Saints still have good NFC South shot 

October, 23, 2014
Oct 23
10:48
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videoESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

What do you think the chances are the Detroit Lions trade Ndamukong Suh, since he’s going to be a free agent and has stated that he doesn’t want to return to Detroit?

No reason to do that now, as much as they might be able to get in trade for him. The Lions are tied for first place in the NFC North. Their defense has been playing at a top level -- and Suh has been one of the centerpieces of it. Sure, the Lions might be able to get a premium draft pick back for Suh, but his value would be diminished because he is on an expiring contract, so Detroit wouldn't be able to get back as much. And for whatever the Lions could get back, is it worth sacrificing the success that they are striving for this season? Very likely not.

Was that the nail in the coffin for the New Orleans Saints' season Sunday, or are they still a serious contender

Biggest concern for the Seahawks? 

October, 17, 2014
Oct 17
6:00
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DeMarco MurrayAP Photo/Elaine ThompsonThe Seattle Seahawks' defense has uncharacteristically struggled this season.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

What’s the biggest concern for the Seattle Seahawks right now? Are they getting Percy Harvin enough touches?

It’s interesting that the usually vaunted Seahawks defense hasn’t been so vaunted this season -- not in a lot of areas. For starters, Dallas was able to control the ball and the clock against Seattle’s defense, something teams almost never do.

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Jim HarbaughAP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezJim Harbaugh has had a tumultuous relationship with 49ers management.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.



Who has been the most impressive player to you over the first five weeks of the season?

On the offensive side of the football, it's hard to argue against DeMarco Murray. The running back has been a machine. He's run the football, caught the football and, unfortunately, also fumbled the football. If he can hold on to the football and keep up this pace, he could compete for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Murray has been very impressive. Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt and Le'Veon Bell also come to mind. Other than Murray, Bell has been the league’s top running back. But nobody has been more impressive than Murray, who is one of the biggest reasons Dallas is where it is today.

What are your sources telling you about the future of Jim Harbaugh? Do you think he’ll be the coach of the San Francisco 49ers next season?

There’s still a lot of season left now

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Mark DavisKirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsCan Raiders owner Mark Davis lure Jon Gruden back to Oakland?
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

What should be the level of concern in New England over this team? If the Patriots lose Sunday to Cincinnati, they will be under .500.

Right now, it should be fairly high. The Patriots have looked vulnerable in many areas, most notably up front. It sure looks as if this team misses its former offensive line coach, the legendary Dante Scarnecchia. The unit has not functioned the same, Tom Brady has not had time to set up in the pocket, and the Patriots have not looked explosive on offense. At all. The good part for them is that they play in the AFC East, a division in which there isn't another team that is going to run away with the title. So they can struggle some, improve as the year goes on, and potentially still win the division.

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How big is Danny Woodhead's injury? 

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
11:12
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ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are clearly disappointed in Morris Claiborne's performance since drafting him. Is there any market to trade him?

We've seen trades like that before, with a first-round disappointment changing teams. And Claiborne, in the right scheme, one such as the New York Jets', would be able to help. The issue is, if Dallas traded him this season it would have to accelerate about $9 million against its cap. That’s a lot of money.

How big a loss do you think Danny Woodhead is for the San Diego Chargers? He seemed like Philip Rivers' safety blanket and converted so many third downs for that team.

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Should RG III start when he returns? 

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
9:53
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Kirk CousinsRob Carr/Getty ImagesKirk Cousins has an extended audition for the Washington Redskins this season.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

How concerned should the Cincinnati Bengals be regarding A.J. Green’s toe injury? They’ve played very well the first two games, and he is the key to that offense.

There is no doubt that he is the key to that offense. Green is battling a case of turf toe, which is a lot more painful than it sounds. He didn’t practice Wednesday; the Bengals had him working with their physical therapists. They're trying to do what's best for Green to get him ready, but this is an injury that could linger. Still, Green is expected to play Sunday and perform to his usual level -- which is being one of the game's most dynamic players.

Is the Washington offense actually better off with Kirk Cousins? Do you think Robert Griffin III will return this season? If so, should he start when he’s healthy?

Here's the thing:

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Redskins playing to RG III's strengths? 

