- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are some highlights from today's weekly chat:
Brian (Valley Forge, PA ): Jamison, which of the Browns's position needs do you as most likely to be addressed by the Browns in free agency?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I would like to see the Browns address outside linebacker, safety and wide receiver in free agency. This isn't to say that the Browns have to ignore these positions in the draft. But the good teams fill the holes in free agency, so they don't have to reach for players in the draft to fill a need. That's where teams get into trouble.
Justin (Syracuse, NY): Who would you say is the Bengals' biggest free agent that they need to resign?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN):I know some will say defensive end Michael Johnson. But I would point to right tackle Andre Smith. The Bengals can plug someone into Johnson's spot. If the Bengals don't keep Smith, whether it's a long-term deal or franchise tag, it would be a downgrade at right tackle.
Ravenous128 (Columbia, MD): Jamison - How likely is Jimmy Smith to remain as a Raven? His lone highlight from the Super Bowl aside, he has contributed little and is earning a first round pay grade. In a year where every dollar counts, is Smith likely to stick around?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Smith will be a Raven for the next two seasons, even though his salary jumps over $1 million in 2013. Aside from Sergio Kindle, the Ravens rarely give up on high draft picks. They'll bring up how everyone thought Paul Kruger was a second-round bust but developed into a strong pass rusher. With the Ravens losing Cary Williams, I'm guessing they'll let Smith compete for a starting job next season.
Evan (Boise): Hey Jamison, any WRs worth targeting for the Browns in free agency?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The top three WRs available in free agency are: Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings and Wes Welker. It will be interesting to see whom the Browns target because Norv Turner tends to like big receivers like Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd.
RavenRick58 (York, PA): Hey Jamison, If the Ravens can agree to a deal with Flacco before "tagging" him have they given any indication that they would tag any of the defensive players about to hit the FA market?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The Ravens would love to use the tag on Ed Reed. That allows them to keep him without having to commit a long-term deal to a player who will turn 35 by the start of next season.
Jayson (Virginia): Can we please start discussing all the teams in the AFC North again? If I have to read one more article about Joe Flacco, I'm canceling my Insider subscription and never reading ESPN again.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Here's a newsflash: winning the Super Bowl is kind of a big deal. Don't blame ESPN. Blame your team for not winning the Super Bowl.
kjacksonpgh (Atlanta, Ga.): Hi Jamison, There was a rumor that the Steelers may part ways with Ryan Clark. Do you believe there is any truth to that?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Clark is scheduled to make $3.5 million in the final year of his deal, and the Steelers are cap-strapped. But there are other moves that the Steelers can make. Clark has been playing a high level the past two years. He's been better than Polamalu. So, yes, you can justify the move financially. But it would be a bad move football-wise.
chris (Baltimore): Jamison, don't these players who want to get paid a ton (Flacco) realize that it hurts their team to be overpaid and lower the cap space available for others weakening the overall team?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Players have to look out for themselves. Put yourself in their position. If one hit could end your career, wouldn't you want to get every penny that you're worth? I would. It's not the player's problem that he has earned to get paid that amount. That's the team's problem.
Kenny (Baltimore, MD): Can you please explain how the Ravens went from being around $10 million under the cap a couple of weeks ago to now being $5 million over?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): They're $10 million under the cap with just the players who are under contract right now. But they have to sign players who are exclusive-rights free agents (players in their first couple of years who weren't draft picks) and restricted free agents (like Dennis Pitta). Once those players are tendered, the Ravens are $5 million over the cap.
Josh (Arlington, VA): Give us a prediction, Jamison: how much does Flacco end up signing for?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): It will be pretty close to $100 million.
Phil (Pitt): How long does defensive coordinator Ray Horton stay with the Browns before he gets a head coaching job?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Over-under: 2.5 years.