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March 19, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

What's up, all? Coming to you live from the media workroom here at the lovely Arizona Biltmore. I am ready for your questions.

Robbie (DC)

Are there any other names floating around for the Redskins' defensive backfield since the Talib signing?

Dan Graziano
  (12:02 PM)

I spoke with Mike Shanahan briefly last night, and the sense I get is that they're just going to have to wait for the defensive back market to come to them, price-wise. The good news is that it appears as though it will, and they'll end up with some interesting choices. As for specific names, I'm not sure he even knows whether it'll be a veteran they have for one year while they get their cap space in order, a younger guy coming off an injury or what. But it'll be someone who's got some risk and some question mark because that's going to be what they can afford. I can't believe Talib was ever a realistic possibility for them as long as other teams were bidding.

GM (Miami)

Hi Dan, SportsNation just had a poll showing that 56% of the people want cold-weather venues for the superbowl. This represents the millions of fans watching from home. Don't you think your view opposing cold weather superbowls is biased because you are at the site? Shouldn't the NFL weight the views of its millions of fans higher than that of NFL reporters?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Yeah, in answer to your first question, I think people who actually go to the Super Bowl would be more inclined to agree with my view than would people who watch it on TV. And yes, of course, the answer to your second question is yes. My point on this is, and always has been, that it seems foolish to risk a weather problem at your weeklong signature event when you don't have to. I don't think that what's gained by having it in NJ outweighs what could be lost if the February weather does its worst.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Was their any interaction between Mara and the Redskins contingent?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

I guess the parallel here is LaRon Landry. The Redskins let him go a year ago because they got sick of not being able to count on him staying on the field. He signed with the Jets, played all 16 games and cashed in with a big contract from the Colts. If Phillips is healthy and plays the way he can play in 2013, he'll cost the Eagles a lot to keep next year. If not, they may not want him. So as you say, too early to have any idea.

Tim VB (Arlington)

Thoughts on proposed rule on Running backs not being allowed to lower their heads?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

It strikes me as a good rule, and one designed to keep the RBs from seriously injuring themselves. Anyone who's ever played football has been taught that the only piece of equipment designed for hitting people is the shoulder pads. Helmet's not a weapon, and shouldn't be.

Scott (Giant's Country)

"My point on this is, and always has been, that it seems foolish to risk a weather problem at your weeklong signature event when you don't have to. I don't think that what's gained by having it in NJ outweighs what could be lost if the February weather does its worst." Then don't hold it in other cold weather cities either since there could be a blizzard and effect the festivities outside of game day too. You can't reach any other conlsusion from your statement.

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

Yeah. I agree with that.

Misty (DC)

Do you think the Redskins are being smart with how they are managing the cap this year, i.e, not restructuring a lot of contracts. Also do you think this is it for the punishments or will there be more?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

Yes, I do think the smart thing for the Redskins to do is absorb this as a one-year setback, stick to their philosophy about the dangers of long-term restructures and just suck it up. I think that's the wise way to handle it, and I think Shanahan does too. The result might be some frustration in 2013, but I think the 2012 division title and RG III's emergence buy them some time.

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

No, I think they might take him at 4, but if they don't I don't think he gets out of the top 10.

Frank (NYC)

Dan, people like to get on you for all your wrong guesses, I'm just here to say great job guessing Brandon Meyers when asked a couple weeks back on who you thought the Giants TE would be. That is all.

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

That's what I'm talking about!!!

David (Halifax)

Dan, do you feel like you spoke too soon saying this wasn't one of Jim Boeheim's better teams given they knocked off your Hoyas?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

No, I stand by that. Played them three times in three weeks, went 2-1. The loss was in OT. Outscored them by 30 points in the three games. I hated the loss, and that it was in the Big East tournament, but I feel confident about which team was the better team this particular year.

Dave K. (D.C.)

Outside of RT and their Secondary, the Skins' biggest need is TE, right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

Sure. But I think Davis ends up back there.