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
8:34
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Jay GrudenThomas B. Shea/Getty ImagesJay Gruden and Robert Griffin III didn't have the Redskins offense clicking in Week 1.
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league, once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

The New York Giants offense looked just as bad in Week 1 as it did during this preseason. How concerned should Giants fans be about Eli Manning and his weapons?

This all started last year. Manning never looked comfortable in the pocket; he looked rattled. It has continued into this season mostly because the offensive line hasn’t given him the time he needs. The issue starts up front, which is where the Giants put so much of their offseason focus, signing and drafting linemen. But so far, it hasn’t made a big difference. Part of the struggles undoubtedly has to do with installing and learning a new offense, which takes time. But if the Giants want their offense to get back on track, it starts with blocking better.

Are the Washington Redskins making a mistake by trying to keep Robert Griffin III in the pocket? Isn’t that taking away his athleticism, which is one of his biggest assets?

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What Smith's deal means for Cam Newton 

September, 5, 2014
Sep 5
4:57
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NewtonAP Photo/Bob LeveroneIs Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton worth more than $20 million per year?
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter hits five of the biggest questions around the league, once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season, and sporadically throughout the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: What did you think of the Alex Smith deal for Kansas City? Is he worth it? How much will that dictate Cam Newton’s new deal?

A: Back when I covered the Broncos for the Rocky Mountain News, Denver signed former Oilers offensive tackle Don Maggs to a huge deal at the time. I remember asking the great agent, Jack Mills, whether Maggs was worth it. Mills said, "If someone is willing to pay it, he's worth it." The Chiefs were willing to pay Smith because he was worth it. What other options did they have? None as good as Smith.

People forget that Smith had the lowest interception percentage in football the past three seasons, and only Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have had better touchdown-to-interception ratios during that time. So yes, Smith was worth it. And Cam will be in a similar situation. He's proved to be a stellar quarterback and, more importantly, what other options do the Panthers have? They have to pay him. The question is, will it be at or north of that $20 million-a-year threshold?

Q: How long do you think Brian Hoyer’s leash is in Cleveland?

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Sammy WatkinsStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesSammy Watkins is a very gifted receiver, but is there any chance he goes No. 1?
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Adam, I see various mock drafts with QBs slotted to go all over. Looking at it from the flip side, what teams would be the best-case scenario destinations for the rookie QBs? -- Hershel (Afghanistan)

A: Well, Hershel, the first team a quarterback should want to get drafted by this year is Houston. The Houston Texans have a strong defense, an offensive-minded head coach in Bill O’Brien and plenty of talent on the roster. So the Texans would be a bit more desirable than some of the other QB-needy teams such as Jacksonville, Cleveland and Minnesota, among others. But ultimately, a quarterback wants to go where he’s most wanted. And it’s going to be interesting this year to see which team is the first one to draft a quarterback. The sense today is it’s going to happen a little bit later than most people thought, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if there weren’t any quarterbacks selected among the top five picks; it’s even possible the QBs will slip out of the top 10. But once one gets picked, then we could start to get a run on them. Watching where the QBs go, as much as the teams they go to, will be the most intriguing storyline of this draft.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Houston Texans taking Sammy Watkins with the No. 1 pick and getting a QB and defensive help later in the draft? -- Michael (Texas)

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Bill BelichickAP Photo/Michael ConroyBill Belichick has been known to move around in the draft.
Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: I think the New Orleans Saints should draft LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr., even if they have to trade up. He fills a need at WR, and in the return game. Should they go for more weapons or go for depth on "D"? -- Rod (Louisiana)

A: They can’t go wrong either way, Rod. There’s no question New Orleans does need to add another wide receiver in this draft and Beckham’s stock is rising. I don’t see Beckham lasting until New Orleans’ scheduled turn at No. 27 in the first round. Now odder things have happened, but my sense is he’s gone somewhere between 15 and 25. If he’s gone, New Orleans can’t go wrong adding any type of defensive playmaker. I know the Saints were active adding to their secondary during free agency, including safety Jairus Byrd, but another cornerback wouldn’t be the worst thing for that defense.

