Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 26, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Hi. Who's got questions?

Carl (Raleigh NC)

Whats going on Dan,I think the cowboys should take Warmack or J Cooper if either is available cause it seems the DL position is a little deeper than the OL and they can still get a real good DL in round 2 and the OL can't keep being put on the back burner and are you related to Rene from mob wives I had to ask

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

I agree with you, Carl. I think they should go offensive line in the first round -- especially if one of those guys is there, sheesh -- even though the switch to 4-3 and likely loss of Spencer makes DE look like a sudden priority. And no, I am not.

Diverse1 (NY)

Will the Giants at least entertain picking up Dwight Freeny and is Wreak Havoc days past him. (I don't think so) Defense wins ask the real Giants not last years model!

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

What I have heard on Freeney is not very encouraging. Sounds as though he slipped significantly last few years. I'd be surprised if the Giants went that way, but you never know what they see.

Aaron (Denver, CO)

Dan, why are the Giants freeing up 1M in cap space with Kiwi's contract, when there's seamingly much more fat that can be trimmed from other contracts (see Deihl, David; Webster, Corey "Toast")

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

The Kiwi move is easy. Those others are more difficult decisions and processes.

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

The Kiwi restructure doesn't mean they won't do those other things, but they're likely to take more time.

Scott (Newport News)

You wrote earlier today that the Redskins may have to part with Davis, Carriker, Lichtensteiger and Young. If you only have 1 slot, who are you keeping?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Maybe Young, considering how important their running game is to them.

Tino (Mexico)

Can the Cowboys make some cap room by releasing Spencer? or just save money?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Spencer is an unrestricted free agent. They cannot release him, and he is not on their 2013 books.

st8prop (Atlanta, GA)

Dan...do you see the recently released Eagles Cullens or Patterson staying within the Beast and signing with the Redskins, Giants or Cowboys since those teams have obvious DT needs?

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

I think Jenkins could help the Giants or Cowboys. Not sure how he's a fit in Washington.

Kyle (Freehold)

Do you see the Giants bringing Beatty back?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

It sounds as though they are moving in that direction, yes.

PC (Silver Spring, MD)

If Asomugha is released, should Giants pick him up? Seems like every year someone in the secondary gets hurt and they get torched.

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

I think Asomugha can still play. He is not, however, one of the top corners in the league, which is how he successfully sold himself as a free agent two years ago. I think he's better than Corey Webster right now, so if the price is right, yeah, I could see a move like that making sense. But again, no idea what the Giants' evaluation of Nnamdi is.

Carlo (Toronto)

If the skins do go "nuclear" with the cap mess, can the courts really delay the start of free agency? wouldn't that throw the entire offseason schedule off?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

You have a better chance of delaying the start of free agency by hacking the NFL's computer system than the Redskins have of doing it with legal action. This is all noise.

Kevin (VA)

I think the Skins did okay toward the end of last season w/o Orakpo, do you think they try to trade him for a safety or corner, or may be to move up to 1st round?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

Now is not the time to trade Orakpo. How are you going to get a first-round pick for a guy who's missed that many games?

joe (fredericksburg)

what likly db help do you see falling to the redskins in the draft? thoughts on reid out of lsu?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

I don't want to be disrespectful to this question or the many like it that I am getting, but the plain fact is that I have not scouted or watched film of second-round defensive backs. I refer you to Todd McShay or Mel Kiper or any of the excellent scouting and draft experts on our NFL draft page. Lots of really helpful stuff there.

GM (Miami)

Dan, assuming Cruz stays in the slot, do you see Randle getting more reps on the opposite side of Nicks in 2013?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

Yes. They tried that in the second half of the 2012 season. Randle didn't seem ready, but they think he will be eventually.

Spencer (CO)

How important is it that the Cowboys sign Romo before the start of the 2013 season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

From a cap standpoint, it's essential. I don't see how they can have any offseason at all without reducing his 2013 cap number.

Weech (SoCal)

Why wouldn't the NFLPA come to the defense of the players being put on hold by the Skins? As far as they are concerned, the sanctions have already been implemented and accepted by the NFLPA to boot. If I'm trying to get a new contract with WASH, I'm calling my rep today.

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

I see what you're saying, but I don't think the union has any power to compel a team to negotiate or impose a timetable on it.

Hanson (DC)

The Eagles are in transition on offense and defense,is this gonna be a year where they just basically see what they have as far as talent fitting kind of an audition for the 2014 season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

I think it's entirely possible that this is a rebuilding year for the Eagles. Likely, even. Kelly is correctly thinking long-term, and that could mean a tough year. Now, they have a lot of very talented players still on both sides of the ball and should be able to win more than four games regardless. But major questions at QB and on defense mean, for me, a big year in Philly would be an upset.

