Chat with Mike Sando
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:16 PM)
Hang on folks, busy day for Mike with Alex Smith being traded. We're checking with him about the chat.
Mike Sando (3:16 PM)
I'm here. Couple things going on. Let's get this thing rolling.
After the 49ers traded Alex Smith to the Chiefs for a second-round pick, does the trade help Matt Flynn's trade stock? Or is he bound to Seattle's bench for another year?
Mike Sando (3:18 PM)
First, no trade can happen until March 12. There is reportedly an agreement between the teams, reportedly involving the Chiefs' second-round choice and a pick in 2014. I think Alex Smith had greater value than Matt Flynn in NFL teams' eyes based on how he has played recently. Also, the absence of the Chiefs as a potential landing spot removes from the equation a team that could potentially drive up the price. I don't think the Flynn market is a hot market. Also do not think the Seahawks are nearly as eager to deal Flynn as the 49ers were eager to deal Smith.
You have any thoughts in how the 49ers feel about Kendall Hunter and LMJ long term? Are those guys capable of being top 2 backs, or do they need to keep an eye out for another back to succeed Frank Gore?
Mike Sando (3:19 PM)
Yeah, they like both players a great deal. I think both players factor into the future. Hunter has to get healthy again, but he was a good player. There still could be room for another back. The 49ers have had a lot of them. This season will give them more information. Frank Gore could be entering his last season with the 49ers, too.
Pete (Right here)
Brock (Huard) was big on the T(yler) E(ifert) from Notre Dame yesterday...what are the odds the Seahawks go for a pass-catching TE?
Mike Sando (3:20 PM)
I think there are good odds Seattle will draft a tight end.
Mahoney (Washington DC)
I've got a few questions. If the Rams aren't able to sign Jackson to a reasonable contract, do you think they will absolutely get Amendola back? What are the chances that Vacarro drops to the Rams at the 16th position or that we can sign Byrd? And then sign a good guard or tackle with the pick from Washington? I might think of more
Mike Sando (3:22 PM)
I think Danny Amendola has a value in the Rams' eyes, and that value does not change whether Steven Jackson is in the picture. I don't know the chances of college players slipping to various spots. No one has a good read on this draft.
Derek (San Francisco)
Do you think the 49ers would use their 1st round and a third rounder to trade up and select either a CB/DL/or WR of their liking? And then trade back with early second rounder because teams will possibly be looking QB then?
Mike Sando (3:24 PM)
I could see the 49ers moving up in the first round possibly.
Was there any real chance that the Niners would have kept Alex if they were not able to find a trade partner
Mike Sando (3:27 PM)
I would say an outside chance. They wanted to move him. Seems to me the Chiefs should have waited.
Given the spat with Sherman and the 49ers being a SB contender, do you think Revis would consider a trade with the 49ers?
Mike Sando (3:30 PM)
I think Richard Sherman would be irrelevant to any trade or transaction involving Darrelle Revis. I also can say the 49ers have not been big into the veteran acquisition market. I'd bet against them making a big play for Revis.
Is there another team in the draft with more draft pick value than SF?(assuming the Smith deal goes through)
Mike Sando (3:33 PM)
How do you determine value? The old trade-value chart is outdated. The 49ers have the most picks, but those picks are in later rounds.
I just don't see the 49ers trading picks to the NYJ for Revis like Clark Judge of CBSSports.com speculated the 49ers would. Why give up that capital for such a risky proposition? Your thoughts?
Mike Sando (3:34 PM)
When Nnamdi Asomugha was available, the 49ers signed Carlos Rogers on a one-year deal.
What are the odds the details of this Alex Smith trade change between now and March 12?
Mike Sando (3:38 PM)
I would be surprised if the Chiefs gave a 2013 second-round choice and a 2014 conditional pick without getting more than Alex Smith in return. Or, to rephrase, I would question the intelligence of such a trade from Kansas City's perspective. I won't be surprised if KC gets something back beyond Smith.
If Hunter and James show up next year in a big way, would the 49ers entertain trading Gore midseason, or is that too baseball for the NFL? Is there even a possibility that Hunter and James CAN have a big enough effect to replace Gore flat-out next year?
Mike Sando (3:44 PM)
Frank Gore has decent-sized cap number and I wondered if it were too high even for 2013. Probably not. But it's a tough business, especially for running backs, and I could see this being Gore's last season with the team. Not sure about the trade, though. Tough to forecast and tough to stomach if you're a 49ers fan or anyone who fully appreciates what Gore has meant to the 49ers through thick and thin.
The Cardinals (unsurprisingly) lost out on a deal for Alex Smith. They now face the prospects of a weak free agent market and a lackluster draft. Do they almost have to take Matt Barkley if he's there at #7?
Mike Sando (3:45 PM)
I wouldn't say the Cardinals "lost out" on Alex Smith because I don't think they were ever in the running legitimately. The 49ers weren't trading him to a division rival. And no, the Cardinals do not "have" to take Barkley at No. 7. They will know by the draft what's in store for Kevin Kolb contract wise. That will be a factor too.
ancientage530 (Lake Tahoe)
Do you see the Cardinals going for Cassel? To me it seems like him and Kolb are the same.
