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July 20, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

What's shaking out there? Let's get this party started.

drew (mtl)

if your life was on the line, you'd say Nnamdi is going to ___

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Washington. Just have a ton of $$$ to spend. They have the history of signing huge name UFAs. Have a need at CB.

Joe (NYC)

With the new cap floor, do you see someone throwing a big deal at Ike Taylor? If so, how do the Steelers replace him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

First off, while Taylor is a good player and the Steelers need him, he isn't their type of free agent signing-just considering his age. And yes, once Nnamdi falls (& maybe J Joseph), I think Taylor will command big money. PGH will be in it though. But if he falls to another team, I would expect them to turn their attention to a guy like Rogers, Wilson or Carr.

Sam (Nashua, NH)

When will you post your free agency article on the Patriots? You mentioned on twitter that Braylon Edwards would be a beast in NE. What would make him so special with Brady? Can he actually be a TRUE #1 receiever?( I know you don't like to use that term too much)

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

I turned in my AFC East free agency analysis and I think it will be up on ESPN.com on Friday. But I do very much like the Edwards to NEng fit. That environment-no nonsense approach and obviously being surrounded by great players and coaches-would be terrific for Edwards. And he would be tough to key on by opposing Ds. He could be a true #1. He is capable. Talent is not an issue.

FantasyTaz (NJ)

What do you think the chances are that the Giants resign Ahmad Bradshaw, and if not, who do you see as the #1 in NY?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

That has to be their top priority. He is needed. If you scroll back through my archive articles, I wrote that I felt that Bradshaw is the free agent-to-be RB that is most important to his former team. If they don't lock him up, I would think NYG gets very involved with DeAngelo.

Aggie (TX)

Is there any difference between the FS and SS in a Cover 2 D? How bout a Tampa 2?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

There are different ways of structuring it. J Lynch was very much a pure SS for Tampa for all those years. Bob Sanders in Indy. But you can also make them interchangeable. I wouldn't say it is set in stone either way.

Kevin (Stephens City, VA)

Is Tampa going to stand pat at the RB position? Or do you see them bringing someone in to compete with Blount for the starting job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Neither. They have a TON to spend. And I bet that they land a complementary RB to Blount. Sproles maybe. Pass Catcher. Third down RB.

Sam (Nashua, NH)

Can Ray Edwards play OLB in a 3-4? How would he fit in New Englands read and react defense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

I don't love it. I pretty much see Edwards as a pure 4-3 DE. I don't want him playing in reverse.

Aggie (TX)

Do you think Vince Young would fit in nicely in Miami?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

I can buy that. VERY different than Henne though in terms of skill set. But they could keep things conservative for him. Run First. How about VY to Buff? Gailey has a good history with similar QBs.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

MDub - I see LaGarrette Blount and Shonn Greene as very similar players: big, physical, not much pass catching ability, but potential to be very good...who will have the better year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Agreed. I like Blount better. Greene has much better blocking though. But Greene also has much more competition for carries. Blount has the better season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Live G & R "Night Train" now...loud. ...."Ready to Crash and Burn..."

Sam (Nashua, NH)

Where do you think Donte Whitner ends up? And how good is he?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Whitner is more SS than FS, but very talented. He and M Huff both worry me a bit. Huff is more FS than SS though. Both were very high draft picks for a safety. Both are loaded with ability. Both underwhelmed...until their contract year. Did they just dedicate themselves for the pay day or did the light just go on?

lewis (flint michigan)

Who should Detroit target in free agency?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Back 7...Back 7...Back 7

matt (boston)

do you see the steelers will try to add a safety in case polamalu gets injured?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Yes, but late. A veteran who doesn't get scooped up real early in the crazy free agent frenzy. How about A Bigby?

Fran (Lincoln)

If Arizona can't make a deal for Kolb where do they turn?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Orton or Palmer. They will get someone decent...but not great.

Aggie (TX)

Considering the lack of elite TEs in the NFC East (except Witten) and the quality of WRs on all three contenders don't you think Dallas should go after a stud FS much harder than a stud SS?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Well, Sensabaugh is up for free agency too, so they really need to add 2 Safeties. Can't count a free agent as your own property. BTW, I did a list of every team's 3 major needs just a few days ago. And in the comments I got hammered because "The Cowboys don't need a OT! Idiot!"-for example-but you can't just assume that Free (or Sensabaugh in this case) is the Cowboys' property. Sorry about the rant-had to put that in print some where. Anyways, Sensabaugh could also really appeal to Phillips in Houston-he played pretty well for Dallas last year.

BFD John (Atlanta)

Who has a better shot at landing in Chicago Floyd or S Moss?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Moss. Much better fit for Martz's O. Great after the catch. Better route runner.

