Hi everyone. Let's get to this.
With the Brandon Marshall and a healthy Jay Cutler, are the Bears a legit contender in the North?
I think their offense will be much improved. But they haven't done anything yet to address an aging defense. They're absolutely a contender, but I'm not sure they've done enough to earn a preseason spot ahead of the Packers.
Is Tulloch staying with the Lions or leaving and how much will he get?
The guess is that he will, and Martin Mayhew suggested this week that progress has been made. He's probably not going to get a better deal than what the Lions will offer.
could the bears sign matt forte to a longer term deal to gain some extra cap flexibility this year to pursue a pass rusher or O-line depth?
Cap room isn't their issue right now. Right now Forte counts $7.7 million against the cap. That's not a huge hit given his stature on the team.
Are the Vikings really just bringing back Ayodele, Evans and Guion at NT? Help me understand. I thought a top DL was required to make the "mediocre DBs are fine" theory work?
So far that's been the case. But no matter what the state of their DL, they need to upgrade the talent in their secondary. Nothing can cover for what they finished last season with.
Let's assume the Packers do not land Saturday. Given the dire need of drafting impact defensive players, how early would you justify taking a center in the draft?
The first round.
I have seen a few ESPN shows like NFL Live where hosts/guests start to speculate there will be a very large increase in the salary cap for the 2013 season. What is this assumption based on? How much of an increase is most likely? Are any teams in the NFC North acting on that assumptioin this off-season and gaining any advantage? I would think a team like Green Bay, being among the favorites to compete for a Super Bowl the next few years, could start the process of locking up Jennings, Matthews, and Rodgers to extensions.
It's based on new television contracts that have been signed but don't kick in until the 2014 season. (Not 2013.) Overall NFL revenues will increase, so the players' percentage, and hence the salary cap, will increase. There absolutely some NFC North teams, most notably the Lions, that have planned that increase into their cap approach.
Bob sansevere thinks vikings r going to take morris claiborne over kalil what r yr thoughts?
I wrote about that earlier today. I'm guessing that is more of Spielman trying to posture for a potential trade. The only way Claiborne over Kalil should happen is if Spielman and company truly believe Claiborne is a better player. It can't be because they think cornerback is more important than left tackle.
With the aquisition of Brandon Marshall, what do you think the Bears draft in the first round now? I have to think successor to Urlacher maybe or do you think they'll pull the Trading back to aquire more picks move?
I could see offensive line or defensive end, but that's off the top of my head.
Kevin, Why would the packers want Tim Tebow?
I'm not sure they do. At this point, it's been more people looking at quotes Mike McCarthy gave about him two years ago. But one way to look at it is that the backup quarterback's job is to come in and find a way to win games in place of the starter. Tebow has done that. It's not as if the Packers would be building their program around him.
Do we know about how much the cap will raise when the new TV contract kicks in (2014?)? Will the Lions be able to make it until then with their bloated cap situation?
There have been different estimates, but nothing solid yet. The Lions will have a tight squeeze as long as Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh are on the roster just because of where and when they were drafted.
The Bears have enough money to sign another guy and deal with Forte, and the draft, right? What are they waiting for, and why haven't they addressed the O-line at all?
To be fair they've been pretty active. Offensive line, especially, might be a place where they could do some damage in the draft.
i love espn but its upsetting to see that 80% of the nfl analyest are talking down on tebow as if he is not fit to play pro football,
I can't speak for everyone. But when a team gives up on a quarterback who took them to the playoffs, people notice. There aren't many people who think Tebow is ready to be a starting quarterback for a pro-style offense, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good prospect still.
Will Lions try to sign O.J. Atogwe?
Sounds like he will get a visit. But let's not go overboard on optimism with him. He's likely headed to his third team in as many years.
Please give me an update on Erin Henderson...I think he's very underrated...likely to just re-sign, or could he move?
The linebacker market hasn't moved much, but I would think the Vikings will ultimately give Henderson his best offer. If someone else really wanted him, they would have jumped out by now, I would think.
