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February 15, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Hey Hey Hey! Let's get this going!

Gob (Greenville, NC)

What are the Panthers biggest needs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

D...lots of D. In particular, I would love to see them land a difference maker at DT. Someone who is really difficult to account for. They get a lot of LBs back from injury, so that level doesn't worry me so much. I would also throw an RT/OG type into that need list as well.

matt (cleveland)

flynn or rg3 for browns?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I would much rather have RG3. And I will prob be very critical if CLEV doesn't land him. It will take moving up to #2 overall, but this is a move that the Browns can and need to make. Could turn around the franchise. Flynn is fine, but he isn't that type of QB.

JR (Chicago)

If Houston had to choose between keeping Williams and Foster, it has to be Williams, right? With that offensive line, from the scheme to the talent, it feels a lot like Denver from 10 years ago or so, and that a lot of backs could thrive. That defense could be the best in the league if Williams comes back.

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

I agree with all of that, BUT...I felt like HOUS D was Top 3 without Mario. And I think Williams will be more expensive. I think Williams walks in free agency. Foster is Restricted, so it really prob won't come down to Williams vs. Foster. 90% of the time I am not into paying big for RBs, but Foster might just be the best in the NFL right now. Superstar-no matter the system. The guy they really need to bring back though is Myers at Center.

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

"Satisfaction" Live over here...Loud. Mick is sick I tell ya. Just sick.

matt (cleveland)

If browns fail to land RG3 do they take Blackmon if he is there or trade down?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

They are not lacking needs. Coples would be very attractive to me at #4, as would Richardson.

Elvis (Tupelo, MS)

Cowboys fan here. How likely is it that Saints would part ways with Nicks? Is he worth a big long-term deal with the Boys? Also, does Ratliff's skillset translate well to DE - pass rush from that position was a huge weakness last season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

I am not super confident in this, but I bet Nicks leaves NO-they just would have SO much tied up at OG and Brees needs a new contract. Nicks could be the best OG in the league. DAL could be a good landing spot for Nicks-sure. ANY spot would be! As for Ratliff, I thought he played pretty well at NT, but does have the ability to align in different techniques up front. And I would leave him in the game on throwing downs as one of two interior pass rushers.

Jerome (NYC)

How good of a fit would Barron be for the Jets at 16 and in the Rex system?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

I am not super confident in this, but I bet Nicks leaves NO-they just would have SO much tied up at OG and Brees needs a new contract. Nicks could be the best OG in the league. DAL could be a good landing spot for Nicks-sure. ANY spot would be! As for Ratliff, I thought he played pretty well at NT, but does have the ability to align in different techniques up front. And I would leave him in the game on throwing downs as one of two interior pass rushers.

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

NYJ could use quite a few things, but if I were to do a Mock Draft, I bet I would end up with Barron to the Jets. He would be GREAT for NYJ. Big and able to hang with the Pats' TEs, but also smart and fits Rex Ryan's mental and physical requirements at the position.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

A more probable scenario - NO has to choose between Nicks and Colston right? Where would you rank Marques among him, Bowe, both Jax's and B-Lloyd?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Colston is last on that list for me. But-like Welker in a way-I think Colston is worth more to the Saints than to any other team. Align on numerous spots-familiarity. I bet he stays. If I were in charge of another team, I would have a real tough time investing in Colston long term, esp considering his injury history.

Aggie (TX)

What do you think of Stanford Routt?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

I like Routt, above average starting CB with very good size and speed ratio. Better in man than zone. Just isn't a big time #1 CB that OAK thought he was.

Devon (Parma)

Matt, where would you put Jabaal Sheard in terms of pass rushers? Love what I have seen out of him

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

GREAT rookie season. Very good vs. the run too. But as just a pass-rusher, I think he will be an excellent #2 pass rusher if/when the Browns add a stud on the opposite side (like Coples who I mentioned). Not a knock on Sheard at all-very good all around player.

Jeff (Nashville)

Hey MDub - everyone knows Ted Thompson hates free agency, so the best avenue for the Pack to improve the D is through the draft. They drafted like 15 guys last year - do you think it is time to package some picks to get 4-5 good guys who can contribute next year? There aren't a lot of holes on the roster (right?)

