Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley stops by to chat.
Hensley joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he lives in the Baltimore area with his wife.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:01 PM)
Welcome to our weekly AFC North chat. Thanks for stopping by and let's see how much ground we can cover. Let's lace up the shoes and go at it like RG3.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What does the Baltimore Ravens need to Address in the 2012 NFL Draft?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:03 PM)
Ravens need to address inside linebacker, center/guard, safety and wide receiver. Baltimore usually does a good job to fill most of its holes on the roster in free agency, so it allows team officials to take the best player available.
Is finding a replacement for Ray Lewis the Ravens number one draft priority?(I know, Ravens fan in Bama)
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:04 PM)
I wouldn't say it's the top priority. But it has to be one of them. Also, it's become more of a priority this year than previous ones. Lewis is coming off his most uneven season in the NFL.
Michael H (Baltimore)
What if they got that report wrong about the Browns and the Rams talking? What if the Browns are actually asking about trading for Shurmur's old QB from St Louis, Sam Bradford? Can you even imagine...
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:04 PM)
Not happening. Rams are committed to Bradford.
I referenced the article you wrote about the Steelers cap problems in 2013-14 over at the Post Gazette chat with Garry Dulac. He reminded me that the Steelers are one of the very best at handling their roster and in fact there is nothing to worry about. That being said, do you stand by your initial belief that the Steelers will suffer (Wins and Losses) due to mismanaging the cap?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:06 PM)
Adam: I stand by it. Have you seen any other teams restructuring their players like the Steelers? There is reason for it. One of the biggest reasons I'll stand by the article is that most of opinions came from Andrew Brandt, who handled the salary cap for 10 years in the NFL. Restructuring hurts you in the long run. It's a fact of life in the NFL.
Kovacs (Santa Monica)
Whether the Browns eventually make the trade for RGIII or not, there is no reason to bid against themselves right now. St. Louis wants the #4 pick if they trade out of 2, they'll call the Browns before agreeing to any other trade.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:08 PM)
Kovacs: Because the Browns have that fourth overall pick, they are in the driver's seat in this trade. It's really up to them whether they want to get RG3 or not. I say do it, but we'll have to wait to see what the Browns think.
Say MB decided to put up the money this year, and took Wallace from the Steelers. Do you think Dalton would be able to utilize Green and Wallace as the major deep threats they are?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:10 PM)
Alex: I don't think there is any question that Wallace is a better fit with the Steelers because Roethlisberger has a stronger arm. But Dalton gets the ball downfield better than anyone expected. I don't see this happening, but the Bengals have the draft pick and the cap room to do so if they wanted Wallace.
Caleb (Washington (the state))
I know you've already stated that Dontari Poe is not gonna fall to the Steelers at 24. What would it take for the Steelers to move up to a point where they can draft him? We've seen them move on players they felt were special (Holmes and Polamalu, both of which were great moves). Is Poe special enough that they aggressively go after him?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:13 PM)
Caleb: All reports indicate that Poe is going to be special. You just have to watch it when it comes to the bigger defensive linemen. Some don't turn out because work ethic never matches talent (Haynesworth). It would take a lot for the Steelers to jump the nine or 10 spots needed to get him. I don't see it happening, but he is one player that should tempt Pittsburgh.
Eric (New York)
About your post today about RG3 - I agree, he could be incredible. But what if he isnt? What if he is a total bust? how badly have you gutted the browns by sacrificing two firsts and a 3rd if not more?I admit that those picks are not locks to be good players, but the current regime has done a good job of not horribly messing up. I cant imagine we have a 2nd round where we take two bad WRs like in the previous. We have a much better chance of getting at least one potentially two good starters, and the opportunity to hit the jackpot and get three.He would be exciting, he would sell tickets, but if he fails the browns Franchise is gutted. We have a young core, but with a 1-2 year period we went cant bring in any young talent that core will deplete and move on to greener pastures.In Holmgren I trust, not to do this.Thanks,Eric
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:15 PM)
When it comes to getting a franchise quarterback, you have to take chances. Honestly, even signing Peyton Manning is a risk because of his injury history now. You just have to get all of the information you can and make the best decision for your team. From what I've seen and heard about RG3, he is a risk worth taking for a Browns offrense that has been extremely boring.
Jam, Steelers will win the division next season.. yes or no
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:16 PM)
You know there is a thing called free agency and the draft that happens over the next two months, right?
Jerome (Chapel Hill)
Do you think the Browns can knock a little off the price for RGIII by noting the Rams and Redskins may be competing for Wild Card spots over the next few years?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
Jerome: I don't think so. If every team is offering the same amount of picks, the Browns would have the edge because they hold the fourth overall. Of course, the Redskins could trump them with an additional second- or third-round pick.
