Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

May 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Pat Yasinskas

chris (atlanta)

Article 43 section 1 of the cba states that all grievances have to be taken care of within the nfl 'courts'. Vilma can easily have his case thrown out of court due to agreement. Your opinion on this?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:51 PM)

I don't claim to be a legal expert. But check out item that just posted on NFC South blog. Andrew Brandt and Lester Munson, who know much more about legal matters, weigh in. Both say there's a good chance the lawsuit will get dismissed and not reach the trial stage.

Dylan (R.S. Wyo)

Are the Falcons still interested in Marcus McNeill?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:53 PM)

Don't know for sure that they ever really have been interested. But I think they'd like to bring someone in to compete with Baker. McNeill is still out there, so that leads to speculation.

Ryan (Charleotte)

Regression or Progression. Which will be the theme for Cam Newton next year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:54 PM)

I see progress. He's got a full offseason with the coaches and the play book this time around.

chris (taylor)

Saw you just made the article about the lawsuit. Article 43 section 1 states that per agreement, Vilma can only take grievance with the NFl, not the legal system. Do you think that the case will be thrown out?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:56 PM)

Again, I'm no legal expert. But Munson is our legal expert and he said he believes there is a good chance it will get dismissed.

Todd (Conway,Arkansas)

Pat,With the Saints almost too deep at RB,Do you see them trying to trade Ivory or Thomas at all,I just think having 4 capable ball carriers is hard to keep them all happy

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:57 PM)

I don't think they're actively shopping any of them. But the rest of the NFL knows they're loaded at RB. I could see a team coming to them with a trade offer for one of them and obviously Saints would have to listen.

bryant (Virginia)

what are the bucs expecting to get out of McCoy/Price? Do you expect them to have big years?

Pat Yasinskas
  (12:59 PM)

They both have flashed promise when they've been healthy. But there's no denying this will be a crucial season for McCoy. He needs to stay healthy and start reaching his potential.

MJ (Palm Beach, FL)

Hey Pat, If the Bucs were to be interested in trading for Osi, does the team have enough left in cap space to offer him a new contract? It would be great to see a big defensive signing to end our off-season transactions!!!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:00 PM)

Yeah, they still have plenty of cap room. Think they have about $15 million. But I'm not so sure that they're interested in Osi.

bryant (Virginia)

Whats the word on Cody Grimm's status?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:01 PM)

Think he's fine.

RossMcR (Glasgow, Scotland)

Pat, I am not too concerned about the Brees lack of talks with Saints at this point however I do expect them to ramp up now! When do you expect this to get resolved??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

Deadline to sign franchise players to long-term deals is July 16. I'm guessing it will play out pretty close to the deadline.

Ken (NY)

Who has the most talented Offense in the NFCS?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:02 PM)

I have to say Saints because they set all sorts of offensive records last year.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

Since Drew Brees made a point of trashing the Saints earlier this week, do you think that some details of the Saints offer might find their way to "a source with knowledge of the details but who has not been authorized to comment." It sure seems like Loomis might be a little sore over what happened considering the Saints usually keep things like this under wraps.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:04 PM)

I think Brees believes there might already have been some of that going on. He made it a point to say that the reports of what he's seeking have been inflated.

kris (One Buc, FL)

Who do you see having a better year? Freeman or Matt Ryan?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:05 PM)

Hmmm, I'll say Ryan. I think Freeman will be much better than last year. But I think Ryan might really take a big step up in their new offense.

Jonathan (London)

Falcon's new defense vs. Saints offense. Who has the advantage??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:07 PM)

Think you'd have to give the advantage to the Saints offense against any defense. But I do think Atlanta's defense will improve this year.

Ty (Nashville)

If the season started today (and assuming Vilma and Smith are out) who are the Saints starting front 7 on D?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:08 PM)

McBride and Jordan at DE. Bunkley and Ellis at DT. Lofton at MLB. I think they'll use training camp and preseason to throw all those other LBs out there and let them compete for the other two starting spots.

binky (va)

I know its early but if mark Barron plays to his full potential does he have the tools to be a polamalu type of player

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:10 PM)

Bucs certainly seem to think so and lots of scouts are very high on Barron.

Chris (Greenville, NC)

Where does the Panther D-Line stack up vs the NFL. We know the LB's are the best (or at worst top 3 teams), but the D-Line worries me....

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:11 PM)

Middle of D-line remains a big question mark. If Edwards is healthy, that should help a lot. Also, would help if Greg Hardy steps up.

J. Harrison (The Steel City)

Any offense has the advantage against any defense. The commissioner has made any attempt to play defense illegal and subject to big fines.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:12 PM)

No argument here.

Mookie (Snellville, Ga)

Hey Pat, I heard the Saints could franchise Brees for 3 straight seasons, That would give the organization a lot of leverage over Brees considering he would be 36 in 3 years, Do you think he'd hold out for a long term deal considering that's the situation he's in ?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

I don't know what he ultimately would do if it really does come down to that. But he's made it very clear all along that he wants a long-term deal.

craig [via mobile]

The players the Panthers pick up this week are they battling for starting position, just added depth, or special team players?? THANKS PAT

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:13 PM)

Just depth and special teams.

scott (maine)

Do the falcons have enough cap room to bring in any free agents? If so who would they be?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:14 PM)

Not a lot of room. Think they're about $2.6 million under right now. Might be able to add some guys at veteran minimum, but I wouldn't expect anything big.