Travis (kings landing) [via mobile]

Revis to the eagles now that the bucs are moving on

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

I really do think the Eagles should do this. But indications are that they don't want to.

rawz (kansas)

Regardless if romo signs, resigns, he will be a cowboy, correct? I hear alot of people saying, they should let him play out this contract. But even if he does, cowboys would franchise him before they let him hit free agency, right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Yes.

PooPooLighter (Leesburg VA)

why does no other team seem to want Fred Davis?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

He's coming off a pretty significant injury.

Don (Austin, Tx)

Will some key OL pickups help Romo, or just afford him more time to make bad decisions? In your opinion of course ;-)

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

I think it can only help. And help the running game too. Don't forget, just because Romo and Murray are the kinds of players who can handle playing behind a substandard line doesn't mean they wouldn't benefit from a good one.

Anonymous (New Jersey)

The weather forecast today for Phoenix, AZ is 86 degrees and sunny. The weather forecast today for Ridgewood, NJ is 46 degrees with rain for most of the day. Are there any openings at ESPN for blog writers?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

It is absolutely gorgeous here, I can't lie.

Tim (Columbia, MD)

So the league held of on expanded playoffs this season, but remains open to it in the future. I get the notion that money talks and more games = more money, however it would be terrible if every single team had a 50% to make a post-season berth. Are we doomed to this fate?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

Yeah, I think the league's ultimate plan is to play the Super Bowl on President's Day weekend. Their ideal scenario is an expansion of the regular season, but the players oppose that strongly. Expanded playoffs could help get there.

Don (Austin, Tx)

Dan, First thanks for taking the time to answer questions. Cowboys Cap problems - more a result of the penalty imposed or Jerry's habit of mortgaging the future. People look at this seasons challenge, I am ore concerned about the next 2-3 years

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

I think they could have weathered their $5 million penalty this year better if they were a team that, in general, managed its cap better.

Martin (NYC)

Most likely scenario: Cruz gets a long-term deal with NYG, Cruz signs 1 year tender and is a UFA next year, or Cruz gets a big contract from another team and NYG does not match?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

Your first scenario is the most likely.

Ananth (Louisville)

Since there is an obligatory Seahawk fan complaining that they are way too high, Can I as a Seahawk fan complain that they don't deserve to be 3 ;)? No seriously, all the offseason additions are great but the Seahawks go as far as Wilson develops. Don't think he's quite there yet.

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I put the Falcons at No. 1, and QB was part of the reason why. Love Wilson and love Kaepernick, but the sample size is still small. Either or both could take a step back in 2013. Matt Ryan is an established stud. I considered all three of those teams, and the Broncos, for the top spot.

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

I put them 25, so I guess I basically agree with that.

Frank (NYC)

What's the rush to sign cruz to a long term deal? Don't the Giants have all the leverage here? Wouldn't it be smarter to wait until the start of the season to extend him so the $ doesn't count against this year's cap?

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Probably. But they tendered him at $2.9, right? I'm sure they could do a deal that didn't raise his 2013 cap number.

Crushed peaches (today, Oklahoma)

Dan, If JJ is able to get a long-term deal with Romo done, where do you believe he will spend his new found Cap riches? Position

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

Off. Ens. Ive. Line.

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I'd offer a third and a fourth, see if they bite

Thomas (Baltimore)

Any thoughts on how to resolve the conflict between the Ravens and the Orioles playing at home at the same time?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I think this one is fascinating. How often does MLB get a chance to dictate anything to do the NFL? Baseball has the upper hand here, and I have to believe they're enjoying it immensely.

David (Halifax)

Further to your response about Eagles and Revis - what indications are there that would lead you to believe they don't want to? Not questioning you, just looking for more detail.

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

Just seen a few of the beat guys reporting a lack of interest, and they tend to have pretty good sources.

Don (Austin, Tx)

The Million Dollar question, will cruz get signed to an offer sheet? I am not convinced that he is #1 receiver. It seems he is only productive in the slot when there is a physical receiver on the outside drawing attention. Given that, a 1st rounder seems like hefty currency

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

No, I do not think he will get an offer sheet.

