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April 13, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, what is the latest on the status of Aqib Talib (sp.?)? Might he be in real danger of losing time on the field because of his criminal activity? If so, does this solidify Claiborne as a legitimate choice for a first-round draft pick?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:58 PM)

He has a trial scheduled for June 25. Can't predict how that will turn out. Think the Bucs would be wise to add some depth at CB.

Josh (Spartanburg, SC)

Pat, If neither Coples, Blackmon, or Claiborne falls, do you think the Panthers will trade back?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

Think they'd be happy to listen to offers to trade back. But you never know until you're on the clock or close to it if any offers are coming.

Brian (New Orleans)

What are realistic expectations for the Saints this season? Assuming Brees is back.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Let's see what happens as far as player suspensions and how that will impact the defense. But, assuming Brees situation gets resolved, I would expect the offense to be as productive as it's been in recent years, so that should keep them in decent shape.

SeenThisB4 (The Hive, New Orleans Arena)

What do you think of Tom Benson buying the New Orleans Hornets? Good for the Saints?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Don't really follow NBA, so don't have many thoughts on this. But I think Benson would be wise to get Brees signed before Monday.

mike [via mobile]

Do you think that Joe vitt will be a good coach?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:03 PM)

Yeah, he's a long-time NFL assistant. He's respected around the league. Players respect him. He'll keep things as close to the Payton way as possible.

Ken (NY)

Is Steve Smith A future HOF

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

Could be. But he needs a few more years of big numbers and some more playoff appearances by the Panthers.

Laurin (Chatham,VA)

Since the Panthers extended Steve Smith's contract and resigned Jordan Senn, where does that put them in respect to the Salary Cap?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Looked at that this morning. Think they're about $5.1 or $5.2 million under. Also, keep in mind, they're lugging around the full $7.6 cap hit for Travelle Wharton until June 1. After that, they can spread that between this year and next.

John (Tallahassee)

If Claiborne and Richardson are both off the board, I think Kuechly would be the better pick for the Bucs rather than Khalil. Our OL is pretty solid and Kuechly will be great for years. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:06 PM)

If they could trade down a bit and get Kuechly, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But I don't think you take him at No. 5.

Joey (Fayetteville, NC)

I know they said that Sean Payton couldn't coach the team or have any contact, but how do we know that he wouldn't try to have some from of contact with Vitt at some point during the season?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Don't know how the NFL plans to monitor that. But I think NFL has made it clear through this whole thing that it will not tolerate having its rules exploited. I think Payton is very aware of that and wouldn't be wise to do anything that might risk his reinstatement.

Trey (charlotte nc)

Do u think the panthers can revive their defense this year like they did their offense last year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

Not sure it will be as dynamic as the offense. But I think simply getting Ron Edwards and Jon Beason back makes them a lot better on defense.

CJ (winston salem)

As crazy as this offseason has been in the NFC South, is there any scenario in which you see one of the four teams making some kind of shocking move i.e. trade, FA signing or draft. Personally i would love to see the Panthers move up and take Matt Kalil and create possibly the best O line in the NFL but I know thats very unlikely Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:09 PM)

I don't think this is the year Marty Hurney is looking to move up in the draft. But it would be nice to see the Kalil brothers on the same o-line.

Greg (WV)

Hurney keeps saying there's a chance Shockey is re-signed. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Possible. I think they've got a standing offer on the table. If Shockey can't find a better deal or a team that he thinks is a better situation, then he could be back.

Trey (charlotte nc)

Do u think its a possibility that this is brees last season as a saint?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Just a hunch from me, but I think a long-term deal gets worked out pretty soon.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

Pat, I think the Saints are holding out to hear on player suspensions before seriously engaging Tom Condon on Brees's contract. It seems reasonable to think that the team needs to unequivocally know where it will stand on the cap before coming to some agreement on that contract's first-year terms. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

Possible. But, generally, you don't get any cap relief for suspensions until the season starts. That's usually when they start suspensions. In this scenario, maybe they start them immediately. But it's an unknown at this point.

