Ok everyone, let's get to this.
Why won't the NFL allow teams to be operated (non-profit, board of directors, fan owned) like the World Champion Green Bay Packers? I'll bet teams rumored to be L.A. targets (chargers/raiders/jags/vikes) fans wish they were like the Pack.
I think the Packers structure works great for them, and I voted them No. 1 in our latest power rankings post among all NFL owners. But the bottom line is they are a unique situation with a unique history. Buying an NFL team is at least an $800 million proposition. That might be hard to cover for individual stockholders.
It seems like their won't be many changes made to the offensive line in Minnesota. Should the Vikings have pulled a page from Seattle's book and refortified their line before possibly throwing a rookie QB in the huddle?
When they look at their roster, I'm guessing they don't see offensive line as a top priority. They have a second-year guy in Chris DeGeare that they might try to plug in at guard. But I think they'd like to see how this group does in the new offense before overhauling it.
Any thoughts as to how the packers might utilize Alex Green this year? A third down back? A return man?
Guessing Cobb will get the first chance to return, and with Grant and Starks in the backfield and presumably healthy, you have to think Green is a candidate to be the third-down back.
In one of your blog entries you said that the stadium issue in Minnesota has been going on for about 12 years. What were the costs of the stadium and to the taxpayers of Minnesota that were being discussed back in 1999 compared to what they are talking about today?
I wish I could remember off the top of my head, but I know they were talking about something way south of $500 million. Now they'll be lucky if it's less than $1 billion.
I know the rumors with Steve Smith clearing his locker room and Chargers being a possible destination. With Bears past dealings with Carolina Panthers (See Mushin Mohammed,Chris Harris,Omayale and Peppers) could Steve Smith be in play for the Bears? I know hes older but they could use a consistent threat at wr and I think they are in a win now mode. As Urlacher and that D are not getting any younger.
As a member of the media, I would be all for it. Steve Smith and Jay Cutler! Yes! But the same thing goes for all other questions about the Bears acquiring free agent receivers. They've been pretty consistent about their lack of interest in doing so over the years, and probably feel vindicated by the way it's gone for Bernard Berrian in Minnesota.
Kevin, why do all the draft graders whine about having to grade a draft right away? It's a prediction that may look foolish down the line, so what. They make predictions on how teams will finish the season even though they haven't seen the teams play a meaningful game (I realize that's different but you get my point). Also, I find it amusing that the conventional wisdom is always "take the best player available" and then the graders downgrade teams that don't draft for need.
What? You mean some reporters want it both ways? Shocking. Mock draft, post-draft grades and everything else are fine as long as people are willing to accept it's all in good fun and just a dramatic way to discuss the possibilities on either side.
I was wondering your thoughts on jerry angelo drafts through the years, the waisted 3rd round picks that get cut every year and again this year he drafts a player in that round who was projected to be undrafted, in all reality since 2006, hes drafted Hester, 3 players, that have a impact on the team,Forte, Hester, Olsen do you think ownership is unhappy i know i am.
An interesting question given our power rankings topic this week. The McCaskeys have appeared more than willing to allow the Angelo regime to continue on indefinitely. He was responsible for bringing in many of the players who got the team to the Super Bowl a few years ago. But there's no doubt his drafts have been inconsistent and that he's changed his core philosophies more than once. But no, after last year, I don't think ownership is unhappy.
Do u think the vikings should move joe webb back to wr?
I'd like to see them use him the way the Jets use Brad Jones, moving him around from receiver to running back to kick returner and occasionally to quarterback. It seems he's got the skills to be productive in that kind of a role. Why make him stand on the bench as a backup to Ponder if he can help the team in other ways?
Since the Packers are publically owned, shouldn't the shareholders receive a SB ring? Technically they are owners plus they don't receive dividends from the profits the team generates. Also, it would have the ansillary benefit of driving every Bear & Viking fan crazy that we come across
That's a lot of ice.
You made it a point to note Brett Favre's physical meltdown last season. Well, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you Matthew Stafford has missed 19 games thus far. Not to mention he gets hurt on "routine" QB hits. Can you remember the last time Favre stayed down after a "routine" QB hit? His concussion last season was far from routine, in my opinion.
