- Adam Schefter, NFL
Adam Schefter fields reader questions in his blog. Query of your own? Submit it right here.
-- Keith (Bloomington, Ind.)
A: Keith, just because Hawk was once a first-round pick doesn't mean he has much trade value. The Packers are willing to part with him because he has been a disappointment in Green Bay. He has name value, but not production. He would be one small piece of a trade for Mankins if a trade there ever were done, and I'd be stunned if it was. If the Packers wanted to make Hawk part of a package in a deal for Marshawn Lynch, along with an offensive lineman, then maybe, just maybe, they could entice the Buffalo Bills. But big-name players don't mean they're coveted players. Big difference.
-- Chip (Davis, Calif.)
A: Chip, we've got 15 more games to go for the 49ers, so let's just wait and see. I think we learned yesterday that in this league, usually nobody is as good as you think and nobody is as bad as you think. Last Monday night, Mark Sanchez couldn't do anything against the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday, he beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Niners lost one road game; now they come home to play the defending world champs tonight. Please take your cue from the Seahawks, who looked great in Week 1, not so great in Week 2. This is week to week, Chip. The Niners' chance is tonight; if they look as bad as they did last week, then it's time to start criticizing.
Q: Looking at the New Orleans Saints' schedule, there seems to be a good chance for the undefeated-season hype to get going early. How many games do you think a team has to win before it can even start considering running the table? And do you think the Saints have what it takes this season to pull that off?
-- Bradley (Milford, Pa.)
A: Bradley, funny you should mention that. I actually looked at New Orleans' schedule last week to see how it shaped up and whether a run is possible. The Saints play in San Francisco tonight, then are home for the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, then are at Arizona and Tampa Bay, then home for Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Last season, New Orleans went on the type of run that is difficult to duplicate. But if the Saints can get a W tonight, then we might want to start that watch again. But it doesn't get serious until about seven, eight or nine wins.
Q: I know you hate Jay Cutler, but try to answer this question without bias. How can Philip Rivers act they way he did in last Monday night's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (kicking the football after a penalty, screaming at teammates, in general losing his cool) and it's OK because he's "fiery, competitive and tough." But when Cutler gets on a teammate for a mistake (he's never kicked the ball), he's a malcontent, bad teammate, whiner and a moody quarterback?
-- Caleb (Los Angeles)
A: Caleb, first and foremost, how do you know I "hate" Jay Cutler? That's news to me. The few occasions I've spent with him have been enjoyable. Last season he struggled, and if I pointed that out -- which I don't even remember, to be honest -- I'd imagine I was not alone in my assessment. Anyway, I think part of the reason Rivers didn't get criticized more is because of his track record of winning and his statistics in the late Monday night game. Rivers continually has produced, and in this league, if you produce, you can get away with plenty. (See the reaction lately to Michael Vick.) Rivers also did it in the second game of a Monday night doubleheader, when much of the country was sleeping and the rest of it was focused in on other NFL issues, like key injuries to Kris Jenkins, Ryan Grant Bob Sanders and others. Rivers has developed a reputation for talking on the field, but if he plays the way he did Sunday, he can talk all he wants.
-- Donald (Richmond, Ky.)
A: It's only a matter of time before that happens, Donald. Clearly, Bryant has some serious talent. But with teams often using three wide-receiver sets, and with Dallas preferring to throw rather than run, why does Bryant have to pass up Williams? There's room for both. Believe me, Dallas wants Williams to produce. And it wants Bryant to produce. And it would be happy to have two productive receivers on the field at the same time.
Though a former top-5 pick, LB A.J. Hawk's lack of production has significantly hindered his trade value. Plus, why are critics harsher on Jay Cutler than Philip Rivers? And, with a weak schedule, do the Saints have enough to run the table this season?