Hi everyone. Let's get to this....
KS, I'm a bit concerned about the lack of the Vikings defensive depth, particularly at LB -- are they seriously considering drafting a rookie to play MLB in Leslie's cover-two system? If Greenway or Henderson get hurt, they're in deep doo-doo.
Yeah, I think you can find an immediate starter at MLB in the draft. That's the kind of position it is. The same goes for linebacker depth. I wouldn't be too worried about it yet.
Urlacher may not fit the traditional Spielman FA model, but if BU is as fit as his Youtube vids show and can stay that way, then the Vikes would be hard-pressed to find a better solution at MLB. They would get one of the leagues best while mentoring a rookie or two. I just don't see any good MLB's in the draft.
Oh, there are several. Ogletree and Minter, even if you don't like Te'o.
With the lack of receiving options on the Vikings roster, why didn't they go after Heyward-Bay? He only cost the Colts $3 million on a one-year contract, and he's a guy with something to prove. Seems like it would have been a good fit in Minnesota.
Again, that can be addressed in the draft. They signed a mid-level veteran in Jerome Simpson. I believe he got more than $2 million this year. Guessing that was their veteran spending budget, along with Greg Jennings.
If both tackles and Ansah are gone when the Lions pick, what would you see happening? From reading team information, it doesn't sound like a corner (Millner) would be taken. Would you see any sort of trade or bpa (Floyd)? Thanks for your time!
Not sure that Ansah would go in the top four, but if he does, maybe that means Milliner is still there. Otherwise, the Lions have proved they are very much a BPA type of team.
I read the other day that it was still a distinct possibility that the Lions would re-sign Corey Williams and Lawrence Jackson. Has there been any word of contract negotiations or other teams pursuing them?
No, but those could be moves that happen around the draft, maybe afterwards when the Lions know what they've been able to get.
Any player in the NFC North with more to prove this season than Cutler?
I'm not sure if anyone has more or less, but Cutler is getting what the Bears consider his best chance to be an elite-level QB. He's now got a coach they consider a quarterback guru. He's got a legitimate left tackle. He's got two big receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. He has already proven that he is a good quarterback, but I guess he now has a chance to show he can be elite.
I saw your Sports Science post on Fluker. Did you watch him against Michigan? He looked horrible.
I did not, and obviously Sports Science doesn't portray a player's in-game ability. But we did see a guy with some power.
Will my agent ever find me someone who will pay more than $2mil/yr, so I don't have to crawl back to Emery and accept even less?
It's unlikely someone will offer Urlacher more than $2 million, but in truth, that wasn't even a fully guaranteed $2 million that the Bears were offering. He is going to have to take less if he wants to play in 2013. He might not want to.
Will Aaron Rogers get between $25 and $30 million per year?
The current market is $20.1 million per year. So the guess is Rodgers will be a lot closer to $25 million than $30 million.
I think with the FA signings that Emery has made, it makes sense to trade down once or twice. What do you think?
Most teams would like to trade down and accumulate picks. It only happens for a handful each year. If there is a really good right tackle or even a guard available at No. 20, though, the Bears might want to consider it.
In your opinion as far as Lions goes, what is the #1 need when it comes to draft?
I'm a little confused on the Riley Reiff thing. If the Lions thought he was going to be a dominant left tackle for a decade, I don't think they would be hedging their bets on his future. So assuming that's the case -- that they don't think he is their left tackle of the future -- I would say that is their biggest need. If they do plan to use Reiff long-term there, then I would say cornerback.
Do think there will be several teams reaching for QBs in the first round?
Based on reports of Geno Smith and Matt Barkley, using a top-10 pick on a QB in this draft would be a reach. But history tells us someone will do it.
I'm not to thrilled about having a "Home" Game overseas... What are your thoughts on that? Will that maybe effect the Vikings chances of making the playoffs?
If you're concerned about the distraction and disruption, the Vikings will face the same issue as their opponent. But if you think they will lose their home-field advantage as a result, then I think that's a fair concern. The Vikings have historically played much better at the Metrodome than outdoors on grass. That's a topic we'll explore more during the season.
Kevin how would urlacher fit on the Lions roster
Don't see it.
What do you think is the Packers biggest current need? To me, they still haven't replaced Nick Collins and have a hole at safety.
It's true they haven't replaced him, but it's not for lack of trying. Drafting Jerron McMillian last year was the latest attempt. I don't see that as their biggest need. After watching them get beat up against the run last year, I'm thinking they could use some help on the defensive line and also hope that Nick Perry develops into the kind of outside linebacker they drafted him to be.
What are the chances you see Manti Te'o in purple next year? (Please say not good)
They pretty much have to draft a middle linebacker, so I wouldn't rule it out. Rick Spielman was at the Notre Dame pro day.
