Chat with Mike Sando
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll have ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando stopping by to talk about the latest NFL happenings.
Sando joined ESPN.com in 2007 after nine seasons covering the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune. He previously covered Washington State University football and basketball for the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review. Mike grew up in Northern California before attending Whitworth College, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in political studies. He lives in the Seattle-Tacoma area with his wife and their two sons.
Send your questions now and join Sando on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Mike Sando (1:03 PM)
I'm here and we'll begin momentarily. Just ran into Mike Holmgren and chatted for a few minutes.
Matt (Corner of 7th Ave)
Despite the many needs of the Seahawks, at this point is quarterback a must in round 1 or 2 ?
Mike Sando (1:07 PM)
"Must" is a little strong, but they do need to draft one and I expect them to draft one or even two. General manager John Schneider believes in drafting quarterbacks every year or close to it, and the Seahawks do need to find one.
Brett (Abbeville, LA)
Mike Bell will probably be released by the Saints. Can LaDainian Tomlinson be the 10-12 carry running back to compliment Pierre Thomas? People down here are hesitant about that idea.
Mike Sando (1:08 PM)
My sense is that Tomlinson is pretty much finished and he'll have a hard time accepting that type of role.
Jermon Bushrod was tendered as a 2nd-rounder today. Do you see any of the NFC West teams making a play for him?
Mike Sando (1:09 PM)
I really don't see an NFC West team coming up with a contract the Saints would not match, then parting with a second-round choice.
Any thoughts on the Seahawks retaining Burleson or Redding? Nate looks like a hot prospect in a thin FA class. Redding seems like a decent 3-tech DT.
Mike Sando (1:11 PM)
Pete Carroll said he liked what he saw from Cory Redding last season. That tells me Seattle might be interested in keeping him if the price is reasonable, and it should be reasonable. Unless Nate Burleson suddenly accepts a modest deal, I think he'll hit the market and see what's out there. The Seahawks aren't willing to pay him big money.
Do you think a OT worthy of a #6 pick will fall to the Seahawks. If not, would that pick be better spent on G. McCoy (if available) or Clausen?
Mike Sando (1:16 PM)
Gerald McCoy will be long gone. If he is available, the Seahawks should by all means select him. I do think Seattle should consider a tackle at No. 6, but I am not at all convinced they will go that route.
steven (Alamo, CA)
How realistic is the 49ers chances of landing Donovan McNabb ?
Mike Sando (1:16 PM)
Pretty unrealistic, in my view. I question whether the Eagles would trade him.
How great was Pittsburgh's move to franchise Reed? How horrible was the Seahawks' move to franchise Mare?
Mike Sando (1:17 PM)
Love your thinking. Here's another one: If the Cardinals played on the NFL's worst field, critics would be saying that's what we should expect from a cheap franchise. When the Steelers play on a horrible field, hey, that's the way it goes.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
Let's talk about the Niners QB situation. Alex Smith? Really? Think a draftee can come in and give us a Sanchez-esqu performance? Who?
Mike Sando (1:20 PM)
Why would the 49ers want their quarterback to finish the season with 12 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions, a la Mark Sanchez? Seriously, though, I think the 49ers are excited to have their quarterback play in the same offense in back-to-back seasons. For that reason, I don't think the 49ers will shake up that position in 2010 unless they can land an obviously better option.
Wes (Little Rock Air Force Base, AR)
If the Rams take either Clausen/Bradford at 1 overall, any chance the Seahawks would use their 2 picks to jump ahead of Washington to take the other QB?
Mike Sando (1:20 PM)
That would surprise me quite a bit.
Matt (Tacoma, WA)
Hey Sando...are you enjoying our bi-polar weather as well? 25 in the morning, 60 around lunchtime. Nuts...Anyhoo...Seahawks...obviously there is a TON of mis-information coming out now, but what do you think of Spiller and Mays in rd 1? Do teams care where a kid is from? I would think so, with Mays being from Seattle and seeing what the Mariners have gone through, being lambasted at every turn, for not drafting Tiny Tim Lincecum. We do need a safety...