Sean (Iowa) [via mobile]

Matt, how do you think Brian Robison's transition from backup to starter will help the Vikings d-line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Not sure that it will help/improve it. I would rather have Edwards without a doubt. But I like Robison. And he could be a breakout guy this year. Extremely athletic. Gets off the ball well. My worry with him is is stamina down after down week after week in this league at his size.

Rui P (San Jose, CA)

Matt which is the most likely receiver the 49ers would target in the FA market? Would they ever let Franklin go?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I am betting Franklin does depart-and wow, that is going to sting. There might only be 3 teams or so-Wash, KC, SF-in the Franklin market, but that price tag is going to be steep. WR for SF? Hmmm...mixed feeling on this, but very much believe that they need to add one. They could really use a vertical speed guy-who T Ginn was supposed to be-but they are going to be more WCO this year (which favors guys like Crabtree). How about MSW?

Kevin (Stephens City, VA)

John Beck? (Yes, that's my question... :-) )

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Yuck. (Yes. That's my answer...)...but I am not putting a cute little smiley face in my answer...ever.

Joe (NYC)

Any word on where Michael Bush could go? I think he's a good back, too bad he plays with an even better one. Denver or Miami seem to make sense, no?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Sounds like there is a good chance that he is not a free agent since he missed an entire year. Don't quote me on that though. Denver certainly makes sense. Cincy? STL?

Man Card Police (Kevin's Door)

*Knock Knock*

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Well said

Curt (Rocklin )

Hey Matt, How aggressive do see Denver being once free agency starts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

I see two things that they will look to address: DT and RB. I do very much expect them to pursue DeAngelo-as they should. If they could land DeAngelo and either Mebane or Cofield, that would be great start to this rebuilding process.

Sam (Nashua, NH)

What team would you most like to see on Hard Knocks this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Hmmm....not sure. Actually, I couldn't care less. Would watch it either way. Anyone have a vote?

J.B. (PA)

McNabb, Pounder, Webb. Does that sound like the 2011 QB depth chart for the Minnesota Vikings?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

I really like McNabb to Tenn, but I seem to be alone in those thoughts. But yeah, your list sounds about right. Bet Ponder starts by mid season.

Jeremy (NYC)

MDubb, Re: if Giants don't sign Bradshaw, would a decent fallback be Tate from Houston. He's pretty young, and Foster has already proven he's an every down back.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

I don't think Tate is for sale though Bro

Andy (TO)

Which OLB(s) do you see the saints targeting to fill their need?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Not sure it is a massive need. I have faith in Casillas and Wilson as starters at WLB and SLB respectively. But maybe a SLB like Anderson. Q Black?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

"What Is and What Should Never Be"...Zeppelin...Obviously. Never gets old.

Matt (NJ)

What do you think of Shane Verneen the Patriots 2nd round draft pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

I think the Pats want an extreme variety of skill sets at every O skill position so that they can attack any D any way they want on a week to week basis. They have the tiny pass catcher in Woodhead. They had BJGE (& now Ridley) who is the power guy that can wear a D down. And Vereen is the guy who sorta splits the difference. I like the pick and the fit. Didn't understanding taking Ridley though.

Uncle Rico (Utah)

I am going to be the starter in Arizona by week 5.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

They have your highlight tape, right?

Kyle (St. Louis)

Can Donnie Avery become the deep threat the Rams need?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

For sure. He could really surprise this year. If healthy of course. Has as good of a chance of emerging from their crowded WR pack as anyone.

Will L (Middle of Nowhere)

How do you see Akeem Ayers fitting in to the Titans depth chart?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

They are now very young at LB. And he should be in a great position to establish himself as the starting SLB for years to come.

Zac (The Bay)

What are the Colts going to do at strong side backer & RB? History says Session

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Session to stay in Indy would be a great fit for player and team. I bet that happens as well. While I am not big on Addai, I think the same is true for him too. Addai and Session are worth more to the Cols than to any other team.

Calvin J (Detroit)

Mdubb, you see your boys Golic and Hasselbeck not put me in their top 3 receivers when Roddy White was on the show yesterday. I would have gone - Andre J, Myself, Fitz, Roddy and Nicks. What about you?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I didn't see that. But I would go: Andre J, Fitz, You, White, Nicks

Hammilly (Utah)

If you had drafted Andre the Giant you start him at OT or DT?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

How well does he run? Moved pretty well from what I remembered. How about TE? Imagine Andre near the goal line. If not, OT. LT. Also would excel on the FG Block Team. First guy off the bus for sure.

Louie (Tampa)

MWill - prioritize then Jets top 4 free agents for more based on NYJ's need to resign them: Cro, Edwards, Holmes, B. Smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Smith is last by far. Holmes is #1-and might be the hardest to land. Edwards' value is then dependent on Holmes. But I would attack Holmes first. Ellis is rather important too BTW. As for Cro, much like I said about Session and Addai for Indy, I think he is worth more to the Jets than most teams. Pure Man to Man guy.