No it wasn't. But the point was that at 41, Favre was a sitting duck last season and just got the living hell beat out of him. I didn't suggest he was injury-prone, as Stafford has been thus far. Two different things.
As a Packer fan, I am not fully scared of the Lions until they land a top CB. Any chance of them nailing a big FA signing at that position?
Well, you would have to think they have something planned if the passed up on cornerbacks in the draft. But we'll see. It's rare that an elite cornerback becomes available, and when he does, like Ashomogha, he is going to have his pick of high-profile teams to go to.
Do you think Casey Matthews will be as good as clay?
They play different positions so it's going to be hard to compare. I doubt Casey will rack up sacks from the MLB position that Clay does at OLB.
With a solid defensive line, how attractive does Detroit become to free agents looking for a new home?
Better than it used to be, but in the end, as always, money talks.
Since none of the drafted players can be signed because of the lockout. Am i to assume that they will not appear in Madden untill they are signed?
I believe the release date was pushed back in hopes of avoiding that issue.
Kevin, do you think Matt Hasselbeck or Donavon McNabb is a better fit for Minn. if they decide to sign a vertan FA? Seems Hasselbeck would be to me.
Agreed on Hasselbeck, only because his career horizon is shorter. It would be strange to bring in McNabb as a half-season starter.
What are the chances of the Vikings next stadium being "open air"? Or if they move to LA switching divisions with Rams?
I'd be shocked if it were open air. The point of replacing the Metrodome, and using public money, is to be able to use the building for things other than football. As for switching divisions with the Rams, that has been discussed before. I would think it's a strong possibility.
Kevin, Are the Lions planning to use Titus Young as a return man? Logan was good, but it never seems efficient to have a return specialist on the roster.
No, I think they want Logan to do it again. Young is going to be on the field a lot as a receiver, and we saw the value of a return specialist last year.
Breaking news, by the way: The Vikings have announced a 4 p.m. ET press conference to announce they have selected the Arden Hills site for their new stadium. Next stop: Trying to get the state legislature to approve the proposal.
Have you heard of the Packer players planning any workouts? I think the longer the lockout lasts the better for a Packers repeat. Thoughts?
There really hasn't been much talk of that. The Lions are the only NFCN team that I'm aware of to plan workouts among themselves.
Any chance you know what the teams "salary cap" numbers would be for the upcoming season if there is one? Could you maybe do a blog post in the future if not? Thanks.
That's one of the major questions in front of us. No one knows. If the lockout is lifted and the owners impose work rules, the cap number will be at their discretion.
C'mon Kevin, injury prone? Those were some pretty solid hits - Peppers was airborne 5 feet before he hit me! After that, I should never have been in the Jets game...way to soon...and the hit against Cleveland, I stood there and allowed myself to be driven into the turf to try to make a play....I know I've missed a lot of time...but cut me some slack.
Injury prone in the sense that you've suffered a lot of injuries that have kept you out of games. Regardless of how or why, those are the facts.
A lot of ice indeed, but if they are the best owners like you said they are they'd do it. Don't want them to make a liar of you Kev! Or they could give us the option to buy one. I want a ring Frodo style!!
I suppose you could wait until someone tries to sell theirs on E-Bay.
Sooooo 5 packers and there ceo are driving around a tail gate bus? Is that not a violation during the lockout?
Fair question. Apparently exceptions are made for instances of charity.
In a passing league such as the NFL do you think the Lions have the right blueprint by building up such a fearsome D-line and if so what impact will that line have on the outcome of the NFC North?
Well, an elite DL is preferable to an elite secondary because of the disruption factor. But the Lions have to find someone who can cover. You won't get to the passer every time.
You totally meant Brad Smith of the Jets, but its a great point. Do you think Joe Webb exhibits the athleticism and playmaking ability that has made Brad Smith a threat anytime he's anywhere near the ball?
Yes. Brad Smith. Sorry. Yes, I do think Joe Webb could be that if they give him the appropriate practice time. He's a beast.
What does the Packers approach to D-line in the draft say to you? We are going to try to resign Jenkins now that Jolly is for sure done? Or we like our young guys?
Definitely, that they like the younger guys.
Kevin, As far as Christian Ballard DE from Iowa; do you see him as DT or DE. I am hoping he can help with LDE spot.
