Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's NFL "Caveman" himself, Gary Horton, stops in to talk some football and other news from around the league.
Horton, from Scouts Inc., works year-round on ESPN's NFL-related shows, including NFL32, where he breaks down film, earning him his Caveman nickname.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
There hasn't been a lot of dramatic deals in the last few days in free agency, but the stuff that happened today at the QB position has a real trickle down effect to several teams. Certainly, Arizona is effected. Oakland is effected and Seattle is effected. That makes for some interesting decisions with these teams. It will be even more interesting to see how these moves effect the QB position in the draft, especially at the end of the first and beginning of the second, where it seems most of the QB prospect buzz will be generated.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What will Matt Flynn bring to the Raiders that Matt Flynn that Carson Palmer was not able to provide? Do you think this move will be an upgrade? Or another Raider offeseason failure?
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I don't think it's a particular upgrade, because I think this team is an absolute mess. Carson Palmer did not have as bad a year as a lot of people think. His numbers were good, but his supporting cast was awful. I don't think Matt Flynn brings anything more to the table because of his lack of weapons. It seems to me like the Raiders have so much rebuilding to do that it would make sense to start over with a rookie that you could groom to the face of your franchise. Let him grow with the team. What the Raiders paid for Palmer in terms of what they got out of them can haunt this organization for the next 2-3 years.
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
But I think they felt they had to move on.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Gary, Is Tony Romo's worth the new contract he signed or were the Cowboys afraid of losing him after the 2013 season? And compared to Joe Flacco [Ravens], Aaron Rodgers [Packers] & The Mannings [Giants
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I think he deserves a long term lucrative contract because I don't think he has any other options. For good or bad, he'll be the face of this franchise for the next several years. They just have to surround him with better personnel. I don't think there is any way Jerry Jones could have gotten into the situation where Romo left a year from now. This is not a team with a lot of rookies. They're build to win now and you have to do that with a veteran QB. I think it was a smart move.
Gary, Carson wore out his welcome in Cincy and now Oakland....is there an issue with him or his teams?
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
He's obviously been with teams that he thought weren't very good. I think he basically talked his way out of both places. He appears to be a very stubborn guy who believes in his principles and doesn't back down. I really believed that had Cincinnati not traded him to Oakland, he would have quit football. I'm not sure the same thing wouldn't happen here if he had to stay with the Raiders. Like it or not, that's the NFL world we live in today.
John (Cleveland OH)
Caveman, I saw today that the chiefs are having a workout for Geno Smith. Is this a sign that they aren't confident of Alex Smith staying with them?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
I don't think it means anything except they're doing their due diligence. First of all there was always a chance that Smith could have gone to the Raiders at No. 3, which means they could play him twice a year, so why not get to know him? You also, when you have the No. 1 pick, they would love teams to think they have a sincere interest in Smith to get some action with teams trying to move up. I don't think it's any more than doing your homework and also posturing to see if other teams bite on it. I think Alex Smith is absolutely their QB.
Travis (Sun Prairie, WI)
How do you think Matt Flynn does in Oakland?
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
I think it's very hard to predict because we didn't have much of a body of work to judge him on when he left Green Bay. Now he's going to a team that has so many holes I don't know if he can have success. They do not have a very good OL, which means pass protection. The only way he can have success there is if Darren McFadden has a huge year running the ball, which creates balance and takes pressure off of him. But if this is a team that can't play with a lead and has to play catchup, I think they're in huge trouble.
bob nj [via mobile]
hi gary whats is the latest on d revis do u see a trade going down with tampa?
Gary Horton (4:16 PM)
I think we're now to the point where there is no hurry on either side. I think it can certainly get done with Tampa Bay. Though the more time a team has to study the draft, it can also change their wish list for free agents. In the case with Revis, this gives him more time to rehab, which can make the Bucs feel good about him. It also helps the Jets because they may be able to help for more in a trade, the longer this goes. It's a unique situation, but I'm sort of impressed by the fact that both sides are patient and not pushing the panic button. I would be really surprised if he's a Jet by the time we get to training camp.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Gary - does the Flynn trade now open up new opportunities for the Seahawks to make additional moves?
