Let's get this rolling.
Did it surprise you that LeGarrette Blount went undrafted. I had the 49ers drafting him in the 6th round instead of Dixon.
Not particularly. His issues off the field were pretty substantial. And there are always a few quality undrafted free agent RBs. There just isn't a huge demand for RBs on draft weekend.
What up, Matt? Forget Nnamdi and Huff for the Cowboys. We need to sign either Eric Weddle or Melvin Bullitt. Both are versatile, good tacklers, and solid teammates. Sign Joe Lefeged as a rookie FA, and let the camp battle begin. Church and AOA should show up this year as viable backup and ST players.
Well said. Gotta love Weddle. To me, he and Mikell are clearly the top free agent safeties. Heck of a player and very good fit as a DB leader for Dallas. I might rather have Huff than Bullitt though.
Who has a better year Eli or Flacco?
Eli. By far. Expecting a very good year from Eli. They have serious weapons.
With the way the salary cap is looking work out, it seems like the bears are going not only have a lot of money to spend, but they will actually have to spend it!!! Who will be the top 5 free agents they will go after?
From the numbers I have seen, Chicago is right in the middle of the pack right now in terms of where they sit with the cap. But they do need to look at some free agents. A bigger WR like B Edwards certainly makes some sense. A great pickup at DT would be Cofield or Mebane. And wow, they still need OL for sure. A guy like Dahl would be perfect.
which FAs can you see the Niners targeting -- other than some of their own?
Everyone seems to assume that Lawson and Franklin are gone-maybe Goldson too. But like you alluded to, they could certainly stand to keep their own. On O, only position I would attack is WR. But I really think they need one. Someone with size. WCO WR type. Or a pure burner to open things up.
I saw in an article today that the Redskins are gonna go after guys like Yanda and the Jenkins brothers. One surprise name was Barry Coefield. Do you think he has the size/strength to hold up at NT?
Cofield doesn't fit to me. If he had to play in a 3-4, I actually think he might be better at DE than NT..but again, he is a 4-3 player. Franklin makes WAY more sense. Yanda would be a terrific addition. MANY teams could use Yanda. The same with C Jenkins-great football player and like Yanda, fits a lot of systems. K Jenkins is all about what the team docs have to say.
How much of Eli's success will depend on the Giants resigning Bradshaw (per your Hot Button discussion)?
Glad you noticed that! That is huge. There isn't a guy out there who can adequately replace what Bradshaw brings to that O. Locking him up has to be NYG's top priority. But he also is a tough guy to invest in long term considering all his lower body injuries, the aggression in which he runs and the punishment he takes for a smaller RB. But they have to be in Win-Now mode. Just pay him.
What do we got goin on the ipod right now
Total MCW (my initials) mix. Everything I have. "Hey You" just came on. The Wall is the best album ever made.
Buy/Sell..... Dareus being Justin Smith as a 3-4 DE?
Extremely high praise. Smith is the best 3-4 DE in football. I actually think we will see more 4-3 looks from Buff than many tend to think. Dareus and Williams at DT...are you kidding? Could be ridiculous. But I also think that Dareus (& Williams) can handle and excel at DE. But...give me Smith.
Is Sidney Rice an elite #1 reciever when healthy? How would he fit with the Patriots?
He fits everywhere. I rarely use the term "#1 WR", but I think Rice qualifies-when healthy. Great fit in NEng. Not as fast as Moss in his prime, but he can certainly get deep.
Would Lee Evans be a dominant deep threat with an elite QB such as Brady, Rodgers etc?
Mixed feelings on this. Gailey can sure coach up O and S Johnson sure did okay with Fitz throwing the ball. Can't say I can back Evans right now-but then again, it wouldn't shock me if he re-broke out this year.
What are the chances that three teams from the NFC South go to the playoffs? I think they're higher than many would expect.
Possible I suppose-and I am not doing predictions until free agency concludes. I will pick the Saints to win the South though. ATL is quite strong. Doubt that I pick TBay, but they are one of the teams with the most to spend, so their roster could look drastically different in a few weeks.
With so many FA in the Bucs LB core who would you keep?
Black for sure. He and Hayes could make up an exceptional OLB pairing for years to come behind what could become a great DL. Plug Foster in at MLB. If they spend right in free agency in the secondary, I could see the Bucs D being exceptional...but I also think that young DL will have it's share of growing pains-not an easy position to quickly adapt to in the NFL.
