Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join James Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Hello everyone. Let's get to some questions.
Andrew (Ellicott city, Maryland)
What are the chances that the Ravens trade gaither to Redskins, Seahawks, Cowboys, or whoever else may be interested, then use that pick for Brandon Marshall?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
First of all, I don't think it's a certainly that Jared Gaither is moved. I just think it's a possibility, depending on the market. The Redskins are definitely out. They're not giving up their No. 4 overall pick and they lost their second-rounder with Donovan McNabb. I haven't heard much about the other teams mentioned.
Dr. House (Bloomsburg, PA)
James, love the blog. Let me keep it simple, give me the percentage chance of the Steelers landing Joe Haden.
James Walker (4:04 PM)
The Browns are out of the CB market for now, so that helps the Steelers. If the Steelers are willing to trade up a few spots, I would say 30 percent.
Brian (Richmond, Ky.)
Has Bengals management said anything about Ocho's participation on Dancing With the Stars and the potential for injury? A stress fracture or a sprain in his foot could cost him a lot of time come football season.
James Walker (4:05 PM)
I think there is some concern there, but not enough to make a big deal about it. Obviously that would change if something were to happen. But coach Marvin Lewis has been pretty good about it in recent interviews I've had with him.
Given the Ravens history of making trades in the first round, do you see them possibly moving to try and get a cornerback like Kyle Wilson, or would the cost to be able to do that be more than they are willing to give up?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
Wilson could be a good pickup for Baltimore. But I don't think the Ravens would move up to get him. If he's there at No. 25, he would certainly be a consideration.
Dave (Cleveland OH)
What do you think the Browns will do if eric berry is gone since they just traded for sheldon brown?
James Walker (4:09 PM)
We just outlined all the possibilities in the blog Monday, Dave. Check it out. It could be a decision between trading the pick or taking Texas safety Earl Thomas.
scott (chesapeake va)
do you think pittsburgh will get bulger or westbrook this year
James Walker (4:11 PM)
Marc Bulger is from Pittsburgh, but I doubt Pittsburgh will make any significant move at QB until the team has clarity on Ben Roethlisberger's situation. I haven't heard any particular interest in Brian Westbrook. I would assume he wants a chance to start somewhere and won't get that in Pittsburgh.
matt (Canton, Ohio)
Who do you think the browns will pick at seven and when will they draft a qb and who would it be?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I believe the Browns (ideally) want Eric Berry. But he could be off the board. QB is harder to predict, because it's going to be in the later rounds. But I'm told one QB they like is Colt McCoy.
No secret that Ozzie will want to recoup some draft choices and in Baltimore we've heard several names linked to trades; Gaither, T. Smith, Pryce, and McGahee. Do you think we make any moves and is there any market for the latter 3?
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Of the latter three, I'm surprised Troy Smith hasn't generated much interest. A fifth-round tender is basically giving him away, and I think the Ravens expected as much. McGahee has a large contract and Pryce's age probably scares a lot of teams. They're both probably more valuable with the Ravens than in trades.
Who needs a TE most, Bengals or Ravens?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
Bengals. But I suspect both teams will grab one at some point in the draft.
Hey James, outside of Antonio Bryant and Chad, what do you make of the current WR situation in Cincy? Do you see Matt Jones as being able to catch on and make a difference in Cincy as a #3 WR? Taking into consideration Cincy has a compensatory 3rd round pick, do you see the Bengals taking a WR in the first three rounds?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
I don't know what to expect from Matt Jones. I haven't seen him in nearly two seasons, and in football that is like dog years away from the game. So I'm in wait-and-see mode with him. Andre Caldwell made decent strides last year. He needs to continue to improve.
Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)
Regardless of who Buffalo goes with at starting QB, don't they have to get rid of Fitzpatrick or Edwards? If one gets the nod they will constantly be looking over their shoulder for the other to take their place. I would trade for Campbell, dump Brohm and Fitzpatrick, keep Edwards as your #2, and draft a project like Tebow, LeFevour, etc. Thoughts?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
That actually sounds like a good plan, Katelyn. I agree that Fitzpatrick or Edwards would be expendable if Buffalo traded for Jason Campbell. I'm not high on Edwards at all. I know the AFC North has tough defenses, but every time I seen him play against the division, he was one of the worst starting QBs I've seen in that particular season.
Simon (Manchester, UK)
Any update on the contract of Marvin Lewis??
