Chat with Chris Mortensen
Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished reporters covering the NFL, joined ESPN in 1991 and appears on Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and SportsCenter.
Send your questions now and join Mort on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:12 AM)
Hang on folks, we're tracking down Mort. He's been a busy guy this week.
Buzzmaster (11:25 AM)
Hey folks, Mort must have gotten tied up with something else this morning. I guess he won't be chatting afterall.
Chris Mortensen (11:30 AM)
Apparently a little miscommunication, which I apologize for...been on a conference call for another fun NFL32 Show tonight at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2... let's see what you're curious about.
Does Cedric Benson get suspended this week or at all?
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
No. Once there was no decision by Tuesday, it meant Benson was going to be available to Bengals this week. Clearly, the appeals officer (Harold Henderson) is contemplating whether there has been a worthy argument on whether Benson's suspension should be reduced. It could be two games instead of three when it does officially come down but he will be playing again Sunday.
Do the Packers sign Finley to a new contract by the beginning of next season, or do they Franchise Tag him for 2012 and visit it after the 2012 season?
Chris Mortensen (11:33 AM)
I'm sure they would prefer to sign him but certainly want to make sure he can stay healthy during a full season and the franchise tag is always a viable option, even though I'm sure they would prefer to sign him.
Well Chris, Can the Rams do anything to right the ship? or wait till next year the answer.
Chris Mortensen (11:37 AM)
They need to find a way to win a game or two in the three or four weeks after the bye. The injury toll is significant and it doesn't help that they lost another player (CB Bradley Fletcher) to an ACL in practice during a bye week. They have to find a way to protect Sam Bradford. He's getting hit way too much and obviously they are short on WRs. Bleak picture? Yes, for now. But NFC West is always wide open.
This is not a question more of a heads up. I hope you are ready to go deaf on Monday. We have been waiting 10 years for another MNF game and this whole city has lions fever.
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
I was telling someone the other day that people generally don't realize what a great fan base the Lions have and when I first saw the Lions on the MNF schedule, I was pretty excited. I do know the game at Ford Field will have an electric atmosphere.
Phil (Lake Charles,La.)
Will Drew Brees finish his career in New Orleans?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
I will say yes. They are trying to get a contract done. Right now, the Saints have a little more leverage but the leverage swings Brees' way after the season because even if they franchise him, he doesn't have to sign the tag/tender. It needs to get done and he can absolutely make an argument that he deserves to be paid higher than any QB in the NFL, for not only his performance but what he has done for the franchise altogether. And the front office/ownership knows that.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Where would you rank Matt Forte among the league's best RBs? Top 5?
Chris Mortensen (11:43 AM)
Right now, I'd probably say yes. He's not "sensational" but he is a very good runner and he can catch. I thought it was remarkable that his 200-yard-plus day was the best for the Bears since Walter Payton in 1977.
Meka (East Lansing,Michigan)
I think Aaron Rodgers is way better than brett farvre was and he is insecure about that. Farves records were due to longevity. Do u think people in Green bay will finally realize Rodgers is the man and Farve will wear out his welcome if he keeps throwing jabs at the packers starting QB
Chris Mortensen (11:46 AM)
I will say this: I want to see Favre and the Packers enjoy a reconciliation by the time he is voted into the Hall of Fame. Every time he opens his mouth in a way he did this week becomes a setback. As far as talent, I was watching Inside The NFL on Showtime last night and Phil Simms said it all when he mentioned that he never thought he'd see a better thrower of the football than Brett Favre but he now thinks Rodgers may be that guy and it's amazing that it's the guy who replaced Favre.
Ryan (Medford, OR)
Mort, Do you think Calvin Johnson will get an extension soon? I heard he has 18 million due to him next year. Schwartz is also in the third year of his 4 year deal. Can we expect one of these this year or are they next year deals?
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
Yes, the Lions will take care of business with both Johnson and Schwartz by the the off-season, if not sooner.
kirk (albany ny)
do u feel that the houston texans r a talented enough team to beat the raiders wen they dont have andre johnson
Chris Mortensen (11:50 AM)
The Texans' ability to run the ball makes them talented enough, yes. They have capable WRs but I think Andre Johnson is one of the best players in the NFL, not just one of the best wideouts. He'll be missed but the Texans are equipped to win until he's healthy. The Raiders do present quite a challenge.
ED PARKER (LAKELAND FL)
Should the EAGLES LET Vick heal 4 at least a week or are they going to keep losing? AND are they still a playoff team?
Chris Mortensen (11:53 AM)
We ted to forget that the Eagles under Andy Reid have started slow before and bounced back. I don't think resting Vick is the answer. I have not ruled them out for the playoffs. The NFC East seems a little fragile from top to bottom.
William (Eagle Point)
Who do you like the most of the 2009 QB class? Sanchez (my pick), Freeman, or Stafford?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
I'd still go Stafford #1 because, like Aaron Rodgers, he's such a natural throw of the football but Freeman has been the steadiest with a lot of upside and Sanchez has played in two AFC title games. It is turning out to be a good class.
I like the show you and Suzy host. Keep up the good work. I was wondering your opinion on the NFC West. Do you think the 49ers have superior talent in comparsion to the Cards? Thanks.
Chris Mortensen (12:02 PM)
Thanks for the compliment on the new show, Otto. Talent-wise, I don't know if if that superior but it's better. I will say that the 49ers have grinded through some tough games. They do have talent and unless they have catastrophic injuries, there's a pretty decent chance they get better as the season moves on. I'd like to also add that Justin Smith at DE is one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
The Packers have looked lights out on offense, but their defense has been less than impressive. Do you think they have a realistic shot at a repeat trip to the superbowl if their D doesn't improve?
Chris Mortensen (12:04 PM)
My guess is that it will improve as they adapt to the lost of S Nick Collins. Part of that is getting Clay Matthews to be a consistent disruptive force again. The other thing is, I'm not sure that "defense wins championships" is true anymore. You can't be terrible on defense but it is a league geared for offense and great quarterbacks.
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
Time to run. Hope you will check out our new show NFL32 at 6 ET every day (usually) on ESPN2. We take all your questions and I think you get a chance to have your face to TV by uploading a YouTube question and asking a question in 20 seconds or less for the show. And, remember, Sunday NFL Countdown now starts at 10 a.m. I think we've had some really good shows the first month. Talk to you soon...God Bless!