Q: The New England Patriots have the 29th overall pick. What chances do you give them moving up in the draft to get a Mike Evans or Beckham Jr.? Could they trade Ryan Mallett to move up? -- David (Massachusetts)

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Michael VickAP Photo/Matt RourkeMichael Vick could be a potential free-agent fit for the New York Jets.
Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: What prospects were the most impressive at the NFL combine, Adam? What did you think of Jadeveon Clowney's performance? -- Kyle (Texas)

A: Plenty were impressive, Kyle. I’d start with Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald. Everyone is talking about Clowney, but what Donald did was just as impressive. At 285 pounds, he clocked the 40-yard dash in a ridiculous 4.65 seconds. That’s incredible. Offensive tackle Greg Robinson also was a freak and solidified his status as the top offensive lineman in this draft. One GM compared Robinson to former Cowboys Hall of Fame offensive lineman Larry Allen. There were a lot of players who stood out, but those two, Donald and Robinson, will be high picks.

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Peyton the best ever if Denver wins? 

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
10:21
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DenverMatthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsAnother Super Bowl win might push Peyton Manning higher on the list of all-time greats.
Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. This week, it's all about Super Bowl XLVIII. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Adam, with so many weapons on the Denver Broncos offense, who do you think Richard Sherman will cover? Will the Seahawks win the game? -- Tyrell (New York)

A: Great questions, Tyrell. My guess is that Sherman will be on Demaryius Thomas, a matchup of two of the best at what they do. But Seattle has just the type of defensive attack to be able to slow down Denver. It can cover the Broncos' wide receivers man-to-man and still get some help from that great safety tandem, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. I'm picking Denver to win the game. But I think Seattle is the better team, and won’t be surprised one bit if the Seahawks take it.

Q: Adam, how much does Peyton Manning's legacy change if he wins this game? Does it make him the best quarterback ever or simply elevate him in the conversation? -- Reggie (Utah)


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Denver's most underrated player 

January, 22, 2014
Jan 22
12:38
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Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesDenver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton has been key in the team's playoff run.
Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Adam, Peyton Manning looks like he’s on a mission right now. Do you think the Seattle defense can slow him down? -- Jack (Rhode Island)

A: He does look like he's on a mission, Jack, but it's not just Seattle's defense that has to slow him down -- it's Seattle's offense, too. The longer Seattle can control the ball, giving it to Marshawn Lynch and gaining yards, the more Manning will be kept off the field. So it's Seattle's offense and defense, together, that will be entrusted with the job of keeping this season's MVP off the field. If they can do that, Seattle has a great chance to keep Manning from winning his second ring.



Q: Adam, who do you think is the most underrated player on the Denver Broncos right now? -- Craig (Colorado)


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NFL's level of concern with officiating 

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
10:52
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RefereeAP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackThere have been a number of poorly officiated NFL games this season.
Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Adam, how big is the Chris Harris injury for the Denver Broncos? Does that give the edge to New England in that game? -- Reggie (Michigan)

A: It's a big injury, Reggie, certainly bigger than people realize. Von Miller got the headlines when he got hurt and suffered a season-ending injury. But the truth is that Harris’ loss is bigger than Miller’s. Harris might be the Broncos’ best defensive player, and he certainly was their best defensive back. When he went out of the game Sunday, Denver’s backup cornerback Quentin Jammer was incapable of getting the job done. New England is great at exploiting weaknesses. Now Denver has one more.

Q: Adam, every week in the NFL playoffs there seem to be several poor officiating calls. How concerned is the NFL about this? Are they planning to address it this offseason? -- Leslie (New York)


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Dan Quinn and Ken Whisenhunt Getty ImagesSeahawks DC Dan Quinn and Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt are top coaching candidates.
Adam Schefter answers readers' questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL preseason and regular season and sporadically during the playoffs and offseason. Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Adam, are the rumors of an additional wild-card team in each conference true? Could that actually happen? -- Kyle (Maine)

A: There continue to be discussions about it, Kyle, and the belief is that it’s going to happen eventually. Maybe next season, maybe the year after, but at some point, it will. However, no such decision has been made yet. It would require a vote of the 32 teams and it has not been discussed with teams yet. It will happen at some point, maybe as soon as this offseason, but there is nothing definitive yet.

Q: Who are some of the hottest coordinators for coaching jobs right now? -- Greg (Michigan)


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