Akbar (Philly)

Dan! You're the Howie Roseman right now, you're on the clock at pick number 4 and Star Loutelei (if he's healthy), Dion Jordan, or Dee Milliner are there, who do you take?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

All depends, Akbar. Who did I sign a month ago in free agency with my $44 million in cap room?

AJ (Washington, DC)

Hey Dan! Even though you have not been covering the NFC East blog for that long (or do not root for/follow any one team), do you still find yourself following Coach Reid in KC any?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Only from the standpoint that I'm curious to see who he takes with the No. 1 pick.

introspect (MD)

Hi, Dan. Do you see any team willing to trade multiple draft picks with Philly for the #4 pick?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Possible, but I think the Eagles should stay put and take a great player there.

Mike (NJ)

Hey Dan. I think the Giants are still a Super Bowl contender with a few holes to fill and free agents to sign. I would like to see them pick up an elite offensive tackle with there first pick but I know they like defense, what do you see them doing ?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Again, I think we need to see who they add in free agency before we can figure that out. The Giants have many needs they can address -- OL, LB, DL, DB -- and until we see how they address them in March, it's hard to figure out how they'll address them in April.

Kevin (VA)

Dan, why are you so dismissive of the Skins efforts to get a resolution for this penalty? they seem pretty confident that they got a chance to reverse it.

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

Well, what do you expect them to say? I'm just trying to give it to you straight, is all. Maybe I'm wrong and they get some money back. Obviously, I'd have no problem with that. I think it was ridiculous to take it from them in the first place. I just look at it from a neutral standpoint and don't see how they get it done.

Matt (Rhode Island Eagles)

I have no clue, so I'm asking you Dan. Do you think Mychal Kendricks can do well in this new 3-4 and/or 4-3 under scheme?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

Yes, I think Kendricks' speed and athleticism will help make him a valuable player in the new defense. I like Kendricks.

Hanson (DC)

Does Miles Austin wear a Cowboy uniform next year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

Yes.

GM (Miami)

Dan, is Beatty looking for top-flight LT money, or do you think he gives the Giants a hometown discount?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I don't think he can demand top LT money. He's only done it for one year, and not a full one at that, and he's not far removed from significant injury problems. I think they'll find a number they both like.

John (Georgia)

Could the Eagles take Kenny Vaccaro at #4 overall?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

From everything I've heard, that's real high for Vaccaro.

Peter (Santa Barbara)

Can you explain the process for restricted free agent tenders? For example can the skins give a qualifying offer to Rob Jackson and get something for him if he signs elsewhere?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Yes. That's how it works. Depending on the level at which they tender him, they'd get something in return.

Kyle (Freehold)

Why are the Giants waiting to let Diehl go or at least restructure his contract. No way is he worth what we have to pay him. He is a back up player at best going forward.

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I keep saying this, but I am not aware of any deadline they have missed for making such a move.

Matt (Rhode Island Eagles)

It appears what the Eagles currently have at the defensive line shows that most of the DEs will not become stand up OLB and there is only one potential current NT, which is Dixon. Do you think the Eagles will solve that spot in free agency or the draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

It looks to me as though they are setting themselves up to be aggressive in free agency with defensive players.

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

And yes, that's what they did in 2011.

Rob (Philly)

In your eyes, what would KC have to offer for Howie to trade Foles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

He was a third-round pick last year and has nine games of NFL experience now. I'd need at least a second-rounder before I'd even look at it.

Tino (Mexico)

Cowboys: Trade Romo, free a lot of cap space, bring more draft picks, cut or reestructure the overpaid-underachieving players, sign some good solid FAs... why is that so hard to do?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

Listen. Seriously. All of you. I want you to hear this very clearly. Ready? Here it is: Tony Romo is going to play quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, and in 2014, and in 2015, and in 2016, and maybe longer than that. They like him. They correctly understand that there are no better options. They are keeping Romo. He will never wear another uniform.

Chino (Bronx)

Hi Dan, I don't get it, what are the Giants doing wrong when it comes to the CAP? I don't understand how every year the Eagles are tens of millions of dollars under the CAP. It drives me nuts!

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

The Eagles would tell you that they made the decision after that 2008 season when they lost in the NFC Championship Game to the Cardinals to start going young and rebuilding on the fly. That was four years ago, and there's almost no one left who played a significant role on that team. Joe Banner correctly predicted at that time that the salary caps in these years would not rise to the extent that some others believed they would, and he structured deals according to that belief. The Eagles are set up well, from a cap standpoint, in large part because of that work by Banner. The Giants' situation is more normal. It's not that they're doing anything wrong. It's that the Eagles have managed the cap exceptionally well.

