Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Hello. Questions?

junior (South Jersey)

Dan,wouldn't it serve the Eagles best to stay put at #4 being that they might not be able to trade back with any team and if they want a impact player for the future that can play for years to come,wouldn't the best option be staying in the top 10?

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

Yeah, there's no good reason for the Eagles to trade back. They'll be able to get a long-term impact player at 4, and that's what they need. They have nine picks in this draft. Nothing to be gained by moving back.

Mike (Easton, PA)

Here's a Cowboys draft scenario: The top 5 o-linemen are gone, Vacaro is gone, and Sheldon Richardson is gone. DJ Fluker, Ziggy Ansah, and Sylvester Williams are available. Who are you picking and why?

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

Well, all right. In that scenario you take Ansah, because he's a top-5 player who somehow fell to 18. But I don't think that's realistic. I also don't think it's realistic to believe five offensive linemen are going in the first 17 picks, since that's only happened once in the last 15 years. My persistent belief is that the Cowboys have to get a starting offensive lineman in the first round -- assuming, of course, a top-5 talent at an impact position like DE doesn't fall into their lap as he did in your scenario.

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

I think Fluker would be a fine pick for Dallas at 18, if for some reason the top 5 OLs are all gone by then.

Jimmy (Ashburn VA)

First time on the chat. I am not a huge fan of DeAngelo Hall but can see why they brought him back. I think the Redskins' secondary needs a shake-up, and would love to see Antoine Winfield. Do you think that the Redskins are going to still be able to get Winfield, and be willing to drop Josh Wilson (even though he is younger)? I think that they should go with Hall, Biggers, Winfield for a year, then go hard in free Agency next year as needed, and the draft this year.

Dan Graziano
  (12:05 PM)

My personal belief is that they're not looking to cut Wilson, whom they like. As you point out, he's about 8 years younger than Winfield. If they do anything with Wilson this offseason, my guess is it would be an extension. They'd love to find a way to fit Winfield under the cap, though, since he excels in the slot and a Winfield/Wilson/Hall group would be deep and versatile at CB. I just doubt they're planning to cut Wilson to sign Winfield. But I have been wrong before.

Mark (Toronto)

Dan, which do you think is more likely for the Giants to draft with their first pick, an offensive linemen or a linebacker? They aren't known for taking either in the first round, and both seem to be needs.

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

Yeah, I guess given those choices I'd say OL is more likely. They haven't take a LB in the first round since 1984, and they've taken three OLs in the first round since then (though none since 1999). But I think it's more likely they go defensive line or secondary.

Scott (VB)

Hey Dan, does free safety look like the more obvious possibility for the Skins 1st pick in the 2nd now that Hall is back. As you have suggested and I agree I would like to see Hall play FS, but there is likely a more talented FS available than a corner when it's their turn to pick.

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

Yes.

Paul (Minneapolis)

How long is Mike Shanahan's contract with the Redskins lasting as of right now? And do you think he'll re-sign for longer after his time is up? He's really turned us around in a time of need.

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

He's got two more years on his deal. I imagine he'll get extended sometime before the start of the 2014 offseason.

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

Yeah, look. I've personally never found Dez to be anything but pleasant to interview. And his coaches and teammates like working with him. It's the off-field stuff that bothers people, and truthfully you can see why. It's punk kind of stuff that tends to bother people. But he's still VERY young and has time to put it all in his past.

Jason (New York City)

Dan, I appreciate your work. Do you have a sense for what the giants salary cap situation as of now is like in 2014 or 2015. Since the antrell rolle and baas signing in 09 and 10, they have been prudent cap wise, so i was wondering if you think they have room to resign JPP, Nicks, Cruz and hopefully a rejuvanated Tuck? Thanks.

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

According to our figures, the Giants have about $102 million in cap cost committed to 45 players for 2014 and about $63.9 million committed to 14 players for 2015. Baas and Beatty have big cap numbers, and so does Terrell Thomas, so it's possible that one goes away. It looks as though they'll have room to work, even if the caps stay flat.

Matt (Ohio)

Do you here there is a plan for the younger shanahan to take over for dad?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

That may be their ultimate hope, but if they continue to have success there, I imagine Kyle's first head coaching opportunity comes elsewhere.

