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May 8, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Seifert

Kevin Seifert
  (1:59 PM)

Hi everyone. Let's get right to it.

Joe (MI)

How much money would it take for the Lions to sign Ryan Grant? I'm ok with them signing him, but only as a 4th RB, which shouldn't get much money or carries.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:00 PM)

My guess is that they haven't offered him much more than the veteran's minimum. At this point in the offseason, most of the big money has been spent already. Grant probably can't hurt himself by waiting to see if a market forms that could somehow sweeten the deal, but at the moment that's not happening.

Pete (MI)

As a Lions' fan I have to ask why the Vikings didn't draft a RB since Peterson got hurt last year. Apparently, according to the media, RB's never, ever heal. They all seem to think that Best, LeShoure, and Smith will never play again, even though doctors expect them all to be ready for training camp.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:02 PM)

Ha. In the Lions' case, the concern is that Best has an unpredictable ailment in concussions. Symptoms go away, but generally speaking some players are more susceptible than others. Smith always seems to have some kind of injury, and history shows that injury-prone players usually stay that way. And Leshoure has yet to play an NFL down. I think that's why the media has expressed concern about the Lions running backs.

alan (chicago)

if J'marcus webb does take a step forward to be an average LT for the bears, do they become a top 4 team in the NFC? It seems they have addressed all of their other issues at DE, S and WR

Kevin Seifert
  (2:04 PM)

I think they're on their way already. Look how well they were playing last season before the Cutler injury.

Tim (Texas)

With an entire offseason program to work through, I think we should all realize that Marshall Newhouse has potential to become a very solid LT for the Packers. Bulaga in his first year as a starter allowed 10+ sacks as did Newhouse this season. Bulaga came back this season to allow from what I have read 1 sack through the season. It seems as though I am not as worried about Newhouse as some other fans. The guy can play obviously just have to give him more then essentially less then an entire season to prove it. Clifton was benched in favor of Newhouse which spoke volumes that Newhouse at this point in development was more sound then our reliable brick LT for the past 10 years.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:06 PM)

Well, the Packers actually benched Newhouse in favor of Clifton for the playoffs. But I agree that Newhouse showed a lot last season and there is every reason to believe he'll be the left tackle in 2012.

Tim (Texas)

I have been reading a lot lately from various Packer news sites that Caper plans to deploy a "Hybrid" defense that the Patriots and Ravens deployed last season. That would seem to make sense as we have a few players that can easily play multiple positions on our defense especially with some of the draft picks we got.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:07 PM)

The reality is Dom Capers already runs a hybrid defense. The Packers use their nickel about 75 percent of the time and their base 3-4 in the other 25 percent. That's one of the beauties of his system. He can adjust to the talents of the players he has and cover, in some cases, for their weaknesses.

Chris A (Grand Rapids)

You mentioned in an earlier post that the Lions have just under five million in cap space left. How do they go about signing their draft choices? Does that cap space not impact this years limit?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:08 PM)

I don't have the exact number in front of me, but yes, a team's "rookie pool" is a portion of its total cap allotment. So if a team needs $4.5 million in cap space to sign its draft class it either needs to have that much available or create it.

Bainpr (Southern MN)

Any news on how the vikings rookies are doing. Any that have been standing out significantly more than others?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:09 PM)

Apparently CB Josh Robinson looked just as fast in person as he did at the combine.

Pete (Work)

If you have a son would you ever let him play football?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:10 PM)

That's an entire essay. The short version is I would be torn and I'm not sure what I would do.

Nick (Marshfield, WI)

What happens if the Minnesota legislature approves the bill with the increased Vikings contribution? Do the Vikings have a way to reject it? Can they veto it before it is fully approved?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:12 PM)

I'm guessing the Vikings would push hard for that to be changed during the conference committee. Ultimately, the Vikings don't have to sign a lease for the new stadium if they don't want to. That would be their leverage to lower the commitment.

Scott (MN)

What are the odds that Hargrove and others are going to win their apeal to their suspensions or get them decreased?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:13 PM)

It's going to be tough. The NFLPA is trying to circumvent the commissioner on the appeal, even though the CBA they agreed to clearly puts Goodell in that role.

Shooter McGavin (Minneapolis)

Wanna go golfing tomorrow Kevin? This is your slow season after all.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:13 PM)

Ha, right, of course. As it turns out, I'm already paired up with Bob Barker.

