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!
Buzzmaster (4:26 PM)
Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay! We should be getting Gary on shortly! Keep your questions coming!
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
At least maybe we are coming to the end of "The Decision" for Peyton Manning. I've been fascinated by the trickle down effect for other QBs as it relates to his decision. We should see things fall into place now and teams can go on about their business. I'm ready for your questions!
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will Alex Smith land in Miami? Or is he just using the Dolphins as leverage against SF?
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
I think he probably legitimately looked at Miami as a potential option if the 49ers landed Manning. This is a deal where you can't really wait. It was a smart move on his part and his agent because now it looks to me like the Niners have to work to get him back. He has a lot of leverage. He went there with an open mind, although I think he wants to be in San Fran. The Dolphins could be the biggest losers of all in this. I don't think it's a done deal Smith goes back to San Fran.
Would Smith be that much of an improvement over Moore in Miami?
Gary Horton (4:33 PM)
I think that's a good question. But I really like the way Smith ran this offense last year. He took care of the football and didn't make a lot of mistakes. He really thrived under Harbaugh. He is a guy you can build around. Moore isn't a bad QB, but Miami just seems like they are starting over right now. It make take awhile for them to get back on top. I like the improvements Smith made last year.
how do you think matt flynn will work out in seattle?
Gary Horton (4:34 PM)
I think it is really an interesting signing. Matt Flynn should have had a great comfort level with Miami but when that didn't get done, it raises some red flags. We've seen in the last few years that guys that have production in limited starts have really struggled. I'm not sure one big game of Flynn's is a sample of what he is going to be. The Seahawks paid a lot of money for a guy who has skills, but the question is does the system make him better than he is? Everyone in that offensive system has put up good numbers.
Brad (Beverly, Ma)
Hi Gary. Is there any reason in the world for me to believe the Dolphins will ever be successful with Jeff Ireland making personal decisions? Is he scaring Free Agents away or is it the ownership?
Gary Horton (4:37 PM)
I don't think it is the ownership. They are committed to attracting marquee free agents to sell tickets. That's the least of their problems. I have been surprised from a distance that Miami didn't really jump into free agency. I might be wrong, but it didn't seem like they had a great plan in place. I never got the feeling they had a plan for if one guy fell through. When Manning fell through, they didn't seem to have an alternate solution. And they traded away their best receiver during the process. That didn't help the Manning recruitment. It seems like a very strange offseason in Miami.
What do you see the 49'ers doing if Smith leaves for Miami. Go with Kaepernick as the starter? Bring in Matt Leinart for competition? The range of options are pretty limited.
Gary Horton (4:38 PM)
I don't think Kaepernick is ready, although he is the guy they eventually want as their starter. They would probably look for a system stopgap guy for a year or two and accelerate the learning curve of Kaepernick. I just don't know that there is a name out there that would excite anyone right now.
Rob (San Antonio)
I have got to believe this is the perfect scenario for the Broncos. With the fanfare surrouinding Tebowmania the only way they could get out of it was to pick up a hall of fame qb. What are your thoughts?
Gary Horton (4:41 PM)
I think you are exactly right in the fact that the only way to separate from Tebowmania was to bring in a guy like Manning. But I don't think they did it for that reason. Elway wanted a proven guy and someone he has a good relationship with. The coaching staff will allow Peyton to run the offense that he wants to run. They have shown their flexibility in the past. This is a young team that will get better. I don't think anybody in the organization really believed, no matter what they said, that the Tebow thing could last forever. The one thing you have to realize about Manning is that he raises the level of production of everybody around him. How many receivers have become production when being thrown to by Manning? Manning will raise the production of this entire team.
Why not Tim Tebow to the Eagles? They have an extra 4th rounder, need a back up qb, know lefty qbs, Reid and Morninghweg worked wonders with Vick and bot have the kind of minds that could utilize Tebows unique talents while they polish the other stuff. And Tebow throws a deep ball pretty well and the Eagles do a lot with that.
Gary Horton (4:43 PM)
That's a very interesting scenario. He obviously has a skill set similar to Vick which would be a positive. Vick only has one year left on his contract I believe. But Jax and Miami may come into play here when Denver shops Tebow. I'll be interested to see if anybody that is in a QB problem situation, will give him a chance to start. Or will everyone view him as a project.
Tom (St. Louis)
Gary, everyone in St. Louis is freaking out about the Rams not getting a WR. However, I really liked the moves they made the last week getting Finnegan, Langford and a pro bowl center in Wells. Your thoughts?
Gary Horton (4:45 PM)
I think the Rams have done a great job. If they make the right draft picks they will be set up very well for the future. They will obviously try to get a couple guys in the draft. They may try to still find a bargain free agent. I agree that I thought they would really attack the veteran WRs, but they are showing tremendous patience. I do know this from talking to guys that they have a plan. Whether it works or not remains to be seen.
Rahim (Hackensack, N.J.)
Hey G,What can we expect the Browns to do in the draft? They obviously haven't signed anyone to catch the ball or throw for that matter. It feels like an angle for Barkley b4 the preseason.
