Hi everyone. Welcome, Packers fans, to the NFL offseason. You're joining those who follow the Vikings, Lions and Bears. Let's get to this here chat.
How much do you think Aaron Rodgers is gonna regret being in those "Discount Double-Check" commercials after about the 10,000th person on the street yells "Raaaaaaadgers!!!" at him while doing the belt sign? What odds do you put on him pulling a Dave Chappelle and running away to Africa for a few months?
Not a bit. They were well received and will give him his choice of future commercial opportunities. He also talked last week about possibly hosting Saturday Night Live.
Kevin: I'm a little confused as to what Frazier is doing with his staff. It seems he doesn't have a clear direction of what he wants to do.
Well, they haven't really kept the public in the loop. But the big picture is I think he wants a new defensive staff. In the end, that's probably what he'll get. He's had some trouble attracting candidates for the DC job, partly because people wonder about his long-term future now that Spielman is the GM.
Kevin, Do you think Driver will be back with the packers next year?
If he is, it will be at a much lower rate than the $5 million or so he's scheduled to earn. That's too much for a No. 4 receiver, which is basically how the Packers used Driver last year. And there is a thought that they will also want to keep a roster spot open for one of the young receivers they had on their practice squad last season.
In chicago the sports talk seems to be about upgrading the TE position to get a more athletic pass-catching (Graham/Gronkoski type) player. To me Kellen Davis could be that guy in a more TE friendly system, and the Bears need a real #1 or even #2 reciever more than anything. Where do you think their focus should be in the offseason?
Well, when you look at the rest of the league, you see that really good receiving tight ends are the toughest matchup out there. Whether it's a WR or a TE, the Bears need downfield threats. It could be either. Maybe Kellen Davis could do it, but he hasn't had much production in his career prior to now.
All the early mock drafts have the WR Floyd from Notre Dame being selected by the Bears, which generally gaurantees that it will be somebody else. Whats your gut on the position the Bears will address in the 1st round and any idea what players might interest them?
Hard to know without the GM in place, but they absolutely need a downfield threat. It could come via free agency or the draft, and it could be a WR or a TE. But they need that as much as anything.
Do you think the Packers will have to let Flynn go as a free agent or will they work something out (franchise tag) to obtain compensation?
That will be tough. If they franchise him, he'll ultimately consume $14 million of their salary cap until they can trade him. And that would reduce their trading leverage somewhat because teams know they would have to unload him. So in that situation, the Packers would have to hope that a bidding war would ensue.
Do you see the Lions being able to challenge the Packers next year or do you think they might take a step backwards?
I don't see why they would take a step backwards, but we should also point out the Packers are built for long-term success. They are going to be the Yankees to the Lions' Red Sox for a long time. Or the other way around. What do I know about baseball?
Assuming the Vikings get a new stadium at a location that requires they have to play at TCF stadium (Gophers) which is outside, for a number of years. And that their new facility will be indoors, will that have any impact on how they build their team over the next few years (indoor vs outdoor strengths)? I know TCF is artificial turf, so maybe it doesn't matter? Its seems interesting how a team in rebuilding mode would approach building a team especially when waiting for a new stadium which may or may not be indoors.
I think that's an awesome question and one I have planned to ask Spielman, Frazier, etc. if and when that occurs. I'm sure their response will be that they build teams for all weather, but the bottom line is the Vikings have been much, much better indoors than outdoors since the Metrodome opened in 1982.
Any word on how Knox is recovering from back surgery? It sounded like they felt he'd be physically ready to play next season, but mentally that's a real tough injury to come back from for a guy who's supposed to run routes across the middle.
All indications are that he will be healed by the summer. He recently tweeted that he isn't going to watch the replay of the injury until after he retires. I presume he's serious about that.
what do you think about Toby Gerhart's performance in the later part of the season, do you think he is ready to take more work load if AP is not ready.
He definitely looked better than he had. I'm not sure if teams will load up to defend him the way they do Peterson, but he looks like someone who could carry the load for a while if needed.
Any word on Gabe Carimi's recovery and long-term prognosis from his knee injury? The Bears really need him to stay healthy next year if the line is going to be a strength, or at least less of a weakness.
As with Knox, all indications are that Carimi will be ready for camp.
Do the Packers wise up now, and get a decent replacement for Cullen Jenkins?
Easier said than done. Everyone wants a pass-rushing defensive end, don't they?
Do you think Frazier's uncertain future will keep good coaches /coordinators from considering the Vikings?
I think it's a factor, yes. That's why the people you hire for your initial staff are so important. That's the time to lock in good people for an extended period.
Do you think Toub gets a head coaching job or gets a better offer on the open market to leave the Bears?
It's hard to know what Miami will do. They might have a hard time selling a special teams coordinator to their fan base as the franchise savior. As for the Bears, they had a chance to lock him up but weren't able to. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he would leave if he can lock in with an established coach elsewhere who will be around for a while.
If Finley doesn't stay like some fans want(for some reason) who would start for them. Their only other viable option at TE is injured for most of next year or at least half. Packers really have zero other options for a starting TE that could be a receiving threat.
