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NFL Chat wrap: Chris Mortensen

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=3337 Welcome to ESPN.com's moderated chat room. On Wednesday, April 2, ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen returned to take your football questions. Mortensen, an award-winning journalist, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com and maintains his own ESPN.com website. He also ...

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Old 04-02-2003, 11:08 PM   #1
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NFL Chat wrap: Chris Mortensen


Welcome to ESPN.com's moderated chat room. On Wednesday, April 2, ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen returned to take your football questions.
Mortensen, an award-winning journalist, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com and maintains his own ESPN.com website. He also provides reports for ESPN's NFL GameDay, NFL Prime Monday, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.

The following is a transcript from Mort's April 2 chat:

For a list of upcoming ESPN.com chat guests, visit SportsNation.

Chris Mortensen: Good afternoon! Beautiful spring day here in Atlanta. Hope it's the same for you... let's get rolling.

Jerry (Atlanta): Good afternoon, Mort! What do you think of the Falcon's busy offseason so far, and do you think we'll draft some big offensive linemen to protect Vick with our few draft picks this year?

Chris Mortensen: I think the Falcons need to focus on defense. Their O-line is solid, more better than their reputation. The two tackles, Whitfield and Weiner, are pretty good. Their inside guys just need a little more seasoning, although I can see the Falcons adding to the line.

Dan, Seattle: The Jets signed another running back today? Do you think this is a sign they will trade Lamont Jordan & the 13th pick to move up and take one of the top WR's in the draft ?

Chris Mortensen: I guess that's a possibility. I know the Jets are excited about their draft and they could move up, move down, etc. I believe the Texans (3), Bears (4) and Cowboys (5) all would be willing to swap with the Jets for the right deal if they had their eyes on Andre Johnson.

Tom(Glen Arm, MD): Hello Mort. Do you think the Ravens are going to take Boller at #10 and will he even be available? Or do you think it will be Leftwich or will they just sign Griese and draft another positio? Thanks.

Chris Mortensen: My gut is the Ravens will take which-ever QB is available between Leftwich & Boller. The whole contingent traveled from Arizona to Cal to privately work Boller late last week. Boller also worked privately for the Bears. Leftwich's workout is Monday in Florida.

Michael (Atlanta, GA): What is your take on McGahee in the draft?

Chris Mortensen: I am fully expecting him to go in the second round, and I am not ruling out a surprise late first-round pick.

Jerry, Houston: Mort, are the Raiders shopping Woodson for a 1st round draft pick?

Chris Mortensen: Bill Callahan absolutely thought was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard, and I don't believe he was bluffing. But they are the Raiders.

John (Elkton, MD): Mort, what are the chances of Miami working out a deal with San Diego for Seau? Do you think it would be a wise move for Miami to trade for him?

Chris Mortensen: I would be surprised to see a trade. I do think the Dolphins are the leaders in the clubhouse to sign Seau when he is released June 1, barring a trade.

Brian NYC: What makes a guy like Kyle Boller all of the sudden jump ahead of a Rex Grossman? If he were this good all along, wouldn't scouts have known about it?

Chris Mortensen: Kyle Boller is no secret to the scouts. Remember, he and Chris Simms came out of high school as the most highly touted QBs in the country. He played a lot of games at Cal and suffered with a very bad team. But when Jeff Tedford took over at Cal last year, Boller showed his talent and potential. Physically, he's just better than Grossman in every category. That doesn't mean Grossman is out of the first-round picture, though.

Bill (Buffalo, NY): Hey Mort!! Love your work...good to have you back! Anyways, what do you think about the Bills' recent signing of Sam Gash? Is this a way of preparing for a power running game like the Phins had last season?

Chris Mortensen: I think the Bills are just preparing to be a very powerful running team, especially if the loss of Peerless Price means that the passing game loses a little (which it may or may not). Gash gives Travis Henry a very capable blocker.

Jay (Charleston): Hey Mort! What is the real scoop on the first two picks? The Bengals don't seem to want Palmer, and are the Lions all set with Rogers? Thanks!