Gary Horton (4:48 PM)
They are obviously disappointed by not being able to get up to No. 2 for RGIII. However, at No. 4 they can get a really good player. I look right now at RB Trent Richardson or WR Justin Blackmon. Both guys should be there at No. 4 and either would be a great pick. Unless they try to trade out and accumulate more picks. They should have a QB on their wish list with their second pick in the first round.
Do you think the Steelers are out of the woods yet with the Mike Wallace situation?
Gary Horton (4:49 PM)
Not at all. Giving up a first round pick for him is not as big a price as you might think for a guy with his credentials. Pittsburgh thinks most people wouldn't want to pay the contract, but in terms of giving up a first round pick ... he is probably better than any first-round WR they could draft. They felt they did the wrong thing. A receiver with production and speed is not easy to find.
Jim (Memphis )
Is Tom Brady secretly loving all this attention everyone else(peyton) is getting this offseason and using it as motivation for next year?
Gary Horton (4:51 PM)
I don't think he really cares. Both of those guys are so secure in who they are and what they've done. It would be my guess that Brady loves the fact that Peyton is back in the game with a team that could be pretty good. I believe both of them feed off a friendly rivalry. It's also interesting to me how quiet New England has been in free agency. Just a thought.
Tim (El Cajon, CA)
Gary, now with Manning in Denver (supposedly) do you think Jeff Saturday and his agent are a lot more happy figuring it gives them more leverage on a deal with the Broncos?
Gary Horton (4:52 PM)
I would not be surprised at all if Saturday becomes a Bronco or if Dallas Clark joins them at a position of need. I think Peyton will have a lot of leeway in terms of who he wants around him. These are two guys that know exactly who he is and can help the other players with their work ethic. To me it makes a lot of sense. That's why I'm surprised Wayne signed with Indy instead of waiting a few more days.
Tom Rowan (Birmingham,AL)
Manning a Bronco....What next for Titans ?Answer: Another high draft pick after the 2012 season !
Gary Horton (4:54 PM)
It's back to the drawing board for the Titans. They were always in a pretty good position in my mind. They have two QBs that can play in Hasselbeck and Locker. They took a run at Manning and it didn't work. But it won't really impact them. They are still in good shape at the QB position. This team is still improving. It might disappoint the fans, but it doesn't put the organization in a hole.
hey gary,what are your thoughts on this whole saints "bounty" gate drama?
Gary Horton (4:56 PM)
It's disappointing because I know from the past that is has been done by NFL teams, but on a much more independent and unsophisiticated level. The thing that is alarming is in today's NFL we are much more aware of the dangers ... it's also disappointing that they were warned several times and still continued to do it. That is where the negativity really comes in. This commissioner REALLY does not like to be lied to. I think the Saints could get hit really hard with this.
Is Manning signing with Denver a blessing in disguise for Miami? They are virtually assured to be horrible this year and can battle with Cleveland for the #1 overall pick next year. Matt Barkley in a Miami uniform would probably make everyone forget about the Manning debacle don't you think?
Gary Horton (4:58 PM)
I always hate to look at teams getting high draft picks because they are horrible. That's not something you should ever hope for. If they are in that position, that means they are a horrible team with an even more unhappy fan base. I don't know how many people would be that patient to wait another year for a rookie QB. You just shouldn't be thinking that way. And who knows what kind of year Barkley will have.
With the Bears getting Marshall, are you surprised the Bears haven't tried harder to get other players via free agency to improve their team, specifically O-line help and cornerbacks?
Gary Horton (5:00 PM)
To be honest, I thought they would be more active in the CB market. They may have some guys targeted on the OL that make better financial sense and decided to let this first wave of guys get signed so they can look at other guys they are more comfortable with. I do like the Marshall signing. That was exacty what Cutler was looking for; a big reciever that could help on third down and in the red zone.
Rahim (Hackensack, N.J.)
Hey G I was just wondering if Calvin Johnson, Suh, and Stafford are worth the huge cap numbers they hold? Will Detroit ever be able to keep the rest of their players with 3 guys who have annual 12 mil plus cap figures?
Gary Horton (5:01 PM)
I think that is an excellent question. It could be a real challenge down the line. I think I read the other day over half of their cap is spent on 5 or 6 players. When that happens, eventually you can't keep all those guys. They are lucky Calvin Johnson renegotiated his contract. This is a team with a lot of talent. As they get deeper into their careers, it will be interesting to see if they can keep them all together.
Where do you think Den will turn to for a backup QB?
Gary Horton (5:03 PM)
I think they will probably draft a guy that they like knowing he will have 3-4 years playing behind a great QB to learn the craft. I suppose they could go the veteran route, but I think they want a young guy they can groom.
Gary Horton (5:04 PM)
It's been another exciting week in the NFL! I think things are starting to fall in place now. I'm looking forward to the second wave of free agent signings. Still a lot of good players out there. It's fun to match talent with the price tag. That becomes important at this stage. Thanks for your questions! We'll do it again next week!