That's one of several reasons I think he will be back. The main one is that the franchise tag for tight ends will be awfully affordable. Getting a 55-catch tight end back for $5.5 million, in the scheme of things, isn't that bad.
Any idea with the Vikings are going to do about the middle linebacker position? E.J. Henderson is set to become a free agent and Jasper Brinkley is coming off an injury.
I bet they would like to slide Brinkley in there but I agree it would be tough to do after a season-long hip injury. Maybe Henderson comes back on a short-term deal.
If Capers goes to the Raiders who takes over as DC and usually how many coaches would follow him to Oakland even if they keep the same system here?
How about Darren Perry as a replacement? He's been mentioned as a defensive coordinator candidate elsewhere.
Kevin, Mike Tice as the Bears new OC?? Packer dominance in the NFC is safe another year don't you think?
Ha. I think Tice will be fine. They'll be a power running team but also will give Cutler a chance to throw downfield.
pretty bumbed after the packers lost, one of my friend who is a giant fan said something to cheer me up 'As long as you have Aaron Rodgers you are going to have post season success in the future'.... coundnt agree more!!
One of many reasons I think the Packers are set up for long-term success.
2 points on the pack...# 1 i m truly disgusted and saddened by the so called fans reaction to their loss!!! maybe all these fair weather fans are the result of last years SB..#2 do you see many changes in this team and staff for next season?
My feeling is that fans have the right to be upset at a loss. There are now ways to take that anger out personally at players via Twitter, which isn't cool, but it's also part of the deal. As for changes, a lot of that will depend on if someone gets a head coaching job off their staff.
Ok, for those of you who asked about Dave Toub. Maybe I should have checked my Twitter account. ... He has signed a two-year extension to remain with the team.
So to update my answer, no, I don't see Toub going anywhere. :)
ARE THE LIONS FOR SURE GOING TO HAVE A CAP PROBLEM? DO YOU SEE THEM POSSIBLY LETTING KVB GO TO HELP ALLEVIATE CAP CONGESTION? UNDER THE NEW CBA, DOES THE 3 YEAR RULE APPLY TO SUH, WHICH WOULD PREVENT HIM FROM RESTRUCTURING HIS CONTRACT?
They will be tight, yes. That's what happens when you draft No. 2 twice and also No. 1, all under the old system. There will be ways to work that out. It means they'll have to focus on their own players and aren't likely to be active in free agency.
Any thoughts on Detroit's strategy on the salary cap issues they face? Renegotiate Suh and CJ? Cut KVB?
They need to tackle the Calvin Johnson issue one way or the other. That will give them some certainty on how much they'll need to cut back elsewhere, if at all.
what is the main requirement for the packers in the upcoming draft? i think an inside pass rusher
A pass rusher from any direction, I would say.
Is there any chance that the Lions let Cliff Avril go? I would love to see him in blue and orange!
I don't think they want to let him go, but signing a free agent pass rusher is expensive and the Lions won't have much cap room to work with.
Any idea what's for lunch today in the ESPN HQ?
Brats. You didn't get enough in Green Bay, I'm guessing.
Is there any chance I get a consistent running back this year? Can you say Trent Richardson?
How about Mikel Leshoure? Every indication is that he will be ready to go by camp.
At what point during the game did you realize that the giants being a good matchup for the Packers was a dumb call? Can you pick the giants against my niners so I know we are safe?
Ha. Probably when Rodgers overthrew Jennings at the end of hte first drive. To be clear, what I wrote was that if the Packers played the way they did all season, they would beat the Giants assuming the Giants played the way they did all season. The Packers had their worst game of the year. The Giants played a role in that, but there were also a lot of unforced errors on the Packers' part.
Kevin,Given that there is only one "Passing Powerhouse" left in the playoffs..... how does ESPN feel about "The Year of the Quarterback"?....or is it still.."Offense sells tickets... Defense wins games.."?
Didn't you hear? The full title was, "The Year of the Quarterback Not Making a Difference."
Is there any chance that Rodgers doesnt play in the pro bowl just because he doesnt want to? One of my favorite things about Rodgers was that he has never been to a pro-bowl...
Er, but he has. Two years ago he was the starter, even though he was named as an alternate. I don't know if he'll go this year or not.
Thanks for the chats all year Kevin. As disappointing as this end was the future is extremely rich for the talent-laden Packers. With Driver possibly gone, is there anyone else we shouldn't expect back next year? I'm thinking Grant is gone but otherwise everyone is very signable, including Wells. Am I missing someone?
Well, Finley, obviously. I think he'll be back one way or the other. I would be shocked if Wells isn't re-signed. They should be able to do that relatively quickly and it's not as if there is an obvious heir apparent on the roster. They've already tried and failed to replace him once with Jason Spitz.
Now that Martz is gone, do you think that the Bears want a mulligan on the Olsen trade?
Man. What a short-signed deal that was. For whatever reason, big, fast pass-catching tight ends are tough matchups for today's defense. And Olsen was/is both of those.