Brett (Michigan)

Any updates on the health status of Jason Fox? Do you think if he stays healthy he will break into the starting lineup by possibly taking over for Peterman or Cherilus? He was supposed to possibly be a diamond in the rough for the lions and take over Backus at one point. I know they drafted Reiff but it would be nice to have two young tackles on both sides of the ball...thoughts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:14 PM)

Apparently he will be ready for all of the Lions' offseason work, but the decision to draft Reiff probably tells you what you need to know about the Lions' assessment of Fox.

Tim (Texas)

In regards to the Safety postion for the Packers is it coincidence that yet again Thompson dips into a small school that doesn't often send prospects to the NFL as he did with Nick Collins and now Jerron McMillian this draft? The McMillian pick is intriguing because not many people thought Collins would become so good at the Safety position from where he came from just as many I'm sure think the same about McMillian. Also doesn't hurt that McMillian who is a bigger built safety ran a 4.39 at his pro day.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

There are definitely some parallels there, but you also wonder if Collins will prove to be the exception to the rule. Chances are thin for any small school player to make it in the NFL. For a small school player to become a Pro Bowler is even less likely, statistically speaking.

justin (ky)

what happended between the lions and grant and do thay still plan to meet or did grant blow off the lions

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

Apparently the Lions' offer remains on the table. Guessing Grant and his agent are trying to cultivate the Packers to counter.

Donovan (Milwaukee) [via mobile]

Do you think that the Pack focuses on the run a bit more this year? That does take the ball out of the reigning MVP's hand, but if there was a run game to keep defenses honest, it could lead to an even bigger year from A-Rodg.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:17 PM)

They're a passing team. They might change how they run in terms of playcalls and blocking schemes, but probably not the frequency of it.

Droog Yarblockos (Awesomeville)

Are you as embarrassed as I am by the Minnesota House as I am? Suggesting amendments like public ownership of the Vikes, guarantees of no T.V. blackouts and hosting the Super Bowl within 3 years, etc.?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:18 PM)

I mean, I guess that's how the game is played. Maybe those reps were trying to make a point. But it sure seemed like a waste of time to advocate a position that would require a third party to change its rules before it could be implemented.

pete (work)

Commenting on the other Pete in MI wasn't Adrian Peterson not drafted higher though because of his injury problems in college

Kevin Seifert
  (2:18 PM)

He had a collarbone issue in his final season that the Vikings deemed sound. They were right. It has never caused a problem that I know of.

Jon (Chicago)

Is this going to be an all-stadium chat?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:19 PM)

No.

Jim (Atlanta)

Kevin,Who do you see the packers signing to help fill the gap at RB?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:20 PM)

No one, if not Grant. It sure looks like it will be Starks, John Kuhn, maybe Alex Green and Brandon Saine.

Mark (Michigan)

Hi Kevin:Any word on possible discipline facing Lions caught in marijuana related offenses yet? What's your gut say happens?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:20 PM)

No word on that. My guess is the discipline will be minimal if anything. Suspensions would surprise me.

Tom (Brooklyn)

Kevin, love the blog and the chat. As a Bears fan, I like the Vikes cutting Longwell, but why'd they do that?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:21 PM)

I'll get into this a bit more in the blog, but I'm guessing they figured this is going to be a down year and they might as well cram as much replacement and turnover into one time as possible.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Kevin, do you think the move in Vikings' kickers from Longwell to Walsh may result in longer kickoffs and the potential of longer field goal attempts in 2012?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:22 PM)

Perhaps, but kickoffs aren't a big issue anymore with the new rule.

Jon (Colorado)

I'm not surprised that Joe Vitt is denying Hargrove's claim, but I am surprised that he only got a 6 game suspension for what appears (and the NFL seems to believe) to be having an active role in covering up the bounties. I'm especially surprised that it's less than Hargrove's suspension. Thoughts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:23 PM)

Agree, and I agree with Rick Reilly who in general wrote that the organizers -- the coaches -- should be punished more harshly than the players, who in the military structure of the NFL don't have a lot of ability to circumvent the instructions of their superiors.

Jon (Chicago)

Pete's question seems like it should be a future post from you, Kevin.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:23 PM)

You read my mind.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:24 PM)

Not a lot of Bears questions here people...

Tom (Brooklyn)

Any insight into why an independent arbitrator wasn't included as part of the new CBA? You don't need a law degree to know that having the same man as commissioner, judge, and appellate court is bad idea.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

Because the NFL insisted on it for obvious reasons and the NFLPA wasn't able to move the league off its position. It was a huge NFL victory.

chris (nj)

does some team sign mcnabb before training camp yes or no, your prediction

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

No.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

No.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

No.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:26 PM)

No.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:26 PM)

Sorry. A little delay there. NOT intentional but it looks like a sarcastic response.

