We'll start our giant NFL offseason kickoff chat at noon ET! Send in your questions now!
Hello everyone. I'm happy to kickoff today's marathon NFL chat with some AFC North talk. Everyone else, don't worry. Your divisional blogger will be coming up soon.
Walker I just wanted to be the first to say, how are you my man?
Steiny! This is becoming a new tradition. How are you today?
What do you think the Browns will do this offseason? and are they drafting Linebackers in the first round of draft?
Daniel, the Browns are in full evaluation mode right now. They are still trying to decide on players themselves, so it's hard to say. But I think their best move is to start over by trading some vets and getting draft picks. New coaches rarely want to keep the old roster that got the last coach fired. LBs are the team's biggest need in the draft since Cleveland is still running a 3-4.
James. Do you expect Ben Roethlisberger to have a good next year stats-wise. I have a lot of friends who are still vehemently convinced that he is not a top-five QB in the NFL, simply because he does not amass Drew Brees-like numbers. In your opinion, will next year be a statistical breakout year for Big Ben? Personally, I say yes.
Ben S., Ben R. already had a breakout year stat wise in 2007. It didn't get the team very far. Roethlisberger will never be the type of QB to put up Brees or Manning numbers, but he is winning more rings. Which do you prefer?
Is Joe Flacco for real?
I was impressed with Flacco's arm from the first day I saw him in minicamp. As far as a natural, pure passer, Flacco is gifted. To take it to the next level, he will need to improve in other areas such as reading defenses and cutting back turnovers.
Do you think the ravens should break the bank on ray lewis and let some of the young talent go.
I'm convinced the Ravens are going to give Ray Lewis a very good offer before the end of the month. It will be up to Lewis to decide if it's the best deal or should he test the market. If he does that, things can go either way.
What's the status of Derek Anderson? Will the Browns keep him or trade them? If they do trade him, what will the Browns get in return?
At the end of the season, it was clear Anderson didn't anticipate returning. He wasn't going to get a fair shot to keep his job with the old regime. But with a new coaching staff, you never know. I would say it's 50-50 at this point that a trade can happen. It depends on if Mangini is sold on Brady Quinn. He didn't draft him, so there is no personal ties beyond what he sees on tape.
JW...I love RayRay and always have but our number one player to re-sign has to be Jason Brown so our o-line can continue to grow together. Do you agree or is it someone else?
Lewis and Brown are both important. But I think you're forgetting the most important free agent for Baltimore: OLB/DE Terrell Suggs.
Do you think the steelers will pick up Alex Mack?
I disagree with a lot of draft projections on this pick. I see Pittsburgh going for an offensive tackle first and foremost. The Steelers already have a decent starting center in Justin Hartwig.
Will Larry Foote be resigned by the Steelers?
Larry Foote is not a free agent until 2010. At that point he likely will not be re-signed.
do you see the ravens using their 1st rounder on a corner or (if one is still there) a top wideout like hakeem nicks?
I'm one of the few media members that believe corner, not WR, is Baltimore's biggest priority. I'm sticking with it and saying the Ravens get some youth and depth in the secondary in the first round.
What would the score be if the 2007 Patriots played the 2008 Lions?
77-0. That's 11 touchdowns for the Pats, all thrown by a healthy Tom Brady.
Think the Ravens have another shot 2 make it 2 the AFC Champion ship again?
You have to see what they do with their free agents and how they improve in the draft. But if Baltimore does well in those areas, it will be a Super Bowl contender next season.
James, as a Ravens season ticket holder I would love to see T.J Housh in purple next season. Chances?
Not great. I talked to someone in the know about this before the playoffs, and that person felt T.J. would command too much money for Baltimore to make a run, considering all the in-house UFAs the Ravens have on their own. Plus, Joe Flacco needs a deep threat, not another possession WR. T.J. and Derrick Mason are very similar in that respect.
New Tradition. I love it. I don't know if I ever told you this, but I am a Jets fan. Some people are saying that Derek Anderson would be a good fit in NY. But personally I do not think Eric Mangini would ever let him go to the Jets. What are your thoughts on that?
For the right price, Eric might. But he wouldn't help the Jets out at all unless he thought he was getting over on them. Derek will probably land somewhere else before the Jets are even a consideration. Your team may land some former Ravens though.
Will Chad Johnson be in a bengals uniform next year?
That's a tough one. The Bengals missed the boat by not trading him last year. They will likely consider it this year, but they won't get the same type of offer.
Sean Rogers was an awesome pickup for the Browns, but he didn't seem to have much help on the line. Was Corey Williams a bust or was the shoulder injury that significant?
It was some of both, Mark. The shoulder injury bothered him all season, but he toughed it out and played hurt. Also, the front office new he didn't play in a 3-4 in Green Bay but still took a risk in getting him and he never fit in. His strengths were never utilized.
Ok everyone. Thanks again for the chat. I'm going to pass the torch to Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.
Thanks James-Matt Williamson here. We can talk about anything NFL that you all are in the mood for.
How do you like the chance of the broncos getting usc linebacker Rey Maualuga??
I think they will have a shot at him, but is he really want they need for their new 3-4? I do think he would be okay next DJ Williams in that scheme, but they just now have SO many huge D needs with this scheme change-which just doesn't make any sense to me. It isn't as bad as GBay going to the 3-4, but I would expect yet another brutal year on D from Denver.
Going to be a tough one for the Steelers to resign McFadden given that he's played very well as of late. Can they effectively let him go and allow Willian Gay to step into that role, all the while while DeShea gets older?
I really like McF, but yes, I think he is gone. Going to really be expensive and like you said, Gay played very well. I also fully understand PGH's OL issues, but it wouldn't blow me away if they used their first rounder on a CB who also was a top notch returner, a big need. If not the first round, in the top three rounds.
Do you see the vikes going after a free agent qb that could be a franchise solution (ie andersen, cassel), or drafting a future qb and signing a veteran to learn under (favre, garcia)?
Well, first off-they MUST do something at the position. It wouldn't be Favre for me-no faith in him any more. Garcia isn't a terrible option and remember, the options are not plentiful. Also, very slim pickings for future franchise QBs in the draft. So-I would offer up my #1 for Cassel if I were in charge of Minny and could fit him under the cap.
How busy are the Pack going to be this offseason? If most mock drafts have them drafting Jenkins, how are they going to address their poor run defence?
Don't think they can afford to take Jenkins in round one. Tauscher could walk and I think they have needs all over the place now on D with this switch to the 3-4. Foolish.
What do you thnk the Lions do at QB??
When it is all said and done, I bet they use the first pick in the draft on a QB, probably Stafford. They have some pieces in place on O and although I usually am not fond of drafting a QB real high with SO many other needs, in this case, it makes some sense. What they could hope for is that Crabtree lights up his workouts and teams start trying to position themselves at #1 to get him-possible.
What can the Panthers get for Peppers in a trade? A first and a third perhaps?
For that to happen, they need to Franchise Peppers. I would franchise Gross before putting the tag on Peppers, who is more inconsistent. DE is going to be a huge need for the Panthers. But, I do suppose that he is worth a #1 and 3 to answer your question.