How far do you see Vontaze Burfict falling? Do you think the Ravens will still gamble on him if he's still available in a later round?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:20 PM)
Flaps: He's looking more like a second-rounder now. But I don't see him falling to the bottom of that round. So, if the Ravens want him, they probably would have to move up in the second or trade back from the first.
RG3 or Colt McCoy?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
RG3 > CM1
Brad Kassouf (Hudson, Ohio)
Jamison,I have read in your articles that you feel the Brown's should trade up to Draft RGIII and part ways with Peyton Hillis. Let's say the organization decides to do neither of these and instead decides to take this route in the draft/free agency.Draft Justin Blackmon 4th OverallDraft Lamar Miller 22nd OverallIn this scenario I would also like to see the Brown's sign Pierre Garcon through free agency. By doing so the Brown's will address their deep threat need with Garcon and get a solid play maker out of Blackmon. The offense would consist of Garcon, Blackmon, and Little at WR and Hillis/Miller running the backfield.By doing this I feel it gives the Browns a list full of play makers as well as Colt McCoy a chance to prove he can produce when he has help.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:23 PM)
All of those moves will help, although I still don't have a great feel for Lamar Miller yet. It would certainly help McCoy, but he isn't a difference-maker. I still stand by my assertion that McCoy won't lead a team to the playoffs. He's just limited in what he can do.
so will i do better or worse with some one like robert meachem opposite of me?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
Much better because Meachem will take some of the attention away and Dalton will have a full season under his belt. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden already said he expects to open up the playbook now that the younger players are second-year ones.
Do you see the Bengals being able to repeat themselves next year, maybe even winning the division with the elderly ravens and pitt falling off?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:26 PM)
The Bengals have had trouble putting two great seasons back-to-back. It doesn't matter whether the "elderly" Ravens and Steelers fall off. It's whether the Bengals can continue to improve. They went to the playoffs because of what they did in the offseason. Cincinnati needs another productive draft and free-agent period to make a run at the division title.
hey jamison, do you think the bengals could re-sign bobbie williams get a decent guard in the draft and see what boling can do, just for maximum depth?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:27 PM)
I know Bobbie Williams has been with the Bengals a long time, but I get the sense that the team wants to get younger. I see them going after a productive free agent who still has upside and drafting a guard in the first round.
Yeah i know there is a thing called FA and Draft.. but you do sound like a steelers hater.. true or false? especially being that you have maryland ties
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
Not a Steelers hater. I can send you links on several positive posts. It just seems that Steelers fans can't stand when someone criticizes the team. When I hear that I am biased from fans of the Steelers, Ravens, Browns and Bengals, I truly know that I am being unbiased.
Da Biz (No Cali)
How far will Blackmon fall in the 1st since he's shorter and lighter than expected?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
I still see him as a top 5 pick, even though I wouldn't take him that high. If he was in last year's draft, he would be far behind A.J. Green and Julio Jones.
Jamison, In your article this morning about how the Browns have to take RG3, you wrote that Colt will not take the Browns to the super bowl. How after less then 20 games can you say that he will never do that? Considering the O-line problems and inept wide receivers, RG3 would have trouble too.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
I saw Kyle Boller play 20 games with a weak supporting cast and drew the same conclusion. You can't keep making excuses. You have to evaluate the player on his own merits. He just doesn't have the arm to win in this league.
I keep hearing lot's of talk about the anticipated decline of Heath Miller. Tony Gonzales was able to play well into his thirties. Why can't it be the same for Miller who has suffered very few injuries?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:35 PM)
Adam: I thought Miller was severely underused last year. I can see him having a bounce-back year. But the Steelers need to get an athletic pass-catching tight end at some point.
JimBeau (Left Coast)
Hi Jamison, thanks for the chat. If Wash wants to go 1-2-3 and 1 next year, no way do I think Cleveland should go there. So then what? Need a RDE, OLB, CB and FS on D. A WR (or 2), ROT, RB and maybe a OG on the O. With their cap space (?), and available picks (trade if you want), what type of offseason of FA and draft would you put together for the Browns? Who would you sign and draft?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:37 PM)
JimBeau: If you can't trade for RG3, I would consider the corner Claiborne or the running back Richardson. I really like Trent Richardson, but I think taking him at No. 4 is too high because of the durability of the position. I think he can be real special. As far as free agency, they need to find a running back, wide receiver and a kicker (if Dawson isn't franchised). Also, Cleveland has to re-sign Dmitri Patterson.
Max (Fort Knox, KY)
How aggressive do you think the Bengals will be in free agency with players like Ben Grubbs, Robert Meachem, Michael Bush, Tracey Porter, an maybe LaRon Landry?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
Max: I still see the Bengals going after Grubbs, Meachem and Bush along with re-signing Reggie Nelson, Mike Nugent, Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene.
do you think Hillis plays in Clev next year? If not, list some prospective buyers...thanks
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:40 PM)
I don't see him back in Cleveland, but there are reports that suggest the Browns will re-sign him. If he becomes a free agent, the Patriots are known for taking reclamation projects and would need a running back if BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn't re-signed.
