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April 22, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Shedric (Fort Lewis)

This is a wild thought...the Panthers trade the #1 pick for a modest QB later in the first round. I personally think Ponder or Mallet are actually better fits in Carolina.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Nice idea, but I don't think it's happening. Everything I see and hear continues to point to Cam Newton. Also, you really think the Panthers would draft Mallett??? All right, chat is rolling lets have some fun.

Brett (Phoenix)

If Mark Ingram is still on the board when Atlanta picks, I would take him instead of a work in progress defensive end what do you think Pat?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I'd take him, too. I think he can be a lot like Deuce. They can get DE in free agency.

chris (atlanta)

with the draft coming up, do you see falcons trading up or down from the 27th pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

If I had to guess, I'd say down.

Greg (North Carolina)

I heard a rumor that the Panthers might be considering a trade with Cincinnati for Carson Palmer. Any validity to this? I know he wants to go to a West Coast team, but I'd love to see him in Charlotte.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Well, it's a nice idea and all. But the reality is there's no way Panthers can trade for anybody while there's a lockout.

Dan (Tampa)

Have you heard that the 49ers are interested in Josh Johnsonand his cannon arm?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Well lots of fans and media make that connection because of his past with Harbaugh. But, again, not trades or trade talks in a lockout. But, hey, if Bucs trade Josh and his "cannon", they've still got Rudy Carpenter and his squirt gun behind Josh Freeman. I actually think Rudy can be a decent backup.

Stud (Wilmington, NC)

Pat, I have a gut feeling that you were suppose to go along with this Cam Newton smoke screen until we draft either Dareus or Peterson. You are one of the largest public voices for the Panthers. Why wouldn't you help them build value for Newton so they can trade down?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

I don't work for them.

JM (Charlotte)

How confident are you that the Panthers are gonna take a chance and draft Cam Newton??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

I've been saying for weeks, maybe a month now, that they're leaning heavily in that direction. I've not seen or heard anything that leads me to believe there has been any shift in their thinking.

Matthew (NC)

Pat, what lead you to a career as a sports writer?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Pretty basic. I like sports and I like to write. Was going to be a lawyer, but found law school boring and decided I'd rather do something I enjoy.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

What's wrong with waiting on a QB this year and readdressing next year? Especially when it appears the QB class may be better. Carolina could easily sign vet and see what they have in Clausen.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

I hear you and your logic makes sense. But I don't think Hurney and Richardson are thinking the same way.

Jacob (Michigan)

How serious do the Bucs really seem on adding a WR? I can see 5th-7th round pick maybe but unless a name falls far no way they take one in first 3 rounds yes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

Yeah, could see them picking one up late. But they're in pretty good shape at WR and no need to use an early pick at that position when they have other needs.

chris cornish (greenville,sc)

Hey,pat. There is no way I can see the panther's taking a def player with the 1st pick, when this offense ranked 32 in the league. Also with the fact I believe smitty is gone. So you have to replace this talent. I see you think they will take cam, how certain are you on this. And what is your % of the pick will be either cam, green, darues, or peterson. I think its going to come down to Cam or Aj Green.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

I still think it's Cam. But, if it's not, I think A.J. Green probably is the fall-back option.

CJ (West Lafayette, IN)

Last year before draft time, I remember Sean Payton saying is how the Saints can't lock on to one guy or even one position. This year I haven't heard any of that. Do you think the Saints are eyeing someone in particular this time around?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

No, when you're sitting at No. 24, you truly can't lock in on one guy or one position. Saints have been very good in recent years about not locking into anyone or anything and it's worked out for them.

Tony (NYC)

Pat, I know you think Carolina are going to pick Newton next week, but I do not thinks it's the best move for them. They have Clausen who is still developing and why would they take Newton when he's not NFL ready. I know they are hungry to make an immediate impact, but there's no QB worthy of the #1 pick. Newton and Gabbert will go in top 5, but if Carolina picks either at #1 it will be a mistake and might cost Rivera his JOB. Carolina is not going to draft a QB #1 and have him sit on bench and learn from Clausen so I recommend they trade down with the Eagles and get Kolb & their pick. The Eagles will then pick up at much needed DE. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Well, tell it to Rivera and Hurney because I think they're going with Cam. Not saying that's right or wrong move. Just saying I think that's way they're going, so brace yourself -- unless you can talk them out of it.