Is it possible that the Lions will take Josh Freeman with the first pick? Hes as talented as Jamarcus, but manages his weight better, works harder and has been surrounded by less talent
I love this kid and glad you brought him up. I fully expect him to fly up draft boards in the upcoming weeks/months. First overall though? Seems rather steep.
Do you see Favre returning in 09 for the jets and if not who do you see under center for them? I know Cassell is a long shot to say the least but who would be the most likely candidate.
I with I had an answer for you Bro. I think NYJ is ready to take a step backwards, even though I am a believer in Rex Ryan, who will improve the D. Just a glaring need at QB and I do not expect Favre back. Maybe they pull the trigger in the first round on Freeman/Sanchez. D Anderson? Boller? Leftwich? I gotta think the team philosophy will be to play great D and run the ball first, but still...
I have heard that the Chiefs might spend a little money this off season who else will go on a spending spree if any
Zona has a fair amount of cap space, but prob will use a lot of that towards Warner and Dansby if I were to guess. From what I understand, TBay and Tenn both have a lot of room. Tenn would like to bring Haynesworth back, but they have to realize that he is a risky guy to put that kind of money into. Maybe they use that money on someone like TJ Housh and draft another DT to add to their young rotation. As for TBay, I could see them being aggressive. Getting A Bryant back has to be a top priority though and they certainly have some QB issues to address.
M-Dub when deciding on a drafting a player which event do most teams place the most weight on: looking at film during the regular season & BCS games/ at the Senoir Bowl/ Combines/ or is it the private workouts?
Everyone is different, but game tape is far and away the most valuable to me. Combine and Senior Bowl are just tools to help make decisions, but shouldn't be over valued. Backround/character is also something that is huge and a big part of scouting.
Do you think TO will stay in Dallas?
Obviously this decision will ultimatly fall to J Jones. What do you think he will do? My guess is that JJ keeps him around. Too enamoured with TO's talent.
If the ravens keep 2 out of 3 lbs which 1 is gone and where does he go im thinking maybe denver what do you think?
Suggs has to be priority #1 and I would franchise him. Lewis is second and while Scott is a good player, he is the easiest to replace in my opinion. Could see the Jets wanting Scott to play next to Harris. Denver makes some sense for sure.
What is Tampa going to do with their QB and RB situation?
The Wolf? Awesome. It takes 20 minutes to get there. I will be there in 10. Anyways, I like the RBs and wouldn't mess with that situation. Graham is good enough and the others are decent complementary players. As for QB, I really liked Josh Johnson a year ago and Griese could be a one year caretaker if they are confident that Johnson can eventually be the guy. That is my hunch and in the meantime, use their cap space on other spots. Just not that many QBs to get excited about right now who are available. But, if Johnson isn't their long term answer, they could be in big trouble.
Housh to Philly just makes too much sense for both right? That means it won't happen...
Probably right. Boldin to Philly makes a ton of sense as well. Send Zona one of their two first rounders. Done deal. Forgetaboutit.
Kerry Collins or Vince Young, who ends next season as Tennesee's starter?
Assuming that you are a Titans' fan, you had better not hope for VY. I have ZERO confidence in that guy any more. He just doesn't throw the football well enough at this level and doesn't show enough leadership behind center. Collins returning (2 year deal?) seems like a slam dunk to me.
How About Byron Leftwich In Minnesota Next Year
Not a horrible fit. I think Leftwich will be overvalued after a very small body of work with PGH, but he is still an upgrade over what they are playing with.
Matt, it's 'Fuhgedaboutit' In any case...could the Giants let Jacobs and Ward walk then hope Moreno falls to them in the draft?
I like your version better-much appreciated. As for your scenerio, nah. They also have Bradshaw and Ware, who will be someone that everyone knows by this time next year. Doubt both top guys walk anyway. RBs are easy to plug in-esp behind that OL. They need WRs! An OLB would also go a long way. Can't see them using their first rounder on RB.
Also, along those lines, look where all four of their RBs came from-not high picks. Smart.
Should the Jets go for a WR in the draft?
Perhaps, but they have bigger needs for sure. We talked about the QB mess and I would put CB, DE, ILB and RT over WR on that list as well.
What are the chances that the Giants try to trade for either Anquan Boldin or even Calvin Johnson. Which is more likely. Also, is Karlos Dansby a realistic hope?
Dansby seems realistic and would make them an elite D once again with Osi returning. Would be an excellent move. Boldin? Maybe. I bet Zona ends up getting more than the 29th overall pick for him though. Is he worth multiple picks for NYG? As for Calvin-why on Earth would me move teams?
If my Lions trade Calvin Johnson I will never watch another football game.
Did you watch the Pro-Bowl?
I saw about 15 minutes of it...honestly
Calvin Johnson is as untouchable as Peyton Manning.... if not more so because he is younger
If you made every player in the league a free agent and held a draft-he would be one of the first guys choses overall. Superstar in the making.
Dawkins, do you think hes staying in Philly?
I do. I think Philly is ready to take a win-now approach to this offseason and are equipped to be very good next year because of it.
Will the Lions win a game next season?
nfl needs a bcs system so the two best teams play in the superbowl
Worst idea I have ever heard.
Okay folks, I am out. Find me on Wednesday at noon. Bill Williamson is ready to take over. Take care. Take it away Bill...
What is your opinion of the draft trade value chart?
Teams really live by it. It's interesting. But teams really do use it as a workable guideline.
Bill- what are the chances the Raiders get Aso signed long term?
He'd be open to it. He'd much rather have a long--term deal than getting franchised every year. But he said last week that there haven't been recent talks about a long-term deal.
If stafford doesn't go first pick to the lions, where does he end up?
Maybe Kansas City at No. 3.
What do you feel is more important for the eagles get a wide receiver or a rb?
They need to adress their long need at receiver.
Could you see Denver picking up Haynsworth, Peppers, Lewis, or any other big name defensive player this offseason?
They have the cap room and they could use a stud defender badly but let 's see if Denver wants to spend the money.
Can I get a Raider question in? 7th pick in the draft to you see Crabtree being available? What's up with Asomugha will we resign him he is obviously the best CB in the league sorry Bailey fans
I can see Oakalnd getting a crack at Crabtree and if they do they will likely pounce on him. If Oakland gets Crabtree it could get very nteresting. He is a big-time player.
What's your take on Denver switching to a 3-4 defense? Good or bad move?
It may not instantly be a god move because Denver needs to gwt personnel to fit the 3-4. But eventually it will be a good thing.Mike Nolan is a good defensive coach.
What do you expect the Patriots to get in return for Matt Cassel?
I'd say a first rounder for sure,
Do you think the Cowboys will clean up there mess this offseason?
That's a big cleanup project. Dallas better start to fix its problems are it will be another season of craziness in Big D.
Bill, I know that KC is going to probably sign 2 or 3 big name free agents this year. If you had to bet, who would you put your money on that the Chiefs are going to get. Thanks
Just a guess: Matt Cassel (through a trade) and Julius Peppers.
