Hi everyone. Let's get to this...
Stafford should have been in the Pro Bowl and the NFL is a joke.
Thank you for your weekly affirmation.
Kevin would you please give Martin Mayhew a call and tell him to pick the best available O-lineman in the first round.
I'll just tell him when I see him at the combine this week. My guess is he will pick the best player available, as he's done each time he's had a first-round pick. But at No. 23, it's quite possible that an offensive lineman could be that person.
Will jasper brinkley be the starting mlb 4 the vikings in 2012?
That would be a risk, considering he was a special-teams player in 2010 and didn't play at all in 2011. But you would have to think the Vikings are giving serious consideration to that.
With the start of NASCAR season right around the corner, what player out of the NFC North would you think would make the best professional stock car driver?
Is this a trick question to engender an Ndamukong Suh joke?
Let's say the Rams take Kalil at 2, do the Vikes trade back and if so, where to?
If that's the case, they're in the driver's seat for the race to draft RG3. So I think there would be a high possibility of a trade in that scenario. Otherwise, the Browns get him at No. 4. So if a team wants him, they'll need to trade above the Browns. Or the Browns might need to move up to block that scenario.
Keep hearing the Lions might franchise Avril. Do you agree with that, and how would they do it? Are they going to have to cut KVB? You'd think he wouldn't want to take a big pay cut to stay in Detroit, as he could make something close to his current contract if he went out into the open market.
There are lots of salary cap tricks the could do to create enough room. They could restructure KVB, borrow cap space from future years or, most efficiently, get Calvin Johnson signed to a deal that lowers his 2012 cap number.
It looks like Scott Wells may leave Green Bay. What sort of contract will he command, and what will the Packers do to replace him?
I know Bob McGinn wrote that in a column today, but there is a lot of negotiating left to do between now and March 13. I wouldn't assume it's over for Wells quite yet, and McGinn allowed for the possibility of a turn in negotiations. I would guess Evan Dietrich-Smith would be next man up if Wells leaves.
Hi Kevin: any chance the Vikings go for Cortland Finnegan, Brandon Carr or Corey Graham? I'd think beefing up the secondary prior to the draft would help the team focus on other needs.
I think they'll go after at least one free agent cornerback. Given the number of holes they have to fill, they'll need to use every avenue available to them.
Kevin, with the compensatory selections getting ready to be announced what round(s) picks do you think the Vikings will get for Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards? It would be nice to see at least a fourth rounder for one of them.
It's possible they'll get two fourths, from what I've heard.
Why don't the lions just tag Cliff Avril with a 1st round tender? Then go out and get a corner that can cover someone.
Because he's not a restricted free agent. As an unrestricted free agent, their only tool to limit movement is the franchise tag.
Who in your opinion has a better chance to make a strong third party run this election year, the Whigs or the Bull Moose Party?
I'm a big Federalist guy.
As a Bears fan I was excited about the possibility of them getting Floyd as a WR in the draft. I now doubt he will be available when the Bears pick. Do you feel the Bears should go after a guy like McNutt in the draft to cover their tracks some if they fail in the FA market at picking up a WR?
First off, I would be surprised if they don't come out of free agency with at least one veteran receiver. It's tough for rookie receivers to be ready to contribute right away. It's also way too early to know whether Floyd will be there at No. 19. But I could see them getting multiple receivers in multiple venues, both free agency and the draft.
Is TT on the hot seat if GB does not win a SB this year?
HA. No, I don't think so. I wouldn't say he has a lifetime contract, but it's far more likely that he'll dictate the terms of his departure than do the Packers.
Kevin, are you at the combine covering it?
I will be traveling Wednesday and will be there Thursday morning for the first round of media access.
Kevin, are you headed to any portion of the combine this year? Which positions are you most interested in watching whether it be in person or on tv?
For the most part, workouts are closed to the media. We see them on TV the same way you do. The primary value for being there is interaction and interview opportunities with the players, as well as general managers and coaches.
