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Inside The Bills

Mort on moving free agency: “Shame on them”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 27, 2013 – 4:00 pm

The idea came up at the NFL Scouting Combine last week–the plan to possibly move the NFL’s offseason timetable.

In an effort to get the NFL Draft into the important May Sweeps period for TV, the idea was floated to push back the major offseason events: the Scouting Combine would move to March,  Free Agency to April, and the Draft would be held in May.

Not a good idea, according to ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen.

“Shame on them for just having the discussion,”  Mortensen said as the Scouting Combine wrapped up in Indianapolis.

“There’s never going to  be free agency in April.  It ain’t going to happen.  You gotta get union approval.  Why would they do that?  They’re already upset (the union) because it’s March 12th.”

Mortensen says the plan to move the draft back into May is more plausible and has been around for awhile.

“It’s been discussed about five or ten years to put the draft into May,” he said, “to that first week of May.  That’s only pushing it back about one week, that’s not a big deal.  But free agency will never happen in April.  They’ll never get union approval on that.”

Mortensen clearly was irritated that the league is considering moving its’ offseason dates without consulting with football departments.

“It would be nice to see some football people make these decisions, instead of the business and marketing people in this league, which is happening way too often,”  he said.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills need QB who can “let it rip”-Mortensen

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 27, 2013 – 3:00 pm

There’s plenty to choose from in the NFL Draft Class this year, when it comes to quarterbacks.  And one of the top ESPN NFL analysts says when the Buffalo Bills look over the QB crop, they should look for a big, strong arm.

ESPN’s Senior NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen had that prescription for the Bills, and every other cold weather team, after the NFL Scouting Combine wrapped up this week in Indianapolis.

“What you need if you’re a cold weather team,” Mortensen said, “is somebody who’s got a big strong arm, big hands,  and somebody who can let it rip.”

The Bills have made no secret of their plans to add a quarterback through the draft.  But Mortensen says that does not necessarily mean they’ll pick a QB in the first round.

“To me, you can wait until the second round,” Mortensen said.  “I think Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley feel like we have to evaluate this position properly and correctly and then pick one and develop that guy.  We always think it should be in the first round.   But take John Dorsey, GM of the Chiefs, he was in Green Bay when they drafted Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick,  got Brett Favre in the second round, Matt Hasselbeck in the sixth round, Mark Brunell in the fifth round, and he signed Kurt Warner as an undrafted free agent.  You still have to evaluate that other group. It’s hard to just pick one.”

After watching the QB workouts at the combine over the weekend, Mortensen came away impressed with West Virginia’s man, Geno Smith.

“Geno Smith did very well here.  I was not surprised, but I did hear from some teams picking in the top ten-this guy helped himself.  Normally, you don’t hear that about  quarterbacks here, because quarterbacks generally cannot go up or down based on what they do here.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mortensen-time to focus on free agents

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 27, 2013 – 1:36 pm

Now that the NFL Scouting combine is history, the next order of business on the offseason calendar is free agency.  Tuesday, March 12th at 4pm is when the free agency period begins.  And ESPN”s Senior NFL Analyst, Chris Mortensen, says teams will have to mix their free agent evaluations into their draft evaluations.

“You’re  looking to put together a combination of free agency, your own free agents, other people’s free agents, and combine them with what you see here in the draft as you continue to evaluate these guys,” Mortensen said, as the annual Scouting Combine wrapped up in Indianapolis.  “Because what you do in free agency, no matter what they say, is still going to dictate some of what you do in the draft.”

Mortensen says despite the lack of “star power” in this year’s draft class, it is loaded with talent.  And he says NFL scouts have plenty of reasons to anticipate drafting some play makers this year.

“The scouts are excited about this draft” he says.  “what it lacks is box office stars, guys like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.”

“To me, it was exciting to see Tavon Austin of West Virginia, a guy we watched get over 500-yards of offense against Oklahoma, 300-of those yards on the ground, a guy people think has some Percy Harvin, some Darren Sproles, some DeSean Jackson in him, I just think all tree pretty electrifying players, and Austin comes out and verifies that he’s really fast.  He runs 4.34 electronicially.  To me, there are still a lot of quality players in this draft. “


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Posted in Inside the Bills