Hi everyone. Welcome to the first full day of free agency, 2011 style. This chat will power on until 3 p.m. ET unless some kind of big tremendous humongous news pops before then.
What happened to THE GREATEST, MOST CRAZIEST DAY EVER??? Not 1 signing by anyone yet? Thought today was supposed to be the day players were going to have 15 minutes to decide or it was on to the next guy? Mayhem! Madness! Insanity!!! Just a big YAWN...
What do you mean? It's big tremendous humongous day! ... To be fair, we're exactly three hours into it. Teams seem to have prioritized undrafted rookies and salary cap management (through releasing players). Also, there will be some agents who will want to string out the process of veteran free agency out so they can see every deal that might be available. And finally, this is the first time we've ever done free agency this way. So it wasn't necessarily going to be predictable.
Why does everyone think it is important that the Bears re-sign Olin Kreutz? I like the guy and he's still a good player, but it's hard to dispute that his level of play has dropped recently. Wouldn't they be better off moving Garza or Williams to center and signing a FA guard (Yanda, Gallery, Davis, etc.)?
No doubt Kreutz isn't the player he was five years ago. And I might have been in favor of moving in a different direction if his successor could have been brought in for offseason workouts. The lockout eliminated that. Getting a new center up to speed in the Mike Martz offense would be tough in training camp alone. Maybe Garza could do it. Not sure I would like a 6-7 center in Chris Williams, though.
Does Daryn Colledge come back to Green Bay this year?
The informed guess is no. There are other options on the roster, from Derek Sherrod to T.J. Lang to even Bryan Bulaga. The Packers have never demonstrated long-term interest in Colledge, for whatever reason.
Do you think Ted Thompson can pull another Sam Shields or Frank Zombo out of the rookie free agent pool this year?
I'm sure he could, but I won't even try to predict who it will be. We haven't really done much with college free agency on the blog because of the sheer numbers of players involved for each team this year, and then multiplied by four. At some point, I'll try to pick out some of the more interesting players and do a post on that.
Do you see the Lions' pursuit of Jonathon Joseph as a possibility or just speculation?
Definitely possible. He's one of the top three cornerbacks out there, and the Lions really need a cornerback.
Have you been doing finger strengthening exercises to get ready for a new post every 15 minutes during this crazy week?
Had to go out and buy some fingertip pads, also. This is full-contact blogging right here.
The Pack have been rather stagnant on signing DEs. Do you see them bringing in anyone to bulster the group that has Jenkins most likely leaving and Jolly not returning? Or do you see Ted Thompson standing fast and relying on the unproven players the packers have?
I think they feel pretty good about Mike Neal, C.J. Wilson and Jarius Wynn.
Nick Barnett to the Bears...you heard it here first outside of Seifert's column.
Where would he play, though? Strong side? That would be an adjustment.
What's the deal with Barnett? Why tell everyone he's going to be released instead of trying to get something for him?
Probably a moot point. Every NFL team could look at that roster -- with Bishop and Hawk just entering new contracts -- and know Barnett would be the odd man out.
Some reporters up here in Green Bay are speculating that the Packers might start Bryan Bulaga at left guard if Daryn Colledge leaves. By my count, that would be Bulaga's third position since he was drafted at LT and then moved to RT to replace Tauscher. That seems like a good way to cause mental mistakes, and I'd prefer to see him grow into a position so our O-line can keep some stability. Thoughts?
Totally on board. I hate all the moving around the Packers offensive linemen have done in recent years and wonder if it didn't have a big impact on Colledge, among others. It would be great to anchor Bulaga at a position and leave him there, but there is the competing argument of getting your best five players on the field however you can. We'll see.
Vanden Bosch stated he would be more than happy to call Tulloch and Bulloch on the Lions behalf. Something to think about or just Vanden Bosch being a team player?
Oh, I think he would definitely do it. What we don't know is if the Lions want him to. We're not sure if Tulloch is their top target or not.
are the Vikes going to sign Greenway to an extension to clear some caps space?
That's definitely an option, as it is with Adrian Peterson. I can't think of a reason not to want Greenway locked up for the next five years or so.
Confused with the bears signing of Dane Sanzenbacher. It seems that he is a pure slot reciever (almost a Welker 2.0) and the bears are full of slot recievers.
