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Mailbag: VY free edition

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Jordan in Austin, TX writes: Should the Jags trade Tra Thomas to another team? I mean it's kind of an underhanded thing to do, to trade a recent free agent signing but he's a very expensive backup offensive tackle especially with Tony Pashos being fourth behind Monroe, Britton, and Thomas.

Paul Kuharsky: I don't think they will or can. ("You're looking to trade who?" the GM on the other end of the phone would say. "You just signed him and he hasn't played for you yet. With that sort of endorsement he sure sounds like someone we'd want.") We have to see how things shake out in camp. But what if Britton plays at guard this year? Then the worst of the three remaining guys is your primary backup tackle. They learned last year there is no such thing as too much depth.


Jason Sims in Indianapolis writes: Paul, you're the man, but you keep dodging my e-mail about the Colts re-signing Ed Johnson. I really believed all along they would. I have been a season ticket holder for 7 years and I believe this defense is going to surprise a lot of people. They have the potential to be the best D we have had in the Peyton Manning era and that include 2005 when Big Ben took one from us in one of the greatest play-off games I can remember. So what do you think.... Loaded secondary-if Jackson is healthy, Pro-Bowl Defensive Ends, Beef and Quickness on the inside, (don't forget depth now), and two hard hitting Linebackers (Sessions and Wheeler). Can this group be very good or am I thinking too much with my heart and not my head? Also, I called the Ed Johnson signing, I also think Keiaho takes over at Middle Linebacker because of the make-up of this defense. Thanks for all your work and time.

PK: If I didn't answer, I apologize. You called it for Ed. I don't know what I'd be dodging you about.

Way too early to say how the linebackers are (I refer to a piece about them this week here) or how much the kid defensive tackles are able to contribute early. But there are certainly plenty of causes for your optimism.

Kevin Cunningham in Portland, OR writes: Paul-In regards to the contract situations on the Texans, is it unreasonable to think that the Texans might be making a shrewd business move in not extending DeMeco and Owen long term? I have no doubt that Texans brass would like to keep these two players long term but signing them now, without an extension of the CBA to a "current market value" contract seems to be in some ways a poor business move. The Texans have all the leverage here. If, as the season progesses, it becomes apparent that a new CBA will be reached, sure, sign those guys up long term, but if not? We simply would have to sign them again to max RFA tenders, and hold still all the leverage. While this might make players unhappy, I don't mind the strategy, especially since many players in a contract year up their performance. Am I way off base in this analysis?

PK: I think yours is a very smart take. If the best Daniels and Ryans can do next year is restricted free agency, then they'll be in the same exact spot a year from now and not have spent any additional money. That said, you don't want to be unfair or unreasonable and you want to treat them well so they continue to feel continued loyalty to you.


Triveni Singh in Nashville writes: You know you are going to get tons of these. Brandon Marshall to Tennessee? For future picks? His criminal history aside, he has a wealth of talent, youth, and game-changing ability.

PK: They already traded their second next year. And I think they feel fine with what they have after adding Nate Washington and Kenny Britt.


Dan Bruce in Burlington, Vermont writes: as it is every year, everybody is on the patriots bandwagon now that jesus in cleats is healthy, but what about the colts?? have they slipped out of superbowl talk? it seems like they are getting no credit. is it because of new coaching staff, people think peyton is old, missing marvin, what?? i saw where someone had chicago rated ahead as far as superbowl contention goes, are you kidding me. who is cutler gonna throw to? come on! i guess i am just a die hard colts fan who thinks they are better than they are? what is your take on indy's chances? GO HORSE!!!!

PK: Sorry, this is the wrong place to bring a "the-Colts-are-disrespected" complaint, or any complaint about disrespect, really. I don't buy them.

The Colts, I've said repeatedly, go into the season on a second tier of legit AFC contenders. I think Pittsburgh and New England are the top two teams, I think Indy, SD and Tennessee are among that next group of teams that could do very well and win the AFC. Also, last eight seasons: Colts one Super Bowl appearance, one win; Patriots four appearances, three wins. It's not unreasonable for people to predict better things for the Pats than Colts.

I've heard no complaints about Manning's age weighing Indy down. C'mon!


Chad in Houston, TX writes: What are the chances the Texans keep 3 QBs? 4 TEs? Do you think they overpaid for Orvlosky, especially now that they got a "Superbowl" QB in Grossman on the cheap? Thanks for the visit to Houston, hope to see you back again soon.

PK: Was great to have some time in Houston.

Gary Kubiak made it sound like they will seriously consider keeping three. I thought the price for Dan Orlovsky was high, but Kubiak knew what he was doing when he brought in Sage Rosenfels, so he gets benefit of the doubt here. If they liked Rex Grossman better back then, they could have had him instead.

I wouldn't read too much into it now. Stan Humphries and Chris Chandler were Super Bowl quarterbacks too. It didn't make them great either.

As for four tight ends, are you counting long snapper Clark Harris as a tight end? If so, then yes they'll carry four.


Rio in Bellingham, WA writes: Paul, being a big fan of Washington State, I was stoked to see Mkristo Bruce make a roster last year despite not playing. I was curious if you have seen or heard anything about him getting some playing time this year. Or, if he's even still on the roster.

PK: He was cut this week.