Nathan (Orange County)

I heard that all IR players from the Bucs are recovering quickly which is nice but Brian Price seems to still be a concern. Any word about his status?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Dominik said yesterday they were all doing well in the last reports he got from the trainers before the lockout. Think Price is fine. Benn is a concern because it's a big injury and happened late, but word was he was maybe even ahead of schedule. Kareem Huggins is the one guy I think might be a concern.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

However, Cam is a big risk/reward kind of guy. That would go against Richardson's history of drafting and signing talent. I don't see them drafting Cam, especially without the CBA and they get stuck having to sign up to a big contract.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Understood, but go back and look what I've been writing about how there's a change in the climate and thought process in that building. I know some of you don't like the Cam idea -- and again, I'm not saying it's right or wrong -- but you may have to deal with it because I think that's what's coming.

Sully (Nashville)

PY, if Bowers falls to #20 and the Bucs pass, what would Buc Nation say? Is his knee really that bad??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

If he falls that far and they pass, then it obviously says a lot about his medical condition. Bucs have access to his medical information and I'm sure their doctors have been involved. They obviously have much more info on his knee at their disposal than we do.

Greg (Stone Mountain)

Whats the word on the Falcons? Any idea who they have fairly firmly in their sights?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

DE is definitely a possibility. But I'm not sure the right guy will be there at No. 27. I've been hearing more and more buzz about WR and Torrey Smith and Jonathan Baldwin are the names I hear.

Adam (Ocala,Fl)

Hey Pat, what do you make of MD saying that DE may not be the Bucs biggest need? Somkescreen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

He didn't say it wasn't their biggest need. He said he wouldn't disagree with that opinion, but that doesn't mean they're going to draft a DE in the first round. Would you expect him to say anything else?

Sully (Nashville)

PY, seems like in years past by this time, the #1 would already have a contract offer on the table and negotiations would have started with the subsequent picks... am I wrong?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

You're not wrong. But this is a different year because of the lockout. They can't talk contract with anybody.

Justin (Reading, PA)

Pat, imagine Ryan Kerrigan lined up next to Gerald McCoy? McCoy was coming on strong and Kerrigan will make an immediate impact, I think the Bucs D will be relevant once again if they land him. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

I think Kerrigan would be a great fit. But I think he'll be gone before No. 20.

Joshua (Sarasota, Fl)

Chris Hovan had some interesting comments regarding Talib and the Bucs. Saying how there is a double standard for him since he is a "big talent". You hearing more of these grumblings?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Might have been some of that in the past with him. But think he might be used as an example this time because of his repeated problems and some other problems that have gone on around there.

Nick (Tampa)

When do you think the lockout will end?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Just guessing really, but I say June or July.

Jay (Roanoke, VA)

Pat, are you completely ruling out the possibility of Carolina taking Blaine Gabbert at #1? I really think he's still a strong possibility. And have you heard anything about how the 3 QBs performed in their visit to Charlotte?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

If they stay at No. 1 and take Gabbert, it would genuinely shock me. On visits, I heard Mallett's wasn't exactly ideal. Think the other two were fine.

Jacob (Michigan)

Bucs have been seeking out a new long term FB past few years. That search seem maybe over now with Lorig or might one of those two 7th rounders go towards another try at a FB? Remember people, fullbacks need attention too!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Whether it was by design or pure luck, I think they got their guy in Lorgig.

Max (Land o Lakes)

How are your knees doing since your surgery?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Doing great. Thanks for asking.

Haile (Durham)

If Newton Or Gabbert are drafted? Where is Jimmy Clausen & Tony Pike's futures looking like?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

Not real bright. But are their futures looking real bright right now?

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Stronger possibilty of Ingram going to ATL or NO? Is he a first rounder to you?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

He's a first-rounder to me. Could see him either place, but think New Orleans might be more likely.

