Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC East 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 Walker Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:01 PM)
There is plenty talk about. Let's get to it.
kurtis, ny [via mobile]
thanks for the chat. Two questions, 1) any chance Wes Welker walks in free agency if pats dont franchise him? 2) If the Pats would have won, who would have been their opponent for the 2012 season opener?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
Good questions, Kurtis. No. 1, there is very littel chance Wes Welker leaves New England. Both sides want to get something done and will. No. 2, I think a playoff rematch against Tim Tebow and the Denevr Broncos would have been the game. Instant ratings.
Dolfan_79 (Melbourne Florida )
If the Dolphins do sign Manning, do they still draft another QB this year, and if so who would be a good protege for Payton?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
If Miami is lucky enough to get a healthy Manning, that's all for QBs. The Dolphins would have Manning and Matt Moore. There's not point in using a high pick on a rookie draft pick.
Does anyone have an idea when Peyton Manning will be released? Would like him on the Dolphins, they have nothing to lose.
James Walker (4:05 PM)
Technically, it has to happen by March 8, or the Colts have to pay $28 million. But both sides are expected to meet this week and start coming up with a resolution. I don't see either side waiting until March 8.
Andy (Huntington, NY)
Assuming both are available to the Jets at #16, would you take Upshaw or Barron? And would you take Richardson over both of them if he dropped? Thanks!
James Walker (4:07 PM)
Upshaw won't make it past No. 10. That's when the Bills pick. Richardson is probably top 5 or 7. I think Barron is the most realistic for the Jets. He's a good player and fills a major need. Tight ends killed the Jets over the middle last season.
Greg (New Jersey)
James, Last year, people expected the Patriots to use all of their top picks and they didn't. They traded some of them. What makes you think this year will be any different?
James Walker (4:10 PM)
I'm not saying they "will," I'm saying they "should." The Patriots just finished the Super Bowl and haven't decided yet on draft plans yet. But at some point, Bill Belichick has to cash in those picks. He has four in the first two rounds. This year's draft is deep and they have 20 free agents. Tom Brady isn't getting any younger. It's the perfect time to use those picks.
I am really concerned with the Dolphins organization if their top priority is signing Peyton Manning if he becomes a free agent rather than signing Matt Flynn or drafting a quarterback. Shouldn't the Dolphins be looking for a young quarterback to rebuild with?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I don't have a problem with going after Manning -- as long as he's healthy. That is the big thing Miami's medical people will have to decide. If Manning gets released, there's a good chance health is a major reason. The Dolphins will have to do their research. But if Manning will be 100 percent and ready to go, there's nothing wrong with Miami trying to get three good years out of him.
James Walker (4:13 PM)
That's plenty of time to find a quarterback of the future. Who knows? The Patriots may be in the same spot three years from now with Tom Brady.
Andre Reed (Buffalo, NY)
Should I give up hope of making it into the Hall?
James Walker (4:15 PM)
Andre, if there was a year for you to get in, I thought this was it. This year's class IMO is not very strong. There are some good players coming down the pike and I think your chances don't look good going forward.
Dave (Kenmore, NY)
Any updates you can give us on the stadium contract in buffalo, the contract for the Ralph will be up in June 2013. Should Buffalo build a new stadium like the field house in Indy?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
To my knowledge, building a new stadium in Buffalo/Orchard Park, especially by 2013, is out of the question. The best chance is to renovate Ralph Wilson Stadium, which is cost effective and doesn't take nearly the same amount of time. But the state has yet to dedicate any significant funds. I think it's going to be down to the wire and could go either way.
Chan Gailey (Buffalo, NY)
How many wins do you think my team needs to get next year for me to maintain my job?
James Walker (4:21 PM)
Coach, it's a big year for you in Buffalo, no doubt. It's time to start seeing results and things turn around under your program. It's hard to put a number on things. I will leave that up to your boss, Ralph Wilson. But I think the team needs to take the next step and at least compete for the playoffs.
James Walker (4:22 PM)
The Patriots will be there, barring any significant injuries. And the Jets, Dolphins and Bills all will be fighting for another postseason spot. It's going to be tough for Buffalo.
James Walker (4:22 PM)
Especially if Peyton Manning joins the division in Miami or New York.
Considering they almost won the Super Bowl with that defense, did this Patriots team overachieve this year?
James Walker (4:24 PM)
I wouldn't say they overachieved. The Patriots won 10 in a row. I think it was clear they were the best team in the AFC. Baltimore was the only true competition, and that was settled on the field. But this was more a sign that the balance of power was heavily in the NFC. The Giants, 49ers, Saints, Packers...these were all teams capable of winning the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see if the AFC gets stronger next season.