Do you see the Raiders making a run at Boldin or Chad Johnson? Either would be a big improvement
I could see the Raiders exploring those possibilities. It is painfully clear this team needs receivers and Oakland must get one through free agency, a trade or the draft.
Please BiLL.Could you see RAVENS picking up Haynesworth, Peppers, Aso, TJ, or any other big name player this offseason?
Thanks for your patience: If the Ravens don't keep their own big free agents, they'll have cap room and a need for defensive help, so yes I can. But I think keeping their own free agents is the plan at this point.
Do you see Al Davis trying to talk Javon Walker back into retirement in the near future?
I can see Davis giving Walker his walking papers. This one may be over soon.
What can the Chiefs get for Larry Johnson this off-season? I think Willis McGahee was had for a 3rd and 5th rd draft picks Can the Chiefs get that?
With his age and off-filed baggage, they'll probably get a mid-rounder for Johnson.
Do you think plax will be back with the team barring any legal issues?
I think there is a long way to go in this saga before the end game but the Giants haven't closed the door so it's possible, sure.
What are your feelings about a team picking up the best player available. I'm thinking what if Crabtree is around for the Bengals at #6. They drafted 2 receivers early last year and still have Chad and/or TJ. Do you think they'd consider Crabtree if he was there at #6?
Teams are choosing mroe for the best available than for need these days. It is really the way to go. The draft is a crap shoot but by talking the player you like the best, it may lessen your chances of failing.
Do you think the raiders will make any moves on defensive free agents like peppers, dansby, or vilma?
Oakland doens't have a lot of cap room after last year's silly spending spree and their bigger needs are on offense so getting defensive help may have to wait.
Bill, with McDaniels at the helm in D-Town now, how much do you think the Broncos will run the ball? NE finished 5th in the league in rushing last year and ran it 46% of the time...
He kept run game coordinator Rick Dennison and running backs coach Bobby Turner so that will help. I believe Denver's runnign attack will remain as strong as it always has been.
Were the Raiders really in a SB a few years ago?
SIx long years, yes, indeed.
How will Denvers new coach change the offensive play calling? Will it be more aggressive throughout the game or will it be balanced?
It will be passing oriented, which was the case in 2008 anyway.
OK, folks, it was a lot of fun. Thanks for spending the past half hour with me. Bill Williamson
Who do the eagles need to get at wide receiver
Thanks to Bill Williamson for the nice introduction. It's time to talk NFC Beast. I think DeSean Jackson has given the Eagles a nice playmaker. I think they should try to identify a top tight end in the draft. Unless they can get Boldin or Housh, I'd just stick to the draft.
Hey Matt, Boldin to the G-Men; Are the odds good? And do they have the cap room for him and Plax (if he is acquitted) and help at LB?
Things could get a little tricky. Both men represent by Rosenhaus. Plax has filed a grievance through the NFLPA against the Giants. This thing could get ugly. I think Boldin will definitely get out of Arizona, but don't think of him as the same type of player as Plax. He's not as big and Plax has a little more speed. However, Boldin's a tough guy who's actually a really good teammate. Things sort of melted down in Arizona, but I understand his frustrations.
Dont you think jerry jones should try and make an offer to Jordan gross and peppers of the panthers both of there contracts is up lets face it panthers cant franchise both of them and peppers already told everyone he wants 3-4 defense. and flozell adams is getting old Jordan can take his spot. peppers and demarcus both coming off the right side that's havoc.
I'm not sure Jones can just start dialing up Panthers players. The Cowboys are about to lose Chris Canty in FA. He just hasn't developed like they though he would. That said, it would surprise me if either player ended up on the Cowboys roster. They want to identify O-linemen in the draft.
Does Tony Romo want T.O. to return to Cowboys?
Steiny, he would never come out and say "no" in public, but I think the constant distraction has gotten old for Romo. He wouldn't shed a single tear if T.O. left the building. I guess I'm saying there wouldn't be any "That's my wide receiver!" speeches.
If the Eagles were to package their 2 first round picks, how high could they move up?
They could get in the top 10, but it's rare for teams to do that these days. You'd have to see someone that you absolutely love up there. Otherwise, why not try to land two starters. I think Michael Oher, the kid out of Ole Miss, is someone to keep in mind.
What are the chances that my Eagles make a real run at a big time WR this offseason, say TJ or Anquan, to finally get us a ring?
Well, they made a run at Randy Moss last offseason and that didn't work out. I think they love what DeSean Jackson's brought to the team. They won't wreck their draft to get their hands on Boldin. But there's legitimate interest in Housh. Great possession guy to go along with Jackson.
With Runyan having microfracture surgery, is the decision made for the Eagles basically to keep Tra and let Big Jon go?
I really hate to see Big Jon go -- especially since he's such an avid reader of The Beast. But yes, I think his time in Philly has come to an end. Reid loves him, but not enough to bring him back. I think they'll make a legitimate effort to re-sign Tra Thomas. But if they haven't done it at this point, it usually means they're not overly concerned about losing the guy. They'll take a look at the market. And he will, too.
If the Giants can work out a long-term contract with Brandon Jacobs in the next couple weeks, could they potentially use a franchise tag on Derrick Ward? As long as the franchise tag has existed, I don't think the Giants have ever used one. While it normally doesn't fit their style, couldn't New York franchise-and-trade Ward to get something back for him?
I don't see the franchise and trade thing happening. They'd have to put the "exclusive" tag on him. Jerry Reese isn't going to do that with Derrick Ward. The more likely scenario is letting Ward walk and then elevating Bradshaw and Danny Ware.
What are the 'Skins offseason plans? Get OL help, and can they resign D. Hall?
DeAngelo Hall appreciates what the Redskins did for him. They may get a hometown discount. I talked to DBs coach Jerry Gray the other day. He loves the guy. I think they'll find a way to bring him back. He was one of the few bright spots in the second half. You better get some help on the offensive and defensive lines in the draft. This team is in desperate need of a legit pass-rusher. Can't keep taking stabs at aging players. Go find a talented, young player.
Do u think the cowboys will go after anyone in free agency?
Clyde, I think things will be very quiet on the FA front for the Cowboys.
How much work do you actually Do on GAC? Or do you just kind of hang out?
Mostly hang out.
Will we be talking about Jerry Jones in a couple of years the same way we talk about Al Davis now?
That's where this thing is headed. He's lost a lot of credibility over the past couple seasons. Last year was an embarrassment. And the fact that he doesn't think there's a "locker room issue" should scare every Cowboys fan.
what moves do you see the Giants making this off season and what do you think are their biggest needs besides wide receiver? is Boldin a possibility considering Manning to Boldin in the pro bowl looked like it clicked.
Actually I thought Manning to Fitz looked pretty nice. I'd just trade for them both! I think Jerry Reese will take a long look at going after Boldin. But he's not going to start making deals like Jerry Jones made to get Roy Williams. That's too steep a price to pay for a player that's never really had to be THE man.
Is Jason Taylor done with the 'Skins? If so, where do you see him landing?
Did you watch the Pro Bowl this year? would you rather it be in Hawaii or different cities where fans can actually attend?
