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March 14, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

What's shakin' Sportsnation? SO much to discuss-let's dig right in

Dr. Lecter (??????)

The Bucs are getting pretty serious by signing V-Jax and Carl Nicks. Which signing stands out the most to you, and who are your under tge radar guys? Want to meet for a glass of chianti later?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

A fine chianti? TBay is obviously the big winner/spender. No question. However, 3 of the 4 guys they have signed have had some questionable off the field behavior in the past-which is exactly what the team with the youngest roster that has plenty of such fellas should be avoiding. Still...tons of serious talent added to Bucs' roster and sets them up to take the best player available at #5 overall, which could be Richardson or Claiborne. Now Fly fly fly Agent Starling.

Brent (Fraser)

Is there anyway that the packers will make a big move in freeagentcy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

I hear they are very interested in C Myers and that would be an upgrade at center, while also getting younger. But they really need pass rushers.

Luke (Waterdown, Ontario)

Who was your most highly scouted CFL'er? Did he ever make the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

Didn't put a ton of time into my CFL Scouting responsibilities while with the Browns, but I do still have the presentation that I wrote on the guys I thought could help our squad. At the top of my list? Wake, Cameron...he worked out pretty well in the NFL if I say so myself.

Blueman (Indy)

Just finished your article on the Bears needing a DE.Would they consider trading for Dwight Freeney?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Have considered that for sure, as I think the ideal situation for CHI on DDay is to just take the best OL available. I really liked Mincey or CHI, but that isn't happening now. But how effective would Freeney be on the poor CHI field conditions? MUCH different than what he is used to. Not saying he wouldn't be effective, but for what he costs, I would be hesitant. Same goes for J Abraham.

LJ (NY)

Saints fan here, losing Carl Nicks surely will hurt, but how does Grubbs compare to Nicks if they'd be able to sign him to replace Nicks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

If Nicks is an A OG, which he surely is and might actually be the best OG in the NFL, then Grubbs is a B-. Above average starter. A lot of ability. I would say a very slight underachiever after being drafted in the 1st round. Cincy should be all over Grubbs as well.

NR (Columbia, MD)

Are you guys doing a Football Today podcast? And can you tell Pod to stop being a Patriots homer and quit pushing for Prop 18?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Taping the podcast at 11:00 EST on Thursday-wil be a whopper. Andrew Brandt is stopping in to talk NFL finances and Ross and I will crush all the UFA moves. Also, if you are not already-what is wrong with you?-but Follow me on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL...have been EXTREMELY active there this week!

Person (DC)

better signing: Garcon for 5/21/42 (yr/guar./total) or Morgan for 2/7/12? I'm thinking it's Morgan...

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Me too, but Garcon is the better deep threat and has more upside to go along with more ability to beat one on one coverage. Your point is valid though, but Morgan isn't a difference maker. Garcon, who came from a tiny college, could be and has gotten noticeably better each season. Fits Shanny's scheme really well too, esp with RG3's deep passing skills.

Adam (Jersey)

As much as I love the Nicks and Jackson signings, I will not sleep easily until Trueblood is replaced...

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Oh I hear ya...terrible. That could come through the draft though.

Jeff (Nashville)

Are there any pass rushers out there for a 3-4 team besides Mario?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

K Wimbley...no question

John (Buffalo,NY)

If the Bills are fortunate to land Mario Williams? Do you think the D-line of Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Kyle Williams, Shawne Merriman will be one of the best in the NFL?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

It sure does feel like they are being set up, doesn't it? Mario hangs in BUFF for a few days-gets a giant contract. Goes to TENN/CHI/NENG and asks them to match the deal-they do. He signs it. I love the Bills' DTs, but have zero faith in Merriman, who I am shocked has not been released. How about a DL of Mario (yeah, right), Williams, Dareus and Ingram in Round 1? Oh Baby

john f (ks)

If you were the 49ers GM would you sign Randy Moss?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Even though A Smith is a poor deep passer, that home run element was very much needed in this O to get bodies away from the LOS. And Moss should be great in the red zone. But this is a low risk deal. If he doesn't work out-cut him. I like the move.