Will Steve Hutchinson be cut, or just asked to restructure? Guy can still play, but he is 35.
If I had to guess, he'll be asked to restructure. He can still play and could be an important role model for the next round of offensive linemen the Vikings want to build around.
What are the chances of GB giving Driver a new contract to keep him until he retires, it would be a shame to see him part ways with the organization
I would say it's 50-50. It sounds like he'll take a paycut if it means staying there, but it's quite possible the Packers will just want to move on entirely so they can open up more playing time for James Jones and Randall Cobb.
If they let Wells go, they will regret it big time
It'll be a tough loss. Not every team values the center position, though.
Why did you knock me out and lock me in the basement! You're not the real me! How did you log into my blog and why aren't you posting stadium updates!
Oh, the stadium updates are coming. They're most definitely coming.
Could you see Charles Woodson as an effective safety? With Collins uncertain return how much of the draft is looking at secondary versus the pass rush?
There is every reason to think Woodson could be a first-rate safety. He can still run and hit, and his coverage skills would be excellent relative to the position. They would have to feel good about the cornerbacks remaining, and I'm not sure we can say that about Sam Shields, at least based on last season. But the best way to help out young cover guys is to get heat on the quarterback. Not even Woodson can cover receivers when the quarterback has as much time as he needs.
Kevin, with Young and Jackson around... the Lions can afford to let Avril become an overpaid 3-4 OLB right?
I've wondered the same. But if the reports are true that the Lions will franchise him if they can't get a deal done, I'm guessing the Lions don't agree. They would know Young and Jackson better than any of us.
Kevin, what role do you envision Corey Wootton having foth e Bears next year? Does Chicago still see him as a potential starter, or has he fallen out of favor?
They appeared to have little confidence in him last year. Israel Idonije played 85 percent of the defensive snaps last year. You would think the Bears would have gotten Wootton in there more often if they could have.
for the uninitiated, would you give a quick overveiw of how the restricted/unrestricted FA system works?
The shortest version possible: If you have 3 years experience, you're an RFA and it basically means you're not going anywhere. If you have four or more years of experience, and your contract has expired, you're a UFA and free to sign with anyone unless you are franchised or transition tagged.
How do you see Emery approaching his 1st draft in Chicago? Does he go with a best player available approach, or draft specifically for need in the early rounds?
That's a mystery given it's his first draft, but if he stays true to his scouting background, he won't draft for need.
Even though its not Ted Thompson's MO... given their limited cap room is their a pass rusher the Packers could forseeably sign?
I keep wondering if Cliff Avril would be an interesting 3-4 linebacker, but that's just me rumor-mongering and stirring it up.
Are the Vikes a few players away from contending or will it be a long road?
More the latter. Lots of questions to answer.
Kevin, are you really going to the combine? If you meet a guy named Doug he's my cousin. I told him to look for you. :)
Yes, I am really truly going. It'll be a party!
Where's Randy going to sign, I'm gettin' the itch again...
You want to play in the Indoor League too?
Why won't Thompson give me the money I deserve? Does he not like me anymore? Is it because I look fat? I told him the gold adds 10 pounds! Help!
Maybe he questions whether you would get what you're asking for on the open market.
Psst: Come bug me at the combine 9 - noon. I will be broadcasting there!!! Will that violate KSTP rules?
I'm sorry. Do I know you?
Just curious at to what GB's cap situation and/or number is for this upcoming season if you know off hand. Reasonable money to work with I'd think if Flynn, Wells, etc are gone? Thanks.
They'll have around $10 million or so, before they make any cuts or restructure anyone's contracts. It's enough to do Finley as a franchise player and sign Wells to a reasonable deal. I don't think they'll have an option to franchise Flynn, but stranger things have happened.
Easier player to replace: Wells or Finley?
That's a good Have at It question. Maybe we'll hit that! Finley is generally considered more important because of his age, but Wells has gotten better every year in his NFL career.
