Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the NFL season and other news from around the league.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Gary Horton (4:02 PM)
This will be a very active week in the NFL with free agency opening. And it will be interesting to watch to see how many teams try to restructure contracts to try and get under the cap. There are some very tough decisions on the way in the next few days.
Rich (New Jersey)
Brandon Jacobs recently released by the Giants should have another 3-5 good years, where will he wind up in 2012?
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
It depends on his mental approach. As big and physical as he is, there have been times in the past that he hasn't run as hard as you would expect. He's such an physical back that his body can take a toll. I think the Giants feel good about a running back by committee approach. I think if Jacbos is motivated that he can be a good first and second down back for the next 2-3 years. He's a load to tackle when he wants to play.
Were the Jets stuck with Sanchez, or was resigning him imprudent?
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I think that had Peyton Manning showed a real interest, they would have gotten involved. But you're walking a fine line if you don't let your team and QB know that he's your guy for the future. I think that's a statement they felt they had to make to everybody, including Sanchez. For better or worse, this franchise and its success is dependent on how he plays. I do believe the the coaches have faith that he will become more consistent.
Greg (va )
I know preseason games don't mean much but if your the redskins do you start the QB kid they draft this summer in preseason?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
I don't think there's any question that they will try to get him ready from the first day of training camp. They're not a Super Bowl contender. They do not have another viable option at QB for him to sit behind. He has shown he's an intelligent and mature guy. With what they gave up to get him, I would be really surprised if he isn't their starter on opening day.
Two first rounders and a second...too much for one pick?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
Let me put it this way, if I were the Rams, I would feel great about what I got. On paper, it looks like they overpaid. But once they identified RGIII as their guy, they had no other option. If he works out to be a guy we all think he will, then paying a big price might be OK. If you're a Rams fan, you have to think this deal gives you a chance to really improve your football team quickly.
What are the chances of Vincent Jackson coming to Chicago?
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
I think it's a great fit. I would be very surprised if the Bears didn't make a hard run at him. Jay Cutler has publically said that he would love to play with a big receiver who can stretch the field and also give them production on third down and in the red zone. Most of their guys are complementary WRs and not very big. Jackson is exactly the kind of receiver they need in that offense.
John (Dover, DE)
Hey Gary, Jerry Jones stated that he is going to be busy in the Free Agency, is it realistic to say that he will be looking for someone to replace Alan Ball at safety?
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
I think that's where their concentration will be, in the secondary. This looks to be a good group of corners. They feel strongly that they need to add one or two guys on the back end of that defense. I also think they're going to look long and hard at the interior of their OL, although I don't think they can afford a guy like Carl Nicks, but he would really upgrade their run game. As we know, this is a front office that likes to be in the thick of things and it would not shock me if they were willing to cut some players or restructure some contracts to become active players in free agency.
meech (akron ohio)
as a detroit fan i was happy to see the outcome this season what would the lions have to do to compete again this year and what talent is needed on the roster im thinking linebackers you
Gary Horton (4:14 PM)
Their biggest challenge is to try to retain Stephen Tulloch. He was a huge part of that LB corps. They also need some help on the back end of their defense. I don't see them as a great matchup group in the secondary, unless the pass rush group up front is very effective. Their problem is they don't have a lot of cap space.
Given all the circumstances involved, many believe Dwight Freeney has played his last game as a Colt. Do you believe Freeney is most likely to be traded or released, and if traded, what might the Colts receive in return?
Gary Horton (4:16 PM)
I think the rumors of the Colts trying to shop him are probably true. I can't imagine that they would release him with no compensation. He was still an excellent pass rusher. Right now, Indianapolis, I think is listening to everybody. This team looks like they're going to tear everything down and start over again. It almost looks like anybody is expendable. What I don't understand is why they worked so hard to retain Robert Mathis, give him a new contract, and then turn around and consider letting Freeney go. I would have been more concerned about keeping Freeney than Mathis.