Louis (Ohio)

Should the Giants pay Tynes top kicker money or just let him walk? I've always seen him as a slightly above-average kicker. What do you think?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

I would let him walk if he wanted top-kicker money. Why spend on a kicker?

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Sure, the Eagles have managed the cap well, but the team stinks. You can be under the cap all you want, but if it is costing you wins, what does it matter?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

The team stinking is a relatively recent phenomenon, no?

mike (philly)

Dan, it seems to me that the cowboys have a ton of needs and no depth at all. When it comes to the first round it seems like they should take the best player off the board regardless of position (except QB) and use the rest of the draft to take positions of need. Fair assessment?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Your logic is sound, but given their cap issues, I think the Cowboys need to find 2013 starters in the first two or three rounds. I think they need to identify areas of need and match the picks up with them.

Jordan(florida) [via mobile]

Hi dan, do you think dallas could trade up for warmack. If they feel he wont be there at 18

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

They could. I just think they'd be foolish to once again use their first two picks on one player, no matter who it is. They need depth.

Chadi (Brooklyn)

Hey Dan, I completely agree with you about being it being too early to forecast the Giants' draft pick....That being said, if there is still a need for an LB when the draft comes around, could you see Reese taking a chance on a high potential, but character issues guy like Alec Ogletree?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

If you're asking me if I think Jerry Reese will use his first-round pick on a linebacker, I have to tell you that no, I do not.

David (Halifax)

Some draft "experts" project that both Joeckel and Shariff Floyd could be off the board in the top 3 picks. If thats the case, what do you think the eagles will do? You think Geno Smith is a possibility? Could have him sit behind Vick this year and hope he can be developed for next year.

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

You can't rule out the possibility that they take Smith at 4. QBs always move up the board in the final weeks, and there's no reason to think that won't happen this year. If Kelly falls in love with Smith as a franchise QB, sure, totally makes sense. But there's no indication that he has, will or should.

Luigi (NYC)

Dan, You keep bashing Reese on not taking a linebacker in the first round. Don't you know the Giants formula is to take the best player available. There hasn't been a linebacker who fits that title when the Giants have made there selections the last couple of years.

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

It's not "bashing." If he doesn't think linebacker is a first-round value position, that's his right, and he has a point. No value judgments here.

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

So sensitive, my Giants fans...

Anthony (VA)

Cruz is younger and doesn't have the injury problems like Nicks. Why do the Giants seem to be more fixated on signing Nicks next year rather than locking up Cruz now?

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

If that is indeed the case, then I imagine it's because they view Nicks as a more valuable, difficult-to-replace, traditional No. 1 WR who plays on the outside and can manhandle DBs in coverage. Cruz is better in the slot, and they may place less financial value on that position.

Daenerys Stormborn (Qarth)

I'm back in just one month. What did you think of my new trailer that just came out?

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

I am fired up.

Eric (Maryland)

TANGENT! Who wins the AL East this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

I learned long ago not to bet against the Yankees.

John (Over Your Left Shoulder)

Is it too early for the annual questions about compensatory picks, when they are announced and how they are determined?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

I believe they will be announced at next month's league meeting in Arizona -- March 17-20. They are determined by a formula that incorporates the number of significant free agents a team signed versus the number it lost.

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

So just because you lost a FA last year doesn't mean you're getting a compensatory pick. You may have signed enough players to offset that loss, in the eyes of the formula.

manti teo's gf (cali)

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

Perfect.

Matt (Houston)

Dan, how does the NFL determine the "significance" of a lost free agent? Isn't that rather arbitrary?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I think it's performance-based.

Vic (dc)

Dan I know you're watching the combine. Has any DBs surprised you so far?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I am not watching the combine. I am chatting.

Dave (Sacramento)

Do you really believe the Redskins will let both Lorenzo Alexander and Darrell Young leave? Young is one of the top 5 FBs in the league, and Zo is a special teams captain who played well at inside linebacker and got good pressure when rushing.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

I'm sure they want them both back. My point was that they're going to have to accept some very difficult realities as a result of the cap situation, and you can't assume anyone's back just because they're valuable.

Carlo (Toronto)

Better odds: jays win the world series, RGIII starts week 1, or the Hoyas win the Final Four?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Probably RG III. But man, the mighty Hoyas are playing well, are they not?

lawrence (carrolton)

dan, do they have eating contests at the combine? i bet some of those linemen could KILLCRUSH some nathan's

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

That I might watch.

