Hi everybody. Thanks for joining me for my inaugural chat on ESPN.com. I started here on Monday after 11 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where I covered the Eagles and the NFL, among other things. I was columnist when I left, and I will be writing columns on the NFL for ESPN.com Ask away and I will try to answer.
ashley Do you think the nfl lockout will end next week so wecan play nfl football games?
I certainly hope we get an agreement next week, Victor. It sounds like they are getting closer, and they certainly are motivated to get a deal done so that they will not have to miss any preseason games. Whenever there is an agreement, there will likely be about a week before the league year begins, so everyone can get prepped on the logistics of how free agency, etc., will work. And then hold on, because it will be crazy.
I know it looks like a deal between the NFL owners and players is imminent but it looks like preseason NFL games are already in serious jeopardy. It seems like the NFL owners and players need to agree to a new CBA by July 23rd otherwise it looks the NFL will be forced to move or miss actual regular season games. What do you think the last date the owners and players can agree to a new CBA without losing actual regular season games?
I think it is a moving target. There have been other important dates that have not been met yet. The end of June was one. Early July was another. I know that the teams have been preparing for a variety of scenarios, one of which would be just a week to get ready, which would produce some really ugly football. But time is of the essence now because, while no one wants to miss regular-season games, the preseason games hold value, too. Adam and Mort reported earlier this week that each week of preseason games is worth between $200-250 million. Those are significant dollars to both sides.
Ashley, will your QB Kolb be playing for the Cardinals this season?
Well, he's not my quarterback. I am not an Eagles fan. And for those wondering I do not have an allegiance to any NFL team. But, the Cardinals certainly need a quarterback. They can not go into this season with only the guys currently on the roster. If the Cardinals are willing to make a deal, Kolb is definitely available. And I'm sure he would love to throw to Larry Fitz.
What is the Best & the Worst NFL Stadium that you have Been to?
The worst by far is Candlestick. That place is so old. There are a lot of ones that I like. Seattle. Indy. New England. Dallas is a must see just for the experience, with the monster video board and the dancers. Kansas City is cool because it just so loud. I've obviously seen a lot of games at Lincoln Financial Field and that place is fun when the fans get all lathered up.
Welcome to espn. Wish you the best! What do you think the ceiling is for mark Sanchez?
Thanks, Sam. I think it is high. I was really impressed that he held workouts in California for his teammates. From the reports, they were well organized and well thought out, with everything from trainers to film study to playbooks. I haven't put much stock in the player-organized practices this off season, because let's face it, without coaches they really aren't anything other than an opportunity to play catch. But Sanchez showed leadership and a serious side, which are two great signs in a leader.
Ashley, IF the Eagles deal Kevin Kolb, are they more likely to obtain players rather than draft picks?
I think they'd go either way. They have a big need at corner, so that could be an enticement. But they also like to stockpile draft picks, and while they would have loved to have an extra high one in April, they would value one in 2012, too.
Will Plaxico Burress be an Eagle, Bear or somewhere else when the NFL gets started?
I will have a column about this topic tomorrow. I think there is a great possibility he will be an Eagle, although yesterday he was very complimentary of the Bears organization and, particularly, of Jay Cutler. He said, not surprisingly, that he wants to go to a team that is built to win this season, that has a proven quarterback, a good tight end and other good wideouts. If you use Michael Vick sort of as the model, Plaxico would be best suited somewhere that doesn't necessarily need him to contribute right away, but some place where he could grow and work to regain what he lost while in prison.
As a Steelers fan, I'm growing tired of Harrison's antics. Its one thing to rip the commissioner but then to rip your running back and quarterback, that is unacceptable. Football is a team sport, we win as a team and lose as a team. Harrison should share the responsibility along with his teammates in losing the Superbowl. Any chance, he gets suspended or even worse thrown out of the league?