Mike Sando (1:25 PM)
It's at least 35 degrees and maybe even 40 here in the combine media room. The scenario you laid out -- C.J. Spiller and Taylor Mays to the Seahawks -- doesn't add up for me. Seattle needs to strengthen its lines on both sides of the ball. Quarterback is another need position. I'm just not sure whether the Seahawks could justify taking a situational running back/return specialist and a safety with its first-round choices, unless those players were easily the best ones on the board.
Danny (Lyndhurst, NJ)
What are the chances of the Rams resigning Atogwe?
Mike Sando (1:26 PM)
Oshiomogho Atogwe will probably re-sign as a restricted free agent. That is the most likely scenario. I'm skeptical about him taking a long-term deal in the short term because I'm not sure that would be in the best interests of anyone.
Sargon Merza (AZ)
Hey Mike! Hope all is well!I got a quick question for ya. Do you think the Rams could take Bradford? I don't see them wasting a first overall on a DT.The struggles on offense were too great in my opinion. What do you think?
Mike Sando (1:28 PM)
I spoke with a former Rams employee here who thought there was no way the current ownership would want the team to take a defensive tackle first overall. I don't know if that is true or how much the pending sale of the team could shape any decision, but my feeling has generally been that the Rams would find a veteran quarterback for the next year or so.
Jerry (Folsom, CA)
Hey Mike, love the blog, love your email responses, love your attitude. I'll be sad when you get promoted.Anyway, Rams. First pick Suh. Second round ... my thought is the QB out of Central Michigan (Lefevour?). Pretty good risk/reward potential in the 2nd round, small school means he didn't have as much talent around him so his own talent is more visible. Other thoughts obviously include taking a flyer on a TE, one of the big WR's (the USC kid maybe?) or just focusing on that D line. Any thoughts personally or any indications from the Rams?Thanks
Mike Sando (1:32 PM)
Thanks, Jerry. I grew up down there in the Sacramento area and still go out to Folsom Lake every now and then when I visit. I'm sure a lot of people are grateful to know that. On the football front, I think the Rams either need to draft a franchise quarterback early or use their early picks for players who will get on the field right away and preferably find the end zone. This is considered a strong draft for receivers. The Rams should be able to find one in the third round or thereabouts unless someone with great ability is available earlier. Tight end is a need position, but not a premium position. Drafting one anywhere in the first few rounds would probably be a luxury the Rams shouldn't afford.
ken (Redondo Bch)
Do you think the Rams have any interest in Peppers
Mike Sando (1:32 PM)
Not enough to break the bank for him.
mike (springfield MO)
Would David Carr be a potential stop gap QB for the Rams?
Mike Sando (1:33 PM)
They can do better.
Mike Sando (1:34 PM)
Five-minute break here. Back in a flash.
Michael Weaver (Columbia, SC)
With so many aging players in the secondary who do you see as the best pick for the 49ers this season?
Mike Sando (1:40 PM)
The dreaded BPA: Best Player Available. Sure, they could use a young prospect at corner, but they should not draft one just to fill that need. I'm not even sure it's a primary need.
Do you think the Cardinals truly believe that Leinart is their next starting quarterback to lead them to the playoffs or are they just buying time until they draft that next great quarterback?
Mike Sando (1:41 PM)
Matt Leinart represents their best option, so they'll go with him and hope he develops. I don't think Leinart has convinced anyone, including the Cardinals, that he is going to lead them to the playoffs. But that is OK. He'll get a chance to prove it this season. And if he does not, the Cardinals can move on. I think they need to give him a chance over a full season.
Joe (Phoenix, AZ)
Mike, I've heard next to nothing in terms of rumors with respect to the Cardinals in the pending offseason. They shed Warner's salary and lose the franchised Dansby...do you see them making any free agent/trade moves?
Mike Sando (1:44 PM)
I don't see the Cardinals spending much in free agency this year. If they did spend big in free agency, they would not be helping their situations with Darnell Dockett or any other younger players in line for deals.
Will (Louisville, Ky)
I am No. 1 Cardinal Fan. Given the fact that Karlos Dansby obviously won't return, do you see the Cardinals going after Antonio Pierce to fill that MLB position if he is healthy?
Mike Sando (1:45 PM)
No, I don't see them signing a 4-3 middle linebacker for their 3-4 scheme, particularly with the age/injury concerns. That is my feel anyway.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
I think the Cardinals have a chance to win the NFC West in 2010 as I see their only real competition as the SF 49ers. However, with Warner now gone how badly is the offensive line going to be exposed?