Ben (DC)

The drafting of Reiff says all you need to know about the assessment of Fox? Does that mean the drafting of Broyles means they don't care for Megatron?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:27 PM)

Point well taken. But something tells me if the Lions thought that Jason Fox would one day replace Jeff Backus, they wouldn't have drafted Reiff.

Nick (Syracuse)

Any updates on AP's injury?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:29 PM)

He's been running well in straight lines but hasn't started cutting yet as far as I know. Still plans to be ready for Week 1.

Matt (Houston)

Say Ponder doesn't make very much progress this season. Do you believe the Vikes would look to the draft again next year for a QB?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:30 PM)

I would be surprised if they gave up on him after 2012 unless he was completely and utterly awful.

Bob (Montana)

We keep hearing that Carimi is going to be fine but during the season we kept hearing that it was just a minor injury. Any sense of how he is actually doing?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:31 PM)

Lovie said in March that he fully expected Carimi to be ready for the full offseason program. My understanding is that last year he decided to have multiple procedures to give himself the best chance to have a long career, even if it cost him his first season.

Willie Wonka (Lumpaland)

Hey Kevin,is there any way to know if Pete at work and Pete in Michigan are truly different people?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:32 PM)

I'm sure the brain wizards behind the curtain could figure it out through IP addresses, but I don't have access to that here on my screen.

Matt (Houston)

So you're belief is that the Vikings are almost going the route like the Colts? Gut most everything and start fresh? Isn't there a problem with that though...don't they have to have solid decision makers in place? Can't they just get rid of everyone, Spielman, Frazier, etc. and truly start fresh?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:33 PM)

I think it's looking more and more like that, but they have a few more building blocks than the Colts do, from Adrian Peterson to Chad Greenway to Jared Allen.

Brad (Wichita, Ks)

Is this a critical offseason and training camp for Mike Neal? With all the additions GB has made is he on the chopping block if he doesn't stay healthy and perform?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:34 PM)

I think that's a fair assessment.

Nolan (La Crosse, WI)

Sounds like Hargrove was more or less blackmailed by Williams and Vitt holding his career hostage... shouldn't Goodell see that?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:35 PM)

He's holding him responsible for what he said regardless of the circumstances.

Jon (Chicago)

Brandon Marshall strongly proclaimed his innocence this week, and no charges have yet been filed. At this point, are there likely to be any charges brought against Marshall? Or is it more likely that it will just be a lawsuit from the woman who claims he punched her?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:36 PM)

It's reasonable to guess that if the NYC police department had reasonable cause, it would have pressed charges by now. Perhaps they're waiting to see if any more information shakes out. A civil suit is easy to pursue, but I have no knowledge that the woman involved plans to file one.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Kevin, do you see Shea McClellin as one of the starting DE's in the Bears defense come regular season?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:37 PM)

Yes. I really think they would like to use Israel Idonije as more of a backup at end and tackle. Putting McClellin in the starting role would accomplish that.

Bill (Chicago)

Do you think that Marshall will have a negative impact on the Bears locker room?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:38 PM)

No. It will be fine. That locker room is well established with a wide variety of personalities.

Marty (chicago)

Will the the bear's red zone offensive be in the top half of the league or bottom half (as usual) with the additions of marshall, jeffery, and bush.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:38 PM)

It's got a good chance. And don't forge Kellen Davis and even Earl Bennett in those situations.

Cale (Orlando)

Who gets more snaps this season, Earl Bennett or Devin Hester?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:39 PM)

If they're both healthy, I'm saying Bennett. Cutler still loves him.

Rob (albany)

Forte can not like the cheap extension fred jackson signed. forte gonna sign the tender before the preseason you think?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:39 PM)

I don't think he's going to feel rushed to sign the tender, and certainly not in time to play any preseason games.

Icon (NYC)

Gosder is a free agent after this season. That could have something to do with the drafting of Reiff as well.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:40 PM)

Fair point. I just don't get the sense the Lions have any big future plans for Jason Fox.

Jon (Chicago)

Although nobody in the Bears' organization has publicly badmouthed Martz, how much does their inattention to the offensive line this offseason speak to their opinion of him?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:40 PM)

Volumes. They obviously think that the same players can be much better in a different scheme.

Nolan (La Crosse, WI)

I keep thinking Cutler is gonna overfavor Marshall and force the ball raising his rate of INTs. Any validity to my thought process?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:43 PM)

But Marshall has the kind of skills to bail him out. They trust each other to make plays.

pete (work)

We are different. I am in TX

Kevin Seifert
  (2:43 PM)

Case solved!