Sounds like they see him doing both, but mostly DT.
Think if Aaron Rodgers lands Marisa Miller we start considering him to the likes of Brady and Gizelle?
I mean, that would be an accomplishment far superior to any rinky-dink Super Bowl MVP trophy.
Assujing we play a full season, Lions rack up 50 sacks in 2011...you take the over or under?
I'll take over ... but not by a ton.
Breaking News: Governor Dayton states that Arden Hills road work would cost too much and he appears to prefer the less expensive Metrodome location.
Well, it's too late. The Vikings are going to announce their deal with Arden Hills in about 90 minutes. I'll be interested to see how they propose it is paid for. The state is in for $300M max, including at least $175 million for roads. The Vikings and Ramsey County would have to come up with the rest.
It seems like the Lions are hoping that Aaron Berry is the solution to their cornerback needs assuming he comes back from his injury. Who do you think would be their likely targets at linebacker?
Yeah, and that's a risk and a half. He was hurt almost all summer last year and then get hurt almost right away when the season started. As for linebacker, there has been fan speculation about Stephen Tulloch but I really don't have much insight yet on what the Lions are thinking.
Will the Packers try Randall Cobb at running back?
I wouldn't be surprised if he gets an occasional carry, or at least starts a play from the backfield. He's used to it and it would give defenses another thing to keep track of.l
What amount are they asking for Minnosotoans to provide?
The state would contribute $300 million via user fees. Ramsey County residents would be taxed to give another $300 million or so. And I'm guessing the Vikings cover the rest, but we don't know yet for sure.
Any chance with the lockout situation going on right now that Julius Peppers plays for the Bulls tonight to get some physical activity?
He was a better basketball player than football player in college.
Thanks for answering the first question but you really didn't. WHY is it not allowed by the NFL. I understand how hard it would be but the league says it is not allowed. Thank you, big fan!
Steve had asked why the NFL wouldn't allow a team to be owned by individual shareholders. The Packers were grandfathered in under a new NFL rule that requires a single person to own a certain percentage of the team. I don't have it in front of me, but I believe it's at least 25 percent, and that person is the managing partner. The Packers have rules in place to prevent someone from owning too much stock.
I don't think linebacker is a big of an issue foer the Lions as it seems. Carpenter played well when he got the start, and Deandre Levy played really well once he got healthy. Palmee was decent as well. I think the big issue is depth. So many linebackers weer hurt, inculding Levy's backup that we looked much worse. As with the Lions it seems health is the key, not necessarily the players being lesser players. Cornerback is the bigger need and the one that should be targetted.
Agreed, but were Carpenter/Palmer good in the context of emergency starters? Or do we really think they looked like longer-term answers?
If Dayton says that they won't fast track the road improvements can the Vikings build in Arden Hills?
We'll find out soon. I did see where someone was quoted saying the Vikings could pay the costs to speed up the projects.
Is the delay on the ruling on the lockout, kind of signaling that the judges will allow the lockout to stay in place?
No one really knows. It might just be they have other things on their plate.
Marisa Miller is married, and Rodgers can do better. Yup, said it.
Would love to hear a ranking north of Marisa Miller.
Do you think there's any truth to the rumours that the Bears would love to sign Cullen Jenkins?
I haven't heard those rumors, but it sure would be fun!
A better Lions flashpoint was the firing of Matt Millen. That was the biggest sigh of relief in a long time. Barry was great, but the Lions were it or miss during his tenure and only one playoff victory doesn't really say much. Millen was so awful that getting rid of him and seeing the current administration make great strides in rebuilding a competitive team is very exciting.
Thought about that. But it was such a long time coming that the longer it went, the worse it made the original decision.
Who (if anyone) do you think the Bears might try to pick up via trade or free agency?
I would like to see them pursue more offensive linemen, although during our chat they lost out on one candidate: Alan Faneca is announcing his retirement.
Kevin, what did you think about AJ Hawk's comments about player-organized workouts? True candor? Self-serving? And what happens if a player gets hurt during such a workout?
If a player gets hurt in one of those situations, he's out of luck unless somehow he's bought insurance for himself. I don't think Hawk is much for creating a facade. I think there is some value to theses practices, but I wouldn't say they are make-or-break.