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
The Cardinals will probably have to lean more on their running game. I think their line can be OK even without Kurt Warner. But if this team falls behind, look out. Warner had trouble avoiding punishment in those situations and Leinart wouldn't have it any easier.
Kevin (SF, CA)
Chances Antrel Rolle is still a Cardinal next Saturday?
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
Ruben (bay area, ca)
Any chances the Rams try to bring in former Giants like Antonio Pierce and make a play for Osi Umenyiora?
Mike Sando (1:48 PM)
The Rams generally have not taken that approach. They did bring in James Butler at safety. Pierce's health and the fact that he plays James Laurinaitis' position makes him a longer shot. On Umenyiora, what would be the price? The Rams can't easily afford to give up picks. They need to build.
Hey Sando, any more rumors regarding the Rams trading the #1 pick? I heard Tampa was in negotiations, but at this point, there are lots of smokescreens. Thanks
Mike Sando (1:49 PM)
No negotiations with Tampa, according to the Rams. I've heard nothing convincing about trade talks involving that top pick.
Miguel (San Francsico)
I am as excited as any 9er fan to see what Alex Smith can do under the same offense. However, I disagree with most fans who say we should pass on a Clausen or Bradford if they are there at #13; especially this being Smith's contract year. Two QB's is a good problem, right (ala San Diego with Rivers/Brees)?
Mike Sando (1:52 PM)
Your thinking seems sound to me. I wouldn't have a problem with that. The 49ers can't worry about upsetting Smith at this point. Smith needs to produce and if he does, he has value to the 49ers either as the starter or in a trade. The 49ers do need to build for the future. And if they see an excellent value in a quarterback at that pick, they would be wise to make the selection. The Packers did that with Aaron Rodgers, getting him late in the first round. That move worked out OK.
Mike come on man need some inside info here. What are the 49ers planning in FA? Do they look for secondary help with Sharper, Boddin, or the Cb for the Texans or somewhere else?
Mike Sando (1:53 PM)
General manager Scot McCloughan reiterated today that he thinks the 49ers do not need to make significant investments in free agency. He think they can build through the draft. Sounds to me as though the 49ers will not spend big on a cornerback in free agency.
Mike what are you hearing out of the 49ers are they going to be active, semi active, or non existent in Free Agency?
Mike Sando (1:53 PM)
McCloughan said they will not be very active.
Joey (Boise, Id)
Sando, I love reading your NFC West Blog but never posted before. I believe that the 49ers are consistent play from CB and SS away from being a top 5 respected defense. To you think the management will pursue this need in the FA or first round this year? If so, who? Thank you
Mike Sando (1:56 PM)
Thanks, Joey. I'm still a believer in building the front seven, then realizing benefits on the back end through stouter run defense, a better pass rush and the more favorable situations that result. So, if the choice in the draft comes down to a front-seven player or a secondary player, that secondary player had better be a difference maker. The 49ers do like size on both sides of the ball. Taylor Mays has great size for a safety and perhaps he could grow into the role if available at some point (and I'm not sure how long he'll last).
Travis (Gilbert, AZ)
Do you think a extension with Whisenhunt and Dockett will happen this offseason?
Mike Sando (1:58 PM)
Probably on Ken Whisenhunt, unlikely on Darnell Dockett.
Speaking of Antrel Rolle, do you think the Niners are interested in him? It wouldn't be difficult to put Goldson at SS, where he's likely a better fit anyways.
Mike Sando (1:58 PM)
I don't think the 49ers would be itching to pay big money for Rolle.
Bryce (Tempe, AZ)
Hoe many yards does Beanie Wells run for next year?
Mike Sando (2:02 PM)
Beanie Wells will top 1,000 yards, I think.
Chris (Danville, Ca)
Which drill usually gets the most coaches watching (outside of the 40-yard dash)?
Mike Sando (2:02 PM)
My guess might be the 3-cone drill testing agility and quickness.
Do you think the Niners might show interest in Westbrook as a change of pace back and for locker room leadership? I mean if we can get him cheap why not add him, and the light workload for Westbrook might keep him fresh.
Mike Sando (2:03 PM)
That could make some sense. Just not sure about his ability to stay healthy in light of the concussions.
Mike Sando (2:04 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the NFC West chat.