I have so little interest in this game that it doesn't really matter. But I think playing it the weekend before the Super Bowl is a decent idea.
What impact is the loss of Sean Taylor still having on Washington?
Chad, the franchise will be forever changed. You don't replace a guy like that. The Redskins lucked out with Chris Horton emerging as a starter. LaRon Landry needs to continue to mature. He can be a beast, but I'd like to see him be a little more active. Some of that will be on his coaches. But the Redskins will be feeling the loss of Taylor for years to come.
At this point, would any other team want any part of TO?
Someone would take a chance on him.
I'd love to see Bradshaw have a bigger role in the offense! He's way more effective as a change-of-pace back than he is as a return guy (and he's not bad there, either). Still, with Plax's future in doubt, a big need at OLB, and now Toomer saying he most likely won't return next season, the Giants have their work cut out for them this offseason. I know you just mentioned the Boldin trade talks, but have you heard anything legit behind other rumors involving the Giants attempting to acquire Tony Gonzalez or Braylon Edwards?
The Eagles and Giants both had a legit interest in Tony Gonzalez. He still has some tread left -- as evidenced by last season's numbers with a suspect player at QB.
what do the eagles need to do to their defense? The unit has some great players but seems to be one or two pieces away from being a top-tier squad. any suggestions?
I thought they played brilliantly down the stretch. They have a nice mix of size and speed at the edge positions, but Trent Cole could use a little help. He still sees too many double teams. They have to figure out where they're headed with Dawkins. But I think you have to be pleased with the way the young LBs played heading into the NFC title game. And kudos to Akeem Jordan for supplanting Omar Gaither. Our time here is almost up. You've been great. One more for the road.
Any free-agent OTs the Eagles might target or are they going to exclusively fill those needs via the draft? Perhaps a big offer to Jordan Gross, unless the Panthers franchise him?
what should the falcons look for in the draft or via trade to get better on both sides of the ball?
I'll jump in for Mr. Mosely and start my time with this one. I think the Falcons will be looking for a couple outside linebackers, a safety, a defensive tackle, a defensive end and a tight end who can catch some passes.
Gross is a nice player, but I don't think you'll see him in Philly. The Eagles need to see where they are with Andrews at guard. They have more than just the injury to think about with him. I think they need to identify their favorite offensive tackle in the draft -- and then find a way to sign him. I watched Baylor's Jason Smith play for four years. Saw every home game. He was a stud on some awful teams under Guy Morriss. If you can figure out a way to go get him, go get him. You guys have been great. I'm out!
This one's for you Pat! What are the chances the Bucs get their hands on Haynesworth? Do they have a better shot at Peppers? And with so much cap space, could they possibly tab BOTH? Thanks man.
Wow, those are some pretty grand ambitions. But the Bucs do have more cap space than anybody and I think they're going to have a pretty active offseason. I think getting one of those two is very possible. Getting both? Might be too much to ask for, but I wouldn't totally rule it out.
Hey, Pat, thanks for the chat! Everyone agrees that Delhomme's intangibles are off the charts and he's much beloved, but the simple fact is, on the three serious Carolina contending teams, the common denominator is QB is the weak link. Delhomme's contract is up after next year. How do you see things play out afterwards?
I think you might see the Panthers draft a possible eventual replacement this year. But I also want to emphasize don't rule out McCown. They like him a lot.
Pat, what are the odds that Vilma is playing with a fleur de lis on his helmet next year? 80%? The saints can't afford to lose him.
I think the odds are very good. He wants to stay and they obviously want -- and need -- him.
Assuming the Panthers re-sign Gross and franchise Peppers, can they get something like a 1st and a 3rd for Julius? Also, who will be out there to replace Peppers?
Yeah, they could even get a little more than that -- something like the Jared Allen deal. As far as replacing Peppers, there's not a lot out there. But they do like Charles Johnson and I'd look for them to sign a free agent -- maybe someone like Smith from Arizona AND draft an end fairly early.
would the panthers have any interest in bringing back a hometown DE in c canty from dallas?
Keep an eye on that one. Richardson always has liked bringing local players home.
Hey Pat, thanks for the chat. Any word on the Falcons' decisions on their linebackers (Brooking and Boley)? Also, with a weak CB free agent class otehr than the other-worldly Asomugha, might Foxworth get overpaid, either by Atlanta or another suitor?
No word yet, but it should be coming in the next two weeks. I suspect both LBs will be out of there. Foxworth should command some decent money. He played well last year. I think he wants to stay in ATL.
Hey Pat, big fan of your blog! I would like to know where you see the bucs going with their first round pick. QB, DE, DT?
My guess is they go DE, DT or WR. I just don't think there will be good value with a QB at No. 19.
Pat - the million dollar question. Will Arthur Blank allow Thomas Dimitroff to jettison hometown local boy Keith Brooking? If I can see that guy is costing the Falcons games from the stands surely Mike Smith can on video. What am I missing here Pat?
Blank allowed them to get rid of Warrick Dunn last year, so anybody is fair game.
Hey Pat, Did you see Peppers sideline interview with Tiki Barber, he didn't sound too convincing did he?
Yep, saw it. He's out of there.
Say it ain't so. Is it true that my Bucs are bringing back the creamsicle uni's next season?
They're doing it -- for one game, I think. Maybe the London game?
What am I doing this offseason? I'd really like to take a vacation somewhere nice. I worked hard all year, i think I deserve it.
I've got a new favorite reader. Thanks.
How was Mularkey not mentioned for a head coaching job? I'm so happy he is staying in ATL. Matt Ryan and Co. will seriously benefit from this obvious miss step by other franchises who overlooked Mularkey.
I think he was mentioned in the Detroit situation, just a little. But he's in a spot where he can wait for a good job next year. Another year with Matt Ryan will make him the hottest assistant next year.
The Panthers really need a solid tight end, do you think there is any chance that they will sign Owen Daniels from Houston?
Do you really see Fox and Hurney investing in a TE? They've never done it before.
Mularkey has never been a guy to use a TE for passing (don't think he's ever had a 500 yd guy). So why do people have the Falcons going Pettigrew in the first?
I doubt they'd use a first-rounder on a TE. But I see them trying to upgrade. TE is the one toy they don't have for Matt Ryan right now.
queSTion to pat yasinskas hi paAT saints draft a running back
Mid rounds maybe. They've got a pretty good one in Pierre Thomas.
Will Meeks call the DT plays, or will he be a puppet on the string with Fox doing thr pulling?
I heard Steve Smith was talking to Anquan boldin at the pro bowl. Is it likely that the Panthers could make a deal to get him?
They've got much bigger needs than WR.
Is Milloy gone with Brooking next year?
I suspect so. But you could see Milloy return in like June or July if they're not fully confident in what they've found to replace him.
There has been some chatter that Dimitroff benefitted from his knowledge of the Patriots draft board last year. He won't have that working in his favor this year. How would you rate Atlanta's scouting department?
Outstanding. Look at what their picks from last year (and I'm talking way beyond Ryan) did. And I can tell you New England's draft board changed thousands of times in the time between Dimitroff leaving and the actual draft.