Joseph (Philadelphia)

Have you heard anything more about Bill Polian's cryptic comments about the Colts interest in a WR, possibly in the NFCE?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

No, John Clayton and I were trying to figure that out the other day here. He wondered if it might be Ramses Barden.

GM (Miami)

A third a fourth for Revis? The jets seem adamant that they want at least a first this year. After they reject your first offer what would you be prepared to give up?

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Brandon Marshall went for two thirds last year, and he was healthy. This comes down to how badly the Jets want to deal the guy. I wouldn't give up a first-round pick or the Eagles' high second for him.

Carlo (Toronto)

Dan, in terms of scheme, how does M. jenkins fit in the skins D? Seems like he has some upside and may to stick it to the cowboys twice a year

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Did the Redskins sign Mike Jenkins and I missed it because I was talking to you guys?

Chris (Canada)

I heard the rumor may have been Maclin

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

I don't think it's anyone that good.

Dingo (Croton on Hudson)

In one of your previous articles, you mentioned that the Eagles would probably trade all their cap room for a settled quarterback situation. But shouldn't the eagles be a lot more patient with their QB and weapons around him? RG3 only had a breakout year because Shanahan put the pieces in place and waited for the QB to come to him, and every Giants fan remembers Eli's developing years and how long it took him to get comfortable. How do you build a franchise if you swap out pieces too often?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

I think your comparisons are imperfect. Who's the QB on the Eagles' roster right now who compares to 2012 Robert Griffin or 2004 Eli Manning?

John from Silver Spring (Bronx Boy at heart)

Why does Redskin nation blame John Mara and the Giants for their cap penalty. One of their own beat writers explained that although they may have not broken a rule, they did go against the understanding that at least 30 other teams had. Yet everday I hear from the Redskins radio guys how John Mara is out to get them. Do you have any idea?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

Mara is the chairman of the management council, which led the charge for the penalties and imposed them. Mara also has publicly defended the penalties in a bit of an arrogant way. He opened himself up to scorn from Redskins fans, in my opinion.

Matt (DC)

No Jenkins signning. Carlo was only being hypothetical.

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

Ah, thank you. If that's the case, then yes, I think Jenkins will be a good signing for someone and he fits what we were talking about earlier with the Redskins.

Steve (East Rutherford, NJ)

Do you think the Giants constant strategy of signing 1 year deals to fill starter spots is hurting the team (2011 aside)? It seems like the only continuity that's being maintained is somewhat disappointing.

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Well, the Giants value continuity at certain positions, and tight end (which I think is what you're thinking of) is not one of them. They just signed their left tackle to a multi-year deal, and obviously their QB is long-term.

robin (oklahoma)

If the cowboys did nothing this offseason, but get healthy, and be able to stay healthy, would that alone make them a serious playoff/superbowl contender? I mean, if they had lee all year, or even carter, how many more games could they have won? I dont think the redskins would have rushed for over 200 yards with lee back there. And has bad has there line was, wouldnt they have been at least servicable if there guards, tyron, costa could have been healthy? Everyone has injuries, but he cowboys had more then there fair share. i think they are great without doing anything. Now if they had some upgrades on the line, and some depth, then, wow. we really got something.

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Yeah, I mean, I don't understand how people don't think the Cowboys are a contender when they've played for the division title in Week 17 two years in a row. That's the definition of a contender, is it not?

Dave K. (D.C.)

How effective do you think RG III can be in the more traditional pro-style offense that the Skins employed for Cousins in the Cleveland game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

I think very.

GM (Miami)

Brandon Marshall isn't the top WR in the league when healthy. Comparing him to Revis is inappropriate. No?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

I don't think so. He's a premium talent. I think the comparison works well.