No one was as fast as Moss in his prime. Even the "Next Randy Moss" (Charles Rogers) wasn't.
Prob the best deep threat who ever lived. Guys like Wallace are at least that fast, but no one had his combination of speed, length, body control and ability to just go up and get it. HOFamer.
Given Harrison and Ward's age and recent headlines (suspensions?), do you expect the Steelers to address OLB or WR in free agency?
Doubtful. They have addressed those positions extremely well in the past two drafts. They have puppies who are ready to step up. Actually, I bet Sanders starts over Ward before long this year.
Would the Cowboys really release Bradie James? I don't think the two young LBs (Lee and Carter) could replicate what he brings, especially from a leadership standpoint when transitioning to a new DC.
Not sure what James is due to make this year-and Dallas does need to cut costs before they can be active in free agency. Neither Lee nor Carter is the heavier banger SILB that is required in that D. James does that better than those two, but James also wouldn't be an every down player. Real high on Lee and Carter here.
How is it the Redskins MUST spend $45mil in cash this offseason, according to Clayton??
Not only will there be a salary cap, but there will be a salary floor. That is a huge deal. In fact, the gap between the floor and ceiling shouldn't be that drastic. So every team will be spending more or less the same every year.
Ranks these WRs based on the upcoming year they will have. . . Nicks, Megatron, White, Jennings
1. Calvin J 2. Nicks 3. White 4. Jennings. I feel quite strongly about those rankings-esp for FF reasons.
When is your top-3 team needs article going to be posted (if it hasnt already)? What did you list for the Cards as 2 & 3 (QB the obvious #1)? I assume pass rush
It hasn't been yet. It was just a spreadsheet they asked me to do of the top 3 needs for every team. For Zona, I went 1. QB 2. OLB 3. OL...but that OL one is pretty broad. They need QUITE a bit of help up front.
Do you feel that Devery Henderson would be a good fit in San Francisco?
Wouldn't spend a ton to bring him in, but maybe. Certainly an upgrade on Ginn and that same type of one dimensional deep threat WR.
Can the Chiefs repeat as the AFC West Champs?
Sure. They are another team with a lot to spend. Would like to see them add an OT (M Light?). They could be in the running for Franklin. A lot of talk of them adding yet another weapon like Breaston too.
KC, Just wanted to say thanks and that you are the best chatter on ESPN's roster.
Thank you very much-and I agree. But this isn't KC.
I'd agree with those rankings, but Stafford's health issues terrify me. I'm tempted to put Nicks 1
I see what you are saying. Talked to Stephania Bell a little about Stafford and she doesn't think he is really any more likely to sustain injury than any other QB. I can buy that. He is a little reckless with his body though. But Calvin J would produce with you behind center Dave.
Would Robert Gallery be too expensive for the Steelers? Seems to me he's a very good OG, and he could step right into the mix at RG for that line.
Very good OG for sure. Lots of talk of him going with Cable in SEA-and that OL would all of a sudden be quite formidable. As for Gallery in PGH-I don't love the fit. Gallery is best as an active zone blocking OG. PGH looks for big heavy maulers.
When you need THAT much OL help- do you build out-in or in-out? You can't fix it over night, but is it better for a young QB to have stability on the outside or right in his face?
I am not sure there is a right answer for that. OTs-esp LTs-are obviously a lot more expensive in terms of signing in free agency or using a draft pick to obtain. The key is just to find the right players at the best value. And they need to mesh well with one another and the system in place. You can hide a LG or OC easier than the other spots though.
What kind of season do you see Jimmy Graham and Adrian Arrington (especially if Moore leaves) having for the Saints?
LOVE Graham. I would be shocked if Moore did leave though. And I really don't trust Colston. The guy who I expect to explode is Meachem. But Arrington's role could grow as well. He is sort of a Colston-Lite type WR.
Who can you see as the Cards next QB? Kolb or Orton
What about this C Palmer for Wells trade I keep hearing about?
Speaking of Randy Moss, who would you say is the most "freakishly" athletic player in their prime? Randy Moss, Peppers, Deion Sanders?
Matt, do you feel the Vikings have any chance of re-signing Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards? If not, do you feel these will be really big losses for the team?
I think Edwards is as good as gone. I like Robison and when they resigned him, I think that was the writing on the wall. I bet they do everything possible to keep Rice now. Perfect WR (huge catching radius-jump ball guy) for a young QB. But, does Rice want to come back? He would be a huge loss.