Gary (The Woodlands, TX)
Kind of narrowed minded of you to make that call on Colt after 1 year...I bet you thought that of Alex Smith as well. This is one of the Browns problems?they draft a QB and in a few years draft another essentially starting over. Draft a guy and give him some talent and see how that works out. Draft RGIII and pray he can do it all because the Browns won?t have the picks to help him.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:43 PM)
For every Alex Smith, I can give you a lot more examples of quarterbacks that failed with good and bad situations. Alex Smith has become the answer for all supporters of struggling quarterbacks. It's a lot like the people who think you can find quarterbacks late in the draft and always cite Tom Brady. If you are a fan of 5-yard passes and quarterbacks who can only make plays by rolling out of the pocket, McCoy is definitely your quarterback.
David (State College)
JH, sorry I was so harsh on you a few weeks ago about media rumors and my question involves Hines. How low of a price will he go to be a Steeler or will he retire if they offer too low? I don't see him wanting to play for any other team, do you?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:44 PM)
I hate it when longtime players go elsewhere. But that's the business side of sports. I can see Ward taking a paycut but I don't see him taking one that is over 50 percent. And I don't see him retiring. He will find one team that wants him, but Ward won't be a starter again.
Hey Jamison. Long time reader, 1st time questioner.Do you think there is any chance the Ravens trade out of the 1st with Burfict falling and all?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:46 PM)
There are usually chances to do so. The only problem is the lack of quarterback depth in this draft. Teams can drop out of the first round because there are QB-hungry teams that want to get back into the first round. Because there won't be a quarterback to entice teams to move back into the first round, it could be harder this year.
Gary (The Woodlands, TX)
So you are saying RGII has a better arm and thus he would win with the same supporting cast Colt had?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:47 PM)
I don't think that is even a question.
"It just seems that Steelers fans can't stand when someone criticizes the team."BURN!!
Do you think Eddie Royal would be a good pickup for the Ravens?and do you see them using a 1st or 2nd round pick on Wr?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:47 PM)
Royal would serve a couple of purposes being a receiver and a returner. I don't think the Ravens want Webb to be the primary punt returner next year. So, he would make sense.
Do You think the Bengals will re-sign Marvin Lewis before the beginning of the season or do you think they will wait and see what he can do year number two of this young team?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:48 PM)
They should. But you never know. The Bengals-Marvin Lewis relationship is certainly an interesting one.
Was Peyton Hillis's off year just the Madden Curse or something more?...
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:49 PM)
It was the "I'm playing in my contract year and can't get no love" curse.
Hey Jamison, I was huge on the Ravens taking Burfict with their 1st rounder this year but after a terrible combine I'm not so sure he's worth that. In fact I don't really see many guys that stand out as bottom of the first round gems we usually get. So I want to revisit the possibility of the Ravens making a move for Mike Wallace. I'd much rather get great player and lose that pick than take a player who could be good but we're not as sure about. So any chance you think Ozzie might be bluffing about passing on Wallace?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:51 PM)
I believe Newsome that the Ravens won't go after Wallace. And when it comes to combine workouts, the Ravens put more stock in what they see in film than what they see in Indy. So, players don't fluctuate as much on the Ravens' draft board after the combine.
it's ok - we Steelers fans are very defensive (haha) - Do you feel losing Mendenhall is a far greater issue, Redman and Moore and Dwyer don't exactly instill confidence. Who is going to be that every down back, or will we see RB by committee?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:52 PM)
If the Steelers had more cap room, they should find a running back with some experience. I feel that the Steelers will go to a RB-by-committee with Redman taking the lead.
Shane (Trenton, OH)
Good afternnon Mr. Hensley. i have few key questions regarding my hometown team the Cincinnati Bengals.... 1. Are the bengals close to resigning safety Reggie nelson or could they be considering the franchise tag on him? 2. whats the chances of the Bengals stealing a key player away from the Ravens like Ben Grubbs ( THAT BE AWESOME HAHAA)? 3. What free agents are we seriously looking at now to bolster our sqaud? Thanks for your time and input.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:55 PM)
I believe Nelson is either No. 1 or No. 2 on the FA priority list. I don't see them using the tag on him. They do have to address guard, and they should be comfortable going after Grubbs because they see him up-close twice a year.
Matt (Austin, TX)
Do you ever get tired of 90% of the chat questions being from the same 6 Bengal fans?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:55 PM)
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:56 PM)
Thank you for a great chat. Appreciate all the questions. I'm sorry I couldn't get to them all. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week and the rest of your Leap Day.