Jack (Buffalo, NY)
Do you think the bills could go for a wide reciever in free agency? If so, who?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
Steve Johnson is the priority in Buffalo. If he's re-signed, then that eats up a lot of cap space. Buffalo will have to look to the draft for another one. But if Johnson isn't re-signed, that leaves room for Buffalo to make a move elsewhere at WR.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Prior to the 2011 Season who was the last team to play in the Super Bowl with a very bad defense?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
The Saints and Colts both had struggling defenses. The key was they forced turnovers. The Patriots were bad and didn't get nearly as many takeaways.
Raj Patel (Boston, MA)
Is Santonio Holmes truly a first string WR? I feel he had much success with the Jets in his first two years because Braylon Edwards was on the other side. Was Holmes actually bad this year or was he put into a position that he can't handle?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
C'mon Raj, say what you want, but Santonio Holmes is a very good receiver. He was good in Pittsburgh (Super Bowl MVP) and good his first two years with the Jets. I covered about a half-dozen Jets games this season and Holmes gets open. Often the ball was over/underthrown or Mark Sanchez didn't see him. It's not his ability.
Roscoe Parrish (Buffalo, NY)
What about me!?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
Roscoe, sorry to say, but I think your time is up in Buffalo. Too many injuries. You will latch on somewhere. Pick the best spot for you and best of luck.
Rex Ryan (NY)
What are some personnel moves you would make for the Jets this off season.
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Coach, I think you should be asking Mike Tannebaum, not me. But since you asked, I would fix your safety positions and your right tackle first. Those are the two biggest weaknesses on your team. Also, you're a tad over the cap. Talk to Tannenbaum ASAP to decide who you want to keep and who you want to let go.
Do you think the Bills will eventually re-sign Stevie Johnson?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
I really think it's 50-50, John. The Bills seems pretty firm in what they think Johnson is worth and Johnson's representation feels the same way. But both values have been off for a long time and they haven't been able to close the gap.
the hooded genius (CT, New England)
Who is your pick to be the featured RB for NE next year? I think that Law Firm will get a much better offer somewhere else and leave, making Ridley the #1 options.
James Walker (4:44 PM)
That's a tough one, hooded. Because the Patriots really don't care about having a "feature back." It really depends on the flow of the game. New England drafted two RBs last year (Ridley, Vereen), which told me the writing may be on the wall for Green-Ellis. I think they will go by committee again with Ridley getting the first shot in camp. New England may also sign a cheaper veteran.
Allot of chatter about Manning "possibly" going to Miami. However, do you think Miami should go the draft route and move up for RG3?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
Chances are looking slim, Steve. RGIII can go as high as No. 2 and most likely top five. I think it's going to be tough for the Dolphins to move up. So they should control what they can control, which is chasing after Manning or Flynn in free agency.
Ramey,James (buckeye lake OH)
alright well James i read your blog almost every day. and ive been a huge miami dolphins fan since i was little. i was just wondering what are the odds on the phins signing peyton and do you think if peyton is healthy would it be enough to make a them superbowl contender. being born in 1991 and being dolphins fan stinks cause i missed out on alot of the greater years to be a dolphins fan and hope i get to see a couple years of greatness out of my fins.
James Walker (4:50 PM)
JR, thanks for reading the blog. I think any team that signs Manning instantly becomes a playoff contender. You see how good he made the Colts every year? Miami is one of those sleeper teams missing a couple parts. If the Dolphins get a quarterback, especially in a week AFC, they will be dangerous. The defense, running game, offensive line and at least one WR is in place.
James Walker (4:51 PM)
BTW, this year's playoff QBs in the AFC were Brady, Yates, Tebow, Flacco, Roethlisberger and Dalton. A healthy Peyton Manning is better than all of them except Brady.
Peyton Manning (NYC)
James, do you think my brother is now better than me??
James Walker (4:54 PM)
More clutch? Yes. Better? Hmmmmm, I'm not ready to go that far. BTW, Peyton, since I have your ear give this chat room a clue to where you're leaning if the Colts release you.
Me and my buddy debated on who is the best DE of ALL-Time(Between Bruce Smith and Reggie White). I said Bruce Smith because he played in a 3-4 Defense, Faced constant double teams, Faced the opposing teams best LT's weekly, and still got 10+ Sks a year. Where compared to Reggie White(Who was also Great) played Right DE, faced off against RT's, played in the 4-3, Next to C.Simmons, J.Brown etc...... What do you think? Who would you say is the greatest DE of All-Time?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
I would take Reggie White, Mikey. He was so good, he changed the fortune of the Packers as a DE when he was signed as a free agent. That is hard to do. Bruce Smith was great, but when he signed with Washington as a free agent, he didn't change the Redskins' fortune.
Miami?! Are you nuits man ... I think I could win 2 or 3 SB's with the 49'rs ... or NO where I was raised ... you know who is a free agent too.
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Drew Brees is not leaving the Saints. But thanks for the exclusive insight. You don't want to face Tom Brady twice a year, huh? Your brother seems to handle it well.
James Walker (4:59 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for the great questions. You can always send more questions to my AFC East mailbag. We will be back next Tuesday for another chat on the division.