I doubt it. Harrison will get chewed out by Mike Tomlin, though. You can count on that. Harrison violated Rule No. 1 of being a good teammate. You don't ever rip a teammate publicly. You keep that stuff in house. It can divide a locker room. Roethlisberger knows he did not play great in the Super Bowl. He took responsibility for the two picks after the game. Harrison had one tackle in that game. One. If he wants to criticize someone he should start at home.
Ashley, you did a great job at the Inquirer and I miss reading your columns about the Eagles, but I can't wait to see you succeed at ESPN. Good luck we're all counting on you.
Thanks, Hunter. You are very kind.
What are the major hold ups on the CBA...it seems like both side are very close...
From the most recent reports, it sounds like it is the rookie scale. These next two days will be critical in order to get a deal that the owners can ratify next week at their meeting in Atlanta. The players feel they have given enough, though, as evidenced by the statement from Brees, Manning and Brady today. Both sides are putting heat on the other to get a deal done.
Are the owners adamant about this "right of first refusal" tag to be added to the free agency rules? Is there a difference between that and a transition or restricted FA tag?
What's up, Philly Mike? It will be interesting to see the rules that would govern a so-called right of first refusal tag and how they vary from the other various free agent designations. I can't imagine it is a popular prospect with the players, who hate nothing more than the franchise tag and the seldom-used transition tag. They want to be able to get to their second contract as quickly as possible. If this would slow that prospect, they are not going to like it.
Do u expect a better year from Shonne Green, being that age might be catching up to him? thnx
Age catching up to him in the sense that he is maturing as a player? Possibly. He is only 26. This will be his third year. He ran hard as a rookie and I think the Jets got more out of him than they anticipated. But is he a 1,000-yard rusher? I'm not sure he is.
What do you think the financial landscape will look like after an agreement is signed?
I think everybody will be making lots of money for the foreseeable future. Everyone in the negotiations needs to remember that.
Do you think the Eagles have a chance at signing Nnamdi Asomugha when the lock out is lifted and free agency\ey finally begins? thank you and welcome!!!
Thanks, Jesse. I think the Eagles are very interested in Asomugha, but they certainly aren't alone. They need a corner opposite Asante Samuel. It was a revolving door there last season. But they aren't the only team that would want Asomugha. That man is going to get paid.
Does ESPN make you wear a trainee badge for your first chat?
No, but they really should. For the first column, too.
Why is it generally "OK" to blast the commissioner and "not OK" to critisize your teammate? Is Goodell really that bad?
I don't think it is necessarily okay to blast Goodell, particularly the way Harrison chose to do it, but I can understand where Harrison is coming from, and he isn't the only player who feels that way. Last season, the defensive players felt that Goodell's emphasis on illegal hits was unfair, and that the way he doled out fines was biased and unfair. That issue has not gone away. To rip your own teammate publicly does absolutely no good. It is counter productive to why you play the game, which supposedly is to win a Super Bowl.
So everyone's scrambling so preseason games aren't lost. How many guys do you think will end up hurt because of the short training camp before play starts?
I think there will be a lot, which is why we will see more players at camp than in past years. If they can still have a somewhat regular August, with a somewhat regular training camp, then hopefully it won't be so bad. Most of the veterans I know have been working out with personal trainers. I worry about this year's draft class and particularly about the potential undrafted rookie free agents who have had to try to figure this thing out on their own. Another group of players who are hurt by this are the ones looking to have a breakout 2nd year. But yes, I would believe we will see more injuries than usual. It will be worth tracking.
Nice to meet you, Ashley. You'll be seeing a lot of me if the chatters don't behave. Don't put up with any shenanigans. Good luck.
Thanks for checking in. Glad you are here.
when a new CBA is signed, how long will we have to wait before teams can court free agents (i.e Nnamdi)? the Texans are in desperate need of a secondary thats not MIA. thanks.
Probably a week. And I would assume the Texans would be send Nnamdi flowers, among others.
Alright folks. Thanks for joining me. I saw a lot of familiar names and a lot of Philly people, which was nice. I will be doing this regularly, so check back and I will try to be faster and get to more questions. Have a great week.