Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley stops by to chat.
Hensley joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he lives in the Baltimore area with his wife.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:01 PM)
Hello and thanks for stopping by to chat. I will be sticking around for 30 minutes, and I will try to answer as many questions as possible. Let's get this started.
Lance (Mansfield, OH) [via mobile]
Do you believe the Browns drafting Dee Milliner would be more of a luxury than a need? I understand there is a need for CB but Joe Haden is on the roster. Why not target a number 2 CB in free agency and select Barkevious Mingo in the draft. Everyone knows free agency lacks 3-4 pass rushers and Mingo is the best pass rusher in the draft.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:03 PM)
The Browns aren't going to re-sign Sheldon Brown and they're not sold on Buster Skrine stepping up into a starting role. So, cornerback is a need that has to be filled in free agency or the draft.
dan (lynchburg va)
I assume this will be a weekly question until he gets signed... any news on Flacco contract situation?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:05 PM)
They're still talking, and all indications say there is progress being made. That being said, it's still uncertain whether the Ravens can get a deal done by March 4, the deadline to use the franchise tag. Just remember, the sides can still negotiate a deal until mid-July even if the Ravens use the tag. So, they don't have to get a deal done by next week.
Jason Norwalk Ohio [via mobile]
Does breaston go to Pittsburgh or Cleveland ?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:06 PM)
As long as the Steelers can clear some cap room, I believe Pittsburgh is Breaston's top choice because of his relationship with Haley. There will be no constant blogs on when Breaston and Haley will actually talk.
Terry kentucky [via mobile]
What are the chances the browns make a good run at Wallace in your mind. Thanks
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:07 PM)
I don't see it. I see the Dolphins spending a lot of money on Wallace.
"Doc" Garlathy (Montpelier, VT)
Hi Jamison! Obviously the Steelers have a desperate need at running back. I agree that it's time for Mendenhall to go elsewhere, and what they have left isn't much. Since their cap problems will probably prevent them from signing a quality free agent, the draft is the only avenue open. Is it possible they would take a RB in the first round? If so, who would they gamble on? If not, who do you think might be available in a later round that could actually help them?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:09 PM)
This is a spot where the Steelers need a running back but taking one in the first round is not a good value. The top back is Eddie Lacey and most consider him a second-round talent. The Steelers would do better to draft a running back in the second or third rounds.
A lot of mock drafts have the Ravens taking a nose tackle at 32. Do you really see them taking one that early, especially after Cody is a complete bust?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:10 PM)
Interior line is a need for the Ravens because Cody and Kemoeatu were below average last year. But just like the time when they drafted Cody, I don't see the Ravens taking a two-down player that early. If they want someone like that, they'd be better served to trade back.
Who will the bengals sign in free agency? Is Reggie Bush or Greg Jennings a possibility? Who will they draft? Thanks.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:13 PM)
The Bengals will spend most of their money on keeping their free agents (Andre Smith, Michael Johnson) and striking extensions with young players who have outplayed their current deals (Geno Atkins and A.J. Green). If the Bengals can keep Atkins long term, I wouldn't be upset if the Bengals don't make a splash in free agency.
Woodrow ButDon'tHaveAPaddle (Middle of the Lake nearest you)
Jamison, reports have suggested that the Steelers are trying to restructure veteran contracts this week in order to try to free up enough cap space to sign Steve Breaston. We all know that the team will restructure contracts regardless, but is it worth it for the team to bring in Breaston at all?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:15 PM)
All the restructuring isn't solely for Breaston. He's a guy who could end up being the No. 3 receiver and part-time returner. But, with Wallace leaving as a free agent, the Steelers need dependable (and affordable) depth at that spot. Breaston has good value because he knows Haley's system.
Rodney Stokes (Seattle, WA)
Between Dion Jordan and Ezekiel Ansah who is the better prospect for the Cleveland Browns at OLB/DE?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:16 PM)
Jordan. Ansah seems too boom-or-bust to take at No. 6.