Dan (MN)

how do the Panthers weight all of the inputs when it comes to ranking prospects? Hurney 50%, Coaching 25%, Scouts 25%, with Hurney breaking ties?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Not sure how exact percentages break down. But let's just say Hurney has more power than he ever has. Actually, I think that started to shift a few years ago. There was a time when he and Fox had equal say. But you can tell that even in last year's draft, Hurney was calling the shots, not Fox.

Brandon Barry (Delaware, OH)

The buccanners had a strugle trying to sell seats last year what will happen if we don't sell out during our prime time games this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

I think they'll sell out the prime time games. Having Peyton Manning and the Cowboys coming into town will help the gate. If those don't sell out, well, then there is a real problem.

Jim (North East)

Is Clausen automatically gone if Newton is picked #1? If so, what's his trade value?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

No, he's not automatically gone. First off, he'd have very little trade value. Second, they'd keep him as the backup because Hurney still thinks he can be a good NFL QB. Third, he could end up starting. Say lockout wipes out most of training camp and preseason and Newton doesn't have enough time with the play book. They're not going to throw Newton out there in that situation. They'd probably go with Clausen for at least a bit.

Adam (Ocala,Fl)

Thank you for being the only chat guy that answers my questions, have a Happy Easter.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Thanks. Same to you.

Rum (N'awlins)

Hey Pat, I'm getting the feeling that Carolina is almost being "FORCED" to go QB @ #1--the other 3 teams in the NFC-S can all put points on the board--kats are dead if they have 10PPG avg.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Yep. In the words of John Fox, "it is what it is".

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

If Luck had come out, does Cam even get mentioned to be drafted in the top 10?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Well, he's definitely not No. 1. But still could be in top 10 or top five or top three. Think Buffalo would gladly take him.

rickey (charlotte)

why is everyone knocking on cam? Cam would be awesome pick for the panthers..He'll bring a new dimension to offense that will already has 3 good RBs if we keep Williams, a upcoming WR core and if we keep smitty that will be plus and finally we add shockey. That offense could be really explosive. Pluse a defense can't game plan with all that talent on the field especially when you have qb that can run and throw.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

There, we've got a fresh voice on the Cam issue. Some good points, some of the same ones I think the Panthers are thinking about.

Jordan Wood (GA)

Any chance the falcons package their first and third to move up and take Bowers if he falls? Or maybe even Julio Jones if he falls to the 12 range?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Getting up to 12 would be very costly and I don't see them doing that. If they feel good about Bowers' knee and he's falling I could see them maybe trying to get up to about 18 or 19, but I can't really see them going any higher than that.

Nick (Lake Mary, FL)

Pat, can players team physicians keep in touch with players during the lockout who are rehabilitating the injuries? If not why are the Packers doing it? If so how is Thomas Davis doing from his injury?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

My understanding is team employees can not have any contact with players and some teams have been fined for violating that policy.

Angelo (Henderson, NC)

Pat, do you not think that Peterson or Darius would smart choice for Carolina? They can play right now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

In past years, yes, I think they would have gone with one of those two guys. But these aren't the same old, conservative Carolina Panthers.

Haile (Durham)

I think that the Panthers are following the buc's model to a tee. Daft a QB bring him along slowly the first year and end up drafting high next year, then draft for defense... Cam should be ready for the 2012 season, plus a young team...Do you think this is what Hurney is doing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

To some degree. But Carolina's got more established talent now than Tampa Bay did when Freeman came in. I mean, you're talking about very good RBs, a pretty solid o-line, some promise at WR or maybe even more if Steve Smith is still there and Jeremy Shockey. I think you could play Cam right away and not have to ask him to carry the offense.

Ken (Raleigh)

TRUE/FALSE; Do you see the Panthers trading up into the 2nd round? What does Hurney give up to get there?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Don't see it happening. Don't think they've got the ammo to get there.

Dan (MN)

Would Carolina take Cam just to prove they aren't the same old team? or would they only take him if they think he is the best prospect?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

I would hope it's because they think he's the best prospect.