Janet (Indy)

Best fit for Dallas Clark right now and will injury concerns be the biggest drawback from him getting big cash?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

That has to be his biggest drawback. But if Manning ends up in DEN, I see Clark going with him. How about CHI?

dj (Western, NY)

Do you see the Browns making a play for a qb in fa or high in the draft for a qb like Weeden or

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

I don't know what they are doing/thinking. I crushed the Browns for not having the stones to land RG3 despite having more assets than WASH. Now they are supposedly not interested in Flynn, who I don't love, but would be a massive upgrade. Tannehill is all that is left as potential Franchise guys...and I wouldn't take him at #4. Maybe you trade down a bit. But in the end, I bet they settle for Weeden with that early 2nd rounder and they win 5 games next year. Blah

Stephen (Idaho )

After losing Marshall, do you see the Dolphins rebuilding the offense with Tannenhill and some WRs with those picks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

I see Flynn ending up in MIA or SEA now. But considering the state of MIA's roster, it might be time to totally change directions and rebuild, either with Flynn or Tannehill.

Rod (Sactown, CA)

any chance the Raiders do ANYTHING in Free agency? we created some holes we might not be able to fill so easily with the cuts we made...but i do think the cuts were neccessary

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Really worried about the Raiders, esp because they have no draft picks to fall back on. CB is a huge problem right now. I don't love their LBs or edge pass rushers either. The OL still needs work and I am not sold on Palmer totally. But they will need to sign cheap guys-prob some one year deals.

Caz (Dallas)

How do you see the Cowboys' courting of Brandon Carr?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

I bet he ends up in Big D...good move for player and team. Cowboys need CB so badly.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Better fit for Broncos - Mike Bush or Tolbert?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

I think Bush in the better player, but I like both. Also like Hillis/Tolbert to KC.

Stephen (Idaho )

Were you surprised Carlos Rogers returned to SF and how dangerous will they be with all defensive starters returning?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

It is great to see the 49ers D come back intact-& they could add more help through the draft to some degree. And if you are Rogers, why wouldn't you want to play there? Great place to be a CB! Prob best D in the league now.

Leland (Denver City, TX)

I'm not hearing anything out of SD. Please tell me its b/c they are keeping it quiet :)

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

That is frightening. That team is loaded with holes. They did sign Meachem, who I like a lot there, but he will still be a downgrade from V Jax. Gaither is a guy they need to lock up. They need a little bit of everything. Wimbley should be attractive to them as well.

Shane (Robins Air Force Base, GA)

If YOU were Peyton Manning, where would you sign and why (all things considered: Division, weather, money, coaching, personnel)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

1. SF 2. KC...but it doesn't sound like either of those things are happening/available. I would pick Zona over Denver and Miami though.

Hanson (QTown)

Why are the Falcons being so quiet thus far????

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

That is rather surprising. They could be laying in the weeds for Mario....

Awayne (Indy)

Did Jason Cambell settle for a backup job or was there no chance of him signing with a team that he at least could compete for a starter job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

I don't know his reasoning, but it seemed like a very complacent move to me. Why not go to Jets/Jags/Seahawks and try to start? The Bears very much need an above average backup, but still...

Kirby (Glendale,CA)

Who should the Browns use their pick on, Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Either of those two is cool with me, but again, I am now worried that they will have to use that 4th pick (either at 4 or trading down) to land Tannehill.

J.B. (PA)

The Vikings have a lot of cap space. Do you think they plan on using it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

It is about time they did! I know Carlson interests them. How about signing a guy like Manningham? I would bring back Erin Henderson as well. And that secondary is amongst the worst in the NFL.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Just read Chargers signed Gaither.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Nice. Thanks. A move that needed to happen, as I mentioned before.

NR (Columbia, MD)

After Brandon Carr, who is the best CB left in free agency?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Prob T Porter, who is an above average starting CB

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

More likely to disappoint after signing a lucrative contract - Mario Manningham or L-Rob?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Both are frightening. Robinson is so slightly built and has had so many injuries...he scares me more for that reason.

Awayne (Indy)

Do you see Gary Brackett catching on as maybe a nickle LB,or is he pretty much done?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Could see him as a late signing to a contender or to a team that loses a ILB to injury.

Kyle (St Louis)

Any idea who the rams are targeting? We need to get Bradford some weapons for once!