Mike Martz loves that type of receiver, who presumably can change directions easier than big receivers and get to a spot more precisely.
I'm a bit confused about the rush to sign undrafted free agents. These teams had the opportunity to draft these players during the draft, why are some of the players so sought after?
It's a fair point. A lot of these players have similar grades to the ones taken in the sixth and seventh rounds. And each year, there are a handful of players who emerge from these undrafted classes to become long-term starters. The race is on for them.
I am worried about our linebackers? I like Chicago to sign Roach who is younger but I am also thinking who could be a better fit since we have so much room under the cap? Who would you like to see in chicago if not Roach
It sounds like the Bears don't want Roach back in a full-time starting capacity. One player they're reportedly pursuing is Jacksonville's Justin Durant.
Did you start the Favre rumors just to bring back FarveWatch?
Not this time.
Is there going to be a supplemental draft?
That hasn't been decided yet. There is only a supplemental draft if the NFL approves the eligibility for those who apply. That hasn't happened yet.
What is your thought on the Vikings QB situation? Is it Ponder or bust? Or do you see them making a move for a veteran QB, Mcnabb? Bulger? or any other Vet QB?
I think it SHOULD be Ponder or bust, and I haven't seen any indications to make believe the Vikings are thinking something different. If you draft a quarterback No. 12 overall, you shouldn't have to spend more resources, be in a draft pick or salary cap space, to find someone to keep his spot warm.
The vikings WR situation is interesting. With Berrian probably gone, Sidney Rice possibly gone, that makes Percy a #1? (nice article btw) I'm not sure they have a #2 WR. Rice appears to be a MUST to resign then?? thanks
Thanks. That's been the issue all along: Rice is a 24-year-old receiver one year removed from a Pro Bowl. That's an awfully interesting combination, even if he did have a hip injury that will require long-term assessment. But don't rule out the possibility of a trade, or of a free agent signing of their own, if Rice moves on. I don't know if Harvin-Berrian as a 1-2 combination will get it done.
I've heard some people talking about Brad Smith to the Bears. Good fit or more of what they already have in Knox and Hester?
He's a little different at 6-2. He has so many unique attributes as a former quarterback that it would depend on how the Bears use him. Mike Martz could have some fun with that.
Do you think New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford, or any other punter for that matter, would be reluctant to sign with the Bears after reports of player animosity toward Dave Toub?
I guess it's a question worth asking, but in general Toub has a great reputation. And usually, free agents sign with the team that offers the most money. That's what talks.
will the rookie wage scale expedite the signing of draft picks? When can we expect those deals to get done? It's my understanding that players can't participate in camp until they are signed.
That's one of many unknowns in this unprecedented year. I doubt agents are just going to throw their hands up and not at least try to find some loopholes. This really is one we'll have to see on.
With Ponder and possibly no Sidney Rice, how do you think Peterson will do with the defense focused completely on him?
He's been in that situation. I think the play-action game will be big with Shiancoe and Rudolph, however.
Who is going to play opposite Clay Matthews for the Packers? And which of the Pack's DE prospects has the best chance to start in place of Cullen Jenkins? I can see why they are likely to let Jenkins go, but I am going to miss that big 'ol club and wonder if losing him might be a bigger problem that some suspect. Pack hasn't been great at restocking the DE spot. (Justin Harrell nightmares)
I would guess Frank Zombo is getting the first shot at OLB and Mike Neal at DE.
With Nick Barnett being released do you see the Packers using that cap room to go after any big name FA's? Mike Bush? Plaxico Burress? Nnamdi Asomugha? or does Ted Thompson stick with finding rookie stars?
Really don't see him deviating there.
Little amused there to see you not even try to guess who Thompson's going to pull out of the FA pile and turn into the next big time player for GB. At least you're honest about not knowing.
are you getting any word on how Ced Griffen is doing on his ACL recovery? Curious on lack of contact with team trainers is impacting him
Frazier indicated yesterday the Vikings have a pretty good sense of where he is. I'm not sure how much to read into the short visit Griffin made to Winter Park today. But when you have a guy rehabbing his second ACL tear in as many years, you have to understand it's a major deal.
Now that football is starting, are you ready to go on record and predict a Packers repeat?
over/under 1000 all-purpose yards for randall cobb this year?
I'll take the under but I think he'll have a pretty good debut season.
