Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's NFL "Caveman" -- and Insider -- Gary Horton, stops in to talk some football and other news from around the league.
Horton, from Scouts Inc., works year-round on ESPN's NFL-related shows, breaking down film, earning him his Caveman nickname.
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 (4:01 PM)
We've got Gary!
Ed (Queens Village)
I'm not crazy on Eric Decker signing. Jets overpaid for guy who is a 2 and not 1 guy. Decker goes from Peyton to Geno.
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
I think there is some real validity to what you're saying. I think a lot of people thought that Decker's success was primarily because of Peyton. Now he has a QB that we have no idea can get him the ball or not. I am probably in the group that thinks he is a good WR but more of a No. 2. I thought one of the biggest storylines of free agency would be who would pay him No. 1 money. I can see what the Jets did, but I'm not sure how well it will work out.
Has Ted Thompson gone crazy? How much do you believe Peppers has in the tank? Thank you.
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
They really need an edge pass rush and I think the role they will use him in is as maybe a nickel rusher. If he can give you 30 quality snaps a game, that's not bad. Especially since he should be motivated because he's playing on a team in his old division. I don't think it's a bad signing considering their needs.
Julius ( mn ) [via mobile]
if you were the bucs who would you want as your QB, glennon or mcown
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I would be really surprised if McCown is not the starter. I saw enough of him when he replaced Cutler that he can be a starter in this league. That would give Glennon some time to develop. I did not think that the Bucs signed McCown to be a backup mentor.
Derrick (Fayetteville, NC)
How do you see Steve Smith fitting in with the Baltimore Ravens?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
First and foremost, I think he will be totally motivated to have a great year. Even though he may not be a great deep threat anymore, he gives them the toughness and intermediate passing game that they really need. With Torrey Smith, they have a deep threat. But now, Steve Smith can do a lot of the dirty work in the intermediate game and be a safety net for Flacco.
Does Geno Smith have the potential to be an elite QB in the NFL?
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
I am still not sure right now. I saw glimpses of him becoming an elite guy. But I also saw a lot of mistakes and inconsistent play. I just don't know where he's at. I think it's 50-50 if he can be the guy. With a better running game and better WRs, it gives him a chance to be successful. But I just don't know right now.
John (San Diego) [via mobile]
With DRC the Giants would dominate in the secondary, but they still need a pass rusher, offensive line, tight end and wide receiver. Anyone in their price range you think they'll sign in free agency? Or are they just going to wait until the draft?
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
I think they can still get needs in free agency, but I don't think they're going to get impact players until the draft. In my mind, this is a Giants team that has more needs than I have seen in a lot of years. This is not a quick fix.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Gary, The more I read i'm noticing teams signing free agents for 1-year, are teams not willing to risk signing a players for 3-4 years or are the players that are signing these one year deals maybe have one or possibly two good years left and are 30+ years old?
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
I think the players would prefer to sign longer year deals. But from a team standpoint, they're taking a risk on a guy, so they want to minimize the number of years they're tied up for. Players always want long term deals when they're in free agency. If the team can shorten that, it limits their tendency to make a bad decision.
Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]
Provided the Bengals let Hawkins go, the Browns seem to assembling quiet an arsenal for Hoyer or whoever the qb is. Gordon, Cameron, Tate, Hawkins, and possibly Watkins at #4? That could be a formidable group of skill guys, right?
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
Well, when you watch the Browns on film, they have more players than people realize. They are a pretty talented team. They're not that far away from being competitive. The big key for their season is can Brian Hoyer be the guy? Or do they have to draft a guy in the first round at QB? But they have a lot of pieces in place to make a dramatic move.
What's the next FA move for the Patriots?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
They've all of a sudden been active in the last few days, which really encourages you if you're a Patriots fan. Getting Revis and Browner solidifies a major weakness. Re-signing Edelman and getting LaFell also solidifies their passing game. Ironically, a lot of people thought they might concentrate on the OL in free agency.
Are the Skins really gonna go through the offseason without upgrading at safety? They have, probably, the worst starting safeties in the NFL. Reed Doughty isn't even good enough to be a backup.
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I do agree that their safety position was a disaster a year ago. But they are really strapped, I think in terms of the cap. They don't have the ability to make a lot of moves. This overall defense is not very good. I think they'll probably going to have to make some moves during the draft to improve. They might be able to make some secondary depth moves in free agency, but not impact guys.
peter stockton ca [via mobile]
Who has a better chance of winning the superbowl the broncos or patriots?
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
I would probably say that the Broncos have a little bit of an edge right now, because they really upgraded their secondary and possibly their pass rush. But in the last couple of days, the Patriots have really kept pace. If I look at these two teams, I think they really follow each other and realize that they have to match moves, because in reality that could be the AFC championship.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Is the window of opportunity shrinking for the 49ers faster than it is for the Seahawks?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
No. I think both teams are fairly young and I think both teams have great depth and they can withstand injuries and losses. However, they both have challenges in the future because they have young players that they're going to have to re-sign in the next couple of years to keep everybody there. Probably at the end of the day, I would say the Seahawks are in great position for the future. They have so many players on the bottom end of their roster that contribute that don't cost them a lot of money.
Martin (Indiana) [via mobile]
As a Giants fan, my initial reaction the G-Men's free agency moves was that I was sad to see Justin Tuck leave. How should I be feeling right now?
Gary Horton (4:24 PM)
I think the Giants probably felt that he was a player that was starting to decline. I think Tuck was absolutely shocked that they didn't try to keep him. But the hard realities of today's NFL is that really smart teams tend to cut a player a year before he really fades. There is very little sentiment to keeping a guy around no matter what he's done in the past.
Kansas City still is in need of receivers. Are there any quality options left for them in free agency or do they have to wait for the draft? Thanks...
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
They have to draft a guy. In my mind, Bowe could easily start to fall off in terms of production and I don't konw if they have very much depth at that position. When you throw in the fact that Andy Reid's teams usually have productive TEs in the passing game, but don't right now, then it really puts this pass offense in jeopardy.
Gary Horton (4:25 PM)
There is work to do there.
What are your thoughts on this Jim Irsay situation with the Colts?
Gary Horton (4:27 PM)
I think this becomes a real problem for the league, because players will look at this and wonder if there is a double standard. It's unfair of me to predict what will happen, but it's a serious problem that they will have to deal with.
Kent (EZ, NY)
James Starks is visiting the Steelers... Haven't they had enough injury prone RB's? Brian Leonard would be a great change up from Bell. Then add a scat back like Dri Archer in the draft. Am I wrong?
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
I think Bell has a chance to be the guy. The Steelers are probably looking for depth from a guy like Starks. I don't think they're looking for an every down back guy. They have that guy.
Who has a better chance to get back to the Super Bowl -- Seahawks or Broncos?
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
Seattle has a younger roster with an ascending QB and they are the most confident group of players in the NFL. But it will not be surprising to see either back in the Super Bowl.
Gary Horton (4:32 PM)
This is a good week to watch teams fill in their rosters with role players after the initial big splash names are gone. But when I look today at the teams and players in free agency, there are a lot of players unsigned. There will be a lot of guys scrambling to find work this fall.