Uh Oh, my jerseys just went to 50% off on the team website
Wait until they get down to 75 percent.
Rumors are that Johnson, Hackett, and Lucas may get booted to make some cap space in Carolina... any word on the Panthers restructuring anyone's contract for the same purpose?
They'll always do a bunch of restructures. Every team does. But the three you mentioned -- yeah, they're probably gone.
Pat, Things have seemed kinda quiet lately around Carolina, and I know some big things are about to happen. Any telling how long it might take to see something stir up in the next week or so? And do you see Gross cutting us any sort of Hometown deal? Thanks
Don't have it right in front of me, but i think the deadline to use the franchise tag is Feb. 19. So something huge will happen between now and then.
Hey Pat, Heard anything recently about McAllister being released to make some cap room (albeit not enough...)?
Sadly, I think that's a given.
Do the bucs draft an RB this year? they seem to have trouble getting their starters to make it through an entire season, so is this the year they draft one that actually handled a lot of carries in college? plus, dunn definitely doesn't have too much more left in him, and caddy... well i'm not holding my breath.
Might not be a bad idea. Graham is good, but you need somebody else. Dunn might not even be back and Caddy is a huge question mark.
Let's say somehow Gross is gone. What is the response? Is it that dire? He was excellent, but they are strong all across the line. Omiyale filled in decently and should be a cheap replacement. Basically, would Gross gone be an end-of-the-world scenario? Thank you.
Wouldn't say end of the world, but it would hurt. Omiyale isn't a guy you'd want starting 16 games. They could move Wharton back out there or maybe bring in a mid-level guy.
NEWS FLASH -- You're getting it here before I even post it on the blog. Bucs just announced they have re-signed QB Luke McCown.
if i am correct Chris Gamble's contract is up where do you see him going? could you see a team like New England making a run at him?
No, Gamble signed a big extension during the season. He's not going anywhere.
Supposedly, Gross wants to stay in Carolina, but haven't they been trying to re-sign him since well before they tagged him last year? What is the holdup here really about?
They were close to signing him before the deadline last year. But he drove his price tag up with a strong season. I think they'll get him done. But I also think the Peppers situation is a huge factor in all this.
hey pat hope your having fun today. do you think peppers is going to green bay to play 3-4 lets no forget the defensive coach left for green bay and they still have a good connection.
Possible. But I don't know that the stuff about wanting to play in a 3-4 is all that definite. I think he just wants out and would play in a 4-3 in the right place.
Vick is scheduled to be realeased prior to this seasons start. Do you see him in the NFL again, and if so where?
My guess is the NFL suspends him for a year and he ends up in the UFL.
Any chance the Saint's let Jahri Evans or Lance Moore (RFA's) walk for draft pick compenation?
I think they'll keep both. Might even extend both.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my agent and my family. Is that ok, Pat? If so, thank you too.
Sure, good luck to you. Now, where's Jeff Garcia going to land? Won't be Tampa Bay.
Is it my turn yet?
We will now hand it over to the NFC North's great Kevin Seifert. Thanks to all for stopping by. Fire away with the questions for Kevin.
Kevin: Do you think Byron Leftwich could be a viable QB option for the Vikings?
I'd be surprised. Childress is big on fundamentals and I can't see Leftwich's arm action/windup being something he is attracted to.
kevin have you heard anything about who will be the starting LE in GB and is there any FA talk goin on in GB right now?
That's been a hot question here on the internets. Two names that are getting mentioned as possible ends in this system are Johnny Jolly and Justin Harrell. Both are question marks, but internally those might be the top two options. If I had to guess, this might be an area of free agency focus for the Packers.
Kevin: Will the Lions be active in the FA market? If so, who will they target? Peppers, Haynesworth? They need to make a big splash!
I'm guessing they'll be a "value" shopper. With respect to your question, that means they aren't likely to make a splash. That's probably a wise move. They need too much help in too many areas to spend all of their cash budget on one or two players.
Da bears. Who will be the starting QB week 1 this year?
Kyle Orton. Could be a different story in 2010, though.
Can you give me percents on what you think the Vikings first round pick will be? I say 50% tackle, 20% cornerback, 20% wide receiver, 10% best player available.
I'd say closer to 75 percent best player available. Spielman is big on this.
hey kevin can you see peppers and jared allen together. peppers would have to play le of course.
Not if Peppers is serious about wanting to play in a 3-4. The Vikings run a 4-3 and will continue doing so in 2009.
What do the Bears do in the offseason? Angelo always seems to make the wrong decisions, especially on the offensive side in the draft (i.e. Garrett Wolfe in the 3rd round!) What WR they looking at, what about this QB from K St?
Don't be so hard on Garret Wolfe. I think they have bigger plans for him in 2009. As for receivers, they don't seem to be high on Angelo's priority list.
Hey Kevin, love the blog. Ok, so Detroit has 2 first round picks and everyone thinks they're gonna pick Stafford. I happen to agree with you and think they need to help out their lines before they address quarterback. Now Scott Linehan comes in and says they have some players to build on with the O-line in Raiola, Cherilus, and Backus. That leaves the D-line in need of some dynamic players. With Dewayne White and Cliff Avril on the ends I think their biggest need it a dominant nose tackle. That being said, do you see them trying to go after Haynesworth in free agency or them possibly grabbing BJ Raji in the draft?
Thanks Jim. I understand the connection between Schwartz and Haynesworth, but I guess I'd be surprised if the Lions jumped out and paid Haynesworth the contract he wants. I don't get the sense they're looking to spend big money.
With the McCown signing in Tampa Bay, does that give Jeff Garcia a pretty high chance of being a Viking this year?
Well, it gives him a pretty high chance of being somewhere else. The Vikings had a chance to sign Garcia two years ago and passed. I wonder if they've changed their mind on him or not.
Do you know the magic formula for compensatory draft picks? When does the NFL announce the picks?
I don't, and very few people do. It's a pretty complicated formula that even the teams don't know exactly. The extra picks are usually announced during the annual league meetings in late March.
Jim Schwartz stated he was going to take his time assembling a coaching staff. He has now taken his time.....Does he have a staff other than coordinators and any update regarding a pro personnel person?
Not much has been announced, but a lot's happened behind the scenes. We're expecting James "Shack" Harris to eventually be the personnel guy. The Oakland Press has reported that at least three assistants from last year -- Shawn Jefferson (WR), Sam Gash (RB) and Stan Kwan (special teams) will be retained. There have also been rumors about Bob Slowik being the defensive backs coach.
Hi Kevin - Who do you see the Packers drafting at the #9 position - a nose tackle or linebacker?
Depends on the value of who is there, but I would say nose tackle would be the top priority. Ryan Pickett is penciled in there, but he's really the only internal nose tackle they have and isn't going to play forever. But taking a nose tackle at No. 9 is pretty high. More likely at that spot it will be a linebacker.