Weddle to Vikings? I assume that would mean cutting Madieu, right? How much of an upgrade would you expect that to be?
He had a great year last year but all indications are he wants to return to San Diego.
Do the "stadium credits" listed in the new CBA include incentives for the Minnesota stadium? I've read that only three markets were tabbed for incentives (including LA and excluding Minnesota for some reason.)
Where did you read that. I heard there were three markets but didn't know the Vikings weren't one. I'll check on that.
Where do you see James Jones ending up?
Funny, someone mentioned the Bears earlier today. I'm not sure about that. But wouldn't that be interesting?
roy williams just got cut...the Lions should sign him. LOL!
Actually, that's another guy who might fit with the Bears. He had some great years with Martz in Detroit.
Do the Packers need to bring back Kuhn?
He was definitely productive, but I'm not sure I would pay him a ton. You've got Ryan Grant, James Starks and Alex Green already in place more or less. Let him see if he can get any bigger offers on the market first.
The que is blowing up. Sorry in advance if I don't see/get your question.
So is Ray Edwards leaving the Vikings? Were might he go?
Most everyone would be surprised if he returned after the Robison contract. So Atlanta, Philly and Cleveland are three possibilities.
Can Suh match or better his rookie season this year or do you expect a sophomore slump?
I don't think he'll slump, but we should understand he had 10 sacks last season and even the best defensive tackles don't often cross that barrier.
Are any of the Bears players looking forward to the London game? I can not wait to see Hester in the flesh doing what he does best.
I'm sure they'll be fine when they get there. Most of them are just not looking forward to the travel. I understand that.
Matt Forte is wanting a Long-term deal, now that the lock-out has ended. Wants a five year deal. Do you think he is worth top tier RB money, he expects? Will the Bears give him a new contract?
That's an interesting debate and one that I touched on today on the blog. Generally you don't want to put too much money into the second contract of a running back. Sometimes there is an urge to draft a young player and ride him for as long as he can go. That's what the Bears did when they drafted Forte in the first place. Ultimately, I think they'll get something done. I don't think he's looking to break the bank.
Is MOA statium ready for the vikes home opening game? Last time I heard that they would need to replace with the new turf? Any status?
The building is officially called the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Anyway, the turf will be replaced and the job is scheduled to be complete by mid-August. The first preseason game isn't until Aug. 27.
Does Nnamdi Asomugha end up in Green Bay? I know him and Woodson are very close friends...or do you see another team giving him an offer he cant refuse?
Right now speculation is on the Jets, the Eagles and the Texans.
Repeat question just in case, does Barnett fit the Lions scheme? Would be great since he knows the division.
I guess it depends on where he plays. If he is their middle linebacker, yes, it would fit. DeAndre Levy could shift outside.
Killer tweeted the same thing about 10 minutes ago about Roy, Kevin.
Yes he did. And he was right.
I haven't really heard any rumblings connecting other teams to FA Chris Houston. What is the general consensus on the Lions' chances of resigning him (as well as another CB)?
It's possible everyone is waiting for Nnamdi. Then the dominoes will fall after that.
Do you think I'll have the last laugh when I tell people the Lions will be Packers biggest obstacle in the division this year?
There definitely is that possibility. We haven't been able to say that for a while.
Can you give one logical reason for the Vikings not bring back Rice and keep Berrian
Not sure they're keeping Berrian, but I can only presume the Vikings have reservations about giving Rice big money after the hip inury he had last year.
I am not sure if I like the idea of the Packers turning their back on Cullen Jenkins. I always liked him. The calf injury last season was frustrating for them, I am sure. The other DE you named are also coming off of season-ending injuries. I would not trust them to be as productive as Cullen was last season in 11 games. Thoughts?
You can't keep everyone. Some veterans ultimately will have to be let go. And if you draft a guy in the second round the year before, as the Packers did with Neal, you have to be ready to give him a chance. This is it.
Just FYI: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-spw-nfl-lockout-20110726,0,6929481.story?page=2 LA Times included San Francisico, San Deigo and LA as the three markets granted "stadium credits" with no mention of Minnesota.
Thank you. I will check that out.
Do you think Jordy Nelson will move ahead of Donald Driver on the depth chart?
It might be a matter of semantics. The person who starts isn't always the person who spends the most time on the field.
