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 (4:00 PM)
Welcome to another AFC East chat. There is plenty to talk about. So let's begin.
Danny Garcia (Miami, Fl)
If the Dolphin's sign a WR like Wallace or Jennings, do you still expect them to take WR early in the draft?
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Yes, Danny. That is certainly a possibility. The Dolphins need at least two WRs right now. Currently Davone Bess is the only proven player on the roster, and he's mostly a slot WR. So I can see Miami signing a big free agent like Jennings, and either re-signing Brian Hartline or using a top pick on a No. 2 WR.
Hi James, do you think that the Dolphins will get a contract done with Hartline and Clemons before FA starts?
James Walker (4:06 PM)
It's hard to say. The Dolphins want those two players back but at their price. Miami has really played hardball this offseason. The Dolphins haven't made quality offers to their own players and they're seeing if they take it. I don't think Miami values its own players that much. The Dolphins seem willing to lose players like Jake Long, Reggie Bush, Hartline, etc. They know they have plenty of money to replace them.
Chris (Miami) [via mobile]
Do you see Philbin and Ireland taking on a troubled prospect like Honey Badger in the draft?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
Joe Philbin has been really strict on character players. So I don't see Miami taking a risk. Philbin tried it with Chad Johnson and I think he ruined it for a lot for players with character concerns.
Jeff Ireland (Davie) [via mobile]
I know exactly what this team needs. Another offensive lineman drafted in the first round!
James Walker (4:10 PM)
You may need a left tackle, Jeff. Is Jonathan Martin the answer for Ryan Tannehill's blindside? Don't rule it out and stay true to your board.
clint (evansville in)
Do you think the bills will get levetrie and byrd resigned? That should be top priority for buffalo.
James Walker (4:11 PM)
Byrd will be the first priority and he's not going anywhere. The Bills will try to sign Byrd long term. Otherwise, he will get the franchise tag before the deadline. The Bills also have a good chance of keeping Levitre, who wants to stay. But he has a better chance of hitting the open market.
SummatimeNick (Jail (Work))
Lets talk about the Bills picking up the Jets castoffs? Good idea? Realistic? Id like to have Pace/Scott. They are obvious upgrades and potential steals with their age? Plus I like the attitude they will bring to a lackluster group. Thoughts?
James Walker (4:13 PM)
I wrote a blog about this a couple of weeks ago. The Bills are definitely on the radar because of Mike Pettine, who needs some of his own guys. However, Smith, Scott and Pace are all past their primes. Pace is the best player of the three at this point, but I don't think either will be a huge differencemaker. The Bills need toughness.
Do teams use the franchise tag as a threat? Like "Ok, dont sign this contract, but we are going to tag you and you could get hurt next year or have a bad season and decrease your value."
James Walker (4:17 PM)
Threat may be too strong a word, Xander. I would say teams use it as leverage. It's a bargaining chip the NFL put in to somewhat balance free agency. Teams would be losing their best player nearly every year without the franchise tag in place.
John (New Jersey)
Does Dustin Keller get the franchise tag in your opinion?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
I think Keller is New York's most important free agent. However, the Jets are barely under the salary cap right now. I don't see how they can pay Keller top-five money for 2013 unless the Jets make a lot more cuts.
Do you see the patriots picking up either dwight freeney or ed reed? Will they sign wes welkey to a two or three year deal??
James Walker (4:21 PM)
The Patriots are a great team but they're not re-signing Wes Welker AND signing Ed Reed and Freeney. That's too much money against the cap. Welker is the priority right now, probably for two years. Then, Reed will be a possibility next month in free agency.
Do you really think buffalo will draft a qb first round I really don't see any good players could bills trade down?
James Walker (4:23 PM)
If the draft was today, I would say no. Nothing from the college season or the bowl and all-star games showed me that there's a top-10 quarterback this year. But teams get antsy after seeing quarterbacks throw at the combine and during pro days. These players also impress during interviews, and teams fall in love with players. So in a couple months, I wouldn't rule it out.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
James - after listening to the Mike Tannenbaum since his firing do you think one of the contributing factors to his downfall had to do with how much he personally liked some of his players? Seems like he ended up overpaying some of the Jets who he had a good relationship with.
James Walker (4:27 PM)
It happens to GMs and coaches. They like their guys, especially if they have success like the Jets did in 2009 and 2010. Sometimes it's hard to be objective about your own players from the inside. I don't know anyone outside the Jets who thought Mark Sanchez deserved a big contract extension last March. But inside the building Tannenbaum couldn't resist. That was his guy.
James Walker (4:28 PM)
The Patriots do a good job of taking the emotion out of it. That's why they are not afraid to cut bait with players who have been great for them. It's a harsh business, and New England does a good job of not overpaying by being attached.