Gary Horton (4:18 PM)
I think they obviously have to address the backup QB situation. That's probably a move they'll make. This is such a deep roster, with virtually no holes in it. The moves they made already in free agency helped some areas of need. I think they'll now focus on the draft, unless a good value is available in free agency. But I don't see any huge moves by Seattle until the draft.
Hi Gary- Do you really think Dallas could have done any better with Romo or any other QB available with the exception of maybe 5 million less off the guarantee money . Either Dallas was eventually going to pay him or plenty of other teams would have don't you think ?
Gary Horton (4:20 PM)
Had he hit the open market, he would have had a lot of teams after him. When I watch him on film, he's really a good player. I know a lot of people are down on him because of the playoffs, but this guy has special skills. If he gets a run game that he can depend on, better blocking by his OL and better routes and less dropped passes by his WRs, this can be a dynamic offense. I just don't think you want to shake things up. He's a young guy who's healthy. People always want to try the flavor of the day, but it's hard to find a QB in this league that can play up to that level.
Mitch (Las Vegas, NV)
The 49ers, Seahawks, Patriots and Broncos seem to be the most-discussed favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. I don't think the Patriots have improved as much as the other three teams have so far this offseason, and I don't expect them to be any better than last season. Would you agree with that assessment?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
I think they've made some quiet moves that may be overlooked. The resigning of Aquib Talib and Vollmer were big moves, in my opinion at key positions. I watched him on film the last couple of weeks and I really like the young LBs. I think there is a lot to build around here. I think the guy to keep your eye on is Emmanuel Sanders in Pittsburgh. He's a restricted free agent who could wind up with the Patriots. If that happens, that gives them a deep threat that they have been missing. I also think you need to keep an eye on Travis Beckum, the TE they got from the Giants a year ago. They could actually use some 3 TE pacakges with him, Gronk and Hernandez and make this offense even more versatile. I probably would like this Patriots team more than you do. But they do need to have a good draft.
Rich (Bradenton, Florida)
Hi Gary - Carson Palmer wants out of Oakland - does he go to Arizona, San Francisco or Tampa Bay? He's 33 years with an 86.2 passer rating might he be a good fit in Buffalo until they find their starting quarterback?
david [via mobile]
Do the Browns have any plans on finding more receiving help? Josh Gordon seems to be their only threat
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
Gordon was a great pickup, but I think they'll continue to add to that position. I think they want to really improve their sub packages where they can really spread the field with multiple receiver threats so they can help the running game with Trent Richardson.
Bill (Sao Paulo)
is Tebow time over in the nfl or he still have a future in any other francjise?
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
I just don't know. Obviously there is virutally no buzz about him right now. I haven't heard one team that's interested that thinks he can develop as a QB. You sort of wonder, can he be an H-back or TE? But I'm not sure he has those skills. The way the Jets misused him probably really damaged him in other peoples' eyes. You'd like to think that he'd like to consider going to a place like the CFL to play for a year or two and come back, but I don't think that would be under consideration. He might be a guy that has so much other stuff he can do in life that he might be tired of the merry-go-round. He might grow tired of the media scrutiny that he goes through. It's a real shame, because he's a heckuva football player. I just don't know where he fits.
Gary Horton (4:32 PM)
The offseason switches a little bit this week. It seems a lot of teams are starting their initial draft meetings, to set up their draft board before they go out and make their final checks. Probably most of the buzz they will see in the next couple of weeks will be draft oriented and not free agency. So, get ready for all of the posturing to start.
Gary Horton (4:32 PM)
Rumors will fly about all of these draft picks. Who wants them and who is going where. That's what makes the weeks leading up to the draft so much fun, you never know what to believe.