Heads up Kev, when Cutler-Marshall-Forte are straight BLOWING UP the league this year, you may want to do an article about the new 'Triplettes' around the league. Think our 3 is top notch since most of the other teams lack one of the components. Just lookin out for ya. ;)
Thanks for the heads-up.
Your anything-else-mr-cutler post from last week on first read came across as lacking your studious objectivity. I just re-read it and maybe the anti-Cutler stance I originally saw in it was less abrasive than first thought. But there did seem to be some vitriol on your part toward him. Do you think he is a head-case that causes his coaches too much stress? You acknowledged that spending tons of money on a QB necessitates getting the complimentary pieces in place for him to be successful, but your language seemed to infer Cutler is not up to benefiting from such efforts. What is your eval of him as a QB and a coaches' player? Is the anti-Cutler interpretation "only" an error on my part?
I was surprised by how many people took that post as a rip job on Cutler. I acknowledge the headline was a little sarcastic, but really, the point was that he has gotten a pretty rare opportunity. It's not often a team can deliver a preferred position coach and his favorite receiver. These moves were needed on a big scale, but they were very obviously tailored toward Cutler. It's not as if he didn't deserve it or that they were kissing up to him. It's just quite a fortunate windfall.
Any word on Saturday's visit?
Not yet. But it's worth monitoring the Broncos closely.
Everyone assumes the Vikings are looking to implement a double tight end set this year. Could the signing of Carlson actually say more about their confidence (lack thereof) in Rudolph? They seemed reluctant to use Rudolph fully last year for some reason, especially in tandem with Shianco.
They did seem reluctant to use him more often, but I can only assume that was because he was a rookie. All indications are that he will be a central focus of the offense this year. As will Carlson, of course.
The Lions brought back Backus. I think a good move in the short term. But what happens if Backus doesn't heal and rehab as quickly as hoped. Do they have anyone that can slide into that left tackle spot? or will they have to dig for a depth player to fill in for that spot if Backus is re-injured?
They could use Corey Hilliard there, but there is every indication that Backus will be back in time. Backus hasn't missed a game in his career.
Do you think the Vikings will go after Tracy Porter in FA?
They haven't yet. If their careful approach merits criticism, it's in the secondary. They've done nothing to improve there, other than to have Chris Cook get acquitted.
Hi guys. Just letting you know....I FEEL GOOD! :) GO BEARS!
Thanks for the update!
Hey Kevin, you mentioned you the 1st round being a justifiable place for the Packers to take a center. As bad as their D was last season and the fact that they won't sign a FA, is it really wise to wait until Round 2 to look for an impactful player?
Well, unless they sign a free agent at some point, the Packers won't have a qualified player to take over for Scott Wells and be the first line of defense between the pass rush and the MVP. So that makes it a very important priority.
Did Matt Flynn luck into the best situation for him?
It's starting to look that way. I always thought the Seahawks and Dolphins were neck-and-neck, but the Dolphins don't look to be, uh, functioning at a high level right now.
you see wimbley get 5 year 35 mil? highly overpaid?
Pass rushers always get paid. Always.
Your theory on a MIA/MIN pick swap is starting to grow legs. Any updates?
Nothing new. The Dolphins are still technically in on Alex Smith, but the real question is if they like Tannehill enough to move up to No. 3. Hard to know at this point.
Kevin, do you think after he takes all his scheduled visits that Geoff Schwartz will end up in the NFC North?
Don't know. I guess it depends if he wants to start. He could probably get that chance in Minnesota, but probably not with the Lions.
How does Jeff Saturday compare against the last Packers' center, Scott Wells? What are the chances that the Packers actually sign Saturday?
He's five years older but certainly more decorated. The bottom line is he is very close to Peyton Manning and plays a big part in making Manning's style of offense work. You wonder if Manning will ensure he gets his best offer from Denver.
Do you think there is a chance the Broncos will keep Tim Tebows just in case of a possible injury to Peyton Mannings?