Jimmy (Ashburn VA)

I don't think there is a problem with RGIII running on grass IF that is where he already is with his aggressive rehab. I think the problem is that with the current Twitterverse we live in, RGII and Dr. Andrews are getting sucking into the media update frenzy. Don't you think they should just sit quietly, underpromise, overdeliver (like the good ol days)?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

Yes, I do.

Ryan (Philly, PA)

Dan, how well do you think the eagles have positioned themselves for future success?

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

I just don't know. I mean, we don't know what kind of NFL coach this guy is going to be, right? They have rolled the dice on him, and if he's Jim Harbaugh they're in good shape. If he's Steve Spurrier, they're going to be looking for someone new again in a couple of years. Kelly's a complete wild card at this point.

Carlo (Toronto)

dan, I'm hearing rumblings that the skins may cut Josh Wilson in an effort make room for Winfield. Heard anything similar?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

I'm hearing the same "rumblings," but not from any reliable sources. It seems like fan chatter to me.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Isn't the huge Romo contract another example of why the Cowboys will never contend with Jerry Jones as the helm? Romo has only one playoff victory and has not made postseason in three years. Choking twice with match point on his racket at the end of the season.

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

"Never contend" is a funny thing to say about a team that has played in a division title game each of the last two Week 17s.

Anthony (Iowa)

Who's the forerunner to win the 3rd LB spot for Dallas? Albright, Durant, Sims, or a draft pick?

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I think Durant was signed to be the starter there.

Charles (Virginia)

With the cap hit the Redskins have taken, what kind of shape are they in for next season and beyond?

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

If the cap stays the same next year, the Redskins right now have about $35 million in cap room. The low cap cost for their quarterback is a big help.

Josh (Syracuse, NY)

16 questions and only 2 are Giants!!! Should be at least 4 if you were playing fair...

Dan Graziano
  (12:18 PM)

I can't write the questions, Josh.

Martin (NY)

Doesn't it make sense for the Giants to begin negotiations with Hakeem Nicks now? Most of their other priorities have been taken care of already, and it would be helpful to see how much cap space he would require. His value is low right now, and whatever's left over could help dictate the Cruz negotiations.

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

I'm pretty sure we have reported that they've already begun those negotiations, right?

Kung Fu (Panda)

Did you catch Kevin Ware's injury? That was some pretty bad stuff. Do you think that was worse than Joe Theisman's?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

OK, here we go. I am not answering this question, but I want everyone else on the chat to know that this loser is going to be the reason I cut the chat early this week. He continues to post this question over and over again in an attempt to get me to answer it. Now that I've put him here, he'll come up with some new one, likely under a different name, and harrass me until I answer that one. This person is the reason you don't get your real questions answered. I have no power to eliminate him from the chat, or else I would. I just wish he'd find something else to do.

Matt (Kansas City)

You are at the point where you can't see the Cowboys drafting anything but an OL in the 1st round? If the texas safety is there, you'd still have them pick Fluker? I just feel like its not going to matter, after a certain point, the draft is filled with "depth" ie tons of players who rate out about the same

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

I could SEE them doing it, of course, because it's always easy to imagine the Cowboys making bad draft decisions. But yes, I'd take Fluker over Vaccaro if I were them.

Graham (Ontario)

Thanks a lot Kung Fu panda you selfish bigot. I actually had a great question.

Melissa (Brooklyn, NY)

Dan, assuming Cruz isn't signed long term this year, and they both have productive seasons, what are the chances of the Giants having Cruz and Nicks signed by this time next year? Cap-Number-wise, does it change things if they don't get Cruz signed this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I think if Cruz has another huge year and Nicks stays healthy they sign Nicks and Cruz leaves.

Scott (Virginia Beach)

3/4 (Fletcher, Rak, Riley) of the redskins starting linebackers, 3 of their current CBs (Wilson, Biggers, Hall), and Fred Davis are all free agents next year. Do you see the skins retaining all of these players with that $35 million in cap space? Retention seems to be key to what Shanny wants to do.

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Well, I think Fletcher probably retires after this season and Orakpo probably gets an extension sometime this summer, so those will work themselves out. Davis' status depends on whether he can stay healthy and produce. Riley they like and plan to keep as Fletcher's successor.

Hannah (DC)

wait so how early are you going to leave?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Pretty darn early at this rate.

