- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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The draft used to be the part of the offseason that confused me. Not why it happened, but the extent to which the hype exceeded the quality and the value of the thing itself. And while that may still be the case with the draft, it is no longer the most confusingly overhyped part of the offseason. The schedule release is, and it's happening tonight at 7 p.m. ET. We have a three-hour TV special on it, so whatever team you root for, you can be sure its schedule will get its full share of the attention.
Never mind that we've all known for more than three months which teams every other team will be playing in 2012. Tonight we get to find out the dates of these games. In my experience, and to my everlasting confusion, fans get excited about this. Hence, three-hour special. Plus plenty of coverage here on the blog. But that's not for 11 hours. By then you may well have forgotten about all of the knowledge and nutrition you derived from your daily links. But I know that, without them, you'd never have made it that far.
So, Anthony Spencer's skipping the the start of the conditioning part of the voluntary offseason program, which is fine because it's voluntary. We're not about ripping guys for skipping voluntary workouts on this blog. Other people can do that if they want. Here, words have meaning. But Spencer's also making it clear he wants a long-term deal, which is ... well, it's unlikely. And if the Cowboys use the No. 14 pick in the draft (which is nine days from now) on someone like Alabama's Courtney Upshaw, then Spencer's short-term and long-term role on the team could be affected in a negative way. Something to think about, as Upshaw says how excited he'd be to play at Cowboys Stadium in Rob Ryan's defense.
Nick Eatman has a list of the five guys he thinks the Cowboys could take with that No. 14 pick. Upshaw isn't among them (though he does get an honorable mention), and Nick's still putting David DeCastro on the list. I guess it's possible they could take a guard in the first round. I just thought we'd reached the point where we all agreed it wouldn't make sense.
New York Giants
So after they traded for linebacker Keith Rivers, the Giants re-worked his contract so he's only due $1.25 million this year instead of the original $2.16 million. For their next trick, the Giants will pull a rabbit out of their hat. I hope it's the one that's been digging up my lawn.
Eli Manning says he's "a little nervous" about hosting "Saturday Night Live" on May 5. Yeah, this is the third thing I've written in two days about Manning and "SNL." No one who's excited about schedule release day has a right to criticize me about what I find interesting. (Funny thing is, there's no way I'm staying up to watch "SNL" on May 5 or any other night. I used to watch it, sure, but that was before I had kids who didn't understand how important it is to sleep in on Sunday mornings.)
Jeff McLane lists some of the teams that could be interested in trading for Asante Samuel, and he says he thinks a third-round or fourth-round pick would be fair value for the star cornerback, who says he wants to stay. Jeff also raises the possibility of a training camp holdout for running back LeSean McCoy, who wants a new deal but is working out this week with his teammates anyway. My guess is that these two things go together. If the Eagles trade Samuel and wipe out a $10.5 million 2012 cap hit, maybe McCoy is more likely to get his new deal. But that's just me guessing, which is usually not a great way to go.
Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney went to a hockey game and apparently loved it. Someone told me it's hockey playoff season. I told them I already knew that because I'd been spending time in the comments section under my blog posts and noticing that people were talking about hockey in there. They were like, "That's good, you need to build some nap time into your day."
Tracee Hamilton writes about the way in which the re-signing of London Fletcher has contributed to the burgeoning good feelings around the Redskins this offseason. "Burgeoning" is your word of the day. You can feel free to look it up and use it, if you like, in your hockey smack-talk. I'll have to take your word that you tried.
Of course, the main reason for all those good feelings is the impending (presumed) arrival of Robert Griffin III, likely to be taken by the Redskins with the No. 2 pick in the draft nine days from now. Rich Campbell writes about how Griffin revived a football program at Baylor and wonders whether he'll be able to do the same in Washington, D.C.