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I hear ya. GREAT roster. But...I could argue that they do have holes on the roster. I really think Finley and Wells will be back, but if they lose either that is a problem. But the D does need help, like you mentioned. I really think they need a Cullen Jenkins type DE, which isn't easy to find, to go along with another OLB that can rush the passer and at least one safety. How about a RB with some big play ability? Another CB?

Aggie (TX)

Regarding Anthony Spencer, I know he's just an average pass rusher and very good against the run as a SOLB. If the Cowboys don't franchise him there doesn't seem to be better options in FA + Can't predetermine your draft pick.

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

All fair points. I don't have a rebuttal for that. And I don't know what the exact number would be to Franchise hm, but it sure seems like overspending on what is just an above average player overall. Bad business.

mike in MN (MN)

I know the Vikings won't take RGIII, but would you if you were them?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

No-even though I love RG3. I would target Kahil first and Claiborne second. Both are key positions that are huge needs for Minny.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

What do you think of Brent Grimes? Can Atlanta afford to keep him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

ATL has a lot of money to spend in free agency, but Grimes, Lofton, Beer Man & Abraham are all up as UFAs...and they could try to incorporate more 3-4 this year, which means a NT could be on the wish list. And they could use Safety help-maybe even more CB help if they do bring back Grimes and more edge pass rush if they do bring back Abraham. And they are short on draft picks and their OL needs a lot of help! So this is a CRITICAL free agency period for ATL. Of those defenders I listed though, Grimes is the one I would covet most to bring back. Size limitations, but very good overall cover man.

Jonathan (Kansas)

What do you think the chiefs biggest needs are?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

KC, like ATL, also has a ton of $ to spend-but they rarely do. So first off, they need to fully utilize their resources. And that means keeping two of their own-who will be expensive-in Bowe (Franchise him) and Carr at CB. So lets just say they can get that done. I think they would have a little something to spend. A NT could be the final piece of that D, either in free agency or with a pick like Poe in round 1. On O, they should be in the market for a bigger RB like Hillis or BJGE and a quality RT. Would be nice to get most of this done in free agency and then use a pick in the top two rounds on a QB.

Brian (Fishers, IN)

Are the Chiefs reasonably competitive for a playoff spot next year, esp. if they resign Bowe and Cassel comes back healthy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I just spelled out a LOT for KC. But considering where they draft and how much $ they have to spend, I think what I suggested is quite doable. And then, I would pick them to win the West.

Aggie (TX)

Of the free agent 3-4 DLinemen which ones should Dallas pursue? Considering Cardinals will franchise Campbell. Shaun Ellis, Pouha, Garay, and Solai seem like good options to me.

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Dallas does have some $ to spend. Campbell is far and away the best of that group, when you consider upside and dynamic qualities. Also the most expensive. I like Soliai more than Pouha slightly, but both are excellent pure NTs that would make everyone around them better. Both would be great in Dallas (or KC for that matter). Another name to target is Langford from MIA.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

The iPod is on FIRE today btw...and wow, is it loud in here!

Belanger (Boston)

If its true that Moss can still run a 4.38, should the Patriots sign him? Or is Lloyd or Reggie Wayne a better fit?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I find that hard to believe. He didn't run past anyone two years ago. Wayne isn't a real fit-not a deep guy any more. V Jax would be fantastic. Lloyd seems the most logical. NEng also is a team with a lot to spend.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Rank em! Jacobs, C-Benson, Hillis and Lawfirm...

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

1. Hillis (but I want to make sure that all my RBs are not in that basket) 2. Benson 3. Jacobs 4. BJGE

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Matt - Is Mark Barron still a mid 1st rounder despite the hernia operation?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I very much think so, yes

Aggie (TX)

The Chiefs seem like the perfect fit for Peyton to me.

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Certainly not a bad fit!

Stephan (Oaktown)

Who else do you see the Raiders cutting to get under the cap? Was cutting Routt really the right way to go? I know it saves them money, but they have no corners now! Does this mean they go after Grimes, Finnegan, or Carr?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Those are all great names at CB and you are right, they have nothing at the position-and love to play press man coverage! But how do they afford it? Huge cap problems there now and some really bad contracts. And-oh by the way-they have NO DRAFT PICKS! I really don't have a plan for that!

