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!
Joe (Fenton, MO)
Would love to see Peyton Manning with the Hawks. However, I just don't see him going there. If some way they were able to snag him, do you think this could have the same effect on the Seahwaks as Reggie White going to the Packers?
Mike Sando (1:04 PM)
Your perception is a fair one. I wonder, too, whether Manning will consider the Seahawks seriously, mostly because of geography. It's just a long, long way to Seattle from the places he and his family frequent. The White comparison doesn't match up entirely to me. White was going to contribute to the Packers for a long while. He did not have a career-threatening neck condition. If healthy, however, Manning could make that type of difference -- even more so, because of the position he plays. I also think his approach to the game would be potentially transforming for some other players.
Bobby (Port Orchard, WA)
I hope the whole chat isn't about Peyton Manning... Do you see the Seahawks doing anything other than addressing the pass rush with their first round pick? Kuechly as a middle linebacker could be another option...
Mike Sando (1:05 PM)
Some of that depends on whether or to what degree the Seahawks address their pass-rush in free agency, and then what is available at No. 12. Lots of variables to consider.
Jared (Milwaukee, WI)
There's a lot of hype around the Cardinals being a major contender, and they do have Larry Fitzgerald, but the Seahawks look to be the better all-around team. Why isn't Seattle getting as much hype as the Cardinals?
Mike Sando (1:07 PM)
Weather? Location? Those would be two places to begin. Also, not everyone shares your view on which team has the better roster or is closer to breaking through.
Jake (Southern IL)
The 49ers say they are going forward with Alex Smith. Are there any other teams that would pursue him in free agency as a potential starter?
Mike Sando (1:10 PM)
Seattle might, depending on what the other options might exist. The Seahawks had interest in him last season. They will be looking to upgrade the position one way or another. If Smith is better than the other options, they would consider him.
If the Rams trade down soon to #6 or 8 and Vincent Jackson signs elsewhere, would they be far enough down for it to be worth making an offer on Mike Wallace? No matter what other needs they have it doesn't seem like they can afford to go another year without making a big move at WR.
Mike Sando (1:12 PM)
That would be a lot to give up. Wallace would have to get a fat contract. He would be a terrific addition, but how badly would he want to play for a rebuilding team at this point? The money would have to be off the charts, and then the Rams would be parting with such a high pick. The Steelers drafted Wallace in the third round. The Rams need to draft their own Wallaces at some point. That is why they hired Les Snead. He needs to find those types of players.
Steve D. (Jersey)
With the 49ers philosophy of not overspending in free agency, do you see them ending up with Michael Crabtree, Pierre Garcon, Robert Meachem, and Josh Morgan, with perhaps a WR from the draft as a fifth?
Mike Sando (1:14 PM)
The odds are against such a specific combination winding up on the 49ers. Could it happen? Sure. Do I see that happening? No. That is improbable.
tom page (bellevue,wa)
Do you think money will play a pivotal role in where Peyton Manning ends up?
Mike Sando (1:15 PM)
Whichever team gets him will have to pay a lot of money. I would think more than one team would be willing to pay the big bucks. If money winds up being pivotal, it's probably because one team makes a desperation move. I sense that team would be the Dolphins, were it to happen.
Northwest Guy (Gig Harbor, WA)
Sando, what are your thoughts on the Marshawn Lynch deal? I thought it came out pretty fair and expected Lynch to look for more money, did you think he signed for what he was worth? Less? More?
Mike Sando (1:18 PM)
The franchise tag hung over his deal and compromised his bargaining position. That allowed the Seahawks to sign him at a reasonable rate. He was never going to hit the market. He got what he could get, which means he got what he was worth under the circumstances.
What happens to Kevin Kolb when the Cardinals get Peyton Manning? Any way he goes to the Seahawks?
Mike Sando (1:20 PM)
Sure, I could envision such a scenario if the Seahawks failed to land someone they liked more. I do not think they would come after Kolb with clear starter money, but I could see them doing something more modest. Matt Flynn might be someone they went after first, as a fallback and provided Miami wasn't willing to pay him huge money. Of the veteran QBs out there, Manning is the only one I think the Seahawks would pay big.