Rock Knuteney (Slidell, LA)

Do you think the Bucs pulled some games out of the hat last year that they won't do this year? I have them at 8-8.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I wouldn't be against Freeman pulling out some more. Plus, I think their overall roster will be more talented last year. Remember, they had a lot of injured guys and were forced to play a lot of young guys. Injured guys should be back and young guys now have some experience.

Sheldon (Decatur, GA)

What's the word on Camp Freeman?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Players for all teams are working out all over the place. It's what they should be doing.

Dan (MN)

If Cam is drafted, who gets to keep #2 as his jersey, Cam or Clausen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Probably Clausen. It's already is. Unless he wants to sell it to Cam.

Broc (Boulder, CO)

I like the idea of the Falcons trading down and getting someone like DE Brooks Reed or at that point possibly taking the TE Rudolph (he seems worth it if taken a bit lower).

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

I could go with either of those.

CollegePark4Life (GA)

Love the Blog Pat, read I read it daily. When the CBA is renegotiated assuming the free agency rules are similar in terms of contract length before a player reaches restricted and unrestricted status. Which position is deeper at a position could ignore in the first round??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

That's a really hard question to answer until we see how lockout ends and what rules are. I'm thinking there may be a brief period for teams to try to re-sign their own guys, so it's hard to say for sure who the true free agents will be.

marj (Charlotte nc)

Pat is the Chat next week going to take place from Charlotte ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

I will have to let you know on that. We may not do the traditional Friday chat next Friday. But I will be in Charlotte for the entire draft and will be taking part in our Cover It Live chat throughout Thursday night's first round. I'll post info on that on the blog as we get closer.

Mark H (Greensboro, NC)

Do you think there is a possibility of Cam and Smith's personalities clashing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

I'd say that's a possibility. But, hey, Smith might hit it off better with Cam than he did with Clausen.

mitchell (walkertown nc)

pat wheres that piece on kasay. i gave you gold

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

No idea what you're talking about???

Jordan Wood (GA)

Falcons sign Charles Johnson to a 5 year deal and give up next years 1st and 3rd. Then trade back this year and select Baldwin and then package their 2nd this year and a third to get a first back next year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Nice dream scenario, but don't think it's very realistic.

Ken (Raleigh)

Is there ANY change Tony Pike is a Panther in the 2011/12 season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

Yeah, they need a No. 3 QB, so unless they bring in a veteran to be a mentor, he would have a shot. Also, he could end up on practice squad. It's not like there are a lot of teams out there just waiting to pounce on Tony Pike.

Jordan Wood (GA)

Steve Smith to atlanta for next years 2nd rounder.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

You think Panthers would trade him in the division???

Nisarg (Tarboro, NC)

If Cam is draft first who do you see the starter being the first game of the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Depends largely on when lockout ends and how much work he's able to get in training camp. If camp time is missed, I think they'd be hesitant to let him open season as starter.

mitchell (walkertown nc)

i was just wanting to know if any other kicker in the leagues history has had sway with a franchise like kasay? wasnt he the one steve smith sought out after beating down his team mates? basically has there ever been another kicker who was the most respected player on a team that plays the postion of least respect?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Well, he definitely has the sway. But there have been other kickers who have had that -- George Blanda, Morten Anderson, Jason Elam in the Denver days. Not sure it's totally unique. All right, two-minute warning for end of chat.

StShockey (Jackson, MS)

THIS PANTHER CHAT NEEDS TO END... TAKE A BREAK AND START BACK AFTER EASTER... HOPEFULLY THEY'LL LAY THE EGG WITH NEWTON!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Well, they've got the No. 1 pick in the draft, so that makes them pretty significant right now. Back during the season, they took a distant back seat to the other three teams, so they've earned this run. And you might want to be thankful your teams aren't in their position.

Justin (Reading, PA)

Thanks for another great chat. Have a great weekend and have a Happy Easter. I can taste the ham and sweet potatoes already

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:03 PM)

All right, we'll end it there. Everyone have a great weekend and a great holiday. Thanks for stopping by.