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!
Mike Sando (12:59 PM)
Welcome. Just got some news from the NFL as to what to expect for free agency and the like. Going to post something on the blog quickly, then dive back in here for the chat.
Mike Sando (1:08 PM)
OK, I am back. Let's get this thing rolling.
lm (north of 9)
Can a player be traded after being selected in the draft?
Mike Sando (1:09 PM)
Rights to players can be traded in a typical league year. However, the NFL does not plan to say before tomorrow what is allowed on the trading front.
Keith (Dallas, TX)
If the 49ers draft Blaine Gabbert (aka less-intelligent Alex Smith) at #7, should I burn all my SF gear at the end of the first round tonight or wait until the final pick of the draft Saturday?
Mike Sando (1:12 PM)
You should hope that Jim Harbaugh's feel for quarterbacks and ability to work with them allows Gabbert to become a successful quarterback. And you should feel grateful the team finally appears to have some philosophical stability on the offensive side of the ball. There's no reason to compare Gabbert to Alex Smith because the 49ers are in a much different situation now.
Zach (Bremerton Wa)
I don't understand why the owners wont let the lockout be lifted until the appeals process takes place. Wouldn't letting trades and signings be good for everyone? Especially hours before the draft starts, teams could actually make some trades with players and move back or forward in the draft. I dont get it.
Mike Sando (1:15 PM)
I'm seeking clarification from the league to determine whether the guidelines issued Thursday allow for any kind of trading. My initial read says teams will wait until Friday at the earliest before finding out when a trading period would begin. I think the league doesn't want an overly chaotic first round of the draft. Teams must not feel prepared to suddenly open the free-agent signing period with a draft to conduct.
Wild Child (Downtown)
Who out of any team in the NFL has the best chance at having the best draft?...I think Denver is set up well but I need your thoughts
Mike Sando (1:16 PM)
New England, easily, based on number of picks and having experienced people making those picks.
With Schneider saying "we want to move back" I have to assume the player(s) they are targeting with that first pick will most likely be around somewhere between the 26th and 42nd picks (or so...) I was wondering if you had any insight into potential players that seem to have that late-first/early-second round grade, fill a need, and have had an interest shown in them by the Hawks?
Mike Sando (1:18 PM)
Yeah, some of the names we've heard in association with Seattle -- Marvin Austin, Jimmy Smith, even Ryan Mallett -- come with question marks that could push them down draft boards. Moving down in the draft could let Seattle go after a riskier prospect with first-round talent while adding the picks Seattle wants to build from the ground up. That is one line of thinking if Seattle does move back.
Please, please tell me Kiper's 5.0 mock will not come true... Gabbert? Shed some light on your thoughts!
Mike Sando (1:21 PM)
The 49ers do need a quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is rated highly. Jim Harbaugh has said he's OK with quarterbacks from spread offenses as long as they have the right quarterback DNA. Gabbert-to-San Francisco is just one plus one equals two. Doesn't mean it will happen. I think there's a better chance the 49ers will go defense in the first round, but if Gabbert is there at No. 7, the 49ers have to consider him.
Jared (Cheney, WA)
Seattle has a wide range of needs, but what do we aim for in the 1st round?
Mike Sando (1:23 PM)
When in doubt, build along the lines. I just think that makes the most sense in theory. Now, if a non-lineman appears unexpectedly, reconsider. But I couldn't argue with building from the inside out.
Since the NFL has to come up with rules to govern the new season, can those rules be of their own choosing (like say they institute their first offer to the players) or do the rules have to come from a previous agreement?
Mike Sando (1:25 PM)
The league can impose whatever rules it likes, I believe, but from a legal standpoint, I think the NFL would be wise if it reverted to past rules instead of imposing new ones. That would probably be the best way to navigate the antitrust issues. It just looks better reverting to previously agreed upon guidelines.
How loud are the boo birds going to be when Roger Goodell starts the draft? and are you going to enjoy watching that?
Mike Sando (1:27 PM)
Boos seem likely. I see no reason to enjoy it.