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

If the Rams stay at 6, I think they land Blackmon or Richardson-both are cool with me. Worst case might be Claiborne, who is great value at that pick and could be a stud opposite Finnegan. But you are right. They might need two OL starters to go along with a go-to WR. But Rome wasn't built in a day and the Rams have a ton of picks to use over the next few years and Fisher isn't going anywhere.

Nick (Dayton OH )

Matt no love for the Bengals.. Help us out we need to spend the money but Mike Brown thinks he can keep for him self what gives?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I have been killing the Bengals on Twitter. They have a TON to spend and two first round picks. They are close now-go get some difference makers!!!!

Tim (La Mesa)

Do you like SD giving Gaither a long term deal? Seems like a risky move they made to resign him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Gaither is about as risky as it gets, but he can be great. He held the cards in this game though.

Sean (NJ)

Now that Marshall is gone did you hear any news who the Dolphins are targeting to replace him? Is it in the draft or is there still a #1 WR in FA to look over that is interested?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

The Dolphins WR situation is even more dire than their QB situation...deep draft, but still...yuck

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, are you killing the Vikings on Twitter as well???

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I haven't been, but I might need to start ASAP

Will (UK)

Where do Hawthorne/ Tulloch end up? Surprised they have not been signed yet.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

DET just freed up a lot of cap space with Calvin J's new monster deal...I think that eventually gets Tulloch signed. Hawthorne could end up anywhere really-fits just about every scheme. Would like to see him return to SEA though-keep that improving D in tact and draft a pass rusher in the top 2 rounds.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Have to think the Redskins will look to trade Moss and/or Gaffney, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Not Gaffney. He is a Shanny favorite and really knows the scheme well. As for Moss, might have to release him. Not sure teams will be banging down WASH's door to acquire him.

Don (Chicago)

Why the signing of Weems for the Bears? With Marshall in at WR I would of thought Hester would be back as full time KR/PR.

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Good point and I don't have a great response for you....didn't think that one all the way through until just now. Maybe Hester is on the trading block?

Stephen (Idaho )

No moves yet by the Pats.. Who do you see them targeting?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Really wonder if they are putting together an offer for Wallace. I do think they add either Wallace or Lloyd. But that O wasn't too shabby last year! They need D

steve (dallas, tx)

What should the Panthers do to make the playoffs next season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

They don't have any $$$, but they do get guys like Beason back. If they can draft a stud DT, it would go a very long way for now and down the road.

Jeff (Harrisburg, Pa)

With all talent KC has (you seem to agree with me on this) what could happen that Peyton wouldnt even visit kc? Pioli's rep? Does Peyton hate BBQ ribs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

That one never added up to me. KC has a ton of $ to spend and a high draft pick too. The only thing I read on this-and I have no idea if it is true-is that Manning's agent doesn't get along with Pioli...but that seems kinda silly. I would have put KC right near the top of the AFC with Manning.

ak (chicago)

makes some sense to dangle hester for a trade? how much higher can his value actually get?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Yeah, I hear ya. Get some picks back that they lost in the Marshall deal. I just threw that out on Twitter too. I bet a lot of NFL teams would take Hester.

J.B. (PA)

Let's for fun say that Hester was on the trading block. What could the Bears reasonably expect in return for a KR/PR specialist?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Not positive on this, but I do think he makes a lot of $$$, which brings his trade value down. But I think one of those 3rds they sent to Miami would be fair.

Ric (Kansas)

Sooooo.....chiefs will continue to be an 8-8 or worse team based on Cassel leading the way?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Maybe 9-7. Assuming Manning is out of the picture, I am very aggressive to land Winston and a NT like Soliai...and they have the bucks. Then, put a package together on DDay to move up for Tannehill. Also could add Hillis or Tolbert in the process.

Mike (Brooklyn)

Thoughts on the Terrell Thomas contract?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Just wrote something on him for the .com. Risky, but he should compete well with Prince-the loser is a strong nickel CB

Aaron (Cincinnati)

The Bengals have the most cap room in the NFL and...crickets....nothing....Luckily for me, Mike Brown has never fooled me into thinking he cares about winning, even a little.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Well said

Rob (Pittsburgh)

IS Hillis to Pittsburgh even a possibility?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Doesn't seem like their personality type. But I think the Steelers add a RB like Hillis/Tolbert/Kev Smith a few weeks from now once the price comes down a little.