Tom (Brooklyn)

Obviously it's impossible to grade a draft until a few years in, but how do you think Emery handled his first draft as a GM? I loved it - thought he took some gambles, but filled some holes too. Really impressed with his initial aggressiveness in this role.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:44 PM)

Agreed on his aggressiveness. I didn't expect it, even though we had no factual basis for expectation because he has never been a GM before. They're a better team at a lot of positions.

Nick (Syracuse)

Let's say that Ponder goes 2-14 as a starter in 2012 and the Vikes get a top 5 pick. Any chance they should consider taking Barkley?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:45 PM)

Depends on if they're 2-14 because of bad quarterback play. If he was completely and terribly awful, then yes, I would think Barkley or Landry Jones or someone would come under consideration, especially if 2-14 leads to a new coach.

Luke (New Jersey)

Kellen Moore was supposed to be drafted in the 7th round. He went undrafted and was signed by the Lions. He has great accuracy and a fantastic mindset. Do you think he will ever start a game in the NFL?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:47 PM)

When a quarterback isn't drafted in a quarterback-starved league, you would have to think the guy has some serious deficiencies. I know he's a fan favorite, but he'll have to do some things that no team thought he could in order to become a starter.

Jon (Chicago)

Continuing the Marshall question: Is a suspension from the league for this event likely?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:48 PM)

Not unless his story and explanation prove a complete lie.

Sean (IL)

Do you have a sense of how long a leash Webb will have for the bears if he struggles to start the season? Will Tice let him struggle through the whole season in hopes of improvement? Or look to make changes midway through and give up on what potential they see there?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:49 PM)

They didn't really give themselves many options for change, unless they want to put Carimi there and move Lance Louis back to right tackle, which is not his best position.

Nick (Marshfield, WI)

Is it possible that between the appeal, NFLPA, and possible legal action, Hargrove's suspension isn't enforced until after this season?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:50 PM)

He would have to get a legal injunction and to this point all the players are pursuing is a ruling on the appeal from an independent arbitrator.

Smeagol (fishing)

Is Alshon Jeffery a week 1 starter, as well?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:51 PM)

Possibly, if the Bears open in a three-receiver set.

Brian (Michigan)

Any chance we can get weekly NFC North videos through your blog? Seems like the next step, a lot of work, but I'm sure ESPN can handle it. Maybe they can give you an intern

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

We are in fact doing videos every Wednesday. It's the "Blogger Blitz" video posts.

Nolan (La Crosse, WI)

I'm just curious... approximately how many people join this chat each week?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:54 PM)

Don't have those numbers. Have anywhere between 200-600 questions submitted during the hour.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:54 PM)

Ok a few more here.

Todd (Minneapolis)

Kevin, not to be a total homer but if the Vikes can get the CB's to play well, AP back to form and Ponder serviceable, can't the Vikes have a shot at 9-7?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:55 PM)

Best case scenario.

Scott (MN)

Kevin, what are your thoughts on Christian Ballard DT for the Vikes. Will he replace K. Williams at some point or will they try to work him in in the other tackle position?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:56 PM)

He seems like a good swing guy between end and tackle. It's hard to find play-makers like Kevin Williams though.

Kiel (Champaign)

Kevin, do you think that the drafting of Shea McClellin could be partly attributed to Phil Emery preparing for a departure of Lovie Smith?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:56 PM)

No. Actually, McClellin perfectly fits the kind of guy Rod Marinelli would want.

Alex (Minneapolis)

What percentage chance do you see of the Vikings stadium getting shot down in the next round of voting?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

Less than 50 percent of getting shot down.

Jon (Chicago)

Out of those 200-600, how many of them are good questions?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

Less than 50 percent. :)

Brad (Milwaukee)

Quick.. # of NFCN playoff teams this season..

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

3

Pat (Rosholt)

do you have an increase chance of getting questions answered if you summit them early before the chat starts or during the chat?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:58 PM)

No. And my biggest pet peeve are the people who blast me with 10-12 entries of the same question. That's a guaranteed delete.

Matt P (Berkshire, NY)

Who do you think has the best offensive line in the NFC North?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:59 PM)

Packers. They have a good replacement at center in Jeff Saturday, a big-time right guard, and two ascending players in left guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Bryan Bulaga.

Kevin Seifert
  (3:00 PM)

OK everyone. Thanks so much. Chat with you soon.