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May 27, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Even though NFL Players make Millions of Dollars,is there a fee to play in the NFL?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:43 PM)

Ordinarily, the have to pay dues to their union, but that's now a "trade association" after decertifying. They also have to pay their agents. The standard fee there is three percent of anything they make.

Max (NC)

Pat, do you think Weinke and Dorsey are in touch with Chudzinski and Shula about Cam's tutoring.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:45 PM)

I honestly don't know if that's allowed within the rules of the lockout. Also, don't know for sure if Weinke and Dorsey ever officially filed retirement papers. Lots of players don't do that right away. If they haven't, then they'd still be considered players and teams can't talk to them.

Chad (Guam)

What do you think the future holds for Jimmy Clausen? Will the Panthers keep him to be the backup for Cam or will they try to trade him to a QB needy team? If they do trade him, what do you think his value is in terms of draft picks?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:45 PM)

He wouldn't have any trade value right now and Panthers aren't looking to trade him. They still think he can be a good NFL QB.

Nathan (DC)

What kind of offense do you suspect the Panthers will run?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:46 PM)

Pretty similar to what San Diego runs. That's where Chudzinski came from.

Phil (New Jersey)

What do you think the chances are of the Falcons signing DE Ray Edwards in the free agency this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:47 PM)

They certainly have a need for a pass-rusher and it seems like they're going all-in this year. I'd expect them to make a strong run at Edwards.

Justin (Orlando, Florida)

With a new QB, and with the Defense, Jeff Otah, Jordan Gross, Ryan Kalil, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Goodson, and the likely to re-sign DeAngelo Williams all healthy, and with signing Jeremy Shockey, to go along with a New Head Coach & Staff, a new Offense, and Defense scheme, so no teams will no what kind of Offense we'll be running, giving us an advantage. Do you think the Panthers will be a much better team next season, and how much games do you predict they'll win?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

With a legitmate NFL offensive scheme and some improved play at QB, I think Carolina can be very competitive. Am I saying they can win the division? No, they've got three very tough competitors. But stranger things have happened in the NFC South in the past.

nick (NC)

So what do you think Cam Newton can do by going to the player workouts that are coming by the panther players, what do you think he can learn?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:49 PM)

More than learning, I think it's a wise move by him to attend just so he can bond with his teammates and show he's one of the guys.

Brandon McKean (Slidell, LA)

Gregg Williams calls Malcom Jenkins the best player on the Saints defense...and they missed him dearly in the playoff loss to the Seahawks. Does Jenkins make Sharper expendable in 2011?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:50 PM)

Yep, I think so. I think Sharper will play this season, but it will be somewhere else.

Jesse Miller (Mexico City)

Will Atlanta and the rest of the NFC South finally get the love that they deserve this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

You're preaching to the choir here. I think NFC South is best division in NFL -- three 10-win teams from last year and a Carolina team that should be a lot better.

Greg (Stone Mountain)

Pat, I was wondering what the situation was with the Falcons offensive line. I feel good about our firepower on offense, (at least until Gonzalez retires) and the rest of the receivers/backs look to be in good shape. I was wondering who might leave in free agency (Clabo?) if there is a free agency, and just a general feel what you think the Atlanta O-line will look like in 2011.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Yeah, Clabo could be odd man out. But that's part of the reason they drafted the two offensive linemen last year. They didn't get to play much, but the coaches liked what they saw in practice. They're both versatile and that should give them some flexibility.

Marc Mandin (Atlanta)

Is anyone leading the Bucs defense in workouts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

Not any full defense workouts. But Gerald McCoy has six of the defensive linemen working out together in San Diego this week. If lockout reaches late June or early July, Freeman has plans to bring in the defensive guys and do full team workouts.

Zack (ATL)

Do you see any sense in the Chad Ochocinco/Johnson to Atlanta rumors?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:55 PM)

No, I think those rumors are ridiculous. They don't need him.

