Exactly one year ago today, I began my job as the NFC East blogger for ESPN.com. I did not know what awaited me, but it has exceeded all of my expectations. To say nothing of how much fun it is to write about football for a living, this job has put me in direct contact with you, the extremely passionate fans of the teams of the NFC East. It has been an eye-opening pleasure to learn, experience and continually work to understand and appreciate your perspective, without which this blog would have no soul.
My goal was to maintain a community where we could all debate topics and issues of interest to the four diverse and often adversarial fan bases, and I feel like that's exactly what this has been. We don't always agree, but hopefully you're all having as much fun with it as I am. I thank you for making this a regular stop on your daily journey of procrastination around the Internet, and I hope to continue to make it worth your while.
In the lead to his latest mailbag, Calvin Watkins examines the paths taken to the NFL by two of the less likely members of the Cowboys' roster.
Brandon George thinks the departure of Laurent Robinson could hurt the production of tight end Jason Witten, since teams had to devote attention to Robinson late last year and presumably devoted less to Witten. I kind of go the other way here. Especially in the red zone, Tony Romo began to look for Robinson last year. I think if no one emerges to do what Robinson did (which is likely), those red zone targets could find their way back to Witten, where they used to go.
New York Giants
Things haven't been great for all-time Giants star Lawrence Taylor for the past couple of years, and now he's auctioning off his Super Bowl XXV ring. Every day, it seems, brings us another story about players struggling with life after football. Sadly for Taylor, this is far from the first (or the worst) one involving him.
Brandon Jacobs blew off the Giants' Super Bowl XLVI ring ceremony the other night so he could stay and work with his new 49ers teammates in San Francisco. I've seen a couple of people suggest that Jacobs should have gone to the ceremony, but I disagree. I think he and Mario Manningham are trying to set a tone with their new team, as Ohm Youngmisuk's story suggests, and that they were right to play it the way they did.
LeSean McCoy's agent says Andy Reid's direct involvement in the negotiations was a key to getting the new five-year deal for McCoy done. It's the third significant long-term deal the Eagles have done with Rosenhaus this offseason, including those for DeSean Jackson and Evan Mathis. Clearly, whatever damage the Terrell Owens years may have done to this particular agent/team relationship has been repaired.
There are plenty of reasons to like the McCoy deal, as Sheil Kapadia writes. I think one of the most important things to remember is that McCoy is still very young. And while some may say a long-term investment in a running back is a bad idea in this day and age, it will be some time before McCoy reaches the age at which backs start to wear down and see their production diminish.
The Redskins have agreed to terms with fourth-round draft pick Keenan Robinson, who will work at inside linebacker behind Perry Riley and the ageless London Fletcher. The opportunity to learn from Fletcher is a special one for Robinson, who has talent and could become a very good player in the NFL with that kind of a mentor.
Robert Griffin III appeared Thursday night on "The Tonight Show," and he talked about wanting to play basketball with the president. He also showed off some socks. (Have you heard he's into socks?) Here are some clips, in case you were already in bed like I was.