Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me here. Before we get started, let it be known that neither sugar nor Sugar is toxic in my book. Let's get to it.
Matt Stafford should have been a Pro Bowler and the entire process is a joke.
You are nothing if not consistent. Every week. First "question" in the que. Did speak with some coaches about the Pro Bowl at the owners meetings. We'll be hitting the topic later this summer.
I know the Lions need CB help badly but do you think theres any chance they may go after a DE at #23 and try to trade Avril? I like him but he's not that good in the run game and the rest of the line should get credit for alot of his success,I don't think he's worth the money he wants. Thanks
No, I don't see them trading him but I guess stranger things have happened. I know Martin Mayhew doesn't draft for need, but I can't see another defensive lineman in the first round.
Do you expect to see alot of improvement from Ponder next year.
He certainly has that capacity. But he'll need some help. Two pass-catching tight ends and a fireplug slot receiver (Harvin) isn't enough.
Kevin, the temperature was below freezing this morning at nfc north headquarters. Isn't it about time for another "meeting" in Florida?
That would be fine with me. At least the sun is out, though.
Will you be in New York covering the draft?
No. Typically it works out better to report from a team's facility. I was in Detroit in 2009 and 2010, and Minnesota last year. Probably going to be Minnesota again this year as long as the Vikings are at No. 3.
Kevin, all of the claiborne supporters are saying that the vikes need to draft him because of the NFL being a pass-happy league. But, how are WE supposed to compete if we dont have a passing attack???
Very good point. And a left tackle can help a passing attack.
Kevin, thanks for keeping us informed during the off-season. Great job! Lots of draft "experts" are saying DE or DT for Chicago in the first round. I know they are getting older on that side of the ball, but don't you get the impression that Emery is going all-in on the Bears' offense (Marshall, Bush, Campbell)? I'm suspecting that he's going to continue to focus there in the first round and go OT to start opposite Carimi and really try to hit the ground running (and throwing) on offense, and maybe try to get some value picks later to hopefully groom as eventual defensive replacements, but not immediate impact players. Agree, disagree?
Thanks Tom. I haven't gotten the sense that Emery is focusing on offense. As the GM and in charge of the long-term vision of the team, he would be foolish not to recognize the need to start developing future starters on defense. Their numbers are awfully thin on the defensive line, and it sure seems like they'll be focused in that direction in the draft.
Hey Kevin,I agree that there is no need to worry about Cliff Avril or Matt Forte sitting out of voluntary workouts - but what are the odds either of these guys are signed before training camp. Both situations seem pretty far away from getting a deal done.
The sense I get is that Avril would be more willing to play under the franchise tag than Forte is. Both might well end up doing it. But nothing Avril has said or done suggests he will stay away once the real practices begin. Forte's reaction is less certain.
What is the likelyhood of the Vikes seriously trading the #3 pick and do you think its worth possibly passing on Kalil?
Bill Polian strongly advocated it today in ESPN Insider column. He thinks the Dolphins are going to need to trade up to No. 3 to get Tannehill, assuming they like him as much as they are rumored to. So if the return is right, like perhaps a second and third-round pick in addition to the Dolphins' No. 8, I definitely think the Vikings would do it.
after only 6 wins as the big cheese do you think Leslie Frazier is on the hot seat?
I think he's in a tough spot. The Vikings started their rebuild a year too late. That was a valuable year wasted in terms of his job security.
I will be stopping by the chat today, FYI. Big fan of yours Kevin.
Get in line, missy.
Trying to plan my tour of NFL Stadiums, when could I expect the schedule to be released?
Typically it's about 10 days before the draft. The draft starts April 26. So if that's the case, the schedule announcement will be early next week.
Have the Lions finally got their cap in order, or is there more work to do there?
It's in order for this year. They're going to be tight for a while because three of their best players -- Stafford, Suh and Megatron -- were high draft picks under the old rookie scale. They got monster contracts and will always have big cap numbers.
Do you think there's something to McCarthy's feelings that kickers, punters, and QB's should be treated differently from other players in offseason workout rules? I can see it for kickers and punters, but, as much as I wish he could run his QB school all offseason, I think special rules for QBs could lead to trouble. Additionally, even if everyone on the owners' side agreed with him, is there any realistic possibility that the NFLPA would be willing to renegotiate this within the next 9 years?
Doubtful. The idea was that players wanted more time away from the facility. Why should quarterbacks or kickers be penalized for the positions they play. Maybe there is a way to open the facilities for players who want to work together independent of coaches. But that would require some oversight.
Anything new about the Bears and Eric Steinbach?
No. That might be something that's on hold until after the draft.
No word on Nick Collins yet. Do you think the Packers are waiting until after the draft to announce anything? Before and during the draft, the less information that all other teams know the better, right?