Shedric (Fort Lewis, WA)

I wonder...There has been a lot of news about the Bucs getting together and organizing workouts with Freeman and now with McCoy. Is the press on them a good thing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

Freeman doesn't want the spotlight and that's why he kept the workouts quiet for so long. He gave a little glimpse this week, but the workouts aren't going to be open to media or fans on a regular basis.

albert (el paso tx) [via mobile]

hi, pat know that talibs been indictment do you the bucs will be in the mix nnamdi asomugha as soon the free agency starts

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Don't think the indictment makes any difference. Bucs, like every other team, have been planning for months for free agency. Obviously, they're not going to tip their hand on exactly what they have planned. But I think they should make a run at Nnamdi.

Greg (Watertown, CT)

Providing everyone stays relatively healthy (and there is a season), is Mike Mularkey on any sort of hot seat? You can't really say that Ryan no longer lacks tools, so is this a make or break season for the OC? I ask, because a lot of fans are sick of the two yards and a cloud of little rubber astroturf play calling.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

I think there's some pressure. I also think there's a realization that they need to tweak the offense a bit and put more on Ryan's shoulders. I think the play calling has held him back at times. They need to let him do what he does best.

ryan (baton rouge,la)

Have you seen any of Kerry Meier? Could he actually be the #3 WR over Jenkins and the future number 2?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Only saw him before he got hurt last preseason. I know coaching staff is really high on him. But I think he's probably a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver to start with and can develop into a little more down the road.

clifford cotton (sebring florida)

do you think benn will come on strong this year and be a compliment to mike williams ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Yeah, I do. He showed signs he was starting to get it before getting hurt last year. He's coming along very well in his recovery and said he feels much more comfortable with the play book and his teammates than he did as a rookie.

james (los angeles)

hey pat. i have more of a comment than a question. Honestly, i'm not very sympathetic towards the owners or players during this lockout. They all make millions to billions of dollars. I don't think there will be football this year, but if there is, than the players are going to have to give up a whole lot. in the long run, i would like to see ALL nfl employees (players, coaches, staff..etc) take a pay cut and have that decreased cost on the owners reflected towards the fans in the form of cheaper ticket prices, parking and concession. I'm sure that lowering tickets and parking passes for the long term will result in more sellouts and growth of the sport

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Just throwing this out there to share with everybody. I agree on the part about not being sympathetic toward either side.

Dillon (Charlotte)

Hey Pat, what do you think about armanti edwards' future with the new coaching staff/cam newton playing qb?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

He's going to get his shot as a WR this year. Management was not happy at all that Fox refused to use him this year. Part of the reason Rivera was hired was because he's willing to give Armanti a shot.

Jordan (Spartanburg, SC)

Out of all the NFC South Head coaches, who would win in a fight? I think it would be a toss up between Smith and Rivera. Rivera's a big guy, but I've seen Smith get pretty red on the sidelines.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Rivera's, by far, the biggest of the four coaches in the division. But, yeah, Smith is a guy who can get pretty fired up in the heat of the moment.

Bennett (Charlotte, NC)

If he is traded, do you see Steve Smith ending up in San Diego? Or where do you think he will be traded when the lockout ends?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

I suspect he will be traded when lockout ends. But it might be any one of a number of teams. Obviously, Panthers will be looking for the best deal they can get.

Matt (Atlanta,Ga)

Any chance the Falcons brin back Jerious Norwood? He should be cheap enough but as fragile as fine china.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

I think his Atlanta days are over.

Bennett (Charlotte, NC)

Hey Pat, theres been a good deal of talk about David Gettis around Charlotte, do you think he actually has the potential to grown into a good consistent player?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Yep. Scouts, and I'm not just talking about people in the Carolina organization, were very impressed with what he showed last season.

