PALM BEACH, Fla. -- As the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean, the NFL's owners, coaches, GMs and almost anyone else with any connection to the league rise to begin their annual meetings at The Breakers. Most everyone checked in Sunday, and much of the lobby chatter was about the salary-cap penalties against the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. There will be more of that talk today, along with a great deal of other NFL business, and we'll keep you posted on all of it the best we can. Time to get you started, though, with some links.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he'd speak with reporters here Monday about the salary-cap penalties against his team and the Redskins. In light of what Giants owner John Mara said Sunday about the situation, I think we're all eager to hear Jerry's thoughts on this.
I enjoyed Calvin Watkins' short appreciation of former Cowboys running back Marion Barber in the wake of Barber's retirement announcement late last week.
New York Giants
Mara was in a bitter mood over several things as he took questions upon his arrival at the meetings Sunday. After he got through excoriating the Cowboys and the Redskins for breaking something that doesn't appear to have been a rule, he was asked what he thought about Tim Tebow signing with the Jets. "I don't know," he said, "but the David Carr press conference is tomorrow, too." The Giants sometimes get a little too fixated on the Jets, you see.
Giants 101 did a mock draft for the Giants and has them taking a pass-rusher, of all things, with the final pick of the first round. It's certainly not a need pick, but it wouldn't be a surprise. The Giants believe in what they believe in, and one of those things is that the draft is for building a deep roster, not for plugging short-term holes.
The Eagles tend to come to these meetings with a purpose, and as Jeff McLane wrote Sunday, this year's may be to see what kind of deal they can get for cornerback Asante Samuel. Now, you can argue the merits of trading Samuel versus trading Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or even Nnamdi Asomugha. But for contract reasons and other reasons, it seems Samuel is the guy for whom they'd like to get something, and they should have some idea over the next couple of days what they might be able to get in return. If they can do better than a fourth-round pick, I imagine they'll jump on it.
In the wake of last week's Los Angeles Times report about front-office infighting in Philadelphia, Phil Sheridan ponders where the fault lines might lie.
Len Pasquarelli says the Albert Haynesworth deal was largely to blame for the penalties incurred by the Redskins in the salary-cap mess. What I've been given to understand is that this wasn't about just one or two deals, but rather about the Redskins repeatedly restructuring many of their existing deals in such a way as to dump money into the uncapped year. It's apparently something many teams did, but that the Redskins did to an extent that the other owners found odious.
The idea of a Redskins training facility in Washington, D.C., is a complicated one, and this here doesn't make it sound as though it's very far along or close to fruition.