Drew (NY)

"I'm packin my bags for the Misty Mountains"

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Got that right. Actually "Wonderful One" is on now from the Plant and Page No Quarter album. Exceptional album.

Devin (Florida)

Would the Lions use the franchise tag on Chris Houston?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Seriously? 1. The Franchise Tag time has come and gone. 2. Houston isn't close to being good enough for such a distinction. Come on Man!

Will L (Still in the Middle of Nowhere)

Do you think a team like the Titans who have been conservative, and will have extra money to spend will bolster the OL with someone like Yanda or any of the ATL FA?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

For sure. Just writing up their free agency approach now. And those are the names I mentioned. The interior of their OL is putrid.

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

"Hey You" Live. Waters. "...getting lonely, getting old...can you feel me?"

Aggie (TX)

Two darkhorse candidates that Vegas is not counting on are Dallas and Indy. Agree?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Haven't seen the odds, but I very much consider Indy a contender and will pick them to win their division. Prob win 12 games again-as usual. As for Dallas-maybe. Want to see what they do in the secondary.

dan (texas)

I read a article saying bears might try to add a "above average" Offensive Guard this "offseason-any thoughts / truth's to that?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Dahl would be tremendous in that capacity. Chi absolutely needs to make such a move. Might need two free agent OLinemen.

John (Baton Rouge)

What is your take on Jared Gaither? The Ravens don't seem to think very highly of him as some around the league. And where could you see him ending up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Amazing talent. Has apparently fallen out of favor in Balt. Work ethic questions. Could be great. MANY teams could use a LT like him...if they can keep a fire lit under him.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Is Hines Ward productive this year, or will this be the high flyin, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders show?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Ward will move to the #3 guy sooner than later...and will still be productive, esp with the chips are down.

John (Baton Rouge)

Heard that Vonta Leach listed San Diego was on his list of places he'd like to play. If I were Ryan Matthews, I would give him some of my salary for that blocking.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Wow. Sure feels like Lorenzo Neal, huh?

Kevin (Somewhere better than Will L. apparently)

Will the Raiders make a move at WR? Or do they continue to try to make Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy work for them?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Could happen with a guy like 85 or TO, but Ford and Murphy should be plenty. Z Miller is the really the question for Oak's passing game. Must keep him.

Adam (Jersey)

Who should be the first target for the Bucs in free agency (other than their own UFAs)? I'm leaning Offensive line first (Clabo, Mankins, Locklear?) and then maybe looking at Jonathan Joseph/Carlos Rodgers plus a linebacker like LeRoy Hill or Thomas Davis. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Mankins isn't going anywhere, but I agree. Steal from ATL! As for LBs, I would sign Black and start him with Hayes and Foster. Great young threesome behind a great young DL. But yes, OL and DBs have to be the priorities.

Hank (Toledo)

Will the cap make the Raiders fall back this year,they have a lot of dead money and already have paid big cash to a couple of guys.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Yeah, it will be tough to keep a guy like Miller. I hear ya.

O.J. (Washington, DC)

I don't know much about Roy Helu but he's been getting glowing reviews and most say he's a much better fit in Shanny's zone-blocking scheme. What do you think of him and do you expect him to make a big impact right away? Could he be something special?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I am not a fan, but I am very much a fan of the player/team fit. That is what Helu is: Straight line guy who sticks his foot in the ground and gets downhill. And he has very good speed. Not "Special" though.

Henry (ATL)

Chances Falcons get C. Johnson over R. Edwards?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Seems like a long shot to me. They need to lock up their OL free agents. I can live with Abraham/Biermann/Anderson as the 3 DEs.

Hank (Toledo)

Who is going to pry open Mike Browns check book to get the Bengals up to the salary floor?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Well, need a power RB for sure. And certainly must sign a vet QB. Maybe a CB too if JJ leaves. I don't have a real good feel for Cincy's free agency approach right now to be honest. Don't see a lot of great targets for them. But-they HAVE to be aggressive with these safeties on the market. Whitner might fit here real well.

Kevin (Green Bay)

Chuck Woodson - future Hall of Famer?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I tend to think Yes

George (Tampa)

What do you expect out of G. McCoy this year? 8,9 sacks while being decent at the run? Or am I being to optimistic here

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I don't think you are being optimistic. That is a pretty high sack #, but I am expecting an all around dominant season from G McCoy

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

What do you see happening with GB's RB situation? Do you see Starks and Grant splitting 50-50, or more of a 2-1 with Grant the starter?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Would expect Grant to get a higher % of the carries early and then gradually see that switch to Starks' favor.