Matt (DC)

Hi Dan, you wrote recently about whether the 2012 Corey Webster or the 2011 (successful) version was the real thing. Do you think Webster's success is directly tied to the Giants pass rush? He turns into a tight cover corner when the opposing QB doesn't have time. Thanks!

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

Yeah, I think the success of the Giants' secondary is tied to the success of the pass rush. The Giants view it that way and build their team along that principle. If they get to the quarterback better in 2013, I imagine Webster will look better as well

MR. E (US of A)

If you are really so incensed about someone asking a legitimate sports question, albeit about a different sport and in an annoying way, why then do you choose to answer the same damn questions every single week. I swear, if you even let in another question regarding whether giants take o-line or linebacker you should be sterilized for incompetence.

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I think we're done here. I'm off next week, so you guys can try me again in two weeks. I don't work for you, and I don't need to take your abuse.

Hanson (DC)

Dan time to hire an intern to screen questions for you?

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

Honest to god, I can't just expect you all to act like human beings? I guess not.

Charles (Virginia)

first time involved in this chat, is this a weekly thing?

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

No, this week is much worse than usual for some reason.

Fan? (Philly)

Dan time to grow up and realize there are idiots who ask stupid questions its part of your job to do that.

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

Right. I'm the one who needs to grow up. Thanks. Got it.

David (Halifax)

What do you make of eagles visits with Ertz and Eifert? Think they could actually go TE in round 2? Think both/either of those guys will be available?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

It's tempting to read a lot into the visits, but it's a mistake. Each team can bring in up to 30 guys, and most teams only have 6-8 picks. Sure, if one of those guys is there early in the second, he could be appealing, but just because they were in for visits doesn't mean they'll take them.

Josh (Syracuse, NY)

Do the Giants still have a hole at TE? I think people will miss Bennett more then they think.

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

Bennett was a great blocker, and Myers won't be able to replace that. But he'll catch the ball more than Bennett did. Just a different look.

Bruce Cybul (New York)

Since the Giants dont draft 1st round LBs, shouldnt they be looking for a veteran free agent LB ? Whose left that they should be looking at ? Any chance for Dansby ?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

They brought in Rivers and Connor. Again, they just don't put a high priority on the position.

Josh (Syracuse, NY)

Why no deal for Hightower with Giants? Seems like a good fit.

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

Maybe he's not healthy. Maybe he asked for too much. Maybe he wants to go visit another team first. Lots of reasons it might not have come together.

Fan? (Philly)

Its unbelievably easy to get you to blow up and say people are being idiots-thats why people do it. Ignore it and it'll probably stop, don't freak out every time some idiot posts something on your chat

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

"Every time?" Man, if you could see the question queue...

Josh (Syracuse, NY)

The Giants don't seem to like to use TE in the passing game, seems like Myers would be the wrong fit, no? I thought Bennett had great hands, very under utilized

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

That's what I thought, and I asked Coughlin about that in Phoenix, but he said he's excited to have a TE who catches it that much. Sounds like they might make some changes.

GM (Miami)

Dan, you say the giants don't prioritize LB, but when was the last time they drafted an RB in the first round before Wilson? It seems like the giants could go with LB if Ogletree is available.

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

2000 was the last time before Wilson. And they've drafted five first-round RBs since 1984, which was the last time they took a LB. That's more than any other position besides DB for them.

Josh (DC)

While the obvious goal is to win as many games as possible, it seems to me that letting Cousins start the first couple of games regardless of whether Griffin is "ready" would serve them in two ways--making sure he's really ready, and auditioning Cousins. Is this something they might consider?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

No, I don't think they'd sit Griffin if Griffin is ready. Now, they might decide to be overly careful and make Griffin wait one more week than the doctors say he has to, but that would represent a change in philosophy.

Kevin (San Antonio)

Last week or so you posted offseason grades thus far. With the resigning of Davis and Hall, does that change your grade for the Skins considering they now have retained more starters than any other team?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

Sure, if we were doing grades again, that might improve Washington's, as the Durant and Allen signings might improve Dallas's.

Splooz (SLC, Youtaw)

Could you imagine NE ever starting Mallet for a few games as an audition? Why do people want to treat RG3 so differently?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

Good point. Cousins' "auditions" will come in preseason games. They're not in a rush to trade him.