Trev (Portland, Or)
Cardinals are in the best position for Manning and here is why: dome, grass, weather, receivers, running backs, staff (former Colts assistant Frank Reich), mid-range draft pick available for quality offensive tackle and an extra 15 days for training camp in advance of the Hall of Fame game. Why that isn't mentioned more is beyond me. The Cardinals also won six of their last seven games with an up-and-coming defense. The extra time at camp while with a new team after an entire year off is only the cherry on top. YOUR THOUGHTS?
Mike Sando (1:26 PM)
You make good points. The mid-range draft choice isn't going to be a selling point, in my view. The Hall of Fame game does buy extra practice time, which Manning would value. I don't think 15 extra days of work would swing the deal, but if things did come together overall, that would be a plus -- a cherry on the top, as you put it. This division would get fun in a hurry with Manning playing for one of its teams, particularly with the 49ers deciding to stay the course.
Jeremiah (Nashville, TN)
Should the Rams cheer for the Seahawks or Cardinals to get Manning? If the Dolphins get Manning and the Browns get Flynn, it would really seem to hurt the competition for Robert Griffin III, leaving just Washington.
Mike Sando (1:29 PM)
This is something I was going to (and still might) break out in a blog post. One question is whether the Browns would want Griffin badly enough to trade up. That is unknown. I think Kansas City would be the preferred destination for Manning from the Rams' perspective. In that case, the Rams do not have to contend with Manning in their own division. Washington would still be in play for Griffin. Flynn would go Miami under this preferred Rams scenario. And then Washington remains in play for the second overall pick. Perhaps Cleveland, too.
Matthew (Erie, PA)
You had mentioned in last week's chat that you could envision the 49ers drafting a defensive lineman? Just out of curiosity, why do you feel they would go that direction?
Mike Sando (1:32 PM)
They would be bolstering a position key to their success while getting a jump on addressing a need. Justin Smith turns 33 in September, Ray McDonald has a long history of knee trouble and still has to prove he can hold up physically as a starter for multiple seasons. Might as well bring in a guy before you have a big need.
Adam (Norristown )
Mike, I get it that the 49ers are not going all out for Manning, but they have to know he is better than Smith. If it is looking like the Cardinals or Seahawks are getting close, wouldn't they have to get involved to try and keep the other team from improving that much?
Mike Sando (1:34 PM)
Not necessarily. The 49ers aren't in a desperate situation. They were 13-3 last year. They have a good team. The teams chasing Manning are more desperate for quarterback help. Those other teams can take a chance on whether Manning's neck allows him to play again, let alone at a high level. The 49ers are thinking for the longer term, secure in the knowledge they just went 13-3.
Chris Rae (Fairfield)
I was a huge supporter of the 49ers signing Nnamdi Asomugha, but we signed Carlos Rogers and that turned out great, so I trust if they don't want Mannng, they know what they're doing.
Mike Sando (1:38 PM)
The 49ers built up what Jim Harbaugh called a lot of "equity" with Alex Smith and other players. Bringing in Manning would change the entire team dynamic, a dynamic the 49ers like very much. There is a risk in not going after him, but the 49ers do not see the payoff as worth the risk. They were already in the NFC Championship Game, a play or two away from the Super Bowl. They feel as though they have a good chance to remain on a similar level if they stay the course. Betting big on Manning introduces a level of risk that does not exist in their minds if they stay the course. I see both sides of it. Just not sure the fit with Manning and Jim Harbaugh would be all that great, either.
Hypothetical for the NFC WEST, Manning, Smith, Flynn, Bradford are the four starting QBs next year. How do you rank them? Go 49ers!!
Mike Sando (1:42 PM)
I'd go Manning, Smith, Bradford and Flynn, in that order. A year ago, I would have mistakenly ranked Bradford over Smith. The 49ers got more from Smith than I anticipated, and the Rams fell apart around Bradford, who also struggled (and was hurt). Those rankings would reflect the right now, not the long-term projections. I still think Bradford has the talent to be better than Smith.