Free (Pittsburgh)

Hey Pat, do you think that a CBA deal will be done by the summer or will they take this thing all the way to the Supreme Court?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Your guess is as good as mine. The whole thing is pretty crazy. It's looking very gloomy right now. But I'll still say what I've said all along. Sometime right around the time training camps start, there will be an increased sense of urgency and something will get done. Again, just my guess.

Austen (San Antonio)

Any word on Thomas Davis' rehab?? I havent heard anything about it, and do you think he will be the same type of player he was coming off of his 2nd major knee surgery??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Haven't heard much on him. Hope he can bounce back. He's a tremendous player.

Nathan (DC)

Do you know why there are so many Steve Smith to San Diego rumors? Sure, he'd be great there--but he'd be great anywhere! Wouldn't a contending team with a worse receiving corp make more sense (Bears, Patriots, etc...)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Probably because Steve is from SoCal and it's logical to assume he'd want to go close to home.

Drew (Charlotte)

Hey, don't count out the Panthers! We were last in the division. That means we'll be first this year. Put it on the board!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

There, it's on the board.

Gary (Charlotte)

Pat don't you think Newton is in a catch 22 with these team workouts. Word is his agents have some trepidation because if he gets hurt severely which us unlikely, but happens, without a contract he isn't guaranteed anything but the rookie minimum. Yet if he doesn't attend the media and fans will paint him as being self centered and only about Cam, criticisms some in the media have already labeled upon him.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

Yeah, but these workouts aren't all that physical. They're more conditioning and going through some drills. Pretty sure Cam won't be doing much more than some sprints with teammates and throwing a few passes with no pass rush.

Pete (Maine)

Hey Pat, Judge Judy can knock this thing out in a half hour, just saying.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

I agree!

Duke (Austin)

Pat, last season the Saints and other playoff teams were restricted from signing free agents. Will it be possible that the same rules will apply this year. If so this would put a damper on Atlantas need for a 'top notch' pass rusher (Ray Edwards). If this was a one time rule b/c of the CBA deal ending, then the playoff teams should consider themselves lucky.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

We don't know yet if the "final eight" rule will apply this year or not.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

All the teams in the South will have an interest in Mark Herzlich when UFAs can be signed, wouldn't you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

I would hope so and I also think lots of other teams would ahve interest in him.

Bennett (Charlotte, NC)

What are your thoughts on James Anderson? I've seen some very good play out of him over past couple years, do you think he has potential?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

I think he's already a pretty good linebacker.

Gur S (Edgware, UK)

I'm hoping to see the Bucs at Wembley this year. Should I be bracing myself for disappointment?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

I hope not. But I don't know that anyone truly knows how the whole labor thing will play out.

Nathan (DC)

I think Gary has a valid point about the potential dangers of these player run workouts. Fluke injuries happen. When I heard Matthew Stafford was involved in one of these things, I just scratched my head. Can't the coaches come out and say, "Hey, stop!"

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

Coaches can't talk to them. Yes, there is the potential for fluke injuries. But I think it's small. What I saw out of Bucs workouts this week was very tame.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

I assume that Reggie Bush and the Saints will realize they are the best matches for each other. If this is true, do Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory end up elsewhere?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

I think Pierre is a guy who could have some decent trade value.

Andy (Mobile)

Hey Pat, on our beloved Panthers Message Board, we've had some fans say that our logo could use some bolding up, kinda like Miami did with there's about a decade or so ago. I personally love our logo. What do you think you?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Think your logo is just fine.

Brett (Cleveland, OH)

Up in Cleveland we think we're the big winners in the Julio Jones trade. How do most Atlanta fans view the trade now that time has passed to reflect upon it?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Well, let's throw it out there and see what ATL fans have to say.

cweb (spokane, wa)

Hey Pat, if you were head coach of the Bucs, who would you go after in fa?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Nnamdi Asomugha.

Panther Fan (Land o lakes)

Did John Fox get his last paycheck? And do you still hate the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Yep, Foxy got his last check. Now, get out of here and get ready for graduation! To the rest of you, this one's somebody I know and he should be getting ready to go to his son's graduation tonight.