Dingo (Croton on Hudson)

"I think your comparisons are imperfect. Who's the QB on the Eagles' roster right now who compares to 2012 Robert Griffin or 2004 Eli Manning?" I feel that Nick Foles is pegged as a backup and as such the eagles won't give him much time or resources for development, even though he showed a lot more skill and pocket comfort than 2004-2005 Eli. But I also think if they draft Smith at 4, they may be wasting a pick because they don't have enough talent around him to let him develop. Basically, it's a QB catch-22.

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

Right, but that's the difference. Eli went No. 1 overall and Griffin No. 2 because they were (correctly) identified as franchise quarterbacks. There aren't that many of those. There surely aren't 32 of them. If you have one, that's the stability to which I referred. If you have third-round Nick Foles and you reach for Geno Smith and you have late-career Mike Vick... you have instability and question marks at the most important position.

Mike (VA)

Tavon Austin is on the smaller side but such an explosive player. The Cowboys lack true speed on offense - any chance they may take him if available when they pick the 1st round? He would add the speed they have not seen since maybe Terry Glenn.

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

If the Cowboys pick a wide receiver in the first round, you'll know they don't take the draft seriously.

Ian (Hartford CT)

Will Brandon Meyers be able to handle the blocking responsibilities that the Giants insist their tight-ends must be great at? Everything I've heard about him seems to point to him being a good passing game weapon, but not much about his blocking ability.

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

The Giants say they trust their TEs coach, and that will be his assignment this summer.

Michael (Raleigh)

Is it possible that Hall does not find any takers and comes back to the Redskins for a lot less money?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

I guess it's possible, but we don't often see that happen.

Ian (Hartford CT)

In the latest mock draft, the Giants are projected to take Manti Te'o at 19, but I just can't see it happening. Your thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

I would be surprised if the Giants took a linebacker in the first round.

Joseph (Philadelphia)

My idea (which I am certain will never happen) is to give the Super Bowl a permanent home in Las Vegas. It has the infrastructure to handle the influx of people, weather is not a concern, and since the Super Bowl has become a weeklong event, it will make the week leading up to it all the better. See if you can spread the word among the owners this week, rally some support for my idea.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

I'm in.

GM (Miami)

Dan, why do you think the giants are going to try and convert Meyers to a blocking TE that can catch? Don't you think it is just as likely that they may just use him like Hernandez or Graham? A split-wide guy that can outrun LBs and outmuscle safeties.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Sure, but then who blocks?

Justin (DC)

Dan, I as well as many other Skins fans, have been checking every day to see who we sign, only to see a couple re-signings. But thinking about it, should we really be bummed out? I mean, theyre keeping together a 10-6 NFC East Title winning team, and if our biggest loss due to this cap penalty is Lorenzo Alexander, we should be pretty content, maybe even happy right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

You have my enthusiastic permission to be content and happy. I think a lot of fans would do well to lean that way more often.

BKW (home) [via mobile]

Dan, the last time the Orioles played the ChiSox at home there were 10,000 fans in the stands. Wouldn't a sold out, season opening game at M&T stadium trump that? Just from a revenue point alone the city will make tons more with a Ravens' game.

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

Of course, but my point is that MLB is in the right here. They have made their schedule. They'd be doing the NFL a favor by changing it. And I think baseball is right to believe the NFL wouldn't do the same for them. So I expect them to squeeze a bit.

GM (Miami)

Dan, it seems to me that the Giants are adapting their offense to be more like a New Orleans or Atlanta. They have explosive receivers, a TE that is much better at catching, and now a starting RB that can go the distance on outside runs or on swing passes.

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

That may well be, and it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Old Fisherman (Petersburg, AK)

Dan - Did you know that not everyone has Twitter? Is there a way to submit mailbag questions if you do not have Twitter?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

There was, but people abused it, so it's gone. Twitter is free, and not difficult.

Tino (Mexico)

You said that the Cowboys are keeping Free just in case they don't find someone better. Don't you think $7M is too much to keep him?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Sure, and I don't think they will end up keeping him. But they're under the cap now and can't get his $7M savings until June 1, so there's no benefit to cutting him now. Why not hang on and see who you get before making the cut?