Kevin, In my opinion the bears seem like a very realistic trade partner for the cardinals if thats the route they chose to go with Anquan Boldin. Q fits perfectly opposite Devin Hester and fills a major need for the bears. On the flip side, the 17th pick in the first round is a very good spot for the cardinals because it is not too costly like a top 10 and not too far back in the draft like a late 20's pick. Do you agree with this line of thinking? Do you think the bears would give up a first and third? Seems rather logical for both parties again if this is the route the cardinals chose to go.
Actually, the Bears have the No. 18 pick. If the Cardinals can get that pick from the Bears, who would also have to give Boldin big money, I think that's a pretty good deal. I'd be surprised if the Bears did it.
Anyone willing to trade up to #1. I'd take a 1st (top 10 pick) and a 2nd. I know its not a fair trade based on the chart, but the Lions have holes to fill.
Yeah, that's the problem. You need someone to fall in love with Stafford or Andre Smith. Not sure if that's going to happen this year, especially with the ecoomic downturn. A team is going to have to REALLY want a player to be willing to trade up into the top pay slot of the draft.
Do you think that the move from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in Green Bay is a good oneand does Kampman end up at backer instead of end...plus come on Peppers would love it in G-bay with all of that telent around him
I need to wait and see on Kampman. I know he played OLB in college and that his primary job will be to rush the passer. But a position change at age 30 isn't ideal.
who do you think will be the starting rolb in GB next yr ? hawk , chillar , draft pick?
I guess I see Hawk inside. Starting a rookie is always risky, so I'll say Chillar or Poppinga. It might be Poppinga because I think he's a better pass rusher than Chillar.
You said above that Byron Leftwich would be a tough fit in Minnesota, but what about Chicago? I've heard that there are a few factors that would make a deal favorable to each party.
Yes, that's a better fit. The offense fits his skills a little better. I would see Leftwich has Orton's backup, but a guy that could certainly keep things moving if he got in the game.
Kevin- What do you think about the Bears drafting a DB? Vasher really isn't great at man to man coverage and I doubt Mike Brown will be back. That has to be a major area of concern, right?
Possible. I don't know that Vasher will be back either. He'll have to at least take a pretty significant pay cut.
hey kevin, been a while! There are quarterbacks available this year for the vikings, and i feel like in order to maximize on the aging talent they have, they must sign or trade for one! Which quarterback do you think it will be?
For the short-term, I think Garcia is the best of their options.
What's the chance Chicago goes for Nate Washington or Antonio Bryant. And hopefully pick up Furrey.
I think Nate Washington would be a nice fit for them. Furrey could be a slot guy, but the tight ends often fit that role in the Bears' system. Not feeling Bryant.
What is your best guess on who is the Lions QB next year?
If I had to say right now, I'd say Culpepper. Doesn't mean they won't cut him tomorrow, but he's their best chance for a "bridge" starter if they draft a young quarterback in April.
with the bears being the only team running the a true cover 2 now ,how much longer will lovie smith have a job . his D looked very suspect at times this yr to.
Well, he's left himself no one else to blame. Smith has taken over the day-to-day management of the defense, and so if things don't get better in 2009, it'll be his fault.
If you were Donovan Mcnabb who would you rather, Boldin or Houshmandzadeh?
Wow. Interesting one. I'm thinking Boldin. I love how tough he is.
Hey Kevin - love the blog, good job! I've been reading a lot of buzz lately about the Rams targeting Crabtree in the draft, in which case, some other teams (say Seattle at #4 or Jax at #8) might be inclined to jump up to #1 to snag him...any truth to that?
I think it's too early to thoughtfully project any player to any team this early. Let's at least get through the combine. I don't think the teams themselves have a great handle on it yet.
Purple Stadium - odds that some progress will be made with the State this year?
A million to one. Hard to imagine a stadium getting approved in this economic climate.
nfl needs a bcs system so the best two teams play in the superbowl
So do the Packers actually spend some of that 25 million in cap money? I know Thompson isn't a fan of FA but this season I think they need more then just what they can draft (and I am hoping he doesn't trade every pick so GB has the entire 7th round to themselves). Also any word on extending Jennings?
Funny line on the 7th round. I think this is a year where they're going to have to be at least somewhat active in free agency. The shift to the 3-4 is going to require at least a few new additions. Some positions might be set, but you can't have 11 guys that play equally well in both systems.
Why wouldn't the Lions trade the #1 and a mid-rounder for Cassel? Wouldn't the Pats have to at least consider that...and then maybe even move the #1 themselves for more picks, as they so often do?
Yes, I'm guessing the Patriots would take that in a heartbeat, assuming they want to pay the guaranteed money a No. 1 pick gets. They probably couldn't count on being able to trade it again, but I think that's pretty good value for a guy who was a starter for 15 games and isn't your first choice to start in 2010.
OK, thanks everyone for chatting. I'm going to hand it over to Tim Graham of AFC East fame.
Good afternoon everybody. Let's get into some AFC East talk. First, let me clean up all of Seifert's empties. You'd think he would use a coaster ...
besides a QB , who does the jets need to go after in free agency??!?
Free agency will be tough because of their cap issues. They're over and need to trim by Feb. 26. But they could use some help at linebacker and in the secondary.
And they might need a fullback.
Can miami combine thier two, second round picks to get the top ten and have two first rounders and get a stud LB, and DB
The top 10 is way too ambitious for two second-round picks. Parcells likes to maneuver for additional picks more than he likes to move up.
Tim, what do you think of the Bills decision on keeping DJ especially with all the quality of HC's availible? Also do you think they will go after a WR in FA??
I see both sides. I'm not as down on Dick Jauron as most Bills fans are, and I do think Ralph Wilson actually made the difficult choice by keeping him. The easy move would have been to fire him. But I also see a team in need of a new culture. That, however, includes the front office, and firing Jauron wouldn't necessarily help there.
Do you think that the Dolphins will tweak the Wildcat this offseason? The Ravens kinda showed how to beat it but I still think that it's a viable system as long as you can adapt it.
The Ravens didn't come up with a blueprint as much as they simply had a jaw-rattling defense in general. I'm sure the Dolphins will continue to use it as a supplement to their offense. They said throughout the season there was a lot they hadn't unveiled yet.
Hi Tim...U Rock brother!! So, of all the big name free agents out there, who do you think is most likely to sign with my Fins?? Also, what are the chances of us getting our hands on Boldin?
The chances of Miami landing Boldin will be determined by the Cardinals. I'm not convinced they will part with him. He might need to start throwing hand grenades in the locker room first. The finny thing about free agency and the Dolphins is that their own free agents grade among the best at their positions.
how far over the cap are the jets, do you see them making many cuts so they can sign some free agents like bart scott
We don't really know because the 2009 salary cap hasn't been finalized. So everybody is working on projections. I've been told $7 million. I've been told $10 million. I've been told $13 million.
Do you think that Ravens would let go Ray Lewis? I think Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott are the new breed for their D.and they don't need him no more
The Ravens are going to let him go shopping, but I think they still sign him.
hey Tim, do the Jets really want Farve to come back? If they are hoping he retires, why not just waive him? I don't think his contract is guaranteed so they wouldn't take a cap hit, right?