What is your thoughts on Alec Olgetree and if he falls to number 20 should the Bears take a chance on him?
He's had some off-field issues over the past year but everyone seems to think he is the best MLB in the draft. Athletic, fast and strong. They would have to give strong thought to drafting him. D.J. Williams was very much a short-term answer.
Any chance Lions go Lane Johnson if the two top tackles are gone?
That will be a very good question. Elite left tackles are worth the No. 5 pick. The question will be whether the Lions view him at that level -- and clearly better than Riley Reiff.
Glad to see we are having a NFC North chat this month. After today are we done chatting NFC North until May?
Can't win for losing...
Hopefully you received your full refund for the chats we've missed.
I've heard rumors the Bears might be interested in trading their first round pick to SF for their two second round picks. Given the supposed depth of the draft, am I right in thinking that would be a coup for Chicago, as they would then have three 2nd round picks? Is this even a realistic possibility?
The Bears would be interested, I'm sure. But the 49ers would have to be really locked into one particular player to draft at No. 20 to make it worth giving up that other second-rounder.
Since Heyward-Bey signed with the Colts, do you see the Lions drafting a WR again?
As amazing as it sounds given their history, yes I would expect the Lions to draft a receiver once again. Not in the first round and maybe not in the second, but at some point. Depth is an issue.
In your opinion are the Packers being cheap?
No. They are being the Packers.
Kevin, do you think there's any chance the Vikings could end up with Antoine Winfield before the season starts? If so, would he have to take a substantial pay cut?
It's possible. Leslie Frazier is sure putting on the full-court press. But I'm sure Winfield would want to exhaust all other options before returning to the team that cut him. The Redskins want him, but they just re-signed DeAngelo Hall. He would have to take a pay cut from the $7.25 million he was supposed to make, but that would happen anywhere he signed.
It's obvious the Vikings have a penchant for drafting Notre Dame players. Do the other teams in the division have particular colleges they feature when drafting?
Not nearly to that extent.
Who takes over Percy's kick return duties?
Perhaps Marcus Sherels. Maybe a rookie they draft. To be determined.
Who do you see being the Vikings Starting Q/B week 1? Week 17?
Week 1, definitely Christian Ponder barring injury. In Week 17? Barring injury, still say it will be Ponder. He might not be great this season, but I don't think he'll be bad enough to bench.
How was your vacation? Must be niiiiiice.
Ha. Yes. Because everyone else works 365 days a year.
Any chance the packers bring Woodson back at a reduced price? The market isnot in his favor.
I'm guessing they've moved on. If they wanted him back, they could have offered him a pay cut. To my knowledge, they did not.
Do you think the Vikings would package picks to go get Olgetree?
Because of his off-field issues, it's not out of the question that he'll be there at No. 23. But I'm not sure the Vikings, or anyone, would trade up to draft a middle linebacker.
What is the appropriate number of times to repeat a question we want answered?
One. Can't stand the spammers.
Any gut feeling on how different the Vikings uniforms will be this season? I absolutely hate their current uniforms...way too much piping and striping all over the place. Same can be said for the Bills, Falcons, and Cardinals jerseys. I?d like to see the Vikings adopt a more traditional color scheme.
If the change in any way reflects the logo "adjustment," this will be a minor thing. I would be in favor of something simple, but I'm not sure that's the way Nike does things. See the Seahawks, for example.
What does Les have to do this year for the Vikings to give him an extension? Is he tied in to how Ponder develops?
I'm going to guess getting back to the playoffs is a minimum requirement.
How much money will the Vikings save when they build their new stadium by not needing a Trophy Room?
Come on now....
Do you think the Packers draft a running back early? (1st/2nd round)
Based on Ted Thompson's history, I would say no. He drafts running backs, but only once higher than in the third. (Brandon Jackson)
Can you give a % of a chance that Lions may trade down? Or up?
Up: 10 percent. Down: 43 percent.
Can you please tell your NFC.N regulars to quit trolling me? My own regulars lose more and more respect for me every time I have to reverse-troll your goons.
I wouldn't know anything about that.
Ted will no longer be his fathers son if he ______?
Spends money he doesn't have to.
why do you keep answering stupid questions instead of talking about good football topics?
Just keeping it light. We aren't breaking down nuclear fission here.
Serious question now...Why don't you think Flynn has been given any legit shot to prove his worth? I think he is better than what people think.
He was never going to get a chance in Green Bay. In Seattle, he got beaten out by an excellent rookie quarterback. We'll see if he can beat out Terrelle Pryor in Oakland.