Martin (NYC)

Dan - now that the NFL has started a new year, you need to change the order of the links in the mornings.

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

Wow. You're right. I totally forgot about that. That was the deal, wasn't it?

Sam (Phily)

Do you think that the eagles should trade down to the 10-15 range and get Chance Warmack in the first round and try to snag a second round pick as well? Also what do you think of the hard hitting safety out of Florida Matt Elam in the early second round?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

No, I think they should take a franchise building block player at No. 4.

Rob (Philly)

Do you think Kelly believes he needs a 1st round talent at QB to run his system?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Oy, with the "system."

PJ (NJ)

Is it likely that the NYG view Myers more as a replacement for Travis Beckum than for Martellus Bennett? Going into 2011, before Ballard stepped up, Beckum was looked at as the starter, but Beckum never fulfilled expectations. With Pascoe and Hynoski blocking, maybe they just don't expect much from their pass-catching TE in terms of run-blocking.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Sure, it's possible. I think when we're done here I'm going to do a power rankings post and then go out to the lobby, see if I can find Jerry Reese and ask him.

Hanson (DC)

The Kelly "system" do we even know what it is yet?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

No. We don't. But a lot of people seem to think they do. They are all wrong.

john (columbus)

I would love to see the Eagles take Geno Smith with their 4th pick IN THE SECOND ROUND ... any chance he could last that loing?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Nope.

Sam (Phily)

my question had two parts!!!

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Your peanut butter's in my chocolate!

Frank (NYC)

Dan, I've been reading a lot about how poor the giants secondary still is even after the recent signings. But I feel people always leave out the advancements Price will take in his game, as last year was essentially his rookie year, and he had a pretty decent year. What do you think about this?

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Who?

Ian (Hartford CT)

Prince** as in, Amukamara

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Oh. Yeah. I like him. I think he'll be their best CB next year. I think he was this year too. And it's possible Webster plays better, no? I mean, guys have bad years. I think they'll miss Phillips, but their secondary isn't without talent.

Matt (Rhode Island Eagles)

Sure its nice there now Dan, but you wouldn't be saying that if you were there in July.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

I've been here in July. That heat is no joke.

Rob (Philly)

System/offense, either way. Since he had success with less than blue chip prospects at QB with Oregon, I think they would rather trade down in the 1st and grab an extra 2nd instead of grabbing Smith at 4. Potentially still grab 1 of the top 3 OT prospects, and then use the high 2nd and addt'l 2nd to grab Nassib or EJ Manuel

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

"Success with less than blue chip prospects at QB with Oregon????" This is the NFL, Rob!

Thomas (Baltimore)

What happens first, Romo gets a long term deal or you get a nice tan out in the desert?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

Not getting outside enough for that. Today's schedule started so early, I had to do my morning run in the dark.

Mr. W (Dallas)

Dan the Man! How goes it? I think the Geno interest is a smokescreen to get someone (5-10) to trade up and get him like Rob said. But how likely is it that the Eagles pick Dion Jordan with that pick instead of a Tackle?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Could be a smokescreen, absolutely. That pick they have is a nice asset and they should maximize it. As for Jordan vs tackle, I think it's impossible to say at this point.

Aaron (Denver)

"I think when we're done here I'm going to do a power rankings post and then go out to the lobby, see if I can find Jerry Reese and ask him." - Livin' the life, aren't you?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

I'm out here for you guys!

Scott (The wall)

Watch out for those rattle snakes

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

All I thought about, for a half hour, running in the dark, was rattlesnakes. I don't even know if they have those here.

Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)

Dan Conner signing means goodbye Blackburn, and any thought of a 1st round QB right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Man, do you think they're planning on Connor as their starting MLB? I'm not sure I like that idea for them. I really need to go find Reese.

Chris (Canada)

Enjoy the desert Dan! Good talkin to ya

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Back atcha, Chris. Catch you all next week from home.