Good morning. Welcome to your Friday links. We remain stuck in a very slow part of the NFL calendar, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This time next week, your links will be coming to you from Albany, N.Y.
Rich Campbell has been writing this week on the big personnel questions that will face the Redskins when they open camp next week, and his most recent entry is on the health of the knee of running back Tim Hightower. Good stuff in there on the reasons why Hightower is slated to be the starter if healthy and why there are concerns about Roy Helu as the lead back.
And you know what? Since I just now stumbled on this feature Rich is doing (mainly because I wasn't looking in the right place on the Washington Times' web site until yesterday), here's Rich's entry from Wednesday on tight end Chris Cooley, who likely has to prove he's healthy, accept a reduced role and agree to a pay cut if he wants to stay on the team. I imagine those last two things won't be a problem, since as Rich points out, Cooley loves the Redskins. The first thing is something no one can predict.
Roger Staubach weighs in on the Dez Bryant situation. Speaking generally, the Cowboys great says that when the player's behavior starts to affect the team in a negative way, it's time for the team to "cut the cord." Fair enough, but again, when we're talking about the Bryant situation we're talking about a player the Cowboys drafted with full knowledge that having him on the team wouldn't always be easy. When they picked him, they committed themselves to sticking with him through tough times, and it's not as simple as just cutting the cord at this point.
The Cowboys are off the hook for the Super Bowl XLV ticket fiasco, as a judge on Thursday dismissed them from the complaint. Apparently, since the NFL and not the host team officially sold the seats that didn't actually exist, the NFL is the entity that should be sued for it.
Victor Cruz is out selling his book, making stops all over your cable channel lineup as he's enjoying the fame that has resulted from his breakout 2011 season. Not that you asked, but since it's a slow time and this is the line I've selected, I'll take this time to make the point that I don't think there's much chance Cruz's fame goes to his head, and I think he will have another excellent year with Eli Manning throwing him the ball.
David Diehl has advice for Jason Kidd on how to carry himself in the wake of his DUI arrest. Not that you asked, but I expect Diehl to take and answer any questions anyone has about his own offseason indiscretion once training camp opens. My sense from what I know of Diehl is that he'll want to take full responsibility for what he did and not duck the issue. This concludes the high-character Giants portion of today's links.
Jeff McLane muses on the idea of DeMeco Ryans as a three-down linebacker, which the Eagles are likely expecting him to be. The questions about Ryans have only arisen because he was injured in 2010 and was a poor fit in the first year of Houston's 3-4 defense in 2011. He was a monster three-down linebacker prior to his injury, is still eight days shy of his 28th birthday and should have no problem manning the middle the way the Eagles want and need him to this year.
And Reuben Frank takes a look at the phenomenon that is the Eagles' management of the salary cap. They likely will spend more on player salaries this year than any team in the league and yet they retain more cap room than all but four other teams. This enables them to remain flexible in the coming years if they need to extend the contracts of players like Jeremy Maclin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or sign a player to fill a hole created by injury.