Do you think Iupati will be known as the best OG in the league by the end of the 2012 season?
Check out the NFC West blog. I ranked the Top 15 players in the division. Iupati was right in the 7 or 8th overall range. And he is just a puppy. Best overall? Maybe not quite that good one year from now, but he will be a perennial Pro Bowler once he learns to use his hands better.
Is it actually a smart move for Philly to deal Kolb? Vick is getting up there, hasn't proven to be consistent yet, and gets banged up quite a bit. Why wouldn't you just keep him?
Well I am pretty sure that Kolb is due to hit free agency one year from now. Can't have that much tied in QBs to resign him-and better to get something for him now than nothing at all after the season. Can still sign someone after you trade Kolb. I still VY as that guy to back up Vick.
Iupati or Sitton - who ya got
Today: Sitton. Prob take Mankins over all of them.
15 yard personal foul on Eli for getting the Chat host name wrong.
There you are Ed! Missed ya buddy. Giving Eli the benefit of the doubt though...he prob just meant that I am the best chatter going!
Not to be too team centric, but can you give me an Eagles player you think could make a big impact this year, and a second year player that is ready to break out
Really liked Graham coming out of Michigan-and so did they by trading up heavy. He could be perfect for that. I think Watkins comes in and is exceptional from Day One at OG. Dixon at DT is really a great one for this honor too.
Atta Boy! No ejection
Do you see the Lions trading one of there defensive lineman for a lb or offensive line?
Nah. I see them rotating them in all game long-staying fresh. I also see them toying with a lot of different DL groupings-like Suh or Fairley at DE some.
would Gallery be a fit with the Skins at OG with Shannahan's zone blocking scheme?
The Cardinals drafted Ryan Williams out of VT, and I believe he is going to be a much better pro than Beanie Wells. Do you think the Cardinals will trade Wells when it's possible for them to do so?
Bet they entertain it for sure-esp if it helps get them a QB. But again, gotta fix that OL or none of this matters.
How much do you think Jim Washburn's wide 9 is going to help the Eagles DL?
Great for Graham and Cole....and maybe Babin
How many more years of top-tier contention do we have in SD? I guess as long as we have Rivers, we should be fine, but I am slightly worried about our future.
Agreed. Rivers is elite. He will keep them competitive. I also expect a huge season from R Mathews-so their O might change just a little. I wouldn't say that SD is an especially old team though.
The Packers generally do not sign big free agents, or even sign some of their own guys. But, with the reported "salary floor", is there a chance they re-sign Cullen Jenkins? I think he was a very important part of their defense.
I have been saying that for a while. Not a characteristic move for them, but he is perfect for them and would help them maybe win a few more titles. But-GB doesn't have a lot of $$$ to spend.
Whats your take on Toler? Ive heard Toler+a 2nd rounder for Kolb as a possibility for the Cards...then they could sign depth at CB in FA.
Good player. Ascending. A poor pass rush didn't help him-or any other Cards coverage player last year. But that seems just a little light to land Kolb. I would think Philly would welcome Toler with open arms though.
Ive heard rumors that Vince Young could sign with Washington. Would he be a good fit there?
Hmmm...I guess if he really took to coaching, he would be okay. I actually think VY is a better player than he is often given credit for. Still, not a real precise passer in Shanny's quick hitting WCO. You could do worse though-and wouldn't cost much to get him.
Just my vote for "freakishly" athletic....the late Sean Taylor...
Wow...no question. Utterly amazing.
What do you see in my future after my year off?
Patriots plans at DE? Is BB really just going to take the RB-by-committee approach and apply it to a position he's traditionally valued so highly (1st round picks) in the past?
I think what BB is really trying to do with all his O skill positions is to have a lot of different guys with very different skill sets. Makes preparing for that O VERY tough. SO many personnel groupings and formations that NEng can through at you-and Brady processes it all so well.
How do you see Aldon Smith fitting in with the 49ers D? He is young and is probably only gonna get bigger and would look weird out as an OLB.
It is a curious fit. Really worry how well he will drop and play in reverse. I would imagine that he makes a quick impact as a pure pass rusher on throwing downs. Then, I guess we will see. If they know they are going to lose Franklin, do you think that Harbaugh might see them running a 4-3 in the somewhat near future? Chew on that.
