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February 22, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the chat. Sorry for running a few minutes late. It's been a busy day in the AFC North.

Sam (San Francisco)

With the Steelers needing to shed salary, do you think it's possible that some team snags Mike Wallace? As a 49ers fan, I'd much rather have Wallace than the 30th pick, but I'm not sure my team would take that plunge.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

Sam: I feel that it's a 50 percent chance that the Steelers will lose Wallace if they place the first-round tender on him. I see the Patriots and 49ers as the teams most likely to pursue him.

Peter (New York)

who would you rather take. RG3 or luck

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Peter: No question, it's Luck. He's the more polished quarterback at this point and the much safer pick.

Josh (Cincy, OH)

I noticed on ESPN rumors only Redskins and Cowboys are linked to Carl Nicks. I know Bengals usually don't spend the money, but with only 2 guards under contract, I'm surprised the Bengals aren't linked to Carl Nicks or even Ben grubbs. Thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

Josh: I could see Grubbs more than Nicks for the Bengals. Like you said, Cincinnati has a history of not going after the most expensive players in free agency.

cp (reno)

Pittsburg front office is not going to chance letting a star in his prime walk away right??

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

cp: They might not have a choice because of their cap situation. Not saying he's a lock to leave. But there is concern that he will.

Craig (Philadelphia)

Do you think all of this offseason drama for the Steelers will affect them during the season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

Craig: Not at all. In fact, the Steelers tend to do better when the expectations aren't as high. As long as Roethlisberger is healthy, the Steelers will contend.

Matt (Baltimore)

The Ravens making a play for Mike Wallace seems to be a complete no brainer - they can severely hamper the Steelers' offense and at the same time get the deep threat WR they have needed for 4 years now. The question is can they realistically afford Wallace and his potential new contract?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

Matt: It's not a "no brainer" for the Ravens. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome doesn't like to go after restricted free agents because you have to give up a draft pick and then sign them to a big-money deal. Newsome has never given up a first-round pick in a player trade before.

Brad (Berkeley, CA)

Hopefully this question gets to you before the chat given the problems with the site today. Thanks for putting up with us JH. Did the new CBA do away with the first and third round tender? It could be a compromise for the Wallace situation, though it might not scare off all the teams interested in him.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Brad: Yes it did. In the past, teams could protect RFAs more with that tender that required other teams to give up first- and third-round picks. If that rule was in place now, the Steelers wouldn't have anything to worry about.

Craig (Philadelphia)

When do you see the Bengals fully maturing to take over the AFC North? I think they are 1 player away from turning the team around - they just need a running back

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

Craig: The Bengals need more than a running back. They have to get a reliable No. 2 WR, upgrade at both guard positions, address depth at cornerback and retain a couple of key defensive linemen. I agree that the future is bright for the Bengals. But there is still plenty of work to do before they challenge the Ravens and Steelers.

Caleb (Ohio )

If you were the Browns, would you want Blackmon and Tannehill or RG3 and the best available player at 22?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

Caleb: I think the choice is either Blackmon/Tannehill or RG3? I don't see the Browns having two first-rounders if they want to draft RG3. Under that scenario, I like getting two impact players over just one.

Greg (NJ)

Do you think the Browns should address WR in Free agency, early in the draft, or both?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

Greg: The Browns have to do so in both. As I wrote in my column earlier this week, I like Pierre Garcon for the Browns over Mario Manningham. If they can get speed with Garcon, they should go for size with Blackmon in the first round.

Anthony (Cleveland)

There seems to be plenty of free agent WR's and a few nice RB's this year, but are there any quality safeties that the Bengals have a chance to pick up this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Anthony: Honestly, I haven't analyzed the safety free-agent class as much as the RBs and WRs. I do know that Reggie Nelson is one of the top free agents that the Bengals want to keep. He has been a pleasant surprise at safety.

Greg (va)

when should we expect the nfl preseason schedule out so we can plan our summer!?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

Some of the preseason games get announced at the owners meetings at the end of March. The regular-season one is in April. I have to say that I never thought I would get a question about the preseason schedule.

CT-Raven Fan (Connecticut)

Salary cap aside for one minute, are the Ravens better off drafting a center or trying to resign Gurode (who was a pro bowl center after all)? Factoring in the salary cap, rookie or Gurode? I think they're done with Birk even if he wants to come back.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

I believe the Ravens are moving on from Birk, who has been one of the top character guys in league. I see the Ravens re-signing Gurode which would allow the Ravens to bring along a rookie center slowly.