Do the Bears have a legit chance of landing V Jax, Brandon Marshal via trade, or Colston? I know he prob wants to go with Manning but if we could get one of those guys plus an older Reggie Wayne... the Bears could then address their other needs through the draft.
I think they have a chance to get one of the many big receivers that are available. A Marshall trade could be tough, though. Why would Miami give him up?
is leslie frazier on the hot seat after he let AP play and then he tore his ACL & MCL?
I think he's on the hot seat because he went 3-13 last year, but I really don't think he deserves criticism for playing Peterson. He was medically cleared to play. Tanking games at the end of a lost season isn't a smart move.
What happens to Johnson if we pick up Kalil and will this impact Loadholt in anyway?
The speculation is that he would be moved to one of the guard positions.
How many of your fellow bloggers/columnists will also be at the combine?
We will let them reveal their intentions on their own, but I'm thinking it'll be about half of us.
Looks like a good chance that the Packers lose Flynn this year. Do you see them drafting a QB in the middle rounds? How comfortable are they with Harrell as their potential #2 QB?
I wouldn't be surprised if they draft a quarterback, but I do think their first choice will be Harrell as Aaron Rodgers' backup. They wouldn't have promoted him to the active roster when other teams came calling if they didn't have plans for him.
Is there a realistic chance the Vikes will draft RG3?
What does my answer need to be in order to become your best friend?
Kev, what is the status of Jeremy Bates and his title as "QB coach" or "Passing game coordinator"? Has there been any decision as to whether he will be Tice's right hand man or are the Bears still looking into bringing in somebody else?
They are not bringing in anyone else as far as I know, and he is not the "passing game coordinator." I think that was a title the Bears threw out publicly to attract candidates, but in the end they didn't need to give it to Bates, who didn't work in football last year.
AP is planning on running relatively soon. Does this mean he's still on track and will make it back by the first quarter of the regular season?
Still too early to know. To me, it's not whether he gets medically cleared to play in Week 1. It's how effective he can be and if there is anything he lost long-term as a result of this injury. He'll be out there early in 2012, I'm betting. How effective will he be? That's less clear.
Kevin, how likely is it that the Lions manage to resign both Avril and Tulloch without hurting themselves against the cap in the future?
Some of it will depend on whether they get Calvin re-signed with a lower cap number. But there are no free rides in the cap. If they squeeze all of those guys in, it will limit future moves.
Do you see any merit to the proposition that the Bears and Giants swap Briggs and Umenyiora in a trade?
Has that been rumored? Or is that your idea? Either way, it would be an exchange of two aging but still effective players who want to be paid more than their teams think they are worth. I like the idea of using Osi in a part-time role, if he's willing to be paid that way.
Does Forte get a new deal or the franchise tag?
It seems that the franchise tag is a far likelier outcome.
On behalf of all non-Vikings fans (ie 98% of the people in this chat), can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE not talk about their stadium anymore?
Stadium issues aren't traditional football stories, but they are as important as they get. If the Vikings don't solve theirs, they'll eventually move. We'll follow it accordingly.
Kevin. Lions franchising Avril is smart. No bidding war. The last two people the Lions franchised they got deals done in July. That's how they roll.
The only risk is if the move alienates the player into just sitting tight end not doing a long-term deal. But the player can't win that fight. He can get franchised next year, too.
With the cap situation the way it is, do you see the Lions approaching the draft any differently this year?
No. It just means they probably won't be too active on the free agent market, at least in terms of signing players from other teams.
favorite yogurt flavor. go.
Vanilla. There's a joke in there somewhere...
does GB + mario williams = as close to a sure superbowl as possible?
I'll go with this equation: GB + mario williams = fantasy land.
is their any reason to be optimistic that the vikings could actually get a deal done for a new stadium?
They've gotten further than they ever have. Now it's up to the state legislature and the Minneapolis city council.
Does Chicago go after Mario Williams or is that also fantasy land?