Also, did you watch Alcatraz? It's gonna be the new LOST!
I did not but it looked interesting. Hurley's in it, right?
What's your best guess on where I'll end up?
A lot of people are talking about Seattle, but I have no idea if that's just a John Schneider connection thing or if it's legitimate.
Do you think the Bears are going to experience what happened to the Vikes, and get "old" on Defense next year?
It's going to happen sometime. Peppers, Urlacher, Briggs and Tillman are their four best players and all four are on the wrong side of 30.
I felt that with the uncertainty in Chicago's back end and the fact Graham is a special teams ace, trying to resign him this offseason should have been a priority as things stood. But does the Toub extension help his chances of staying in the Chi?
I'm sure Toub will push for it, but I think Graham wants to play defense and might go somewhere that allows him to do that.
Kevin, do you think Shiancoe will be let go by the Vikings, with Rudolph becoming their #1 tight end in 2012?
I wouldn't be the least bit surprised at that. Usually you pair a pass-catcher with a hard-core blocker, and neither one of them falls into the latter category.
Do you franchise Matt Forte for 2 years or sign him for 5 years?
I'd franchise him for two years if he would play under those conditions. The concern is that he would hold out and/or be unhappy.
Hi Kevin. Do you get the sense the vikings are going to trade back to aquire more picks. We need to draft at least two quality corners to compete in our division
I think they would consider it, but not if Kalil is still on the board at No. 3. Usually the only way to get a left tackle is at the top of the draft. And they need a left tackle.
What are my chances of being a Packer next season?
Maybe better than people think. If you want James Starks to be the full-time replacement, you should note that he hasn't been able to get through either of his first two NFL seasons healthy.
Kevin do you have an alternate account that you use to hang out with in the blogs sometimes? Maybe talk a little smack with?
I don't. I post under my name/quality mug.
With RG3 getting some praise as better than Luck, the Vikes have to at least look at him right? QB is that important
I'm sure they will look at everyone. And it's an interesting debate. But in the end, can you take a quarterback in the top 12 two years in a row?
Any news out of Viking land on what is going to happen with Singeltary
Complete mystery at this point. The fact that they offered his job to someone else suggests he might not return in that capacity next season, but remember he is also the assistant head coach.
How many of my coaches get poached this offseason?
Two at the most.
You touched on the Lion's cap issues earlier, and wrote an article about it they other day. They don't have enough money to keep everybody--who do you think is most likely to be let go/traded/not resigned?
I'll say it's going to be really hard to re-sign Avril, but I guess it depends on what type of deal he's looking for.
the packers traded some players for undisclosed picks in this draft when do we find out what the undisclosed picks are?
Usually we get a full listing of picks in early spring, and then soon after that we find out about compensatory picks. Sometimes undisclosed picks are dependent on playing time and other performance criteria.
Could Singeltary be kept as just an assistant head coach?
Something I've wondered as well. Not out of the question.
The Bears need a pass catching TE? What about Greg Olsen? Oh wait, never mind....
I know this isn't likely to happen with Ted Thompson, but knowing that pass rush was one of the major issues and knowing that there won't be that much roster turnover, would you (acting as the 'GM') consider trading up to get one of the better pass rushing DE or OLB? Or even just the idea of trading up to get one of the better quality players at some position. I think most Packers fans want quality over quantity at this point in the draft since Thompson rarely ever doves into free agency.
A trade up or, gasp, free agency? How wild would it be if, say, Cliff Avril ended up as an outside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4?
I don't understand the hate that Ponder gets. He got killed by a bad oline and only had one good receiver to throw to!
Lot of people made up their minds on him last spring. I will say that he made more mistakes than you would have hoped and probably played worse at the end of the season than he did in the middle. But I wonder how much that hip injury affected him.
Ok, a few more before I get back to the blog here.
what do you think about the Lions trading CJ? I know he's pretty amazing, but they might be able to get a pretty good trade for him. they have a decent receiving core behind him and it would really help the cap space
He's a once-in-a-generation player. They have to build around him.
What did you think of my pregame analysis?
Couldn't hear you but you looked spiffy.
As a Vikes fan, I don't hate Ponder, actually think he could be good. But man RG3 looks ridiculous, rather cheer for Vick (last year's version) than Hasselbeck...
Sounds like RG is a big-time leader, also. ... But I would still be surprised if that happens.
What's your honest opinion of Spielman as a GM? Based on Miami's current state, I don't really think he did well down there, and the Vikings drafts have been poor in the late rounds recently.
Why does everyone think the Lions are good at drafting? I could of told you them to pick Suh Stafford and C.Johnson.
Sorry about the double posting.
On the Spielman question: I think he's had some hits and misses in the draft and the rest of his tenure is impossible to judge given the structure.
On the Lions question: People have already forgotten what a debate there was between Stafford, Jason Smith and Aaron Curry. Pretty sure people booed the Stafford pick at the Lions draft party.
Ok everyone, let's sign off now before I have more technical difficulties. Thanks for chatting!