I've wondered why this scenario hasn't been discussed, but the guess is that both sides will need a clean break after what's gone down.
Do you think the Vikings should resign EJ Henderson until they draft a better replacement.
Not if they think he can't play anymore. I'm beginning to wonder if they're planning to put Jasper Brinkley in there.
If the Packers were so worried about center, wouldn't you have expected the Packers to resign Wells?
Not necessarily. I guess they didn't value him the same as at least one other team did. Their inaction suggested the have an obvious replacement in house, but if that's the case, no one knows who that would be. Evan Dietrich-Smith?
Is Flynn a great improvement over Jackson? Tavaris played rather mistake free football.
Flynn is more accurate, for sure.
What do you make of the reports that Ted Ginn is visiting the Vikings? Do you think they view him strickly as a return man who would free Harvin to play WR full time? Or do you think they view him as having untapped potential as a speed/deep threat WR (he was drafted in the top 10)? Hopefully he isn't the only WR we add this year view FA and the draft....
I'm guessing he would be a return guy that would lessen the pressure to use Harvin there, and also a receiver who could make some big plays at times.
Calvin Johnson + Brandon Marshall = 4 games of pain. Why? Why? WHY?????
Great questions. No one in the NFC North has made any substantive moves to address games against three of the top QB-WR duos in the game: Rodgers-Jennings/Nelson, Stafford-Johnson and now Cutler-Marshall.
Is there any concern, in light of your earlier post today, that Urlacher won't be ready by the start of the season?
Not at this point. Season is still six months away.
Kevin, I have to confess - I really screwed up! What do I have to do to regain my coaches' and my players' trust in me???
Don't get arrested during Packers Week, for one.
Kevin: The Vikings cannot be considering trading me, can they??
I have not heard that, no.
People need to stop worrying about Erin Henderson. The LB market has not been set like it was for WR, DE, and CB. When it does get set the Vikings will move on Henderson with a fair offer. Why overpay jsut because he was on the team last year?
And, like we were saying earlier, if another team really wanted him, the deal would be done by now.
kevin was curious when you were watching the 2009 championship game did you or other writers in the press box mention something was not right. I mentioned it to guys i was watching the game with, i have been watching football for 35 yrs and have never such a blatant attempt to seriously injure a qb. If it was anyone other than Favre they probably would have been knocked out. Your thoughts
I definitely remember thinking that Favre was taking a beating. I also thought McCray's hit on the ankle was dirty. But I guess I attributed it to the general intensity of a championship game, and what was obviously at stake. That was a quicker conclusion than thinking there was a bounty on Favre.
Is the Campbell move to help for injury or to gain insight into a possible future seperation of Cutler?
I think the Bears just never, ever wanted to be in a situation like last year, when they couldn't even function as an offense without their starting quarterback.
Why do the Lions feel like they need a safety like Atogwe or Landry (before he signed with the Jets)? I didn't think Spievey played that bad last year, or could this be a move to pick up a safety and move Spievey back to his original position of CB which is what the Lions really need?
I don't think Spievey will get moved to cornerback, and I also think it's reasonable for the Lions to expect better play from him or whoever starts at that position He was very average, at best, last year.
Do the Packers have a plan at RB? It looks like Michael Bush could be had somewhat cheaply.
Another good question. Ryan Grant still hasn't signed yet, so you wonder if it's a matter of time before he finishes testing the market and returns to Green Bay. You wonder if 2012 will be another round of Grant-Starks and maybe Alex Green.
SHOULDN'T the Vikings trade Jared Allen? I can't really think of a more obvious move for a team with so many needs.
It's not a terrible argument to make, no. There would be plenty of interested parties if he were available. Would it net enough draft picks to make it worthwhile? I'm not sure about that.
How did Suh's media circuit end up playing out for him? No one seemed to be in a tizzy when he had that other driving incident this summer, so it seems that it might have paid off at least a bit.