It would be a lot of cap space devoted to defensive ends, when you consider Peppers as well. But man, that would be fun, wouldn't it?
It's nice to have someone well respected and well rounded answer our questions.What did you think of Jay Cutler saying he would like 6'2 Wideouts? Pretty blunt?
Why thank you... I thought he was just being honest. The Bears' receivers all kind of look the same, assuming Roy Williams isn't one of them anymore. Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester are all 6-feet or shorter. There are certain passes they are less equipped to catch.
Any chance Suh restructures his deal like Calvin and Stafford did last year to help the Lion's cap situation?
Sure, but remember, restructuring just pushes the issue into the future. He was the No. 2 pick in the draft. There is no avoiding big cap numbers for him.
Do you see 2012 as the year that Urlacher really falls off due to age?
People have been saying that for a while. Other than the knee sprain, he got out of the season pretty healthy. But that said, the Bears have to start planning for his eventual departure.
I think Briggs played pretty well last season and I dont see him backing off on his contract demands from last season. In the event that the Bears do not give him a new deal, what type of draft pick do you think the Bears could get if they traded him?
Given his age, and the fact that he would want a new deal, I'm thinking a third-round pick would be an awfully nice result.
Is there any truth to the Lions looking at Cortland Finnegan with them being so close to the salary cap?
People are making that connection because of the Titans and Jim Schwartz, but it's hard to see it happening from a cap perspective.
Brandon Carr is from Michigan and his family lives there. Do the Lions have a shot at him?
See the Finnegan answer. Cap issues.
Urlacher's eventual departure? Weren't we all talking extension a couple months ago? Does this get done (and lower the $7.5 million salary looming)?
Departure as in a few years. But that doesn't mean the Bears can't start setting up their succession plan.
Kevin, is J'Marcus Webb still a Starting left tackle this season or Do we go after A fresh set of legs in the draft. (hopefully a set that can move their feet)
And doesn't commit false starts.... With Tice's promotion to offensive coordinator, it's hard to see the Bears making a change there.
You like the Osi and Briggs trade?What about Marshall and Briggs trade? I like this one more.
Ohhh, maybe we'll throw that in too.
Do you have any prediction or idea on what will happen to Chris Cook in court? how long of sentance is he likely to get? (if he does get one)
No clue. But it sounds like the only way he won't be back with the Vikings is if he's incarcerated during the season.
If you had to compare the Lions cap situation to a hypothetical after-life destination, what would you pick?
Upper body in purgatory. Lower body, uh, lower.
Who would be a more attractive prospect for the Bears: Osi or Brandon Marshall?
I'm thinking Marshall would have a bigger impact. Osi is moving into a part-time portion of his career. Marshall and Cutler could make a lot of noise.
OK folks, a few more here.
New stadium better be outside! We would all love to watch those games come November.
It will at least have to have a retractable roof. The state won't pay for a stadium that can't be used for other stuff.
Would there be any way Chicago would be interested in Mike Wallace for their 1st round pick? Doesn't seem like a horribly bad fit.
Wallace for the No. 19 overall pick? If that's the only compensation, it's definitely worth the consideration.
More of a Wisconsin/Combine question as opposed to NFCNorris, but do you think Russel Wilson has the tools to be a starting NFL QB?
He seems to have an NFL arm, but he won't be a combine star because of his height, etc. But he's generating a fair amount of initial interest.
Who's backing up Forte next year?
Either Bell or someone they draft, I would think.
Kevin, what can you tell us about the Bears' plans for JT Thomas? Do they see him as an eventual successor to Briggs or Urlacher? Or just a special teams guy/backup? Does his recent arrest change this at all?
I don't think the arrest changes anything, but I've not heard anything to suggest he is a possible starter.
who are the #2 QBs going to be for the Packers/Vikings/Bears?
Harrell, Webb and a free agent TBA.
Kevin- what is the meaning to life?
Ok everyone, on that note, thanks so much!