Marc (Malden, MA)

So the Redskins spent $54M on Garcon/Morgan instead of $55M on Jackson. Please tell why I shouldn't be pi##ed off.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I feel ya.

Jeff (Nashville)

Seifert just posted on the blog that Hester is due a $10 mill roster bonus this year...steep for just a KR/PR

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Maybe he is going to be shown the door...use that $ on Mario

Stephen (Idaho )

What about BGJE to the Steelers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Thought about that too-logical I suppose. Not flashy at all, but real solid and reliable.

B (NC)

Where do you see Brandon Jacobs ending up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

I think that guy vastly overestimates his value...bet he lingers for quite some time.

Chad O. (Canada)

What are the chances of Wallace in SF, doesn't seem like a possibility? Brandon Lloyd would be good but he doesn't have the speed to stretch like Wallace.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

No question-and losing a very late 1st rounder wouldn't hurt SF bad, esp with that D returning in tact. After they signed Moss, I thought that would take them out of that sweepstakes, but since then, they have entertained Lloyd. If they are serious about Lloyd, I would be more serious about Wallace if I am SF....even though A Smith can't get him or Moss the ball deep...but Kaepernick can

Hanson (DC)

Please tell me Fletcher ends up re-signing

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Would shock me if he didn't, but if I am him, I might explore my options with a short term contract on a better team-try to get a ring

Mark (Indianapolis)

What do the colts do with the 2nd rounder?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Best player available that isn't a QB...doesn't matter what position, they need help there

Sean (Philly)

Hey Matt, Big fan... Any chance that the Saints trade Pierre Thomas? Seems like he is wasting away in their backfield rotation and could help another team in a big way.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Maybe, but that running game was really effective with the 3 guys they have, Payton used them all well when healthy and I don't think they want to give Sproles a ton of carries. But Ivory is a decent pounder too. RBs just aren't worth much on the market though...doubt it ends up being worth it for NO

NINER GNOME (SF)

Is it time to bring out .... Kaepernick? Dude can throw deep!

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

I have been hinting at that the last day or so. Why isn't Smith signed yet? CK is a way better deep passer and SF keeps trying to add bomb threats. Plus, Harbaugh hand picked CK...he didn't pick Smith. Will say it now: CK will be 49ers starting QB in 2013...at the latest

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

If the Titans don't get Peyton..are they starting Jake Locker? Or signing a bridge vet?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

They have Hass, who is the perfect Bridge Vet. Bring Locker along slowly, but I liked what I saw from Locker as a rookie quite a bit. That O could be dangerous next year.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Has Brandon Lloyd talked to the Patriots at all?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Oh...I bet he has had a chat or two with them

Captain Howdy (Georgetown)

Why aren't the Patriots jumping all over Mike Wallace? He's easily worth the 31st pick IMO. He'll want to get paid, but that's OK - that offense would be unstoppable with him and Welker/Gronk/Hernandez.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

I hear ya and that might happen...however, free agency isn't even 24 hours old!

Chris (KC)

What do you think of Joe Mays. Seems like a much younger, cheaper version on Fletcher.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Good call. That is too high of praise, but I do like Mays. Excellent vs. the run in particular. Tough guy who plays with good leverage.

Tim (Pa)

Any chance the Redskins get in on Winston? Would be a great replacement for Jamal Brown.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

& it would be a huge upgrade at RT-perfect fit for Shanny's blocking scheme too. KC

Mike (Brooklyn)

MW, Marty B to NYG? Can he be a starting TE?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Yes...if motivated. Much better blocker than given credit for, which is something NYG covets from the position, esp with the state of their OTs...I like the fit

Sam (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

Surprised Jonathan Fanene is still available?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

No. Good player that Cincy should try to bring back, but again-Free agency is 21 hours old!

J.B. (PA)

John Carlson officially a Viking! Yahoo (not really).

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Very weak TE market though, both in free agency and in the draft. If healthy, this is a good signing and very Ponder-friendly to pair with another ND TE, Rudolf. They want to play a ton of 2 TE sets. Good calculated risk.

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

C Redding is a Colt now too. Makes sense to help implement the Ravens' style of D in Indy-like when Rex Ryan look Leonard and Scott with him to NYJ.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Fantastic chat, but I have to run Folks...drop me a line on Twitter!