CJ (South Bend)
Mike, why would the Panthers draft a QB this year when they might be subject to the 2010 rules and have to pay him a $50 million bonus, when maybe next year it will only cost them, say, $20 million to draft QB. Shouldn't they go to a cheaper position?
Mike Sando (1:30 PM)
The Panthers cannot know if they'll be in position to get a top quarterback next year. They should take one this year if they value him enough to go that early. Teams need to make these moves for the right reasons.
A Guy (The World)
Can a pick be traded for a player tonight (e.g Kolb for picks)?
Mike Sando (1:31 PM)
No. I just received clarification on that. Teams can trade selections during the first round. But until the league distributes rules for the new league year -- something that will not happen before Friday -- player trades remain on hold.
Would you trade the rams 14th and 78th pick for dallas 9th pick if WR Julio Jones was still on the board?
Mike Sando (1:34 PM)
I'd be reluctant to make that move based on the high-risk nature of receivers in general, and based on the fact that new coordinator Josh McDaniels has produced strong results in the receiving game with Brandon Lloyd and others. The Rams can feel good about addressing defense early in this draft at No. 14.
Thoughts on possible Rams' pick? I really like the idea of going D-Line, but more toys for Bradford is certainly appealing.
Mike Sando (1:36 PM)
Yeah, they need more weapons for Sam Bradford but they cannot force the issue. The risk-reward is higher on the wide receiver, in general. Steve Spagnuolo could use another young player on that defensive front.
Mike, love the blog. I'm finding too much of the analysis by the 'experts' way too one-dimensional on Rams needs. This is a team that is still rebuilding and is more than a WR away from taking the next step. They need a replacement for Atogwe, a guard to move the chains on short yardage, two LBs and youth and depth on the DL. Personally, I'd like to see them move up to the 8-10 range to go get Robert Quinn, who I think will be a Pro Bowler and team up with Chris Long to make an awesome tandem. But my point is this: isn't Rams nation getting carried away with Julio Jones?
Mike Sando (1:41 PM)
It's hard to quantify what "Rams Nation" is thinking overall. The need for a receiver is obvious, but not overriding. Your knowledge of the team lets you see some of the other needs clearly. I'd love to know what Steve Spagnuolo thinks of Quinn's game against the run. As a pure pass-rusher, though, Quinn gets high marks. One consideration: Should a team move into the top 10 for a higher-risk player? Quinn missed the 2010 season. He has a benign brain tumor that may or may not become a problem in the future. He does not help the situation at defensive tackle. He does not give Sam Bradford another weapon. These are some of the issues the Rams would have to weigh.
If players can be traded starting tomorrow, do you think the Seahawks will make a push for Kevin Kolb and what would it take to get him?
Mike Sando (1:42 PM)
We'll know by Thursday night whether Seattle remains a player for Kevin Kolb or other veteran quarterbacks. The Eagles would not be able to get a high 2012 pick in return. Seattle has a second-rounder, but no third. And it's unclear how Philadelphia and Seattle would view a 2012 first-round choice as part of the equation. I say there are too many variables to set a price. I also think the guidelines distributed Friday might not necessarily open up trading right away.
Josh (Redding, Ca)
Do you think that if the Seahawks decide to not take a high rated QB in the draft tonight it is an indication that they plan on trying to acquire Kevin Kolb?
Mike Sando (1:44 PM)
I would see it as a potential indication. We still do not know whether Matt Hasselbeck is returning. That is part of the equation as well. Why not bring back Hasselbeck for one more year while building the rest of the roster? I would probably rather do that than give up the foundation of your team -- high draft choices -- for Kevin Kolb.
As a Seahawk fan, I was really baffled by how the Cards handled the QB position last year, starting Max Hall (a rookie UDFA) for a number of games. This year it looks like they'll ignore the QB position early. What is the plan there? Are they depending on signing a guy like Bulger or Anderson and then hoping to develop late round/marginal talent? I'd think this would cause Fitz to pack his bags at the end of the season.