Thoia (Thoing)

What do you see the Dolphins doing draft and FA-wise? Is Moore an adequate placeholder for a year or two at QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I do think that Moore is. Exactly that-place holder who will do some good things. So, in this case, I don't go insane to get a QB. That might be next off season's project. However, I bet MIA doesn't agree and goes and overspends on Flynn. I hate that they are changing from a 3-4 to a 4-3, which means they prob should let Soliai and Langford walk and they then MUST find a true 4-3 DE and WLB. Still have a FS need as well. On O, they need a speed WR and a RT in a big way. Carey could also leave. Just seems like a ton to get done in one off season, esp considering QB.

Jalky (Dodgeville MI)

If the Rams lose B Lloyd in free agency will the compensatory pick be greater than the fifth rounder they gave up to acquire him? If so, what a steal.

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

My hunch is that they old regime traded for Lloyd with the intentions of Franchising him. Otherwise, why make that deal when the season is already shot? But this regime might not agree with such thinking. I would still Franchise Lloyd, but that is just me. As for comp pick, yes, that should exceed the 5th rounder, but comp picks are given out in regards to each team's total body of work in free agency.

Eric (Paris, Fra)

Biggest need for the Bucs: CB or LB? I would cut Talib, he's not worth the headache!

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Cutting Talib would be a great message from the new coach. Both are huge needs, but I go with CB over LB and even Safety. I am also not sold on their OL, but D has to be the biggest priority. Bad tackling D. But on O, they need speed at RB and WR.

Jalky (Dodgeville MI)

Nick Collins is done, Woodson moves to safety, and Ted Thompson signs Brandon Carr to pair with Williams and Shields. Any problem?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

I am cool with that logic for sure, but can GB get that done without losing Finley and Wells? Carr won't be cheap Bro

Yeamate (Columbus)

Do the Colts cut dwight Freeny and his $19 million contract?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Is it really that high? If so, Wow. Then yes. I think I scrap it all and go young in Indy now.

John (Boston)

Boarding the MW train...express to pigskin knowledge! Matt, where do you fall on the "change needed" vs "build continuity", in general and specific to San Diego retaining both GM Smith and coach Norvbert? Honestly, I'm torn. They've underachieved, but that team is not in position to be blown up. Rock it, MW!

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Excellent points. I have my issues with both guys for sure, but I do think another year is a good call, esp considering Norv's relationship with Rivers. But Smith really deserves some blame here too. That is no longer a high end roster...at all.

Dan (DC)

Any veteran safeties out there that might interest NE?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Pretty weak crop, but Goldson comes to mind for sure. Lowery could be helpful. Pool? Not a wonderful group.

Rob (San Antonio)

Is Casey Hampton a Steeler next season, if not is their NT on the roster?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I don't think Hampton is a Steeler, although he could be one of those guys who gets released, doesn't get any attention (injury) and then returns right before camp at a cheap home town rate. I like McClendon at NT, maybe not as a starter, but he isn't bad at all. Maybe McClendon and a rookie like Poe?

Eric (Paris)

Is Mario really worth the price for the Texans?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Talked about it before, no, I don't think so. Will be SO expensive.

Blueman (Indy)

I know the list of things the Colts need is to long to publish,who on defense do you think could actually play in a 3-4?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

They don't have much to build on for either scheme in Indy. First off, I feel bad for Nevis, who I really like in the old scheme. I really don't see any real good pieces in place for a 3-4. Sorry Bro.

