Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the NFL season and other news from around the league.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:01 PM)
We're getting Gary!
Gary Horton (4:02 PM)
I think it is so great now to finally look ahead to football. As we've talked about in chat before, I think it's going to be a fascinating month, as the whole offseason has been squeezed into a few short weeks. We will get more than our fill of football before the regular season comes.
A few teams in the league have gotten by over the years without spending as much on their players as other teams. Now that these teams will be forced to spend more (90% plus of the total cap), will this cause some hardships with these clubs, and will franchises start being sold because of this?
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
I don't think so because most of these owners are wealthy guys. Most are not in football just to make money. I think that what we will see is a lot of teams trying to redo their own players contracts as a way to spend money. They may not let as many players go to free agency. That might be something that's different. I think we'll see teams become more competitive because they're not trying to save money.
wooohooo lets talk about some football as chris bermann says are you ready for some football gary hoton it is about darn time.
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
You are exactly right. There are so many things to think about. Something that I mulled over a lot over the weekend is what kind of shape these players are in when they come back. You're never in as good a shape are you think you are. I think coaches will have to be very careful on how far they can push players to get ready for the season. I'm worried about hamstring pulls, etc. There's a myriad of things that teams are going into that we've never thought about.
Lewis Perry (Texas)
So much has been said about the Brady vs NFL lawsuit. How does it affect the relationship of, let's say, Manning and Brady with the owners of their respective teams? Does it put a bit of a strain between the players and the owners seeing as how important each player is to their teams?
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I think actually the relationship between owners and players has improved during these negotiations. The players sat across the table from the owners and negotiated. I think there's a new found respect from both sides. The press conference I saw this morning reflected the really good feeling between the two sides. Even though this got a little contentious, it never really resorted to name calling or postering.
How important is it that they signed the deal for 10 years?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
Well, 10 years is a long time. I think that now allows the league to really grow. We know there won't be a labor situation for the next decade. I think the league is probably entering a phase when it will be healthier than ever. I know the players and owners are especially excited about the length of this deal.
Adam C (Vermont)
What is Vince Young's "value" in terms of a trade? Could the Titans really get anything for him?
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
I think that there are some teams that really value Vince Young. I happen to believe that he might be a better QB than we think, given a new address. But I don't think teams will overspend. I don't expect Tennessee to get a lot for him. It's my understanding that he may get released. I just haven't heard a lot of buzz about his name.
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
But I still think he can play.
and do we have to talk about brett favre this year again cause quiet frankly i am getting tired of it
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
Like everybody else, I heard the Philadelphia news this morning. I don't think there's anything to it. I can't imagine Favre coming back, first of all, in any situation. But even more so as a backup to Michael Vick. He's never been a mentor type QB, so why would he start now? What I find curious is he never seems to just quelsh these rumors. It's almost as if he's playing with us. You'd love to see a statement saying that's ridiculous, I'm never coming back. The silence allows us to speculate.
Is Nnamdi going to get as much money as he expects?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
Yes. I think he is an absolute gem of the free agent class. I think there will be several teams bidding for his services, driving up the price. I think it will be done quickly.
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
The one thing that would be unique about this free agency period is we're not going to have the wining and dining we're used to where players visit teams and teams recruit them, etc. This will be partly about opportunity, but mostly about finances. I think for the most part, the teams with the highest bid will get the player. I think it will be done quickly. Players won't be able to shop around. It will be up to them. Do they accept the deal right off the bat or wait for something better. In my opinion, teams will have a list and if they say no, they'll go to the next guy. This is a period where they're trying to fill needs. You can't afford to wait around to fill a need area.
Scooter, minny [via mobile]
If sidney rice leaves which free agent wr would be a good fit 4 the vikings
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I thinkt hey will try to re-sign him. He's a good player. He knows the system. They need weapons for whomever their QB is. This used to be one of the best WR groups in the NFL. Now I look at them and that's not the case. I don't think they can afford to let him go without making him a serious offer. I think the interesting dynamic here is probably the two Jets' WR: Holmes, Edwards, along with Rice. I think teams are looking at those three guys. That will effect who they get. The Jets may be able to keep one, but I don't know if they can keep both of their guys. I think you'll see the Redskins make a heavy run at one of those guys.
Sean (Iowa) [via mobile]
With the new CBA will the NFL continue to help teams financially looking for new stadiums i.e. Vikings, Raiders, 49ers?
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I personally think that we will now enter an era where the commissioner will really start to focus on new stadiums in cities where they are needed. Now that we have potential labor peace, I think it will be easier to build those stadiums. In my opinion, that's going to be a major focus in the next 3-4 years.
Do you c McNabb going to the Vikes?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
We've seen it all along being talked about, but to be honest, I haven't heard that much in the last few weeks. It doesn't seem to me that is a very hot issue right now. I'm not so sure that they won't go with Christian Ponder, which would be a bold move. I think they're probably looking for a backup veteran, but I don't think they're looking for a veteran to start. We'll find out quickly.
How fast does the Kolb for DRC trade happen tommorow?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
A Kevin Kolb trade, to someone, will probably happen in hours. Kevin Kolb is aware of what's out there. Arizona will try to tie him up quickly via trade. Like most of these high profile guys, it's going to be quick. Both teams, whoever they're dealing with, knows the cost. Their agents are dialed in and it will happen quickly. I think what you'll see is the agents basically taking calls, saying give me your best offer. I don't think it will be long negotiations. And, because of the time restraints, it's likely that some teams will overspend.
now that we can start talking about football what do you think that the cowboys need or do you thing they are just going to sign tony romo and there draft from this year.do you thing with this new deal that they agreed on what type of player or players do ypu thing that the cowboys are going to need to get to the super bowl yes final for this season
Gary Horton (4:24 PM)
I think they'll be active. I think they'd like to sign more help in the secondary. Their OL could use added depth. I think they could use help on the DL. Jerry Jones is going to be very active if he sees a guy he wants. But I don't see the Cowboys as a team that will make a lot of wholesale changes. They just need to upgrade a couple of positions.
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
And, I think their RB situation is very interesting. They have three players and surely one of them will probably leave. I would think that would be Barber. But do they have that back that will give them the carries they need to make their running game legit.
You got a dark horse team this year (provided free agency goes all right for them)?
Gary Horton (4:27 PM)
Well, I hate to say it, because I give fooled every year by them, but I would put the Texans in that category again. I think Wade Phillips will solidify their defense much better than it was a year ago. If they can land an elite corner, their defense could all of a sudden not be a unit that holds them back. And I also think their division may not be as strong as we're used to seeing this year, especially Tennessee and Jacksonville.
Will the odd off season schedule cause this to be one of those goofy years where 10 out of 12 playoffs teams from last year don;'t make it his year?
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
I think the teams that have established veteran QBs will be far ahead of everybody else. Teams with young, untested QBs and new coaching staffs are probably not going to be as competitive, at least early in the season. This is a year where those veteran teams must win early before the other teams catchup. This looks to me like one of those races where you go out and get a huge lead and try to just hang on. I think coaches have a bigger challenge now than they've ever had. They'll deal with more nagging injuries. How much will they get installed in their system? Will they keep things simple? We have to keep in mind that we only have 16 days to practice before the first preseason game. Even then, there are limitation in terms of pads, etc.
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
What a great way to start our week. I'm like the rest of you. I'll get up excited in the morning to get online and read the papers and see what's happening.
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