The Jets would rather have Eric Mangini back.
Since Brady's injury and Cassel being the hot commodity do you think the Pats will go out in the later rounds and draft another QB?
I would doubt it. They have two young quarterbacks already, drafting Kevin O'Connell last year. They like Matt Gutierrez, too.
Do you think the Dolphins get Housmanzedeh too?If they have Boldin and Housmanzedeh their offense will be super bowl caliber type with an experienced Pennignton and Brown,they will be dangerous for the whole year even in the playoffs!!!!
Sure, why not? They'll probably get Terrell Owens too.
Hery Tim how are you? I was just wondering if you think Leon Washington can handle the full load of being an every down back when Thomas Jones stops performing at a high level.
That's one of those questions that can't be answered unless the Jets actually try it. But can they bring themselves to do it? I'm not sure if he can, but lining him up in the backfield every play takes away the ability to spread him out.
Your prediction on Cameron Wake: future superstar or overhyped workout warrior (or somewhere in between)?
Somewhere in between. I think he will be a serviceable NFL pass rusher. He has an intriguing story, like Roy Hobbs in The Natural. Who is this guy, and where did this guy come from?
Tim, who do you see Buffalo targeting in free agency this year?
Linebacker, defensive end and O-line.
Tim, I know you say you are not mock draft saavy, but please give me your best Mel Kiper impression--could you see Miami addressing the interior of the OL in the first two rounds of the draft again? Oklahoma guard Duke Robinson sure would look nice if he slips to Miami in the second round.
Second round maybe. The centers and guards in this year's draft aren't good enough to use first-round picks on.
Justin Smiley has ended the last two years on IR and Miami struggled all year to find a starter on the right side... which is a bigger need in the upcoming draft OG or WR?
Based on how many depth guards they churned through their roster (many guys who never played a down), I'm guessing the Dolphins would love to address that position so they can worry about something else. Chad Pennington makes do with the receivers at his disposal. Your question is a good one.
If the Dolphins FA's are the best grades at their positions, then why aren't the Dolphins signing them?
Nobody is signing their free agents yet. Talks will heat up in the next couple weeks.
Mike Mullarkey was much maligned in Miami and Buffalo but is being lauded for helping the turnaround in Atlanta... is the talent in Atlanta making him look better than he is or was he seriously underperforming in his previous stops?
Great question. He alternately has been a genius and a boob for the past 10 years. I think he's the type of coach who knows how to manage talent. Not everybody can do that.
Who would you pay more for a year, Ray Lewis or Albert Hansyeworth?
Haynesworth. He obstructs running lanes. Lewis obstructs investigations.
do you expect the bills to give jason peters a long term deal
I'll be honest. I have NO idea what the heck is going on with that train wreck. I'm not sure the Bills know either. He had a lousy season and made another Pro Bowl.
With the Bills having a harder schedule this up in coming season! Do you think head coach Dick Jauron will be on a shorter leash if the Bills start off slow?
Maybe he gets more leeway because it will be easier to justify losses.
Who is the most overrated free agent?
Now I know how Bruce Springsteen felt at the Super Bowl. I'm usually just getting warmed up at two hours in my chats. I have only seven minutes left!
steelers vs patriots who wins i say patriots
The Steelers already won that matchup.
If you're Bill Parcells/Jeff Ireland, what's your first move when free agency kicks off on Feb 27th (assuming you've re-signed the guys you wanted to re-sign)?
Buffet line ... and then interior line.
Does everyone still love me now that Matt has shown some talent?
The photo of Gisele feeding you on the beach didn't help, but you're still the greatest thing to happen to Patriot Nation since they gained their independence.
49ers will be Play off Bound next season
You heard it here first.
How do you see the Dolphins addressing the RT position if Carey leaves in Free Agency?
This is supposed to be another good tackle draft. The Dolphins have the 25th pick and two second rounders.
TRUE OR FALSE: AFTER FA AND THE DRAFT BILL PARCELLS WILL WALK AWAY FROM THE DOLPHINS 12 MILLION DOLLARS RICHER?
False. I think he'll stay at least through 2009.
do you think andre reed will ever get into the hall of fame
He will make it, but not for another five years or so. Too many receivers are ahead in the pecking order: Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Shannon Sharpe, maybe Tim Brown ...
Are the Patriots comfortable going into 2009 with Ellis Hobbs, Terrence Wheatley, and Jonathan Wilhite as their top 3 corners?
I'm sure they would like to upgrade at corner, but they like those three players.
Will the jets be in the playoffs next year?
I predict no.
That's it for me. And now for the stylings of Mike Sando.
Hey Mike Do you see in the 49ers in the playoffs next year? I say no with 6-10 finish. Thoughts?
AC, your boundless optimism bathes the Bay Area in warmth each day. I do not expect a playoff appearance for the 49ers at this time, but we might have a better idea if they would name a starting quarterback.
The Cardinals just made it to the Super Bowl. There's no way they'd really part with a player of Boldin's caliber, right?
I've considered it unlikely, but the dynamics have changed some. One, Boldin's injuries prevented him from being a big factor in some of those playoff games. Larry Fitzgerald stepped up and proved he could carry the offense. I do think the Cardinals are in better position to consider trade offers for Boldin. Still, I agree with your thinking. The Cardinals would be best served keeping him, particularly if they could patch up the relationship.
What key positions do the 49ers need to fill to become a playoff contender? And do you think bringing in jimmy raye & mike johnson was a good move?
I'm respectfully skeptical of the Raye hiring. I respect Raye's experience. I'm not sure we have evidence suggesting he's been a terrific coordinator. Singletary's background on offense made the OC hire more important. It's crucial for the 49ers to be right on this one. I don't know enough about Mike Johnson to say much one way or the other. The skeptic in us notes that the 49ers probably didn't have much competition for either man in those roles. As far as what the 49ers must do to take the next step, welll ... they did need to make their offensive scheme match their personnel. That is the best part about the Raye hiring. He's going to do what the 49ers were built to do -- lean on the run. I still think the QB situation remains a big question mark. They need a right tackle. They need pass-rush help. They could stand to get more athletic at safety.
what do you think about peppers and darnell dockett together imagine that.
Wow, that would be a fearsome duo. Dockett plays with such passion. If he could get Peppers to play that way all the time, you're right -- look out, NFC West offensive lines.
The Patriots will sign this big name free agent...
Matt Cassel. I'm going to say they'll sign him for more than $14 million a year. Probably on a one-year deal.
What are your thoughts on the recent death of Vic Washington? What do you remember most about him?
I hope he lived long enough to know his children as adults. His birthday (March 23) was the same day my father died at age 49 some 20 years ago. That resonated some on a personal level. I do not remember Vic Washington's playing career. I was born in 1970. He played with the 49ers from about 1971 to 1973.
What are the Seahawks' needs in order of position, how will this play into their actions in free agency and the draft? What is the likelihood of them signing a big name like Peppers or T.J. Housh? Keep up the good work Sando!
