I hate to say this without throwing a pinch of salt over my shoulder, but things seem to be settling down a bit on the free-agent front. The Giants got Ahmad Bradshaw locked up, which was the big move in the division Monday, but there isn't nearly as much chaos swirling around as there was a week ago this time. The Cowboys still need their two safeties, and each NFC East team has some more tinkering it could do, but sanity is beginning to set in as teams get into their training-camp rhythms. The one thing that's been consistent through it all, of course, is the links.
Little bit of mild trash-talking between Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and new Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins, who replied on Twitter. It's not Osi versus Shady, but it'll do. Nice of Ryan to remind everyone that the rest of the division hasn't handed the title to the Eagles based on what happened last week. I mean, of course they haven't, but if you're a fan of one of the other teams you have to enjoy that someone's saying it.
Blogging the Boys takes a point of view that differs from almost everything I've been hearing from Cowboys fans -- that this team may not have needed to have a very active offseason in order to improve over last year. It's about the coaching, they say, and they make a decent point. Still need those two safeties, but it's a little bit refreshing to hear from someone who's not in outright panic over the lack of moves in Dallas.
New York Giants
Ralph Vacchiano has identified five teams -- Rams, Seahawks, Broncos, Chargers and Ravens -- interested in Osi Umenyiora now that the Giants have given him permission to seek a trade. But as Ralph points out, that hardly means they'll actually trade for him. The Giants want a first-round draft pick if they deal him, and remember -- the issue with Osi is his contract. Who's going to give up a first-round pick and pay him what he wants to be paid? He's good, but you'd better be getting Reggie White for a price like that.
Incidentally (and yeah, I know, two Osi links, sorry), I'm not sure whoever said Umenyiora was a "bad guy" or "not a team player" as he claims in his email rant about his situation. He's right about the system being unfair, and everyone knows it. All I've heard said (and what I've written) is that there's nothing he can do to correct his situation other than make himself a pain. And I have to believe even he'd acknowledge at this point that that's exactly the strategy he's enacting. No?
Paul Domowitch offers a long look at rookie Casey Matthews and his worthiness as a starting middle linebacker for the Eagles this year. Stranger things have happened, I'm sure, but I can't say with any confidence that I believe the Eagles are sticking with what they have at that position. Everybody keeps asking about Lofa Tatupu, and he'd be a fit here.
This Jonathan Tamari notebook includes an item on Nate Allen's health and one on how Howard Mudd is trying to sort things out on the right side of the Eagles' offensive line -- another position where it's conceivable they might yet add someone. First-round pick Danny Watkins signing Monday night obviously helps, as he's slated to be the right guard.
Jason Reid writes on London Fletcher, one of the Redskins' rocks in a time of great and rapid roster turnover. Jason calls Fletcher's signing the best of the Dan Snyder era. Being around the Redskins, it doesn't take long to realize they have strong leaders, and Fletcher is the name everybody mentions first.
Rich Campbell looks at the offensive line and wonders if the continuity of personnel there will help its chances of improvement in 2011. This is one of those nowhere-to-go-but-up deals, and I think there's merit to the idea that the zone-blocking scheme takes a while to get comfortable with and that those who were around last year should perform better in it this year.
Anyway, I'm headed back over there to see the Skins again today. We'll do our chat at noon, as we always do on Tuesday, but if I'm a little late, please assume it's because I'm doing interviews whose aim is to help me learn more so I can be as informed as possible when you start asking me questions on Twitter later tonight.