Ben (SD)

Who will be the top 3 wr on the Chargers (excluding Gates) on opening day?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

1. V Jax 2. Steve Smith via trade from Car 3. V Brown

Aggie (TX)

Why is everyone so high on Starks? He had one good game against Philly!

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I very much agree with you and have written that many times. But I do see ability there. Remember how he entered the league. Came from a tiny football school and missed his senior year. Then started rookie season on PUP. I just think there is a lot of room for improvement there.

George (Tampa)

Who are the top 3 4-3 DE's now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

1. J Smith. I actually put out a list on Twitter (@WilliamsonNFL) about a month ago. Forget exactly how I ranked them, but Smith is the clear #1. Prob would go with Seymour at

Ryan (San Diego)

What about Patrick Crayton? He was a baller for the Chargers last year

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

I just like the other guys better. Not a knock on Crayton. But I think Brown will be very good fit there.

Marc (Malden, MA)

I wonder about Braylon Edwards's drops and mental strength...much rather have Holmes.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

I would much rather have Holmes too. But Holmes is going to be more expensive.

Plaxico (Agrees)

Great job on the podcast Matt! What are the Dolphins going to do at RB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Thank You. How about a guy like Snelling? I do bet they get aggressive for Bradshaw. That would be an exceptional signing.

Nerns (Baltimore)

Where will Bulger end up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Did Bulger actually come out and say he wasn't interested in being a starter or did I hear that wrong? Who would say such a thing? Can't say I have much faith in him. Brittle. Plays scared the last we saw him. Maybe just stays in Balt.

Will L (MoN)

George said Top 3 4-3 DEs not 3-4

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Oh sorry...that is actually much harder. Going to throw out a few names that I would consider: Freeney, Peppers, Cole, Tuck, Suggs....the next teir: C Johnson, Allen, Edwards, W Smith, Abraham, Mathis...I feel like I am missing a few

Jason (NC)

What FA moves do think the dolphins will make?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

I actually don't think they need much. If I were them, I would LOVE to sign a stud FS like Weddle. Then the D would be complete-and a Top 3 unit. RB for sure and we talked about that some. Another QB, but not breaking the bank on the QB. Intrigued by that VY to Miami suggestion and about to Twitter it out.

Ben (SD)

Mario Williams...?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Now an OLB-but I would have him in that top tier

Gus (Boston)

Matt - you seem to have a man crush on H. Ngata, but what is it that seperates him apart from Vince Wilfork?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I have a man crush on Wilfork too. But I do prefer Ngata-just SO much more versatile. Every down guy. Can line him up all over the DL. I do know that NEng will line Wilfork up at DE and dare teams to run the other way, but Ngata is much more position/scheme versatile. Dude can drop into coverage. Amazing specimen.

Jim (NY)

Do the Redskins really have the salary cap space for Nnamdi?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

They have a ton of space. They NEED to spend a lot of money.

Dustin (NC)

what does Demarcus Ware have left to do to get into the HOF?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

He just needs to keep it up for a little while longer. Ware will go the HOF.

G-Wall (La Mesa)

I know u don't wanna sign conversion players in FA but do you think Cliff Avril could be in play for some of the 3-4 teams like SD.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Pretty sure that Avril is restricted. And maybe, but like you said, that is just bad business. Would much rather get a guy like Lawson or Kiwi. Can't spend that much on a vet and ask him to learn new tricks.

Jeff (Nashviile)

Does Raji's athleticism remind you a little of Ngata? Remember that pick six!

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

For sure. Just a step below. Man crush on Raji too.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub with the Giants in need of a MLB whom would you prefer Posluzny/ Rudd/ or Bradley?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Poz...by far. Not even close. Ruud is overrated to me. Bradley is a massive durability risk. Fewell has to love Poz-and they were great together two years ago. Call me crazy, but I like Goff as a two down MLB with an improved DL and Secondary.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Twitter amazes me. I sent that out about VY like six minutes ago. And have gotten 20 responses. Will check them after the chat. For those of you who don't "Tweet"-you really should. Make whatever you want of it. Amazing. Correction...that is up to 24 while I typed this.

tony (tampa)

A lot of Dolphins interest today- wouldn't Orton be better fit than a suspect character guy like Vince Young? Word here is Reggie Bush is the RB the Fins are after- your take on Bush. Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

I might rather have VY (still has upside) for free than Orton for a 2nd round pick though. I like Bush-but only in the right O-Like NOrls. He needs a very heady coordinator and QB. Not sure that is a fit in Miami. Needs a system that will use him equal parts WR and RB-and know how to make the change on the fly.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Folks, I gotta run. Great chat. I am off next week. I know-amazing. But it is my one vacation of the year. And Free Agency might be opening!!! Losing my mind on that. Will jump off that bridge when I come to it though.