Dan (Cleveland, Ohio)

As a Browns fan I love the idea of drafting RG3 if he falls to 4. I hate the idea of trading up for him though. I think we have way to many holes that need to be filled. If we trade up for him he will be in the same position as Colt McCoy was last year. Running for his life, throwing passes that hit WR in the chest and they drop. (not really a question but a comment)

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

RG3's athleticism and arm strength gives him a better shot at succeeding in the NFL than McCoy.

Billy (Missouri) (Missouri)

What do you think are the most realistic free agents the Bengals will sign? And who do you think they're going to resign?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

Billy: I think the Bengals should go after RB Michael Bush, WR Robert Meachem and G Ben Grubbs in free agency. They would want to retain K Mike Nugent, S Reggie Nelson and DE Frostee Rucker.

Michael (Cincinnati)

All this Browns/RGIII talk has me wondering: Do the Browns mold an offense around a guy like RGIII or ask him to conform to the West Coast? Holmgren is a man with plenty of self confidence if you know what I mean Jamison.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Michael: If the Browns draft RG3, they can't be stubborn about sticking with their system. The only way RG3 succeeds is if the Browns tailor the offense around him. You can say that for any successful quarterback. I just don't see RG3 as a quarterback who will thrive in a West Coast system. That's more Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M.

Steve (NY)

Is Mario Manningham a good fit for the Ravens?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

Steve: I think Manningham's Super Bowl performance will drive his price up. The Ravens typically don't overpay for free agents. When they do (cornerback Domonique Foxworth), it hasn't worked out.

eric (baltimore)

Ravens are going to look for a young WR in FA like Garcon to grow with Flacco over a 1 yr band aid like Wayne, right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

Eric: I don't see Wayne as a one-year band aid. I can see him lasting for another three seasons. Boldin might be in his final year with the Ravens. That's why I see a veteran receiver like Wayne as a good fit for the Ravens.

curious (DC)

any word on whether Ed Reed is coming back?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

Nothing official. But I would be shocked if Reed retired.

matt (cleveland)

Chances browns go after wallace from pittsburgh?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

Don't see it because you need a lot of cap room to give him a front-loaded contract to pry him away from Pittsburgh. The Browns just don't have that space.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

Actually, I should clarify. The Browns wouldn't have that space after putting the franchise tag on D'Qwell Jackson.

TheLoneVillian (DaVille)

Any chance Rams fall in love with RG III and put Sam Bradford on the block? RGII>Bradford? Should Browns go after Bradford if that happened?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

I think the Rams are still very high on Bradford even after last season. Don't see them trading him. They know what they have with Bradford. RG3 is more of an unknown.

Nathan (DC)

Steelers moving on without Hines Ward?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:31 PM)

I believe so. They need all the cap room they can get. Ward would create some space when he's cut.

JimBeau (Left Coast)

Hi Jamison, thanks for the chat.So we're going into year 3 of the current regime, and the natives are restless. The FO in commited to WCO and has said they will bring in competition for Colt for the starting QB spot. But the FA class either doen't look much better (Orton), hasn't experience in the WCO (Campbell) or has minimum exposure (Flynn). The draft has lots of prospects, but most played from the spread and would have a significant learning curve a.) for the pro game and b.) to pick up the WCO. RGIII will almost certainly have a nice-to-great career, but it may take awhile to get there.Pick one of each: best FA to sign who could reasonably improve on Colt in the WCO; one QB to draft that either has the WCO experience, or at least pro-style offense experience, and might be able to step in at some point year one (Tannehill? Wheedon? Linsey?). Thanks for the input.

EM (DC)

better fit for the ravens--wallace or wayne? and who's more likely?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

I would say Wallace would deliver more big plays, but Wayne is more realistic.

Brian (Dover)

How likely is it that Pittsburgh creatively restructures more contracts to franchise Wallace?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

There is a chance but it will take more than restructuring Roethlisberger, Harrison, etc. Cuts have to be made as well. I believe it is workable, but it would handcuff the Steelers in free agency.

Caleb (Washington (the state))

How much longer til Ray Lewis retires. As a Steeler fan, I would relish the idea of not having to cringe every time a receiver goes across the middle :)

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:36 PM)

This could be Ray Lewis' final season. He hinted that he didn't want to play past 37. And he turns 37 in May.

Striker (Baltimore)

What do you think the chances of the Ravens holding on to Lee Evans

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:36 PM)

About the same chances of Evans holding onto the ball in the end zone.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks for all the great questions. I wish I could answer them all but I have to get back to blogging. Suggs ripped Tebow again, so it's time to address that. Hope everyone has a great week.