What do you put the chances of Fisher or Joeckel making it to #5? I understand Joeckel probably more likely to be gone than Fisher, but would love one of the two at #5. IMO, too much value to pass up, regardless of the feelings on Reiff (who could make an amazing RT).
The could both easily be gone if there isn't a QB taken in the top 4, as projections currently indicate.
What's the earliest you could see the Bears drafting a QB as insurance for 2014 in case Cutler doesn't pan out this year?
That's a good question, and not just to protect themselves if Cutler doesn't pan out. For most of the time I've spent doing this blog, the Bears have had to go out every year and find a backup quarterback. You can draft a quarterback you intend to use as a backup, too, as the Packers did with Flynn and the Redskins did with Kirk Cousins.
What do you know about the Packers running back situation?
They want someone to pair with DuJuan Harris. I think Harris will definitely get some playing time. It's just a matter of how talented of a person he is competing with.
Is it more of a prove it year for Bill Musgrave than Leslie Frazier?
I guess it's possible that the Vikings could retain Frazier in 2014 even if the offense is bad enough to force Musgrave out. But my guess is that if hte offense isn't good enough to sustain the OC, then Frazier will be gone anyway.
What is Jahvid Best's situation?
He's on the Lions roster but not cleared for contact. Same thing for a couple years now. You wonder if they will do something with him before offseason workouts begin.
Lets pretend that every single player the Lions want to draft are avaliable with the fifth pick. Who do they pick and why?!
Then I would take the guy the think is the best LT in the draft. Very hard to get those kinds of players if you're not near the top of the draft.
How many pull tabs did you buy while you were on vacation?
Obviously not enough.
Odds I actually live up to my contract/am a Packer in 2014?
Good question. This is by far the biggest season of your career. I'm saying your chances of being in Green Bay after 2013 are 50-50.
Marcus from Kaneohe, HI brings up a good question which brings me to another question. How much of a cap hit does Jahvid Best have for this season and is there a cap hit from Jerome Harrison with his brain tumor situation?
Best would count $1,976,500 against the cap if he is on the active roster, but we're a long way from that. Harrison does not count on the 2013 cap.
Who among the remaining starters from the 2012 Vikings roster that are still with the team likely won't be on opening day? I know you've suggested Kluwe's days may be numbered. Anyone else?
It's worth keeping an eye on Kevin Williams. If they cut Winfield for financial reasons, you wonder if they would do the same to Williams if they need more space down the road.
Isn't there a difference between questioning if a guy is a "dominant LT for the next decade" and saying he can't be there LT of the future? Lots of teams don't have an elite LT and are still productive.
Yes, there is a difference. Those teams don't have elite left tackles because the weren't in position to get them. Good teams don't draft in the top 10, which is where the good left tackles get taken. You don't have to have an elite LT, but the Lions might be in position to get one, so they need to make a decision on Reiff first.
Considering how the Packers didn't bring in competition at kicker during 2012, do you see them entering the season with Crosby & Tavecchio or cutting one before then?
They'll take more than one kicker to camp, I'm pretty sure. But will the other guy be credible competition? I'm not sure about that.
OK everyone, a few more questions here.
With Jennings gone, who steps in to be the de facto #1 guy for the Packers?
Last year, they had two No. 1's -- James Jones, especially in the red zone, and Randall Cobb. It's pretty clear that Cobb and Rodgers have a special relationship. I would expect that to continue to flourish.
After all the public $$$ the Vikings are getting for their stadium, they can't go down the PSL route, right? I think that would be a bad PR move.
It was in the agreement that the Governor and state legislators signed. No one should be surprised.
Any insight into the size of brad jones's new contract? Seemed big for a special teamer?
One theory is that the Packers are concerned about one or more of their injured ILBs -- D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop -- coming back.
How do you see the Lions cap situation playing out next year? I am getting concerned that every year we are playing cap roulette and just keep deferring money. Suh, johnson and Stafford still count huge against the cap with no end in sight
The Lions are just an unfortunate victim of the old rookie pay scale. They really have no choice but to continue doing what they're doing. The only option is to let Suh walk, I guess, when he becomes a free agent.
So, assuming nobody takes a QB, and Milliner and both the LT's are off the board, do the Lions take Ansah or one of the top flight guards? I don't see a trade up to 5 happening, so i ruled that out.
Teams almost never take a guard that high. Could be Ansah. Could be Floyd if he is still there.
In retrospect don't you think Ted Thompson blew it in free agency this year? Safety Adrian Wilson signed a very cheap 5 million dollar contract over 3 years and steven jackson signed for cheap money too.This wasn't the year for TT to sleep walk through free agency IMO.
He trusts the system of development, that an ascending Jerron McMillian is better than a descending Adrian Wilson. Take that for what you will.
OK everyone. Thanks so much. Chat with you next week.