Chris Mortensen: I don't think the Bengals have soured on Palmer. They are still going through a process, including a trade out of the top spot. But if they are picking No. 1, it's going to be very tough not to take Palmer. My guess is the Lions are set on Rogers, unless the Texans or somebody else swaps with the Bengals for that top spot.

Matt (Green Bay): Hey Mortamus! Do you think the Pack paid too much for KGB? I love the guy, but 37 MILLION--ugh! Hope he can live up to that paycheck!

Chris Mortensen: Never be deceived by contract numbers. But he is getting a lot of money and the Packers obviously believe he's worth it. It has been their No. 1 worry this offseason, that they would lose him. Now they won't.

Gus K. (Strongsville, OH): Mort - any chance Suggs' slides to the Vikes at #7. If not, who do you see them taking? Thanks and God bless.

Chris Mortensen: I can't envision Suggs sliding past the hometown Cardinals (No. 6). I just think the Vikings have to take the best defensive player on the board - I wouldn't expect Terence Newman to be there, but maybe a Dewayne Robertson or Jimmy Kennedy. I think I'll have better info in a couple of weeks.

melvin (vallejo ca): do you think something should be done about the salary cap in regards to players who have been with a team for 10 years or more. ie jerry rice with the 49ers and now emmit with the cowboys this should not be happening

Chris Mortensen: I have addressed this a few times - the salary cap has become a convenient excuse for teams to say goodbye to these great, "aging" players. There is a mechanism in place if both sides want it for a veteran to stay with his team, although not as extensive as you are talking about. But, remember, well before the salary cap ever came into existence, Johnny Unitas finished with the Chargers, Joe Namath with the Rams, Franco Harris with the Seahawks and Tony Dorsett with the Broncos. Sometimes, a player just needs to discover reality for himself. Sometimes, a Jerry Rice proves he is still very productive.

Ian(Chesapeake,Va): Hey mort, with the 8th pick in the nfl draft who do you think the jaguars will select?

Chris Mortensen: How about a surprise - Kyle Boller. The Jags have been very active looking at QBs. For a non surprise, Jordan Gross.

Ryan. (Saint Louis, MO): who do you see the Rams drafting in the first round? i feel there is a need for a LB or CB, but rumors have surfaced that the Rams are looking to move up to draft WR...thanks for taking my question.

Chris Mortensen: The Rams obviously could use a corner (Trufant) or a LB (EJ Henderson). A WR would not be a shock because Tory Holt is up after this year, even though they love him. Also, if for some reason Boller slides to No. 12, I could see the Rams surprising you with a QB.

Daryl (Fort Myers, FL): Hey Mort...thanks for taking my question. Is there really a parting of the ways rift forming between Jon Gruden and Rich McKay or things being blown out of proportion?

Chris Mortensen: I think that Gruden's personality will always cause some aggravation. I also think McKay's personality will manage it from ever being unworkable. For instance, I think Gruden would like the Bucs to be more sacrificial with they way they manage the salary cap - in other words, do it the Raiders way in order to sign more free agents. Whereas, McKay believes in a pretty balanced budget.

john (ny): will the steelers draft Boller or Grossman in the 1st round, and are they going to sign Sammy Knight..

Chris Mortensen: I don't think they'll get a shot at Boller but Grossman is a possibility. I have heard "no" on Knight.

Jimmy (Matthews, NC): Hey Mort. Who do you think that the Panthers will draft in the first round?

Chris Mortensen: The Panthers can go for a OT (Gross, if he's there at 9) or DT (Robertson, Kennedy), or even CB (Trufant).

neal (austin tx): Mortie.... do you think the bills made enough moves on dee to be a REAl super bowl contender, and what do you see us doing in the draft

Chris Mortensen: I think a case has been made that the Bills have upgraded their defense big-time. This draft can further upgrade it, but Tom Donohoe has done enough so that he has the luxury (somewhat) of taking the best player on the board, even if it means another corner. If a good defensive lineman slips, that would be an obvious route, but I wouldn't rule out Donohoe dealing that No. 1 and gathering more picks.