Sean (Vegas)

Money obviously isn't an issue for Benson since he's buying the Hornets. Clearly Loomis and Benson don't see Brees' value, especially now. I understand you don't throw the baby out with the bath water just to get a deal done and become Indy, but Saints need to sign Brees ASAP and it would reduce the cap hit this year. Pay him!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Agree on getting the deal done ASAP. But I'm not so sure it would reduce the cap hit, unless they get very creative. In fact, it would probably move cap hit from $16 million to $18-19 million. That's how Brady and Manning deals were structured.

Michael (SC)

If the Falcons go on HK will it be too big of a distraction?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:15 PM)

No, as I've written on the blog a couple of times, I think they're a mature team that could handle it.

Bert (Raleigh)

Pat if the Cats stay at 9 is Kuechly the front runner or Cox?Personally I would love for them to take Kuechly!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

I'm not ruling out Kuechly at all. Think it's entirely possible.

Mike (Toronto)

If the Bucs do draft Kalil at 5, what do you think they should do with Penn? Deal him or move hiim to the right side??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

First off, I doubt that will happen. But, if it does, I say start Kalil off on the right side for a year and then let the situation sort itself out.

Bob (Sacramento)

If the Saints don't want to break the bank to resign Brees, doesn't it make sense for him to sit out the year and not risk a career ending injury to sign with a team next year for the guaranteed money? Especially after what he went through in San Diego.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:18 PM)

That's a question only Drew can answer.

Jeremy ((Charlotte))

hows there like 4 people that get multiple questions answered and i have yet in 2 months of coming here.... YET to see one of my questions posted? Favoritism ftw

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:19 PM)

Send a question, please. As I say all the time, send them repeatedly, if I don't answer. I only see like 15 questions at a time and I'm not seeing a question from you.

Sandro (Tampa,fl)

What do you think about my predictions for bucs draft order? Cb first round (claiborne), rb second round (bernard pierce, bucs should have him workout), then lb in the third round. Whou would be of value for lb in the third round?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Makes sense to me. I'm saying Claiborne in first round. Could go RB or LB in second and whichever you don't get, you can go that way in third.

CJ (winston salem)

What do you think the Panthers plans are right now for Otah and any word on how his rehab is going. Is this his last chance to prove himself before they let him go? Thanks

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:21 PM)

They'll bring him to training camp and see where he's at physically. If he can get back to full health, he's a force. But no guarantee that will happen.

Trey (Charlotte)

Do the saints have the cap to sign brees to a peyton deal?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

Not right now. They'd have to make some moves to make it happen.

Scott (Sugar Hill, GA)

Hey Pat - thanks for what you do! Which path do you think Cam follows in his sophomore season - progress or digression?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:23 PM)

Progress. He's got a full offseason program this time around. He's not coming into a new offense on the fly this time.

Jordan (Evansville, IN)

How long before the Panthers need to start seriously looking for an heir apparent at LT?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

This might be the year to do it. In theory, you only get an elite tackle in the top 10 of the draft. Panthers are hoping they're not in top 10 again for a long time.

donte (Chattanooga)

Pat, your article yesterday (Door Open In NFC South) insinuates my Falcons are on the way down...guess that means I can go ahead and purchase my Super Bowl tickets now?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

Really, you took it that way? I think I just mentioned the fact they haven't done much in offseason and could still be dealing with mental aspects of playoff loss to Giants. I only slightly suggest it's at least possible they could slip. I don't think they will slip.

Otto (Jackson, MS)

Is there any word on the Bucs season ticket sales since making a splash in FA?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:26 PM)

They haven't given any exact numbers or anything like that. But they said they have seen a sales increase since the big signings.

Bill (Wilmington, NC)

Could the panthers be a surprise playoff team in 2012

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

Would they really be a surprise? Lots of people are saying they're a team on the rise and all they need is a better defense to get to playoffs.