James Walker (4:25 PM)
I haven't checked on this since the combine. But the Bengals have talked to Lewis about a new contract in October and January and both times nothing happened. I think Lewis has just as much to do with both sides not reaching an agreement. There are some philisophical differences that Lewis and Mike Brown have to work out.
Travis (Cincinnati, OH)
In what scenario would the Bengals trade up or down in the first round of the draft?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
To my knowledge, I haven't heard anything about the Bengals wanting to trade up. They like where they are and should get a solid prospect at No. 21. Plus, when you trade up, the first-round contract becomes bigger and more expensive. And we all know the Bengals' history when it comes to spending a ton of money.
James, I WANT EARL THOMAS! What are the chances he falls to the Bengals at No. 21?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
A lot of teams want Earl Thomas, Nick. He's a good player. In my opinion, Thomas won't be there at No. 21.
James, I saw in the mock draft you linked to on your blog that Dez Bryant was going to the Bengals at 21...I thought there was no chance he'd fall that far? What happened?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
A lot of teams have some character concerns with Bryant. He's had a rough upbringing, but so have a lot of people. The Bengals are known to take chances on those type of players. So now he's being linked to the Bengals.
James, maybe the Bengals moving up in the first round is a comfort thing? You know, since they're so used to drafting in the top 10.
James Walker (4:36 PM)
They barely wanted to pay last year's top 10 pick (Andre Smith). I doubt they want to go through that experience again if they don't have to.
is berry still a reality at number seven for the browns?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
How do you define "reality?" There is a chance Berry is there, yes. But I think KC and now Washington might also have interest.
Hey James, do you have any idea when the schedules will be released?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
The schedules will be out within the next few weeks. There is no exact date at this point, but it should be fairly soon.
James, other then OL or CB are then any positions you the Steelers going in the 1st round?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
Depth on the DL is a possibility, particularly at NT.
Brendan (Fairfax, VA)
If available at 12 or higher, who do you see the Steelers trading up to get...Haden or McClain?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
If they're trading up, it's more likely for Joe Haden. The Steelers have more than enough good LBs.
jimmy (las vegas)
james u never answer my steeler questions is it because I was from cleveland and now I'm a closet steelers fan or don't u like vegas.
James Walker (4:45 PM)
We get a lot of questions, Jimmy. Don't take it personal. I've only been to Vegas once, I believe. I don't know much about the place.
I hope I'm wrong, but I get the sense that Holmgren's "disatisfaction" with Claussen is just a smoke screen to try to stop anyone from jumping over us to nab him at #7. What do you think are the chances of this happening?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
Mike Holmgren has been pretty honest. I can't completely rule out the smokescreen this time of year. But I would be surprised.
james, If the steelers aren't able to draft Mike Iupati at #18, is there another interior OL that may be worth choosing, or do you think they will go for CB or DL depth?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
In terms of interior OL, Iupati would be the best and maybe only choice at No. 18. Otherwise, the Steelers could take a good OT or just look at another position. There will be a host of good players at No. 18. This is a very deep draft in my opinion.
Now that the Browns have traded for Sheldon Bown what do you think they will do with their No. 7 pick? Is a CB still in the cards?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Definitely not in the first round at No. 7. But I anticipate the Browns looking at CBs later in the draft. Safety is a bigger priority right now in the secondary.
What effect will the loss of Willie Parker have on the Steelers season and the way that they draft this year?
James Walker (4:51 PM)
Parker was a good presence in the locker room. But I don't think they miss Parker on the field all that much. It's Rashard Mendenhall's time. He needs a bulk of the carries to show what he can do.
What is your personal opinion on the health of Carson Palmer's right arm?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
Palmer says it's healthy and there are no issues. I can only take him at his word.
ryan (ocean city,md)
what are the chances that the bengals part ways with second rounder jerome simpson? i cant see him in the future plans in cincy..
James Walker (4:55 PM)
Jerome Simpson is definitely a player on the hot seat this year. I don't even know if he will make the team, especially if Cincinnati takes a WR in the first three rounds. Simpson's had a lot of chances. So it's time for him to produce.
Alan (Sherman Oaks)
DB's keep coming up in mocks as pick for the Browns at 7... who is your sleeper non-DB pick they might take?
James Walker (4:58 PM)
I see Cleveland going safety, too, at No. 7. But a sleeper non-DB pick? RB C.J. Spiller.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time. Remember to check out the AFC North blog and our popular Twitter feed.
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