There is supposed to be a meeting this week between Nick and the team. Today's Tuesday, so it's quite possible the meeting hasn't taken place yet.
If the Vikings can't get a stadium deal done, would you allow them to play on your house's front lawn?
Only if I got it in writing that the Bears' grounds crew never got to touch it.
Kevin I don't necessarily feel great about the longterm success of the bears team given the aging defense but I feel absolutely GREAT about this season. Any reason I shouldn't besides the uncertain Forte situation?
No, I'm with you on that. Obviously nothing is perfect. We're assuming that the transition to Mike Tice as a playcaller will go smoothly. And we're assuming that the aging members of the Bears' defense all have at least one high-level season left.
How come you haven't discussed whether Anthony Hargrove is at risk of suspension because of he played on the Saints during the bounty days?
Because I don't know. All we know is he was on the team when it happened and he was called for a penalty in a game when the quarterback was said to be targeted. Hargrove has denied the role of a bounty in that penalty. That's all we have to work with at the moment.
What do you think of Pelissero's contention that Frazier is being set up to fail so that Speilman can make a coaching change next year?
Zulgad wrote that. I don't think he was saying that it's a setup. It's just unfortunate timing and I agree with it. I've got a post of my own on the topic coming soon.
When is punishment expected to be announced for players involved in Bounty-gate? Curious to see if Hargrove will be included.
I'm sure the Saints and other teams would like to know before the draft, in case the loss of a player creates a need that wasn't otherwise there. But it sounds like there has been some push and pull between the NFL and NFLPA that hasn't been resolved yet.
One thing that I have really enjoyed here in Wisconsin lately is the popularity and the obvious friendship of our two cross sport stars in Ryan Braun and Aaron Rodgers. Each one's popularity seems to help the other ones franchise. I was just wondering if you had ever ran across this with two cross sport athletes playing in the same market?
It's pretty rare, mostly because stars usually have egos and they don't like to share the spotlight. I'm not saying that Rodgers and Braun don't have egos, but they obviously aren't resentful of each other.
I guess haven't been paying attention, has Tollefson signed anywhere after his visits to GB and Oakland?
He signed with the Raiders late Friday I believe. I'm not sure if the Packers even made an offer.
Would the packers expend their first round pick on a running back? it is the only weak link in their incredible offense?
They definitely have a need at running back, at least as long as Ryan Grant is on the open market. But I'm not sure if there will be a back worth taking at No. 28.
kevin was curious have you as a member of the media seen the documentary which is coming out this April on the Packers and Favre, and as someone who was covering the mess at the time do you think it gives a fair opinion of what happened.
I haven't seen it but was interviewed and I can tell you the filmmaker had a good handle on the situation. Apparently my portion is on the cutting room floor somewhere, but I'm sure it's a fine film regardless.
If you include the words, Scandal, Gate, Sex, Offseason Workout, Favre Watch, and Kim Kardashian in one article, you would have the worlds best story.
YOU FORGOT TEBOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!
Why would anyone trade into the top-10 for Tannehill? (I like alliteration)It seems like it would simply be reaching for reaching's sake, with no real big prize at the end.
Because you can't win without a quarterback, and he's considered the third-best quarterback available after Luck and Griffin. Desperation reigns at the position.
Is it impossible to see the Vikings contending next season if their free agent acquistions stay healthy, like Carlson and Carr, and if they have a solid draft, with possibly Kalil and a WR in the second like Jeffery or Hill
It's a really tough division. The deck is very much stacked against them.
Why do people keep pegging Peter Konz to GB in mocks? He's a highly debated player in a position that isn't one of immediate need, in a scheme in which center is not one of massive pressing importance. The Packers have talent now and after the DL signings if the packers take anything other than a pass rushing 3-4OLB/4-3DE I will be shocked.
Because of the Wells departure. But to me, signing Saturday eliminated the pressure to draft a center high in 2012. There are other prospects available much later in the draft who can be developed with the benefit of time that Saturday provides.
Do you think the Vikes would draft Janoris Jenkins If he's still on the board for their second pick?
Not in the second round, no. I wonder if he isn't a big faller in this draft, no matter how good of a player he might be.
What are your thoughts about Da Bears moving down a few spots and gaining an additional pick(s)? I think they desperately need a LB to go with a DE.
If that's the case, they should stay at No. 19 and then move back into the bottom of the first round.
When will Brandon Marshall be in the clear for next season?
Good question. We haven't heard a peep from the New York police on his incident last month. You would think charges would have come by now if they were coming, but who knows.
I actually had the opportunity to talk to a player from the 2008 Saint. He said that William's attitude about injuring players was pretty well known. If that's the case, why'd they go so lightly on Peyton?