Switching to a 3-4 seems to take a while. You really think the Texan's defense can make strides this season?
Well, it was pretty terrible last year-esp in coverage. I trust Phillips. And I think that so far they have really found good fits for the transformation. I know they like Mitchell, but I still worry about NT. Secondary will get beefed up in free agency.
How many more Super Bowl wins for Brady? If you had to put your life on one number.
2 more. Still playing ridiculously well.
Why are the colts so built around drafting small defensive players with speed. Don't you think they should take a chance on some bigger and stronger players to beef up their D. Thanks alot!
Well, their system has worked! Play in a dome. Often playing with a lead so they can unleash their speed-particularly at DE. Those type of LBs are cheap and easy to find, which is extra important considering how much $$$ they have tied up in their studs. Wouldn't break my heart to see them add bulk and power at DT though.
I saw a couple of AZ DTs that really pique my interest - Alan Branch and Gabe Watson..Both are potential FAs..do they do anything for you as possible targets for Denver?
As fall back options only. You are right, they do have talent though-but do they have work ethic? I prefer Branch of the two.
I see Megatron as an upgrade (once his potential has been reached) over Moss in his prime...
That is really saying something, but certainly much more physical and able to run the total route tree.
Bill Belichick does understand that you do need to be able to get to the QB right? He gets that?
I think he does get that. And I feel your pain. But adding Dowling & Bodden back from injury might allow him to send the house blitzing much more often. And I do bet that they add an OLB (Kiwi/Roth) in free agency. Cunningham will take a step forward too.
Best WR in NFL...Andre Johnson
Yup. Would put Fitzgerald 2nd.
With new additions G Little and Hardesty as well as most likely a free agent RG or RT, do you think as I do that the Browns will have a top 10 offense this year?
No I don't. Just don't trust/respect their passing game nearly enough to rank them over 22 other teams on O.
Do you think Zach Miller stays in Oakland? They spent an awful lot of money before the lockout...
Sure did. That is hairy because WOW-they can't afford to lose him! But I do like their WRs more than I did a year ago. Still, Miller is going to be expensive. Just think what Carolina would pay for him.
What are the chances of Steve Smith returning to the Panthers?
Betting they trade him. Get a 3rd rounder or so. Sign a UFA like Floyd to go along with their youngsters. Gettis has a chance to be quite good.
would steelers and patriots be the likely title game?
Too early for that Mike! Too early. But yes, I am leaning that way. I seem to like Indy more than most do this year too.
San Diego isnt an old team, they are only aging at TE, Center, and CB. The rest are all relatively young and entering their primes. Never understood why people say their window is closing
Yeah, I am with you. They could use some things for sure, but I still see the window being open. WR needs to get cleared up. Adding a OLB opposite Phillips would be great too. Safety as well since Weddle could leave.
what are the chances of steve smith or Breaston or even Sidney going to the Chiefs since they got money to spend
After just selecting Baldwin in the 1st round, I can't see them breaking the bank on Rice. Breaston or another #2/
Do you see a big big year from A. Benn on the Bucs?
If healthy-yes, very much so. Like this guy.
Prediction: Rex Grossman beats out John Beck and puts up solid numbers.
I am with ya. That is, if it is just a two horse race for that QB spot.
Jonathon Stewart is rated higher than Deangelo according to most FF rankings..do you agree? If D-Willy ends up in Denver or Mia, he'l be in rushing attacks that are decent...
Assuming Williams is not in CAR, I am VERY high on Stewart this year. But how can we comment on where Williams should rate until we know his home?
I don't care who the Redskins QB is this year, I want Andrew Luck.
Don't blame ya! And I like your chances of getting that done.
Another monster year from Gates? Those foot issues may be worrisome.
Foot is quite worrisome. But I do tend to think he still puts up monster numbers.
Will lamarr Houston get at least 10 sacks this year?
As anyone knows who follows what I do knows, I am smitten with Houston. LOVE him. But I will still take the UNDER.
Since Arizona's offensive line is such a pressing need, why did they not draft any offensive linemen? That TE pick they made boggles my mind.
Well, on DDay, the Cards needs were great and they were many. I have no problem with the Housler pick. Whiz was a TE coach. Should understand the matchup problems a guy like Housler can create. Think Dallas Clark-maybe.
Folks, that is a wrap for me. Great chat. Download Football Today and follow me on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL. Take care all!