for those players.The team did not extend tenders to tackle Brandon Frye or linebacker Lance Laury.
Why do the niners not seem that interested in Sproles in FA? They can get the dynamic return man they need and a change of pace back, as well as not having to spend a first or second round pick on Spiller or Best? Seems like a good move, so the niners can use the draft pick on a DB, potentially a big playmaker.
Mike Sando (1:27 PM)
The price tag for Darren Sproles could be a deterrent. The 49ers should be able to find a return specialist in the draft.
Mike, Seattle has no pass rush and its putting a lot of strain on the secondary. Don't you think maybe Paul Allen should spend the BIG money to get Peppers to become a Seahawk? Thanks
Mike Sando (1:30 PM)
It's always fun telling other people how to spend lots of money. I do think the Seahawks should consider that type of move. I also will not be surprised if they do get involved with Peppers. That's the sort of move a team makes when it wants to quickly make up for recent draft failures. Peppers is expected to command $12 million to $13 million per year. That's not much more than the team was planning to pay (combined) for Deion Branch and Patrick Kerney. Cut those two, sign Peppers and you're instantly a better team even if Peppers isn't the most reliable bet.
Hey, can you tell me the probability that Brandon Marshall will get traded.
Mike Sando (1:31 PM)
I think the probability is high. The first-round tender gives the Broncos some protection while providing a starting point for trade negotiations.
Andre (Maple Grove MN)
Why are the 49ers trying to work out a long term deal with Franklin? He has one great year, and most players in their contract year tend to over acheive.
Mike Sando (1:32 PM)
The 49ers might be trying to work out a long term deal, but how hard are they trying? I think they might agree with you more than you think. Otherwise they might have signed him long term. They were going to franchise him all along. This move lets them evaluate him for another season and then decide on the smartest course. The labor situation might have more clarity by then as well.
Mike - What does this mean? "Linebacker David Hawthorne was tendered as an exclusive-rights free agent. He basically had no options. " Thanks
Mike Sando (1:34 PM)
The NFL and NFLPA agreed upon an "exclusive rights" tier of free agents. These players, once tendered at a minimal level, cannot solicit offers from any other teams. They have no options, basically, unless their teams do not extent offers.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
Will you settle this argument: I think Larry Fitzgerald is the most talented receiver ever to play the game, not based on stats, just skill. Thoughts?
Mike Sando (1:35 PM)
Sorry, Hayden, but I have a hard time agreeing with that stance. Randy Moss is the most talented receiver I have ever seen in terms of size, speed, catching ability and overall freakishness. Fitzgerald is up there, but he never had that killer speed to go with the other talents. I might even argue that Andre Johnson is more talented.
Kyle (tempe, AZ)
What are the possibilities the 49ers trade Manny Lawson? Don't you think he makes too much money to be a situational player? The 49ers did draft him to be an outside rush threat and he hasn't been a tenth of the threat Brooks showed he is.
Mike Sando (1:37 PM)
Manny Lawson's contract isn't unwieldy at this point. His deal is up after the 2010 season. I think the 49ers should keep trying to develop him, then reevaluate.
Who is the most likely team to trade one of their draft picks in the NFC West? There is a lot of talk surrounding the Rams and the 49ers and Seahawks. Each have two in the first round.
Mike Sando (1:39 PM)
The Rams have the 33rd pick, which is in the second round, so they have only one first-rounder. But you're right about the NFC West holding lots of picks early. I think we're likely to see trades. The Rams could have a hard time moving the first overall choice, but I think that 33rd choice will have value as teams regroup between the first and second days.
Jerry (Folsom, CA)
Assuming the Rams current WR's are healthy (unlike last year) are they good enough to compliment S-Jax appropriately? It seems to me the WR need isn't as dire as it may appear at first glance.
Mike Sando (1:40 PM)
I don't trust those players to stay healthy, Jerry. Donnie Avery has been pretty brittle to this point. Laurent Robinson had some injury issues in Atlanta before the Rams acquired him. Sure, if everyone is healthy, they are better. But still not good enough.
"Randy Moss is the most talented receiver I have ever seen in terms of size, speed, catching ability and overall freakishness."I think I just fell out of my chair...Does the name Jerry Rice ring a bell?
Mike Sando (1:40 PM)
Key word: talented. Moss was far superior in the measurables. Rice had a better career. I would put both among the top five in NFL history, with Rice first.
Willie J (Detroit)
Does anyone really know what Rolle's status will be? Is he affected by the uncapped year like the vested players who were set to become UFA's and thus subject to waivers?
Mike Sando (1:42 PM)
I have not gotten a definitive answer to that question regarding waivers. He would not become a restricted free agent, though, because he would be waived or terminated. RFAs and UFAs gain that status when their contracts expire naturally. Rolle will not qualify in either category.