Dave (Philadelphia, PA)

What is the worst contract you can remember being signed recently (not just the NFC East)? For me, it has to be the deal the Jets gave Sanchez recently.

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

That one's a killer, for sure.

Andrew (DC)

Are you sold on any of those RT options for the Skins, or is there a viable option in the 2nd or 3rd round?

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

They did fine with Polumbus there last year. No reason to think they can't do it again.

Weech (SoCal)

Dan, don't you think that recent QB's movements (Kolb, Flynn, Palmer, et. al) are all further proof that Dallas HAD to make that extension for Romo?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

Yes. Romo is obviously underappreciated by a significant segment of the Cowboys' fan population. But yes, when you look at it that way, would you rather be stuck with Romo for the next seven years or be one of these teams that plays around with Kolb, Flynn and Palmer every year? Perspective.

Matt (DC)

Dan, do you think it will be Brewer or Diehl for the Giants at RT? I want it to be Brewer, but my gut tells me he's not ready . . thanks!

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

See, the reason the Giants think Diehl is so valuable is they believe he can start if they need him to and that he won't mind stepping aside and making room for Brewer if Brewer is ready. And since they have the guys they want at the other four line spots, they can play around at RT.

TMSCFINEST (Toronto, Ontario)

Do you think Cruz is foolish to not take this offer on the table? Looking no further than what happened to Steve Smith as a reason to? Career can change for the worse in a heartbeat

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

I think Cruz is a better player than Smith, and I think he's right to wait. First of all, there remains the very slim chance of an offer sheet from another team, which would send his value through the roof. And if Nicks struggles to stay healthy again, Cruz could look better to the Giants a year from now than he does this year. I think he's playing it the right way.

Bryan (Springdale,AR)

I am a huge Romo supporter Dan, but I am troubled by the salary that Romo agreed to. He is now no different than Flacco and Brees in his effort to handicap this franchise. Sickens me that a player I love to cheer for is ok with taking some much money that keeps the franchise from being able to acquire key pieces via free agency that could really help this team get over the hump. This will probably force them to not be able to resign a few emerging players on the team a few years from now as well.

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Seems like the way they did the deal, he'll restructure after 2014 anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

PJ (NJ)

For the NYG, if players like Brewer and Jernigan are not ready by year 3, is it time for the team to move on? How long can/does/should a team wait on a draft choice in light of the salary cap and free agency?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

I don't know. They waited at least that long on Beatty, right? And Barden. They tend to be more patient than a lot of teams (and a lot of fans!)

Nick (NJ)

Just so I feel less upset about you not answering any of my questions, how many questions do you get and how many do you answer?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

This is No. 608 and we're 44 minutes into the chat. I do not know how many I've answered.

Bird doggin XXL (Mudbut Bluffs)

How much of a factor was/is Eli manning in the success of Cruz? Honestly, this situation reminds me quite a bit of Brady and Welker...in most cases the QB does just fine without his WR, but the WR....not so much.

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

Right, and that's the team's position, which is why there's an impasse. Fact is, we don't know. Cruz has obviously been in a perfect spot early in his career, with Manning throwing the ball to him and Nicks as a friend and mentor. But he's smart and super-fast and has good hands, and if he's convinced he could succeed elsewhere I can't tell him for sure that he's wrong.

Matt (DC)

Have you heard about the bird?

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

That was on last night. Cracks me up every single time.

Austin (St. Louis)

Which running back in the NFCE will be hurt the most by the new helmet rule?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

Whichever one stupidly insists on leading with the top of his helmet in the open field. That RB could be hurt very badly, and quite literally. But I will say that, at those meetings, a few people told me DeMarco Murray was held up as an example of a back that did that too much.

sam (nyc)

Who will start, Fred Davis or Logen Paulsen?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Oh, Davis if he's healthy. Not even close.

GM (Miami)

Dan, Kenny Phillips gets hurt pretty much every year, often for 4+ games. Why do you think the giants will miss him if he continues to get hurt and miss large chunks of the season for another team? Continuity could really help the NYG secondary.