Mike Sando (3:47 PM)
The Cardinals just need to have veteran options on the roster before the draft to remove pressure from taking a starting quarterback early. If Cassel were part of the mix, fine. But they just need someone who can start a game.
Now with Geno Smith highly unlilkely to go at 1. Do you think he slips to the Cards? and would they take him over Fisher or Warmack if he was there?
Mike Sando (3:48 PM)
Not even the Cardinals probably know the answer to those questions at this point. It's impossible to predict the draft, and especially this draft. Remember, too, that the decision Arizona makes will be based in part on its roster as the roster stands in late April, not in late February. There is time to address the position in manner that affects draft needs.
Ravieus (El paso)
All I see is cards fans asking about wanting a new QB. From what all of us saw last year they need an OL more then QB. How likely do you think see it for them drafting a QB at all?
Mike Sando (3:49 PM)
I think the Cardinals are highly likely to draft a quarterback but not necessarily in the first round.
Jean-Luc Picard (Rigel )
Sando I understand with a year of film on the Jeff Fisher Rams that the NFC West rivals will be maybe more prepared for future matchups, but don't you think the same can be said for the Rams? Fisher showed he can win with the smoke and mirrors approach, what's going to happen when/if the Rams cash in on these first round picks and suddenly the talent levels are on a more equal standing? I know we are all excited about Russell Wilson and CK. but those two QBs had a rough time against Fisher with limited talent, will closing the gap make it that much tougher?
Mike Sando (3:52 PM)
Jeff Fisher was so impressive against the NFC West opponents and I think you're right. The rest of the division is in for a fight.
Louis (Citrus Heights)
Understanding first that the Niners have needs at DL/CB/WR, would it still make sense from an insurance standpoint to use that reported second rounder on a potential back up QB, maybe even Geno if he's available? Boards have him out of the top 25. And most teams beyond that are pretty happy with their QB situation aside from Jacksonville.
Mike Sando (3:55 PM)
I don't know about the second round, but if the 49ers did that, they would then get in return for Smith a younger quarterback with promise at a much lower price. I just don't see the need to draft one that early when Colin Kaepernick is the clear long-term starter. Why not sign a veteran, draft a quarterback in the middle rounds and then hope to parlay that mid-round quarterback into additional draft compensation later.
Now that the story is out and the reaction is almost completely negative, what are the chances that the Chiefs bail on the Smith trade sometime before the deadline? Besides hurting their relationship with the Niners, is there anything else preventing this?
Mike Sando (3:57 PM)
There would be nothing preventing that from happening. Nothing can happen officially until March 12. Neither team is announcing an agreement or acknowledging a deal. If the teams did reach an agreement, I would expect Andy Reid and John Dorsey to keep their word from their side of things.
Nick (Bellevue, WA)
Mike, speaking of new coaches, how do you think Bruce Arians will perform in his first NFC West season? Do you expect any major changes in the Cardinals defensive-minded philosophy?
Mike Sando (4:00 PM)
I think the Cardinals were going to be better in 2013 with or without a coaching change, but people will still credit the new coach for the change whether it was Bruce Arians or anyone else. The fact that Arians is a veteran coach with head coaching experience last season eases some of the fears I would have about his readiness for the job. I do think the NFC West has a tough coaching landscape. Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll and Jeff Fisher have a head start establishing ascending programs. Arians will have his hands full.
Adam (Orange County, California)
During the playoffs it seemed like every pundit was praising the 49ers offensive line as "the best in the league." Has O-line play really improved that much? Or have they just benefited from improved QB/ skill position play?
Mike Sando (4:00 PM)
The offensive line play improved a great deal at right guard in particular.
Shaden Khabbaz (San Francisco, CA)
Can the chiefs back out of the deal if they change their mind?
Mike Sando (4:02 PM)
I was wondering if you could give a quick run down on the Seahawks' defensive scheme... I've heard their scheme described as a 4-3 with 3-4 principles and personnel. How will this affect who they draft this year?
Mike Sando (4:04 PM)
I'm most interested in seeing what it means for the defensive linemen they draft. The Seahawks' current coach/GM did not draft any of their 2012 starting defensive linemen. Bruce Irvin was a situational pass-rusher. We know they like players with unusual ("unique") qualities. A defensive lineman with great length could be appealing.
how sick already are you about talking about this supposed trade? scale of 1-10
Mike Sando (4:04 PM)
Mike (Eugene, OR)
Sando, with the cap numbers of their two QBs being lower than most teams spend at the position is there really any hurry for the Seahawks to deal Flynn? Why not hold on to a high level backup for a low positional cost? Am I missing something here?
Mike Sando (4:05 PM)
No, you are right on. There is no urgency to trade Matt Flynn.
doyle (springfield ma)
Your thoughts on the Rams needs in the draft ? Deal and or trade back?
Mike Sando (4:06 PM)
I'd have no problem with the Rams trading back from one of the two spots in the first round. They have high picks -- two firsts -- but not a large number of picks. Just eight, one over average.
Mike Sando (4:06 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the chat. See you on the NFC West blog.