My imagination or is it more than a little odd for Angelo to inform his WR's that they WON'T be bringing in a big money WR? Even though we knew he wouldn't why would he at least allow for a chance of it?
Guessing it wasn't Angelo. Maybe a coach who was looking to calm down some worried veterans? Not sure.
alot of last yr rookies may be flops this yr/ due to lack of discipline i think
It's possible. So I wonder if more rookies will start off the season on the sideline.
With the salary cap floor in place, the bears are going to almost have to extend Forte. Perhaps front load the contract to get up to the minimum salary. Sound about right?
Although it doesn't have to happen until the end of the year. That's when the NFL accounts for the salary cap floor.
Just took a look at that Los Angeles Times stadium story. I read it as an inclusion of teams with local interest in the LA area, but not an indication that Minnesota has been EXCLUDED.
What is your projection for Nick Fairly? Can he can half the numbers Suh achieved?
If you're asking if the over-under on his sacks are 5, I would take the over.
How are you handicapping teams w/ new coaches and the shortened time to prepare (Lions will face four teams with new guys under the headset)?
Those teams are at a significant disadvantage, no doubt about it. That's why there isn't a lot of early optimism about the Vikings right now.
When the NBA had their last lockout, some notable players like Shawn Kemp basically ate their way out of the league. Are there any players pertinent to the NFCN who have reported to have put on a few lbs this offseason, that aren't necessarily muscle related?
Ha. Not yet. But to assume that 1,900 players all stayed in tip-top shape? Unlikely.
I'm just stoked to be talking about things ACTUALLY happening in the NFL!!! It's electric!!!!
IMPORTANT QUESTION... Have the Packers signed Mason Crosby yet?? I'm on pins and needles.
Ha, not yet. But it sounds like both sides want it to happen.
Do you think the Packers can win the division this year?
Sure. The should be considered the preseason favorites. Almost all key players returning, plus all of the injured guys, plus a pretty interesting draft class.
Do you think Kyle Rudolph is going to get more playing time then Shaincoe this season?
No, but I think he'll play a lot, especially if the Vikings are undermanned at receiver.
How do you think Jahvid Best will fare this season? Whatever happened to Kevin Smith?
Jahvid Best will be a game-breaker if he's healthy and used efficiently in the duo with Mikel Leshoure. Let Leshoure take more of a pounding and sneak Best in for big plays. As for Kevin Smith, the Lions didn't issue him a contract tender and he is a free agent. Don't think he's coming back.
Crosby kicking, Masthay punting, Bush leading the coverage units, and Cobb returning. Are our days of dreading the Packers' special teamers coming onto the field finally drawing to a close?
Not sure about the "Bush leading the coverage units," but the rest, I'm on board with.
Ok, a few more here.
Mason Crosby needs to start wearing glasses. His leg is incredible, but his accuracy is around 75%, granted most of those misses are fairly difficult
Yeah, he's missed a lot of long ones from 50+. Also, the Packers place a value on a kicker with experience at Lambeau in the elements. As they should.
Now that coaches can have fewer practices, will any teams be changing their practice policy to not allow the public in? Less practices means you need to do more strategic game-planning in each one...
Not in training camp. And regular season practices are already closed to the public.
What degree of change do you anticipate along the Vikings' OL? Thanks.
Not much, if anything. One question is whether Anthony Herrera is ready to step back in at right guard.
Jason Campbell's career...Hysterical? Or sad?
Not NFCN-related, but definitely sad. Never got a chance to play for an extended time in the same system.
Is that Cobb prediction largely return yds??? If Rodgers throws for 4500, 1100 to Jennings, 800 to Finley, 800 to Nelson, 600 to Driver...that doesn't leave a lot for Cobb? 400 rec yds?
That's why I took the under. Or, I meant to.
What's going on with Cliff Avril? The Lions have to resign him, right?
He is a restricted free agent, and any team that wants to sign him would have to give the Lions a first- and third-round draft pick. Not likely to happen. So they have a year or so to hammer out a long-term deal.
If Vikes bring in a vet at QB is Bulger the likely choice? If not, who?
I think it's more likely to be a veteran backup along the lines of Tyler Thigpen.
Is Tavaris Jackson really going to Seattle?
That's what it sounds like, yes. Must be someone in the Seahawks building who REALLY wants Charlie Whitehurst to win the job.
On that note, thanks for checking in! We'll chat soon.