Matt Riddle (Atlanta, Ga)

As a Falcon fan there is nothing I would enjoy more than to have a Hard Knocks featuring my team and I hope that they accept the offer. Having said that, there's a lot of speculation that Atlanta is more of the methodical, workmen-like, or in other words boring type of team compared to some others out there. Being in the locker room and knowing the players, do you agree with this stereo-type and do you think the Falcons can provide a highly entertaining product to the nation? Thanks.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

I think it's probably going to happen. Their locker room isn't filled with the type of drama many locker rooms have. But I think they'd still be interesting. They're a team that clearly is feeling pressure to take the next step. Plus, Roddy is capable of being entertaining or creating drama of his own at any time.

donte (Chattanooga)

Back to my falcons and their not doing much this offseason.....I never see the best teams make huge splashes in off-season with free agency...maybe our GM has learned his lesson as Ray Edwards and D Robinson haven't exactly turned out so great...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

Yep and I think I've made note of that and pointed to that as the reason they've decided to be quiet this offseason in several recent columns.

Steve Albarado (Ventura, CA)

Been a longtime fan of your blog Pat, I check it daily. Just gonna put this out there though. The Saints will move on from this huge dissapointing scandle, and us Saints' fans look to you and your blog to keep us informed very often. Any way you can stop all your Saints bashing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

Bashing? I work with what is there to work with. There's not a way I can put a pretty spin on what's been going on and say everything is rosy right now. For the last three years, I wrote almost all glowing things about the Saints because they were winning.

Matt (Albany, GA)

With little cap room will the falcons have to restructure contracts or cut some ppl just to sign their draft picks? And do you have any idea when schedules will release?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Right now, Falcons are at about $1.6 million under, so they'd have to make some moves to sign their picks. I think you'll see NFL sked next week.

CJ (winston salem)

What do you think the chances are the Panthers take Luke Kuechly as a safeguard for Davis given his 3 ACL injuries? The consensus seems to be he is one of the safest picks in the draft and hes an incredible linebacker.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

As I've said before, I think he's a very real possibility for Panthers.

Stephen (San Antonio TX)

Now that we know Joe Vitt is going to be the HC, what happens to the money Sean Payton was owed? Can we use that toward this year's salary cap?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Coaches salaries don't apply to the salary cap.

Sam [via mobile]

Pat you live in the bay area. Does there seem to be more of an excitement now around the Bucs then before? I am a huge fan and hate to see people no supporting the team. Go Bucs!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:35 PM)

General sense is there's been a bit more interest or excitement since the three big FA signings.

JM (Charlotte)

Hey Pat. In the writers' mock draft, they're suggesting the Panthers will "try hard" to trade down... why would they do that when they still have major needs?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:36 PM)

Add an extra pick or two, perhaps? They have several needs.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

You argued several weeks ago that Sean Payton should be fired. Given how the Saints have chosen to deal with his absence, do you still stand by that opinion?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I think the one-year suspension is justified.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Pat, do you think either the Panthers or Bucs would consider trading up to the Vikings' pick at #3 to get an "elite" player for their team's greatest need?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Don't see either one trading up. Think they can do fine with what they've got. If anything, I could see either of them trading down.

tony (new jersey)

Pat as a lifelong bucs fan I am a rare breed up north, I just want to know is there a real possibilty of the bucs replacing blount at rb, i know he needs to improve in certain areas but the reality is he can be a good back with good coaching, your thoughts..

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:40 PM)

Might want to ask Greg Schiano about that one. He's been sending some pretty strong messages on that.

CollegePark4Life (College Park, GA)

Pat, love the blog. Falcons checking out Braylon Edwards true or false??? Also can you ask each head coach and some major players what division rival do they hate the most and enjoy playing!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Braylon Edwards? Haven't heard that one. Where's that coming from. As to your survey, I think the rivalries are pretty much what you would expect them to be.

Michael (SC)

Braylon Edwards rumor on NFL.com.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

I will check on it. But haven't heard anything along those lines.

Steve Albarado (Ventura, CA)

I understand and respect your points of view on everything you've written. But I disagree with your opinion on how the Saints should fire there coaching staff and Micky Loomis due to the scandle. You can't let one bad seed destroy an entire organization. Sure, Payton and Loomis didn't do enough to stop Williams and his bounties, but you can't throw everything that has made the organization great.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:44 PM)

Respect your point of view as well. Ultimately, it's Tom Benson's decision if anybody gets fired. He didn't decide to go that way. I think the punishments handed down by the NFL are harsh enough to get the point across.