Thanks. I addressed this in a recent mailbag item on the blog. Here were my thoughts: Getting healthy doesn't really count as a traditional need, but the Seahawks need Patrick Kerney, Walter Jones and Matt Hasselbeck to succeed in their rehabilitations. Beyond that, the Seahawks should upgrade their pass rush, find another strong defensive tackle to pair with Brandon Mebane, stabilize the situation at receiver and rebuild continuity on the offensive line. Every team wants to upgrade its pass rush, but the Seahawks badly need to do this if they hope to maximize substantial investments at linebacker and cornerback. Seattle will try to achieve these things through the draft, obviously, and through coaching changes. They think their new staff can realize production gains by pushing players harder. If this happens, Tim Ruskell and Ruston Webster will become better personnel people overnight. Some of the players they selected haven't met expectations to this point. The new coaches need to maximize those players' talent. I'll be watching to see if the Seahawks take chances in free agency. They invested lots in Kerney and he has rewarded them with top-notch play when healthy, but they might wind up getting only two or three really good years from him.
What is the big free agent you would like to see come to the niners.
If I were a 49ers fan, I'd be hoping to see Julius Peppers and Justin Smith in the same front seven. You would want to see Mike Singletary push Peppers to reach another level.
What do you think my chances of success would be if I got drafted by the reciever-less 49ers?
The 49ers would take precautions to make sure Mark Sanchez or any other rookie quarterback had some time to develop. They would try not to push him onto the field as a rookie. They learned the hard way with Alex Smith. Sanchez would have a better chance to develop. Also, the 49ers would presumably be a run-oriented team, taking off pressure from a young quarterback.
would the steelers be able to sign J. Peppers? ty
That has not been their M.O. in free agency.
People are starting to label Lawson a bust for the niners. Do you think he can still be an uper level OLB
If used correctly, I think he can be an effective starter. For a while there, he was a special-teamer. I don't think he's going to become an elite player, but they should be able to make him into a good starter.
Hey Mike, love the nfc west blog. Do you expect Alex Smith to be back with the 49ers with a legit shot at starting? DT B.J. Raji or Everette Brown in draft? Scot McCloughan hinted at pass rusher for us.
We apparently have a few 49ers fans in the house here. We'll stick with the theme here. Alex Smith's agent, Tom Condon, is the wild card here. He's about as shrewd as they come. I get the feeling Smith would like to remain with the 49ers, but I wonder what tack Condon might advise for his client. Smith would be in the mix to start, sure, but he would have to prove himself physically able. The injuries have hurt his progress. As for the draft, the 49ers would presumably be talking about outside rushers, given that they appear committed mostly to a 3-4. That would bring into play OLB types.
Now that the Cardinals are going to a 3-4, which players do you think they let go that might have stayed otherwise?
They have tried to have some 3-4 personnel, so I'm not sure if anyone would be flat-out worthless were the Cardinals to go to the 3-4 all the time. That is a very good question, though, and one that deserves more attention.
what do the niners do big this offseason...
The 49ers have lots of cap room. I'm not entirely clear on their cash situation, but as I sized up the NFC West cap situations, I thought the 49ers appeared in position to make a splash that way. I do not know if they plan to do that, however.
Mike, Assuming B Johnson and I Bruce don't come back. Who will start for San Fran? J Morgan and J Hill? Will they try to sign Housh? Thanks
I would think they would count on Morgan or Hill. Remember, Isaac Bruce is under contract another year. We need to see what Raye has in store there.
Can the Rams pickup a few pieces in fa and the draft and become contenders?
The NFC West is open enough for the Rams to contend within the division sooner rather than later. The 2008 Rams looked like a six-win team that won two games, if that makes any sense. A year earlier, the Dolphins might have been a six-win team that won only one game. When that happens, we shouldn't assume the team will win only one or two games the next season. I know, I know, the Rams have been horrible for two years. I think they have the potential to reach .500 in the next two seasons.
Whos is the best RB in the division? Jackson or Gore?
In any one game, Jackson. His combination of size and speed can be stunning. That said, I really respect the way Gore plays. He's way more powerful than his size would indicate.
How much did Leroy Hill mess up his free agency by his Michael Phelps impersonation? Do the Seahawks still want him? I think he's over rated and would prefer and upgrade, but what is the team thinking? Would also love Crabtree in aqua marine.
I think his off-field issue probably moved Seattle into more of a wait-and-see approach. I would be interested in seeing what a new defensive staff might have in store for him. The Seahawks' previous staff never really seized on the pass-rush potential Hill showed as a rookie. If the new Seattle staff could bring that out, perhaps Hill could become more of an impact player.
If you were a betting man, would you say Warner going to be back next season?
Probably. Kurt Warner seems to externalize his thought process on this stuff. He talks about how tough it is to meet expectations week in and week out. He worries about his long-term health. I will not be surprised if Warner retires, but most competitive athletes have a hard time walking away on top.
Crabtree won't last in the draft that long to be taken by the Seahawks he's goin to the Raiders for sure they have been looking for the last two years to find that one offensive piece that would help them to the playoffs by drafting JaMarcus Russell 2 years ago then Darren McFadden last season if they grab Crabtree like I'm sure they will look for Oakland to be a threat in the AFC West
The Seahawks pick fourth. The Raiders pick seventh.
do you think ray ray will be a raven next year. and how about bart scott, (t sizzle will be franchised)
Fans of NFC West teams have asked about those players' availability. I have just assumed the Ravens would never let Ray Lewis get away. He means too much to that organization and he is still a force on the field. I would be less sure on Scott. Perhaps he would be a lower priority.
if the cowboys cut TO do u see them going for boldin
They have already shown interest in Boldin, as I recall. The Cardinals will determine where Boldin plays next season. I would not expect Arizona to help the Cowboys build a championship team.
For NOW.......By the time draft time comes around I wouldn't be surprised if Oakland picks 2nd
It's only fair that I give you a chance to follow up, so there you go.
Mike - love the blog. Hey what do you think about the cards finally getting a solid TE to go with Spach. Someone with good hands and the ability to block. Should they look in FA or the draft and will they?
Thanks, Randy. I think there's a good chance the Cardinals will do that. Ken Whisenhunt was an NFL tight end for nearly a decade. If any head coach is going to value that position, he seemingly would. I think their need for a tight end could increase without Todd Haley -- a former receivers coach -- as offensive coordinator. You know Russ Grimm would want a strong tight end if he were coordinator.
So shall I assume you're choosing SF to come in last in the division next season? What are your offseason prediction for records next season?
I have not put those together yet. I would not put the 49ers last necessarily. The Rams have much to prove. The Seahawks have issues. The Cardinals are going through coaching transitions, and their QB is deciding his future. It's way too early for predictions.
Oakland won't trade up. Even if Crabtree is gone I think OAK is high enough on Jeremy Mackland to take him.
In doing research before the 2008 draft, I noticed that no team since 1999 had traded into the top five spots of the draft from outside the top five (in other words, some teams traded picks within the top five, but no one moved into the top five from lower in the draft).
You must be ESPN's favorite. Extend-a-chat.
That's funny. I'm used to these things going an hour. Guess I'd better wrap up this thing. Thanks for dropping by.