Hey Sando, do you think the 49ers have the most pressure to win the NFC West title this year or is it still on the Cardinals even without Kurt Warner?
Mike Sando (1:44 PM)
The 49ers clearly face the most pressure among NFC West teams to win the division in 2010. Arizona has a couple in the bank. Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves have contract extensions through 2013. Warner's retirement lowered outside expectations. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been in that mediocre range the last couple seasons. Their president, Jed York, promised the playoffs last season. Missing the playoffs again could have some consequences.
Michael McGlynn (Reno, NV)
Are there any offensive lineman available in FA that would fit Alex Gibbs zone blocking scheme for Seattle?
Mike Sando (1:45 PM)
There should be a couple guys the Seahawks could pick up. Ben Hamilton and Chester Pitts come to mind.
Mike (Eugene, OR)
As a Seahawks fan I've been awaiting Free Agency. I assumed that with a wealthy owner and a lot of spots to fill they'd be willing to make some moves, but all indications are that they pretty much intend to sit this one out. Why not go for it in an uncapped year when they have the funding? Is the FA group this year really that weak?
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
Yes, the free-agent class is weak. Let's sit back and see what happens over the next 24 hours. I would not rule out the Seahwaks making at least one play in the market. Cannot use the cap as an excuse.
Dave W. (Bay Area, Ca)
Mike, please pass this on to Hayden in Utah. Hayden, there was a guy out here a few years back that was pretty good too. His name escapes me at the moment ... his name had to do some kind of food ... oh yeah ... RICE ... first name Jerry?!?!?!?!?!Fitzgerald is a nice player, but saying he is the most talented of all time makes me think you are either very young or an Arizona season ticket holder ... which is it?
Mike Sando (1:48 PM)
There's a difference between most talented and best. Jerry Rice was the best. Randy Moss was more talented than Jerry Rice.
I dont think that this years draft is a very strong one for QBs. Don't you think it would be a waste for Seattle to draft a QB this year? Matt Hasselbeck is a good QB and if Seattle can find away to protect him, then he can lead them to a Super Bowl. Your thoughts?
Mike Sando (1:51 PM)
Super Bowl? That might be aiming a little high. I think the Seahawks need to draft a quarterback somewhere. Whether that's in the first round depends on how the round plays out. I would not have a huge problem with Seattle selecting the best quarterback sixth overall. The question is really whether the best quarterback would still be around at that point. Seattle does need to find Hasselbeck's successor.
Brian (Folsom, CA)
The 49ers' offensive line clearly underperformed last season. How much can improved coaching help the line?
Mike Sando (1:52 PM)
The offensive line improved over the second half of the season, perhaps as the team became a little less predictable in its ground game. Mike Solari should help quite a bit because he worked previously with offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, so you know Raye trusts him (possible to carry a little more of the load). I'm not sure Raye had many people he could immediately lean on last season. The Solari hiring has a chance to be a very good one for the 49ers.
Patrick (Dublin, Ireleand)
Mike - Is there anyway Bradford could slip to say the 8th pick? Don't you think the Niners will be hesitant to work out Bradford or Clausen, to protect Alex Smith's "feelings"? Won't that put them at a disadvantage if one of them slips?
Mike Sando (1:55 PM)
They can't worry about Alex Smith's feelings. Their first priority has to be to upgrade the team. Smith has not earned the right for the team to puts its QB plans on hold.
With Joe Haden's disappointing combine performance, any chance he falls to the 49ers?
Mike Sando (1:56 PM)
I don't know how much a 40-yard time is going to knock him down. That could be a nice pickup.
NFP is reporting that the Rams are seriously considering placing the 'right of first refusal' on Oshiomogho Atogwe. That practically makes him a FA. With his connection to Sing, and the fact that Goldson can easily shift to SS, why don't you see this happening?
Mike Sando (1:57 PM)
The Rams could still match any offer. How much is Atogwe worth on the market coming off an injury?
Amar (Atlanta, GA)
Any chance of Rolando McClain falling in the draft and the Cardinals trading up to get him? He would be a great replacement for Dansby.
Mike Sando (1:59 PM)
Not a big fan of trading up for an inside linebacker. If the Cardinals are that worried about replacing Dansby, they should just pay him. I'd much rather have the 26th pick and all my other picks if I were the Cardinals. They can find linebackers.
Craig (Glendale AZ)
For a team that needs offensive line help (49ers), do you think that Deuce Lutui would be worth a second round pick, to steal from the Cardinals? Or do you think that there is better options with that second round pick in the draft?
Mike Sando (1:59 PM)
My sense is that Arizona would match an offer for him. I wouldn't pay him big and give up a second-rounder for the right to do so.
Mike Sando (2:01 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the chat. Are you following the blog on Twitter?