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I feel like I've tried to offer the whole picture with Phillips. Obviously, he gets hurt too much, and the Giants have reason to believe his knee won't get better. They tend to make the right call in these situations. I just see a guy who's still young and whose on-field impact is often underestimated. If the Giants are wrong and he CAN get the knee healthy, I think they'll miss him. But I can't fault them for making the decision to move on and find ways to built their defense without him.

bored marine (miramar, CA)

whats your feelings about the cowboys and their center situation. will they do well with phil costa if hes healthy or do they need to look elsewhere?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

I think Costa can be OK if he's healthy and they improve the quality of their guard play on either side of him. But those are some big ifs.

Weech (SoCal)

When are you guys doing the blogger's draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

I do not know. That has only been discussed in general terms, as something we plan to do again. It is not yet on the schedule. It was a lot of fun, though, last year.

Corey (D.C.)

Im sorry for asking this again, but its been 30 minutes and you get so many questions I didnt think it hurt to try again. Do you think Bruce Carter will transition well to OLB?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Yeah, I think Carter and Lee will thrive in the 4-3 alignment. I think they'll make a ton of plays.

Tom (Donnellson)

Did the cowboys plan ahead for this switch to 4-3 with last year's draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

I don't know. Did they? You'd be thinking of Crawford, specifically, right? Claiborne and Johnson are defensive backs, so the way the front 7 lines up doesn't really impact them. I doubt they drafted Crawford expecting they'd be in a 4-3. I'm not even 100 percent sure what position he plays in a 4-3. Maybe DE, but he has to get bigger.

Carlo (Toronto)

Will you be at the Draft Dan?

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Yes. On the first night.

Eddie (Manassas VA)

Dan - What kind of year does Mo Caliborne have this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

I think a very good one. Claiborne is a top talent and showed it at times last year. He'll only get better.

Tom (NJ)

I'll try once more. What's your opinion on the Cruz situation, I am now hearing a possible interest from SF? How sure are you that he will stay in NY considering they offered him a pretty nice deal?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

Well, I feel certain he'll be a Giant this year, because I seriously doubt he gets an offer sheet. Beyond this year, hard to predict. I think they're going to keep trying to lowball him (at least from his perspective).

Kyle (Orlando) [via mobile]

For what it's worth, Brandon Myers recently had shoulder surgery. He supposedly was terribly inefficient blocking because he had no strength. He was actually drafted as a blocking TE. Reason for optimism maybe?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Sure, and many Giants fans point out that they have a fine TE coach in Mike Pope who can maybe make him better.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Thing of it is, whether Myers disappoints or exceeds expectations, the Giants are likely to move on to another TE next year.

jordan (jersey)

breakout season for reuben randle? he looked really good at times last year and i think if he focuses he could be a nicks clone

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

Not sure about "breakout," but I know the Giants like him and expect a step forward this year in his development. If he did "break out," that would make it tougher for Cruz to get his money.

Crash (Florida)

Just wanting to point out to some folks that if you believe that Dallas had no choice but to extend Romo, you can't complain about the money he's making. It's only slightly more than he was making in 2013, and he wasn't going to extend at a pay cut.

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

People like to complain.

Steve Layne (Roanoke, VA)

Enjoy the rest of your day. Despite the BS, please come back next week?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

Thanks. Again, off next week. Will return to chat on Tuesday the 16th. But I still have time for a few more questions today.

Justin (DC)

Dan, why arent the Skins favored to win the division they won, especially considering they're returning most of the starters from last year??

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

Who's favored? Who's making predictions on April 2? I haven't seen any predictions.

Carlo (Toronto)

Obviously I've been extremely happy with RGIII both on and off the field. Particularly, I've been very impressed with his composure and leadership qualities. Is it wrong that his twitter rant is making me feel uneasy? He said some pretty harsh things and to be honest he kinda sounded like a big baby.... Should we, as skins fans, be worried that he's beginning to show some character flaws or can we just chalk this up as a bad day. I know I know,he's young, but what if things don't go his way with the ins? is he gonna have a similar hissy fit?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

He's 23 years old. I am 40 and had a very similar reaction when my team lost in the first round of the men's tournament. I am still, somewhat childishly, not over it, as I have not watched one second of this tournament since that game and couldn't even tell you who's in the Final Four. So we all get immature sometimes. I think we can give the 23-year-old a break on this one.

nick (wisconsin) [via mobile]

this is my first chat. i really liked it. ill b back again. thank u Dan

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

You're welcome. Sorry it got ugly there in the middle. I should have just ignored. Catch you all later. Even the clowns.