Rat: When are the Chargers gonna draft some receivers for Drew Brees to throw to?

Chris Mortensen: Rat, did you notice that the Chargers signed David Boston?

Kevin (Brooklyn, N.Y.): Here's a Good one for you MORT... Is there ANY CHANCE that my TITANS will draft McGahee with their First Round pick?? And what are the Titans going to do about adding another WR? Look in the Draft or wait till after June 1st for a veteran who has been released???

Chris Mortensen: The Titans have to use this draft to fill their essential needs because they have almost no money (well, maybe 22 cents) to sign anybody, now or after June 1. McGahee seemingly would be a luxury pick, although they certainly will look at adding another RB.

Larry (Kansas): I have two questions for you Mort. 1) What is Dallas doing at QB? I haven?t seen anything yet, and I think everyone will agree that what they have is inadequate. 2) What happens to Griese? Is he going to Miami?

Chris Mortensen: Right now, Parcells is still assessing Hutchinson (& Carter, I guess) but he almost certainly will bring in a veteran. Is that Griese? Maybe. It could be somebody else, depending on whether any of these other teams draft at QB, therefore making an unexpected veteran available.

Chris Mortensen: Add to last answer: It's possible Parcells could bring in a Ray Lucas to buy time until Hutchinson is ready. Parcells did have success with Lucas, but this is just me speculating. I also am not ruling out Parcells drafting a QB if he falls in love, say, with Letfwich. That's probably a longshot at this stage.

Jayhawk(Lawrence,Kansas): Redskins...this year or next year??? as it will probably take awhile for all the new players to mesh what is a realistic timetable for a Super Bowl run?

Chris Mortensen: Well, it may or may not be a year too early. A lot will depend on how Patrick Ramsey & Rob Johnson come along at QB. I do think Spurrier has some things figured out, so I expect that offense to be fairly high octane.

Rat: Mort, have you ever played football at any level?

Chris Mortensen: Rat, I gave my spleen to the sport.

Clint, Denver: Hey Mort, I was wondering what you thought the Broncos are going to due in the draft. I would have like to see them start Steve Beurlein for a year, draft a quarterback (Grossman) in the first round to develop for a year, and stay away from Plummer. But now I think they need to draft a pass rushing D-end. What do you think?

Chris Mortensen: The Broncos need DBs and DE, I think. They could also use OL and another WR.

Phil (SEATTLE): Will Rien Long still be on the board for the Hawks second round pick? Would they be pciking him too early here? They say they want an impact rusher... and they like WA grown talent.

Chris Mortensen: My guess is Long has a chance to be there in the 2nd round, but once these DL start going, they go fairly fast.

tommy(dallas,texas): one of the players that intrigues me is simms, where do you think her is going in the draft...are teams witholding their true feelings about him...also, what direction should the cowboys go in the draft....they need a cb and de...but noone is talking about the apparent need at tailback.....thanks!!!

Chris Mortensen: I think Simms is going the latter part of the first round or early 2nd round. The Cowboys can go in a number of directions, but I will be shocked if Parcells doesn't take a RB in the first three rounds. Remember, he got Curtis Martin on the third round in New England.

barney (baltimore): what do you think about the eagles? Good cap management and they will be as good as last year, or are they letting too many players walk and only replacing them with not as good players which will lead to a decline? Also, what do you think they'll do in the draft (move up or take someone where they are)?

Chris Mortensen: I do think the Eagles probably wished they had retained Hugh Douglas, even though there were concerns about his age, his upside and a late-season slump of sorts. I do know that the Eagles (Lurie, Banner & Reid) are pretty much on the same page on how they're doing business. They believe they rose to their present position as one of the NFL's elite with this formula. Now they have to find out if it's a formula that will pay off with the only thing left that matters - a Super Bowl. They probably will stay put and draft. Obviously, DE, WR and LB are needs.

Chris Mortensen: There goes the hour! Thanks for a great chat! God Bless....
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