If the Hawks sign Manning to a 16-18 million dollar cap hit this year... is it still possible to sign Mario Williams? I would think getting Manning and playing with what is going to be a top-tier secondary would be very attractive to him. Thoughts?
Mike Sando (1:44 PM)
The salary cap could be manipulated in a way that allowed the Seahawks to sign both of those players. They are interested in Manning. I'm not sensing as much interest in Williams, particularly at a sky-high price. And it is telling, sometimes, when an organization decides let walk the player it drafted first overall. The Texans can point to the cap and young talent all they want, but if Williams were that great of a player and that important to what they were doing -- on the field, in the locker room, in every way -- they would try harder to keep him, would they not? That is another side to consider, at least.
Saul (Denver, Co)
Do you think the Cardinals go to the top of the list of NFC contenders if they land only Manning, or do they need Reggie Wayne too?
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
I'd move the Cardinals into that 11-12 range for projected victories with a healthy Manning at quarterback. They would not need Wayne, given that they have Larry Fitzgerald.
If Jerry Rice thinks Manning is a good idea for the 49ers, why doesn't anyone else (plus, Dungy said it was the best fit)?
Mike Sando (1:48 PM)
Jerry Rice was a great player known for his exceptional work ethic and dedication to the game. Peyton Manning fits that mold as well. Rice will appreciate that type of player. That does not mean Rice would be a great general manager, or that the 49ers should heed his advice, necessarily.
Dan (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
Do you believe with the re-signing of Breno that the Seahawks could be willing to move Carpenter after he recovers from surgery?
Mike Sando (1:50 PM)
Yes, I even expect the Seahawks to do that. Breno Giacomini becomes the right tackle. James Carpenter rehabs from his knee injury and they reassess where he fits based on his health, the situation at left guard and how well Giacomini is playing. Also, the team will have to decide heading into the season whether Carpenter is ready, or whether he would be best off starting the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him for at least the first six weeks.
tom page (bellevue,wa)
Are the Bidwell's too cheap to sign Peyton Manning?
Mike Sando (1:52 PM)
Perceptions die hard. The spelling is Bidwill, not Bidwell, by the way. And the decision maker is Michael Bidwill, not the family of Bidwills. The team spent lots and lots on Larry Fitzgerald. Manning is that type of player. I don't think the price would scare away Arizona given what Manning could offer if healthy. Now, if health concerns were paramount, that could scare away any team.
Rah (The Bay)
Any word yet on the final details of Ahmad Brooks contract? That looked like a hell of a contract for a guy with his accomplishments. My guess is his agent grossly overstated the numbers. Have the final ones come out and do you know them?
Mike Sando (1:55 PM)
Yeah, we discussed them on the blog. He got a $7.5 million signing bonus. That was the bulk of his guaranteed money. Almost every contract looks better when framed by the maximum amount payable over the life of the deal.
Chris Rae (Fairfield)
Will Owens play in the NFL next year?
Mike Sando (1:57 PM)
Yeah, I think Montell Owens of the Jaguars and Chris Owens of the Falcons do have a decent shot at playing in the NFL this coming season.
Chex Norris (San Diego)
Is it worth it for a franchise to spend Manning kind of money, for maybe two more years of productivity? I like that 49ers are staying out of it, that is unless the Cardinals win the Super Bowl next year :/
Mike Sando (1:59 PM)
It feels more worth it if your alternative is Tarvaris Jackson or Kevin Kolb/John Skelton, and your team did not go 13-3 last season.
Jeff (Phoenix, AZ)
I here a lot of analysts say that the Cardinals would be a good fit for Manning, but I think the offensive line is very weak. Skelton is very mobile for a big QB that made plays with his feet that Manning wouldn't be able to make. Do you think that the O line would be the big factor if he would choose to go to the Cardinals or not?
Mike Sando (2:01 PM)
Yeah, it could be a factor. The instability at tackle in particular would get Manning's attention when he watches the video (and you can be he has done so for all the teams). Then again, Manning gets rid of the ball quickly enough to make an offensive line look good.
Mike Sando (2:03 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the chat this week. Should be a fun next week or so.