Jalky (Dodgeville MI)

The Bucs just released Fat Albert. Does he get another chance? If so, where?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Could see Haynesworth being the type of Free Agent that gets picked up in training camp if/when a team has a DT injury

Steve (Bristol)

From the reports I've read, the Skins have quite a bit of cap room. What offensive issues do you see them addressing via free agency to get ready for the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

I do think they have a lot to spend. Could be fire works! On D, I think they have to bring back Fletcher and if they could add a starting CB like Routt or Carr, that D might just be complete, which would be fantastic. I would imagine they want RG3 more than anything and frankly, if they are big time players in free agency, maybe they can sell off their entire draft to outbid the Browns for that 2nd overall draft pick. But they need to Franchise Davis at TE, add maybe two OLinemen and I bet they are players for one of these WRs on the market like S Johnson or V Jax for example. Skins could be much improved, but QB is so tough to pull off. Peyton in WASH? Not a real good fit in Shanny's O though.

jack (uk)

Is mccourty the player we saw in his rookie year or the guy we saw last year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Wish I knew. Really. I certainly would not give up on him. A real offseason could do him a ton of good. And his experience at FS could pay off as his eventual landing spot as a fall back plan.

Jalky (Dodgeville MI)

It seems as though the Bucs will have over $60 million in cap room so could you see them going after Carr, Mario, Manningham, or all of them plus more?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Like KC, TBAY does have $, but they have been reluctant to spend it in the past. Will this off season be any different? Who knows. I talked about their needs above. Mario doesn't make sense though. They have plenty on their DL.

Dan (CT)

Michael Griffin a good fit in NE? We need FS help in coverage!

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

He is another name that I should have mentioned. Upgrade for sure, but not a super star.

Aggie (TX)

Rank Grimes, Carr, Finnegan, and Routt please.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Not easy...and I like them all. But I guess I go like this when considering their value as players and with age/upside: 1. Grimes 2. Finnegan 3. Carr 4. Routt....again, close. BTW, just started working on ranking my Top 50 UFAs for ESPN.com...will be up in a week or two I think.

Brian (MA)

They don't make big free agent signings usually, but doesn't Mario to the Pats just make perfect sense? Think about what BB could do with him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Oh I know! No doubt. Mario has shown now that he can play in the 3-4 at OLB or DE in the 4-3 and would most likely do a lot of both in NEng. The Pats do have money. And they have plenty of draft picks to address other needs if they went all in on Williams.

Mike (NY)

How good would J-finley look in a Giants uni?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

NYG doesn't have any $$$ though

Vjax (SD)

How much would Cutler love having a legitimate superstar of a WR? Would he become an elite with me and another upgrade at the position?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Might just need one true #1 type WR. Even someone like S Johnson would go a long way. Floyd in Round 1? V Jackson would be the best. Bowe would be fantastic too. Gotta think that CHI gets this done in some capacity.

Rob (Pittsburgh)

Please tell me why the Steelers continue to bring back William Gay? Two big plays in a season doesn't deserve mention.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Well, CBs are not easy to find and he isn't super expensive. I can live with him as the 3rd CB and they do have some youngsters that look promising.

Scott (Northglenn, Co)

Any chance of Ray Rice, Foster or Forte changing unis? A guy can dream...

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Not gonna happen Scottie Boy!

Turtle (Wyoming)

Matt? Does RGIII remind you of Rodney Peete or Andre Ware...? Wouldn't the Browns be better off in the long run to draft Blackmon at #4 and take Tannehill at #22...?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I mentioned Coples and Richardson for CLEV at #4 too and getting RG3 will take moving up to

Chad (NO)

Carl Nicks plays (enter team here) next season

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Hmmm...how about Washington?

Tom (cali)

do you see the Niners going after a big name FA WR or taking one in the first round?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

They really need to. Have some $ to spend, but A Smith is going to take up a large portion of that. Would love to bring back Goldson too I would think. But WR is the biggest need-one with speed. I would bet on the draft.

Steve (Bristol)

As a scout, what do you think of RG3? Is he worth going all in on if you are the Skins?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Yes. You can't overpay for a Franchise QB. I think RG3 is a Franchise QB. And like I said, they have a ton to spend in free agency to add pieces that way while putting together a massive package of draft picks for the Rams.

Aggie (TX)

Should the Cowboys pursue Nicks at OG, or either Scott Wells or Chris Myers for OC?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

All would be great additions. Not sure how HOUS and GBAY can let those two OCs leave though.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Everyone, that is a wrap! GREAT chat today. Free agency talk is one of my favs! Drop me a line on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL to continue that convo!