Matt (Clearwater, FL)

Have any of the teams considered hiring some of the out-of-work coaches (for example, Gruden or Cowher) to consult on their workouts? They might not know the current playbooks, but they could at least help with coaching up fundamentals. For teams like the Bucs with so many young guys, it could really help.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

There are several former assistant coaches running programs at sports training facilities around the country. There's a former New England assistant over at Disney who has been running an offseason program for players from a variety of teams. But, as far as big-name guys like you mentioned, I haven't heard of anything like that.

Rob (Houston, TX)

Hey Pat, love all your posts and the time you carve out for us fans of the NFC Stout in these chats! Panthers fan here, but an ATL question for you. With the Falcons loaded up at WR now, is there an odd man out, or are they going for something similar to what the Saints have with tons of weapons all on the field at the same time and opening up the play book for Ryan?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I think they keep them all and let situation sort itself out. Jenkins could be trade bait in a year or two, but I think he still has a role for now.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

I think that the draft is such an unknown, but you have to appreciate someone that has that much conviction in their beliefs. Julio will go a long way in defining the Smith/Mularkey era. Don't know if I like the move, but I like the stones to pull the trigger.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

Here's response from one ATL fan.

Michael (SC)

Great trade.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

And here's another.

Gur S (Edgware, UK)

I've seen it written that Luke Stocker's been at Freeman's workouts. Have any other Bucs rookies attended?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Believe the other rookie TE also was there. I also think RB Allen Bradford might have been there. It was hard to tell because they're not wearing jerseys and there's no official list of who is out there and it's tough to recognize guys you've never seen before.

Michael (SC)

Cleveland will get our 32 pick next year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

And yet another ATL fan.

Matt (Clearwater, FL)

@ Gur S - Clayborn was at McCoy's San Diego workouts, and Bradford's been working out w/ Rudy Carpenter in CA.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

Correct on Clayborn. Slight clarification on Bradford and Carpenter. They've gotten together to go over play book in California, but technically haven't worked out together. And I think Bradford might have been in Tampa for the workouts this week, but I'm not completely sure.

Dylan (Atlanta, GA)

What is Bryant and Koenen's status as free agents and what are your thoughts on Atlanta letting them go? I could see them letting Bryant go due to him being a little older but Koenen wouldn't make sense to me. Them drafting a kicker/punter somewhat baffled me.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

I think Bryant stays and Koenen goes.

Jeff (CT)

Koenen costs more.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:38 PM)

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

Jerome (El Segundo, CA)

Hey Pat, I'm going to the ESPY VIP party this year...will you be there?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

I haven't received an invitation yet! Have fun.

Divyesh (Atlanta, GA)

Falcons fan here. It's almost asinine to assign winners/losers of trades before four or five years after the trade occurs; and, it's an even larger exercise in futility to do it before the draft picks are even made. We'll only be able to evaluate this trade after we see the careers of Julio Jones and the other picks involved in this transfer. That being said, with the large abundance of picks Cleveland received, there's probably a much higher chance down the road that Cleveland 'wins' this trade. However, if this trade allows the Falcons to finally open up their vertical passing game (which would not have happened had they not had the chance to select either Green/Jones from the draft) and finally elevate their offense to the next level, they will become a deep threat in the playoffs for years to come. That chance at finally winning a ring is worth something, too. Additionally, if there isn't a slotting system introduced in the next CBA, this trade would probably allow Atlanta to go after two or three more free agents next year with the money that they saved over not having to pay a first-round pick. That's a part of the trade that people seem to forget, and it could have extremely positive effects for next year's team.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Very valid point about it being way too early to judge that trade.

James (WI)

Hey Pat, Falcons slot reciever opening day, (assuming we have one) Douglas, Jenkins, Jones, or someone else?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Douglas is my guess.