I can't stop watching Tyler Bray tape. Kid had a cannon, is accurate, and seems to make decent decisions. Can you see Buffalo drafting 2 QB's this year?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
I don't see the Bills drafting two QBs, especially if they keep Ryan Fitzpatrick. Tarvaris Jackson and Fitzpatrick leaves room for just one rookie on the roster. Bray is an interesting prospect, but I think the Bills like Ryan Nassib more.
David Younts (Augusta)
Hey James, if it were your call, do you think Jennings or Wallace would be a better fit for Miami, both from a performance and a locker room standpoint?
James Walker (4:34 PM)
I like both players. I don't think Miami would go wrong with either options. But Jennings knows Miami's offense better because he played under Joe Philbin. There would be very little learning curve.
Who do you think the Bills wiill draft as their franchise quarterback? Glennon, Wilson, Manuel or Nassib?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
I'm not sure any of these players are franchise QBs. But Nassib has the best chance due to his connection with head coach Doug Marrone.
I read a report about Miami stating that Randy Starks could be franchised, Paul Soliai traded to a DT needy team (Seahawks), and Jared Odrick moved inside to fill in for Soliai. Do you see this as a possibility or was this a reach for a potential story?
James Walker (4:37 PM)
Don't buy into everything you read, Chris. It's silly season.
Chris (Boise, ID)
James, What do you think about Miami taking BOTH Jennings and Wallace and forgoing a WR in the first 2 rounds? They have the cap space...
James Walker (4:39 PM)
That's a lot of money at one position, Chris. Both players are set to get paid. The Dolphins have some other needs to address and don't need to double up. Maybe Jennings/Wallace and Hartline is more realistic.
How does the DUI affect Alec Olgletree's draft stock? I see the Bills taking him at 8.
James Walker (4:40 PM)
I don't. When you have a top-10 pick, taking character risk is not a good idea. There are plenty of good players at the top of the draft who don't come with baggage.
See Alex Smith getting traded to anyone in that division? Jets and Bills both have QB issues!
James Walker (4:42 PM)
The Alex Smith/AFC East ship has sailed, Anthony. The Jets can't afford him and the Bills don't have room with Fitzpatrick and Jackson on the roster.
What will the Jets do with Sanchez long term?
James Walker (4:43 PM)
The Jets will keep Sanchez on the roster for one year because they have to. Then, NY will figure out what to do beyond 2013 based on his performance.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
If not the Jets what team is best positioned to pay Darrelle Revis what he is rumored to be looking for?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
I don't expect any team to make Revis the highest-paid defensive player without seeing what he can do in 2013 first. That wouldn't be smart. But as far as trade partners, you have to look at teams with a lot of draft picks. I think San Francisco is a possibility, for example.
Paul (Mooresville, NC)
Anyone in particular you're personally interested in seeing perform at this weeks combine?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
I always like watching the quarterbacks throw, because that's the most important position on the field. This year is particularly interesting because there are no sure-fire options.
john snow (California)
hopefully no one in the afc east drafts matt barkley he is terrible do you agree?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Matt Barkley is one of the biggest mysteries of this draft. I've talked to people who think he's overhyped and others who think he has a chance to develop into a good NFL QB. I think the fit is going to be important. For example, Buffalo is a bad fit for Barkley because his arm strength is average.
All the cuts made by the Jets today was step 1 but what's next?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Well, there's a certainly popular quarterback on the roster...
cgc5783 (WB, NC)
Would you like any of my kool-aide? It's the one labeled "2013 Dolphins". Good stuff!
James Walker (4:51 PM)
Thanks but no thanks. I'm still getting over the "2012 Bills" kool-aide.
Patrick (Circling the Wagons)
Wasn't arm strength a knock on Tom Brady? He seems to be a pretty good fit in NE.
James Walker (4:53 PM)
Arm strength also is a knock on Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo. How is that working out?
I really want Te'o for my Bills. Since Ogletree has proven that he has way worse off-field issues, will the Bills have any interest in Te'o?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
Te'o or Ogletree? The Bills have a really high pick this year. Why must they focus on the two players with question marks? There's a lot of safe, good players in the top 10 to focus on.
Anthony (New York)
With Revis always asking for more money, do you think the JETS pull off a herschel walker type of trade
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Multiple draft picks would be the best-case scenario for the Jets. The problem is how much will teams know about Revis' health in March or April? Revis won't be ready for on-field work. So a team would be taking a major risk to trade too many quality picks on damaged goods.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will the Jets Trade Derrelle Revis before the 2013 Summer Training Camp Begins?
James Walker (5:00 PM)
That's also a possibility. The Jets and other teams would have a much stronger indication on Revis' healthy for the 2013 season in training camp.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for all the great questions. Be sure to check out the AFC East blog for the latest updates this offseason.
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