CC (Atlanta)

The Panthers have top 3 in the NFL LBs? Is that guy serious? Hmm, that's a huge stretch. Bottom 3 is more like it. And don't us the "if Thomas Davis is healthy" line.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:16 PM)

I wouldn't put them in top or bottom 3. If Kuechly is what everyone expects and Beason is what he was before, then they're definitely an above average group. And I'm saying that guessing that Anderson will be the other starter and Davis will be used for depth.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

Much has been made of the Saints' "lack of depth" at DE this offseason. I think both Junior Galllette and Greg Romeus have a chance to blossom under Spags' guidance. Your thoughts?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:17 PM)

Yeah, bringing up Romeus is a good point. He's supposed to be healthy and I think he could be a player. Gallette definitely has some raw talent and could be helped by Spags.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will Mike Smith & Matt Ryan get over the hump this year and finally win a playoff game? If not, do questions begin swirling around the coach and his ability to take Atlanta to the next level?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:20 PM)

Yeah, I think it's pretty obvious this is a crucial year for Smith. He needs to win a playoff game. Not saying he'll be fired if he doesn't, but the pressure is definitely on.

CC (Atlanta)

Come on Pat... so a rookie LB comes in and turns a bad LB corps into an above average one? By that rationale, the Falcons OL issues are solved, right? Not buying either one Patrice.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

No, I'm saying Beason's return helps them more than anything. If he's healthy, Beason is very good. If Kuechly is what people think he is, then they're in good shape. Anderson isn't anything special, but he's solid.

Mitch (NC)

Why aren't the Panthers more interested in signing Jeremy Shockey? Is it a money thing?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:22 PM)

No, I think Shockey might be looking around to see if he can find a place he'd rather be.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:24 PM)

Osi is 30. Bucs don't seem to want a lot of guys over 30 these days.

john (ms)

chris owens has to be the worst corner in the league....why is he still on our team?????

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

He may not be there come September.

Bruce Wayne (Gotham City)

Nolan vs. Spags. Who has the better impact on the defense side of the ball?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:25 PM)

They're both good coaches. But I think Nolan's stepping into a pretty good situation. Lot's of individual talent already in place.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

Is there anything floating around out there regarding when the arbitrator will issue a ruling on the NFLPA grievance?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:27 PM)

No, I haven't heard anything about a time frame. Stay tuned.

scott (maine)

Any chance a LT gets cut before start of season that could land in atlanta?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:28 PM)

If they don't bring in someone else in meantime, I'm sure they'll be watching waiver wire very closely in the preseason.

Richard Walker ((not that Richard Walker) Gastonia N.C.)

Pat I am still worried about Carolina's secondary. Do you see this being a problem this year? or can the d-line get enough pressure to protect them?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:29 PM)

Well, if you see THAT Richard Walker, tell him I said hello!!! Still think there are issues in that secondary. But more pressure up front might help erase some of those issues.

CC (Atlanta)

Was Van Gorder encouraged to find another job? Seems odd to move back to college on your own.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:30 PM)

I suspect so. Or at very least, he looked at the hand writing on the wall and knew it was time to get out.

scott (maine)

Falcons have the best defence in NFCS in my opion the have best DE, Best LB, best three corners. Your thoughts

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:31 PM)

I'll go with you on best overall talent on defense in the division. But you seriously think they've got the best LBs? I don't. Weatherspoon's good, but that's it.

kyle (northampton pa)

do teams get frustrated when players arrive injured? i saw that Dough Martin hasn't practiced yet due to an injury. does this hurt their status with coaches?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:32 PM)

It was supposedly a very mild strain for Martin and he was leaving next day for the Rookie Premier, so they decided to play it safe and hold him out.

Drew (New Orleans)

Do you think the Saints are making a big mistake by not giving me what I want?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Absolutely!

Shawn (Raleigh NC)

Pat, Do you think the Panthers can make the playoffs this year?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:33 PM)

Certainly a possibility. Obviously, they need the defense to be a lot better than it was last year.

mills (north carolina)

can Cam help make THE Steve Smith get back to the top 5 wr's in the nfl next year??

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:34 PM)

Think Steve got back pretty close to top five last season. See no reason why this season can't be the same or better.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

Do you see Roman Harper coming off the field this year on passing downs? The guy is a beast near the line, but a serious liability in coverage. I think the waterboy would be a better option.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:37 PM)

I think it's going to be a bit of a challenge for Roman in the Spags system. Spags likes to keep his DBs in coverage and generate the pass rush just with the front four. Roman's coverage abilities aren't his strength. I expect he'll get a chance to see how he fares in the Spags system. If he starts getting exploited in coverage, then they might consider taking him off the field at times.