It seems that the interest in going to games is diminishing partly because of HD. Do you think the NFL will eventually put more of its product on pay TV?
It hasn't worked well so far on the NFL Network. ... The television contracts are so valuable that I doubt the NFL will want to change the model too drastically.
Kev you said "As for linebacker, there has been fan speculation about Stephen Tulloch but I really don't have much insight yet on what the Lions are thinking." Do you have insight on what any team is thinking or is everything you do pure speculation?
When I have insight, I express it as such. When I don't, I make sure people realize that, too. I'd prefer to be transparent than a blowhard, although it's possible I do both.
How are they going to split carries in Detroit? 170 again for Best and 150 for LeShoure. Best 4.4 YPC assuming healthy toes and LeShoure 4.2 YPC. Sound good?
Not sure anyone cares about the YPC, but I wonder how radical it would be to give Leshoure more of the carries to bruise people up and use Best on third downs and in other situations...
I watched the E60, Spirit Award and Sports Science on DJ Williams. I guess my question is, why was this go drafted in the 5th, what am I missing? Seems like he has the physical and personal tangibles to be a great player.
You never know why people fall in the draft but I think his size was part of it. Most tight ends are in the 6-5 range. He's about 6-2.
Regarding the shareholder question, I believe the owners passed the rule to prohibit a Packer style of ownership because they were afraid of eminent domain types of actions. Public ownership of teams would reduce the value of franchises because they can't be sold or move to other communities.
Very good point.
Re: the state's contribution to an Arden Hills stadium, I believe the Star Tribune reported the $175 million figure is for infrastructure if the development is stadium-only. If there's additional development, then the price is about $250 million. Which means the state's only shelling out $50 for the actual stadium. I don't know how that going to fly with the Wilfs.
I'm guessing they see it as negotiable. But let's say the entire project costs $1.2B including roads and infrastructure. That leaves Ramsey County and the Vikings to put up about $900 million between them. If Ramsey County's cap is $300 million as they have said, would the Vikings cover $600 million? And that's without having the NFL contribution.
do you think stafford opted for surgery since they figured there would be a lock out and he would not be able to re-hab with the team? I know orignally some people saw it as a red flag that they opted for surgery rather then stick with the original plan of just re-hab
I think they looked at the time horizon and realized there would be enough to time to rehab, lockout or not, before the start of the 2011 season. They originally hoped that rehab could bring him back before the end of the 2010 season. When that didn't work, they moved to the surgery option.
Ranked above Marisa Miller, my wife. Please post this because I might get some if she reads this.
When is Cutler gonna take his boys in Chicago out to Bears West to get some practice in? Should I be worried? It seems like the Bears are the only team whose players arent organizing there own workerouts.
Not in this division. Lions are the only ones who have even talked about it.
Ok, a few questions here.
A few more, that is.
Whats your thoughts on Martz turning down the 1 year extension that was made to him? Does he really think he can be a NFL Coach again?
Either that or a higher-paid OC elsewhere. I always say that if Chan Gailey can get another chance, so can Mike Martz. But if nothing else, I'm guessing he thinks he deserved a raise and is confident in his ability to keep performing in a way that would make him valuable to someone else when his contract expires.
Did Tice get a raise from the Bears? They blocked other teams from interviewing him...
That has not been determined. He definitely got an extra year on the deal.
Then why pay $600 million for the Arden Hills site when it costs you $440 million for the Minneapolis site? The surrounding development opportunity?
Well I don't know if that's what the Vikings will pay at Arden Hills. Maybe the development. Maybe parking.
Are you going to go to the Bears Tampa game if its in London?
Guessing our friends at ESPN Chicago will have that covered.
Ithink you are right on with the best leshore workload. But...I think the Lions, mostly Swartz wants to see Best's big play ability unfold like it did at CAL. My question to you is does his stuff translate to the NFL like Chris Johnson's stuff or did he just have a dominant Oline at CAL?
I don't think he's as good of a runner as Chris Johnson. Few are. Best might be more of a pick-your-spots guy than people first thought.
Saw where Ramsey County and the Vikings called a press conference for 3pm today. You thing that is good news?
It's better news that not having an agreement. But getting legislative approval will be hard.
OK everyone. Thanks so much. Have a great week and I'll chat with you next week.