Anticipating Orton back in a Bears uniform as Cutler's back-up or will he have a starting job shot elsewhere?
Gary Horton (4:18 PM)
I think right now, he probably looks more like a backup than a starter. Although, you can never tell if injuries become a factor at QB. With the success that the rookies are having coming into the league at QB, teams are now a lot more willing to play guys immediately instead of sitting for a year or two behind Orton. That limits his opportunities.
meech (akron ohio)
with the weapons arizona has on offense do you think that will be a better fit for peyton to go verse denver
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I'm not quite sure what weapons they have after Larry Fitzgerald. They have a potential for a decent run game, but it's not been consistent. I think their OL is a mess right now. I would certainly think that Manning has to look at the guys upfront blocking for him and be somewhat concerned. But I do believe that both teams will accommodate him in terms of what he wants to run on offense. It can be his show and that's important for Peyton Manning.
Robert (Raleigh, NC)
Excited to be a Panthers fan again after Cam's year! Everyone has us drafting DT, and that is obviously a need. But I think it's bigger at corner (If Chris Gamble isn't the worst number 1 corner in the league, I want to know who is). What do you think?
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
I think you're absolutely on track. They need help inside up front to be more physical, but I agree with you that they need to be a better matchup group in the secondary. This is a pretty good group of free agent CBs. They're always looking, too, for a complementary WR to Steve Smith. Carolina is a pretty good football team.
Will the Bears be a real player with Mario Williams? Can't help but think what that does with the Bears D with 2 top flight ends.
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
I think the Patriots could be an interesting team for him. I haven't heard anything about the Bears, but that would make some sense. He'll be the best available free agent on the open market. I think San Diego would love to get an edge pass rusher. With the coach and GM under a lot of pressure, you might think they would pull the trigger on a big deal to win immediately. But I believe they have more free agents than any other team in the league, without a lot of money. It may be that they have too many problems to solve before they can get to a guy like Williams. He'll get a lot of offers, including returning to Houston.
Brandon (Columbus, OH)
As it seems is always the case, Browns draft slot falls just out of reach of the elite prospects. If they get stuck and have to go BPA, who would that be: Claiborne, Blackmon or someone else?
Gary Horton (4:26 PM)
If they stay at No. 4, which I think is likely, because I don't see many teams trading up to Minnesota at No. 3 or Cleveland at No. 4, I would think the Browns might look at Blackmon, obviously, but also a guy like Trent Richardson. That might involve an attempt to trade down a little bit. They can't move down too far, because beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and you can't be too sure that he will be there. With Minnesota at No. 3, because they won their last game of the season, it knocked them out of the No. 2 slot and their chance to get all of the draft picks that Washington gave St. Louis. Now, they are stuck at No. 3 and it doesn't appear that anybody wants to move into that spot.
In today's NFL, you either have a franchise QB or you are searching for one. Now that my Browns lost the RG3 sweepstakes, they are still searching for a franchise QB which seems to be the theme in Cleveland since coming back in the NFL in 99. What are the Browns options? Colt, Flynn, or Tannehill?
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
I think what they'll do now, unless they surprise us and go after a guy like Matt Flynn is maneuver to take one of the guys in that second group of QBs like Tannehill or Osweiller. They have two first round picks already, so they could either trade up with their second first round pick or they could trade down with the No. 4 pick. But, again, right now, it doesn't look like many teams have the need to come up to No. 4. Also, I think Cleveland is a little encouraged with their new OC Brad Childress that he might be able to develop Colt McCoy in this West Coast offense if they surround him with better targets. At the very least, maybe he can bridge the gap for another year or two while they get another guy ready.
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
I think the flury of free agent signings will really come quickly in the first couple of days with the marquee guys. Then it will slow down, as it always does as teams re-evaluate as teams try to find good financial picks with the second wave of signings. This will be a big week for teams in both in who they lose and who they keep.
Buzzmaster (4:32 PM)
Thanks for chatting Gary!