Tim (Athens)

Pat, do the Bucs players feel like they are learning the new offense pretty quickly?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:39 PM)

Freeman said the other day that they had installed about 80 percent of the offense. He seems to like it. But obviously they still have plenty of work to do.

scott (maine)

when its all said and done who do you see playing oline for falcons?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

I say Hawley at center with Konz and Blalock at guards. Clabo at RT. And this probably isn't what you want to hear ...but Baker at LT. I think they're serious about sticking with him -- for better or worse.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Surprised that the Falcons have not signed another RB...J-Rodggers can't be an everydown back if/when Turner gets hurt...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:41 PM)

Don't forget Jason Snelling!

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Likelihood we see Bowers again? Just a shame...

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:42 PM)

Oh, he'll be back, but I'm just not sure it will be this season.

Alex F (Belgium)

Why is it that Rob Gronkowski is so consistently rated above Jimmy Graham? Their stats were incredible similar and Gronk only won the record for yards by a TE by a few.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:43 PM)

Agree that they're on a similar level. But to answer your question, my guess is it's because Graham has only been a starter for one season. I think he's got the upside to pass Gronk.

Clark Kent (Metropolis)

Is winning just one playoff game enough for the Falcons, or do they need to make it to the NFC championship game or super bowl?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:46 PM)

Going deep in the postseason would definitely satisfy a lot of people. But I think even one win would at least ease the pressure or keep it on a reasonable level for another year. But, at some point, you run the risk of what happened to Dungy in Tampa Bay. You get the label of not being able to win the big one.

Vinnie (ATL)

Did Thomas D make his 40 mile bike ride from Buckhead to Flowery Branch today?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:47 PM)

Yes, he did. My friend DLed from the Atlanta Journal Constitution even rode along for a few miles. Check out DLed's blog for more details.

Steve B (Ohio)

Considering the Brees situation and many simalar ones past and Present, Why is it so Important to a player to be the highest paid at his posistion while handicapping his Team from signing other talent. I mean seriously when you're making 10-15 mill a year what differance is a couple more million? I understand the whole "ego" thing but doesnt "Super Bowl Champion" carry a little more clout than Highest Paid Player?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:49 PM)

Excellent question. I guess the best way to answer it is that all these guys are incredibly competitive. They have to be that way just to get to the NFL. There is some degree of ego with every player. Also, their agents are also incredibly competitive and some of them have even larger egos.

Chris (Oxford N.C.)

I can't wait to see all the crazy formations Chud comes up with now that we have D. Williams, JStew, and Tolbert. Watch out NFCS defenses!

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:50 PM)

Panthers are certainly more fun to watch than in the John Fox days -- at least on the offensive side.

Peter Parker (New York)

If Jonathan Vilma sues and fails, what are the chances that Goodell let's him return next year.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:51 PM)

Suspension is only for one year. As long as Vilma does everything else he's supposed to, I don't think Goodell would have much choice other than to let him return.

Mickey L (5800 Airline Drive, Metarie)

I noticed that you agree that I should just give Drew whatever he wants. Whom do you suggest I cut so that we can stay under the cap after I agree to the very front-loaded deal he wants? It would probably take cutting Evans, Ellis, Colston, and Bushrod.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:54 PM)

You could start with Will Herring. That's about $1.8 million right there. You're already about $2.6 under the cap. Brees already is counting at more than $16 million, so you only need about $3 to $4 million to fit him under this year's cap. Plus, if Vilma's suspension is upheld, he comes off the books right away.

scott (maine)

With all the bad headlines regarding the saints already out there why would a player want more bad headlines with evidence. Couldnt that turn away fans?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:55 PM)

It could. But I think what Vilma is saying is he did nothing wrong, so he doesn't believe there's any real evidence.

Nathan (Orange County)

Is it time to say farewell to earnest Graham? I think so.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:57 PM)

Think that already has been done. He's not under contract with Bucs and I think it's obvious they've moved on. If healthy, Earnest probably could still get a job elsewhere in NFL.

bob (canon city co)

what are the conditions the players have to abide by?

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:58 PM)

In this case, I think they're trying to encourage the suspended parties to speak out against excessive violence, etc. Normal rules are basically have no contact with anyone in the league and stay out of trouble.

Adam (Asheville)

So pat why are the panthers giving McDermott another chance? I know he only had one bad year with the panthers but he was also coming off being fired from the eagles. I personally feel they should have stuck with Meeks as D coordinator.

Pat Yasinskas
  (1:59 PM)

He's Rivera's guy. They easily were able to write last season's defensive performance off because of the injuries. But I think McDermott enters this season on the hot seat.

Mickey L (5800 Airline Drive, Metarie)

That's the difference between you and me. I have to think about the cap for the next three seasons. We have nothing to indicate that the cap will go up significantly until after the new TV deal, and Drew's number would certainly rise over the next three years.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

Good point about the future seasons. But you can fit him under this year's cap pretty easily.

Brian (Baton Rouge)

Excellent chat, Pat. See you next week.

Pat Yasinskas
  (2:00 PM)

You guys were excellent, as always. Enjoyed it. We'll do it again next week. Thanks for stopping by.