James (Delco, NC)

Whats your opinion on the panthers possibly drafting Fletcher Cox?Should they draft him?Is he a serious possibly

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

I think he and several other DTs are at least possibilities.

Will (Athens, GA)

Pat, who do you think must take the next step for the falcons to not only continue winning in the regular season but become perennial threats in the post-season as well?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:45 PM)

Develop a deep passing game and a more aggressive defense.

Blake (Boone, NC)

What are some late round WR options for the Panthers in the draft? And how do they fit into the scheme with Smitty, LaFell, Gettis, and Olsen?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Kiper and McShay are probably better qualified to give you names on late-round guys. But I do think you'll see Panthers add some WR depth in this draft.

Thomas Dimitroff (Flowery Branch)

Need advice Pat: Hardknocks - Yes or No???

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Do it. It will make your summer more interesting.

JM (Charlotte)

Any guesses as to which player the Panthers have as #1 on their draft board?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:48 PM)

Probably Andrew Luck.

Michael (SC)

What is the deal with Brent Grimes?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Has the franchise tag right now. Hasn't signed it. Haven't heard anything that would indicate a long-term deal is close.

CollegePark4Life (College Park, GA)

Pat, love the blog. Falcons checking out Braylon Edwards true or false??? Also can you ask each head coach and some major players what division rival do they hate the most and enjoy playing!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Answered this one a while ago. Might want to stop sending it. Thanks.

Tim (Athens)

Can we expect any earth-shattering trades from NFC South teams during the draft?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:52 PM)

Not earth-shattering. Think we had that last year with Ingram and Julio. You could see some minor trades, but I'm not anticipating anything big.

Pat Yasinskas (Charlotte)

If Carolina takes Kuechly will they move him to OLB and keep Beason in the middle or vice versa?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:53 PM)

Think it could go either way. Beason has played some OLB in the past. Kuechly played outside a little early in his career.

Kris (denver)

Just a thought. I think that the saints did not sign Parcels bc him and Sean are going to talk during the offseason so that Parcels can learn the team and do what Sean wants. I wouldn't be surprised if Parcels is head coach before the season starts.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

I doubt it, but anything is possible.

JM (Charlotte)

We don't need Andrew Luck, we've got Cam!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

I know, but you asked who was No. 1 on their board and I gave you what I think is an honest answer! They would have taken Luck if he came out last year.

Kris (Denver)

Do the saints need another WR or are they good at that position?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:56 PM)

Always a possibility, given how much they throw the ball. But I think they're hoping Arrington is ready to step up a bit this year, so I don't think WR is a high priority.

Will (Athens, GA)

How Possible do you think it is that Brandon Boykin ends up with the Falcons next year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

If he's there, I think he's a decent possibility.

Ron (Charlotte )

Tell me what you think Pat, Trade away 2013,14,15 and 16 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks to move up and draft Kalil, Blackmon, Coples and Claiborne do you think that would get us to the Super Bowl? LOL Thanks for all you do love your blog.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

Go for it. And congrats on posting a question more times than I've ever seen one posted!

Paul (Edinburgh)

Hi Pat. Hope you're well. What your gut feeling on the direction the Falcons will go with their first pick. A lot of mock drafts seem to be giving us a TE and as much as I would love to get a TE in learning from the great Tony G at this point I feel it hard to justify with the holes on the O-Line and DE. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

I'd lean toward going with either O-line or D-line. They have to get better on both fronts. Gonzalez is good for another year. You can get his heir apparent later in the draft or next year.

Jeremy ((NC))

if carolina stays healthy, is it ridiculous to see them at a double digit win team this season, provided we stay healthy and have a solid draft?

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Not out of the question.

Dennis (Winnabow, NC)

What is the panthers biggest need I say its CB

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

CB is definitely on the list. Not sure there will be great CB value at No. 9. They may have to address CB a bit later in the draft.

Steve Albarado (Ventura, CA)

Thanks for the chat Pat! Have a good weekend!

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks to all of you for participating. Have a great weekend.