Yeah, that was a one-day story. I don't know if the media circuit helped or not. The big thing is he needs to go through an extended period of games without drawing attention to himself for anything other than dominant play.
The Packers re-signed Jarret Bush to a 3 year deal. Is he going to return as a STs captain and nothing more or is he developing into a CB prospect at all?
I saw that. At this point in his career, Bush is what he is -- a great special-teams player and someone who can fill in as needed on defense.
What is the status of Best, will he be running back for the Lions next year and is he worth the risk?
He is working out and the Lions are waiting to see if he will be cleared for football activities. He hasn't yet, but the expectation is that he will be. Beyond that, it's impossible to predict. Concussions can't be projected.
I'll be pretty disappointed if I don't read the headline "Packers sign Jeff Saturday" before the end of the week. Kevin, should I prepare to be disappointed???
You might want to set the table....
Who would you take going into next year in a Titus Young vs Randall Cobb redux? Cobb is going to blow up this year...
Well, Titus Young had a pretty good rookie year, too. Both guys are good fits for their teams. Not a cop-out, just different players and different offenses.
We all agree the Vikings should trade Jared.
Yeah, that's the thing. There are some big-time passing offenses in this division. It's hard to justify trading a pass-rusher in that context, even if your team has other holes. It could be another generation before you get another 10-sack guy on your team, let alone a guy that usually gets at least 14.
I liked the play of safety mistrial Raymond at the end of last season is there any way he starts this season?
At this point, yes. Who else on their roster is an obvious starter at the position?
Do you agree what people are saying that I gave the Lions a hometown discount with my 7 year deal?
You could have pushed for more, yes, given the leverage you had. But most everyone would agree you got a great deal. You're the highest-paid player in the game.
Ted Ginn visting winter park--do you think there is a chance we could sign him and Troy Williamson?
You're assuming that neither drop the pen, right? Sorry, couldn't resist.
Should the Bears go for Atogwe? They need a safety as well.
I'm not sure Atogwe is an upgrade there.
With the inability of our wonderful Minnesota state government to come to a Viking stadium resolution, are you not surprised our government shutdown last summer (national record I might add)?
I'm going to guess that most state governments operate at minimum efficiency, but you would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of things that Minnesota's government has actually accomplished in recent years.
Can the Vikings get a deep threat and Left Tackle for Allen?
Depends on if they could turn the draft picks into that.
Wouldnt the Lions be better off signing David Hawthorne at a cheaper contract than Tulloch? As a Seahawks fan I want Hawthorne back, but if Im Detroit or Chicago I jump on him.
I think Tulloch made a huge difference on the Lions' defense last year. He was a good leader, versatile, and perfect for their system. He should be their top choice.
If AP can't go wk 1 who is the #2 back after Toby?
Good question. They brought in Jerome Felton for a visit this week.
Playing Devil's advocate here -- as one who follows the Vikings, you know they're trying to figure out how to maximize Everson Griffen's potential on the field, but don't really have an open spot for him. Could that factor in to a Jared Allen trade decision?
You don't trade Jared Allen to make room for Everson Griffen or anyone else. You only do it if you get a huge, franchise-changing jackpot in return.
Ok folks, a few more here....
am i right to assume chat wraps about allen?
Ha. Not a bad idea. You are a close reader indeed.
Are the Vikings playing in the Metrodome or TCF Field next year?
Kevin- I am sure you are getting numerous questions about a new stadium....do you personally think it will be Minneapolis, just north or none of the above?
Metrodome site or nothing, from what we've heard.
After Megatron, which WR do you think puts up the best numbers in the division next year? Jennings? Marshall? Nelson? Harvin?
Franchizing Matt Forte was a genious move. The Bears have a top five back with a three million discount. I brought Peppers, kept Briggs and Urlacher. I made it possibel to get Marshall. Next to Polian, I am the best available GM in the league.
Interesting perspective. But the franchising of Forte only works if he is willing to play, and not hold out, under those terms.
OK everyone. Thanks so much! Chat with you soon.