Weech (SoCal)

What do you think of the rumors of Free moving to RG? I wince at the thought.

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

I don't see how that makes sense. Free's not strong enough to play guard.

Austin (St Louis)

Do you think the way Tom Brady renegotiated his contract will effect the way Flacco and possibly Romo negotiate for their new contracts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

Yeah, it hurts them. Their teams can now say, "Well, Tom Brady only makes X, so why should you make more?"

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

You are not having a good chat so far. Looks like the layoff last week has left you rusty.

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

I chatted last week! And a chatter is only as good as his questions...

alan (baltimore)

First, Georgetown is silly god this year. Second, I saw the dreaded "consultant" title for AJ Smith and the skins. I remember when Sherm Lewis was an offensive "consultant" under zorn, he eventually started calling plays. I also am under the impression that AJ Smith has a big ego and that he had other job opportunities also. So, do you have any indication of what exactly ASmith is going to be doing in the front office, or how the power structure looks with Allen, Shanahan, Snyder, and Smith?

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

I think he'll scout, and that's about it. Shanahan's power there is total and contractually protected. If Smith is working for the Redskins, it's because Shanahan hired him.

Matt (DC)

There was a rumor going one here with your boy Sheehan that the Skins may try to package their #2 rounder and Orakpo to move to the bottom of the first to try and nab Tavon Austin. Sound move?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

I don't think so. Sounds like they'd be trading two starters for a special-teamer, no?

Ray Finkle (Miami)

In regards to the cap, why doesn't the NFL institute a system like the MLB where there is a luxury tax for going over the cap?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

Well, because they like having a cap. MLB would like to have one too, but has never been able to get the players to sign off on it.

st8prop (Atlanta, GA)

Well...now that Weech has got his customary 2 questions in, do you think Jones was a little too harsh on judging Ryans' defensive scheme as " too many schemes"?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

No, I see where he's coming from. The Ryan defense relies on deception and myriad formations that are constantly changing and ask players to assume a great deal of responsibility for where they choose to line up and how they complete their assignments on given plays. It's a lot to ask of players, and I think that's what Jones was getting at.

Mo (Ann Arbor)

True or False: Demarcus Ware will be more productive as a 4-3 end

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

I kind of think false. I worry about Ware holding up physically after the last couple of years, and the position switch isn't going to help with that.

Austin (St Louis)

Does it seem like the cowboys cant screw this draft up? All their needs OL, DL and S are deep this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

Oh, Austin, history has shown us that the Cowboys can screw almost any draft up...

CJ (Albany) [via mobile]

do you think Eli Manning would restructure his contract to help keep both receivers

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Eli restructured last March. I am not 100 percent certain, but I think that precludes him from doing so again this year.

Weech (SoCal)

Post this just to get under St8's skin.

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Done.

Brian (Philly)

Wasn't Jenkins a good 3-4 end in Green Bay when he was next to Raji? If the Eagles are actually making that move why wouldn't they want to keep him? Especially with the cap room they have and only saving 4 million by letting him go.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

He's 32, wasn't excellent last year and they're thinking long-term.

TJ (Philly)

Regarding Eli I believe he can restructure the day after he restructured last year. It has to be at least one year after the last restructure.

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

So that would be in time for free agency. By about three days.

Matt (DC)

Given the Skins dire cap situation, would a guy coming off injury like a Brent Grimes be a good guy to take a flier on?

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Yeah, they have to seek value. Take some chances. Not sure on Grimes specifically, but your premise is sound.

Joe (VA)

Who's fight song do you like better, Eagles or Redskins? You can pick the Giants or Cowboys but I don't think they have one.

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

The Eagles' fight song bothers me because it is logistically unsound. One cannot fly ON a road. One can fly over a road, or along a road, but not on it. If you are on the road, you are, by definition, not flying. So when I hear, "Fly, Eagles, fly on the road to victory," it annoys me.

Dave K. (D.C.)

Fletcher isn't going to drop a retirement bomb on anyone, is he?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

It is my belief that Fletcher will play for the Redskins in 2013. But I do not know for certain that this will be the case.

Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)

How much stock to GM's put into the combine over film. Vontaze Burfict had a great season, Terrible combine, went undrafted, and is a stud OLB for Cincy, and a great name too

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

If teams have questions about a guy, they can use the combine as a way of helping answer them. But the game film is still paramount.

Joe (VA)

I just heard you are about to join Thom and Kevin on the Sports fix. Sweet! Congrats on you and growing popularity in the sports world. Keep it up!

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

I am indeed about to be on ESPN 980 in Washington, so if you're there, give a listen. Otherwise, catch you here next week. Thanks.