Brett (Cleveland, OH)

Our Browns won't mind getting your 31st pick to compliment our 32nd. ;)

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

In the interest of balance, let's hear a few words from Cleveland.

Hans (Charleston)

Hate to be morbid Pat but are you still going to blog if there is no football?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

I've been blogging without football since the lockout started. Heck, really since the Saints and Falcons lost in the playoffs. I will be taking a little down time in the next couple of weeks, but we've got stuff planned right through the summer that will keep us busy even if camps don't start on time. We'll still be here.

james (los angeles)

what's the best nfc south rivalry heading into this season whether it's between two teams, players, coaches or gm's?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Saints and Falcons, without question. They really don't like each other.

Lloyd (Baton Rouge, LA)

Man this lockout sucks, because you're taking which head coach can win in a fight questions. What's next, which head coaches car can win in a race? Stupid lockout!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Ah, Lloyd, you just revealed the project we have scheduled for July 27 -- fastest coach in the league!!!

Johnny (New Orleans)

Pat, I'll keep this questions short just like the Falcons playoff run, do you think Reggie Bush will be a Saint next year and how do you see Mark Ingram fitting in to the Saints offense?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Woa, nice opening shot at ATL. I still think Bush stays and fills a role in a backfield where bunch of guys have bunch of different roles.

Al (DC)

I miss the rivalry from when the Panthers & Bucs having the best 2 front fours in the league. And, as a Panthers fan, I'm jealous that the Bucs are headed that way again. As long as we keep CJ though, all we really need is a DT to pan out.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Those were good days, when Sapp, Jenkins and Buckner were lobbing gernades back anf forth.

Matt (Clearwater, FL)

@ Best rivalry comment - I miss Sauerbraun and Gramatica!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

That was a good one too. Sauerbrun was a true classic.

Jeff (CT)

I still don't understand how Saints fans constantly take jab at the Falcon's short playoff run... when 'dem Saints couldn't even make it past the Seahawks in the wildcard round! Pot, called the kettle lately?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Again, just for balance.

James (New Orleans)

I agree that Pierre Thomas has trade value. I recall hearing last year that New England showed some interest in him during all that injury controversy. Also, New England is the team that did NOT draft Ingram (even though they could have used him) and traded the pick to the Saints. Is it possible some kind of hidden extra deal was done involving Pierre and a NE player or pick that will go through after a new CBA is done?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

"Hidden extra" deals in the NFL? I can't imagine that!

Josh Freeman (Undisclosed Location)

Sup Pat, I have a Bucs hat for you

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Sorry, can't wear NFL hats. But I might go buy a Lightning hat for tonight!

Divyesh (Atlanta, GA)

If Atlanta does sign Ray Edwards, do you think that he's going to be worth the salary? I think Atlanta would really like to take back the Dunta Robinson deal... it looks quite bad to me right now.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

See, I don't think the Dunta deal was all that bad. I think his play helped the rest of the defense even though he didn't put up big INT numbers.

Geoff (DC)

Pat, Thoughts on the Bucs Def if they are healthy. Seems to be they will be extemely young. Can they compete with the better offenses this year? Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

Well, I think the second-year DTs will be much improved and the rookie DEs can't be any worse than what they had last year. Still not sure about LB situation though.

breeswaytom (new orleans)

You ever watch crabs in a hamper. When one is about to make it to the top and fall out a claw reaches up grabs him and pullshim back down. That my FRIEND is the mind set of opposing fans . lmao

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Yep and that's what makes rivalries fun.

CJ (West Lafayette, IN)

Now that the Falcons have squashed the Ochocinco rumor, do you see him fitting into any other team in the NFC South?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Not really. You can definitely scratch Tampa Bay and Carolina from the list. I think New Orleans would be a long shot at best.

Divyesh (Atlanta, GA)

Pat... I'm hungry. Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, or something else?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

Whatever you feel like. All right, that's a sign it's time to go. We won't be chatting next two Fridays. See you again three Fridays from now. Have a great holiday weekend.