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
I'm sure you would hate to see the Cardinals lose Larry Fitzgerald. Haha. Derek Anderson is not a consideration for next season. Marc Bulger is a more likely alternative. If the Cardinals do not draft a quarterback early, they'll almost certainly look for a veteran. I know they liked Bulger last offseason and they could get him without giving up draft choices, so that could move him up the list.
What are the chances that Jake Locker is a seahawk when we all got to bed tonight?
Mike Sando (1:47 PM)
I just do not see it happening. I'd say there's a better chance he's off the board before No. 25, and then also a good chance Seattle would not take him in that slot.
Sounds like Monday will be the start of the league year using 2010 rules. The Seahawks have a lot of FAs this year and a lot of holes on the team. I don't expect them to make any big moves until a new CBA is in place, knowing that they were so conservative before the lockout. Is this a reasonable expectation or could we see a Gallery/Hasselbeck signing early next week.
Mike Sando (1:49 PM)
Well, let's see how the Final Eight rules come into play. I think Robert Gallery is an obvious consideration for the offensive line. Re-signing Matt Hasselbeck could be trickier depending on what other opportunities he has; Seattle likely will not offer him long-term security at this stage of his career.
Zonia fan (Arizona)
Hey how is in more of a need of a QB, the Seahawks or Cards? And who drafts one rather then gets one in FA?
Mike Sando (1:51 PM)
The Cardinals' need is greater, in my view, because Seattle could still re-sign Matt Hasselbeck and also because Pete Carroll is entering only his second season with Seattle. He has a little time. Ken Whisenhunt has job security and a deal through 2013, but after the whole Matt Leinart-Derek Anderson-rookie quarterback fiasco last season, I think the stakes are higher for Arizona -- particularly with Larry Fitzgerald on the verge of possible free agency. Seattle is more likely to draft one because the Cardinals do not seem to have a later-round need; John Skelton and Max Hall are already developmental prospects.
What's the best and worst case scenario for the Seahawks in this draft?
Mike Sando (1:53 PM)
Worst-case scenario is reaching for the wrong quarterback in the first round. Best-case scenario is trading down, still getting a great value and adding picks needed for the long term.
Mike, thanks for all the great NFC West analysis you provide. On the trade front, even if teams can't formally announce trades involving players, are they prohibited from even talking about trading players? For example, if Arizona traded down and then wanted to send that pick to Philly for Kolb, could they pick the player Philly wanted and then finalize the trade once the league year started? Or would the NFL not allow the trade or penalize the teams if it learned of an under-the-table deal?
Mike Sando (1:54 PM)
I don't see why teams could not at least talk about such scenarios. However, teams could not enter into binding agreements. Without a binding agreement, would you be willing to make that type of move as a general manager? I would not.
Hey Mike, I've heard a lot about Ryan Mallet and his character issues, problems being a leader/getting along with guys in the locker room, and how his lack of mobility doesn't fit with what the Seahawks want in a QB. I've also been hearing about how amazing his arm is. It sounds like he could fall quite a bit so my question is, how far would he have to fall for the Seahawks to not be able to pass on him despite all the perceived negatives? Mid 2nd round? late 2nd round? Or would it HAVE to be 3rd round?
Mike Sando (1:55 PM)
First we would need to ask whether Mallett's limitations on the mobility front would disqualify him altogether. I suspect it would have to be late second round or third round, but I question whether they would have interest at all.
Brad (Topeka KS)
Mike love the blog. Want some input how brutal do you think DRC and Peterson will be on the corners for the Cards if they get him? And do you think they can get him?
Mike Sando (1:57 PM)
Yeah, I think there's a good chance the Cardinals get Patrick Peterson. Adding Peterson would give Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie plenty of incentive to bounce back from a rough season. I think Arizona would be very, very good on the corners. Remember, their new coordinator, Ray Horton, played defensive back in the NFL previously. I thought the Cardinals' secondary responded pretty well when another former defensive back ran their secondary (Terrell Austin played at Pitt).
Mike Sando (1:58 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the chat this week. Lots to do here today. Gotta run. Will continue the conversation from Seahawks headquarters, where I will watch the draft tonight. Thanks again.