Is there any news about the Bengals signing Michael Johnson or Andre Smith to a long term deal before the free agent deadline?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
Hearing nothing right now (crickets sound).
Zach (Kansas City)
Any chance that the Steelers find a way to keep Mike Wallace
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
File it under slim to none.
Shane (Cincinnati, OH)
There's minor speculation that the Bengals could go for Reggie Bush, considering he is a great pass-catching back and a speed back as well. Does that sound likely to you?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:19 PM)
Bengals won't spend much for Bush. It's more viable that the Bengals add speed at the running back position via the draft. They also want to get younger at that spot. Cincy has done a good job of setting themselves up long-term at wide receiver and possibly QB.
bradblackandgold (Berkeley, CA)
So with Ben and Timmons restructuring, can we free up enough space to sign K. Lewis and E. Sanders long term if we restructure Miller and Woodley's contracts as well?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
Signing Sanders should lower the cap hit for this season. Will that be enough for Lewis? We'll find out his market value once free agency starts. It's hard to predict the CB spot because teams can go crazy spending for that position.
Al Watkins (Jamaica Run)
Do you think the Bengals have a shot at WVUs Austin? Or did his combine now put him out of reach?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:22 PM)
Going to be interesting to see where Austin goes in the draft. He has third-round size but first-round playmaking ability. Austin is exactly what the Bengals need.
Why do many analysts have the Browns taking a DE. I know we need they need a pass rusher, buy why not take a LB or Milliner? Also if we did take a DE, do you think they should trade down because there are so many interchangeable options?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
There are questions about the health of two top prospects, Milliner (shoulder) and LB Jarvis Jones (stenosis). If the Browns are leery of their medical conditions, they still need to add a pass rusher somewhere.
Ryan (Salt Lake City)
Hey Jamison, just wondering about the Bengals safety prospects and which free agents do you see them targeting? I'd sure like to see Jairus Byrd in orange and black!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
Byrd will likely be tagged by Bills. Get ready to scratch him off the list.
Even though losing some combination of Kruger, Williams and Ellerbe will be tough to swallow, will there be any consolation for the Ravens that they will get some pretty decent compensatory picks in return?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
Ravens won't get comp picks on free agents lost this year until 2014. I still think there is a good chance the Ravens can keep Ellerbe.
Hey Hensley, as a BYU student and Pittsburgh fan, I really hope that we land Ziggy Ansah in April. Realistically, what AFCN team has a better chance to take him? Do you think the Steelers would take him if he was still on the board at 17?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:27 PM)
Some mock drafts think so. The Steelers need to add punch to the pass rush. Ansah is too raw to take in the top 10, but he would be good value at that point. I would like to see him learn from LeBeau.
Hey who would be a better pick up for the Browns, Matt Cassell or Kevin Kolb if he gets released?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:29 PM)
Boy, that's a depressing combo. I would go with Cassel.
Este (San Francisco, CA)
Any idea where E.J. Manuel will land in the draft? Is he a possible target for the Browns in the third round or do you expect the Eagles to take him before they get a chance?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
Browns have so many needs. It's hard for me to think Browns would use their second pick of the draft (which is the third-rounder) on a quarterback. Cleveland should add another quarterback via free agency and address other needs in the draft. If Weeeden doesn't pan out, Browns can take a quarterback early next year.
Ben (Katy, TX)
Who are the Bengals more likely to sign Michael Johnson or Andre Smith?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
They have enough cap room to sign both. I feel Smith is more valuable.
Ben (Afton, VA)
True or False: Flacco gets a deal done by the cut off and avoids the Tag? (Your gut feeling here)
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
False. But if the statement was this: Flacco gets a deal done by July, I would say true.
Justin (Canton, Ohio)
I was already not a fan of Brandon Weeden. Richardson's comments about him just helped drive home what I had believed. If you are the Browns Front Office, what is your reaction to Richardsons comments?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:33 PM)
I would agree with them. It's obvious he had trouble reading defenses. It's up to this coaching staff to correct that.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:35 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions. I will see you at the same time next week. We can definitely get more into free agency at that time. Have a great rest of the week.