I guess it depends on what you consider to be a light punishment. A year-long suspension that costs almost $6 million in salary is one of the stiffest penalties ever handed a head coach.
How will the Packers be able to keep guys like Driver when they are so close to the cap with so many draft picks to sign? Any word if he will work a cheaper deal?
He said he would, but it remains to be seen if the Packers follow through on that. They could cut him altogether. Regardless, you don't need the cap space to sign a draft class until you start signing them -- in July.
Matt Forte - do you have any insight into what type of deals he's turned down? I don't like the Bears paying backup RBs, when they could put that toward a long-term Forte deal.
That's the big question. If they're lowballing Forte while paying a premium for his backup, that's not cool. But if they've offered him say, the same deal that DeAngelo Williams got, then he probably should take it.
ultimately, will the addition of marshall to chicago be subtraction by addition?
To me, it's all about whether he has really turned the corner, as he says he has. He had a quiet year off the field in 2011, but then had that New York incident. If the accusation that he punched a woman is true, it's going to be hard to believe he has turned a corner. But if it's false, then the Bears made a nice deal for themselves.
Who do you think will get more WR3 duties this year between James Jones and Randall Cobb?
Assuming Driver isn't on the team? Cobb certainly has the capacity to make major strides and be a unique playmaker. We know what we'll get from James Jones, for better or worse.
KS,, it seems that d-players such as Poe,Perry, Cox etc have been pegged going anywhere from a top 10 pick to 3rd rounders!...it seems crazy...does this uncertainty make it hard for a team like GB to really lock in on a talent to draft? also any chance they move either direction..up or down?
The teams aren't uncertain about it. They put a grade on a guy and will take him there if available. If the Packers think Poe is a third-round player, for instance, they're not going to take him in the second round because they're worried someone else might grab him there. That wouldn't be a value pick.
With LeShoure possibly in trouble, and Best concussion prone...any chance the Lions take a back in the first round?
Not in the first round but I do think they need to shore up that area.
Gun to your head - Leslie Frazier back in 2013?
It's going to be tough.
If the Vikes moved back to #8, do you think they would be interested in Floyd? I mean, he is a MN boy...
Not because he's from Minnesota, but he does fit the profile of someone who would help them.
Kevin,Do you really think someone will trade up to #3 for Tannehill?..... I just don't see it..
I think people panic about quarterbacks in the draft, increasingly more each year. So I do think there is a chance, yes.
Does Marion Barbers contract still taken into account for the Bears cap even though he retired? what is the Bears cap about now?
He has a slight charge from his 2011 signing bonus but nothing major. According to NFL.com, the Bears had less than $4 million in cap space available at their most recent accounting. That's about enough to sign a draft class.
Have you ever sat in during a defensive coach's pre-game meeting and/or is that even typical for a member of the media to witness? As there have been a lot of former and current players who have come out and said things along the lines of "the public would be shocked to hear what goes on behind closed doors", I wonder how scaled back Williams' speech may have been if say, the NFC South blogger was in the room that night.Along that line, have you ever heard comments by a coach that have made you think ?wow, that crossed a line? and then you failed to write about it? Are there things in the NFL that are ?off limits? for you report on?
All good questions. I've never sat in that kind of a meeting and I doubt many reporters who cover the league have. There's a reason they are off-limits. I do think the public would be shocked to hear what happens behind closed doors, about how much pain players are in after games and the things they have to do to get ready for the next game. I've heard some things on a practice field that I wouldn't want my kids hearing, but that's not unexpected. I can't think of an instance where I heard something that crossed a line that merited reporting, no.
Now that it's been a few years, what do you think about the 3 day draft?
I agree with Ted Thompson. I wish the first two days weren't at night. I get why they are, but I'm a morning person in this job and would prefer not to see a team making its first-round pick at 11 p.m. Other than that, I'm fine with it and kind of glad it ends on a Saturday instead of Sunday.
With New Jersey getting an upcoming super bowl, any chance soldier field or lambeau field get a shot in the future?
No. There aren't enough hotel rooms in Green Bay, for one. And this appears to be a one-time deal for New York because a new stadium got built. The ship has sailed on that as far as Chicago goes. Soldier Field is the smallest stadium in the league, on top of everything else.
Ok a few more here.
Brutal.(Too long; didn't read)
If the Vikings were to trade the 3rd pick to drop down to 8th? Would you see them moving back into the first round to target a specific player?
Maybe. But this is supposedly a deep draft. They could get some pretty good players with their two second-round picks if that were the case.
Why is Mike Tice so committed to J'Marcus Webb?
Left tackles are hard to find. I'm not sure if Tice is committed to Webb as much as he feels he is the best candidate currently on the roster.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week.