- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Good morning. Turns out the pre-free agency condoned-tampering period was kind of interesting, but not for reasons we imagined. It appears the effect of the window is to allow teams to gauge what they're going to have to spend to sign the free agents they want and then use that information to make decisions on their own free agents, or those available to sign right away. Seems kind of smart to me.
Anyway, 32 hours remain until free agency opens in earnest, and while I'd expect some news today, it should be similar to the kinds of moves we saw this weekend. The Cowboys, for example, will need to do some things to get under the salary cap. Redskins, too. So we'll get it going as we always do, with links, and then see what happens.
A year ago, coming off of knee surgery, Redskins guard Kory Lichtensteiger rejected a multiyear offer and instead signed his restricted free-agent tender. The move paid off, as Lichtensteiger stayed healthy, played well as was rewarded this past weekend with a better long-term deal as the Redskins worked to re-sign many of their own players.
It appears as though the Redskins will stop fighting the salary-cap penalties imposed on them by the league a year ago. Made sense to try, but ultimately the NFL makes its own rules and has contractually protected its right to do so. The Redskins were done wrong, but never had any realistic recourse.
New York Giants
In case you missed it Sunday night, the Giants got a jump on free agency by agreeing to a deal with defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, who'd been released by the Eagles. Good, economically sensible deal for a team that has a need at the position and likes veterans on the line. Eagles fans can laugh, but Jenkins -- like so many others -- was better than what he showed in Philadelphia the past two years. The Giants may have got a steal here, if he bounces back out of those doldrums.
Osi Umenyiora does not know where he'll be playing in 2013, but he plans to win the defensive player of the year award wherever it is. Umenyiora believes himself to still be a starting defensive end. The Giants appear to differ. He'll likely get a chance to go somewhere and prove them wrong.
David Moore has word on the restructuring work the Cowboys can still do to get themselves under the salary cap by Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. There's also the possibility that they finalize a contract extension for quarterback Tony Romo during that time, but they are acting as though they do not need to do so.
They could also work out a long-term deal with Anthony Spencer that reduces his salary-cap cost for 2013 from the $10.6 million they're slated to pay him as their franchise player. But it seems to me there have been multiple chances to do a deal with Spencer in the past two years and they've never seemed to get close. So I guess I'm skeptical.
Whatever their new defense ends up looking like under new head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis, the Eagles are going to need to add defensive linemen. Zach Berman has some free-agent names for you.
Starting to hear a lot of buzz in Philadelphia -- and elsewhere, of course -- about free-agent tight end Jared Cook. As Sheil Kapadia writes, Cook would be a big help to the Eagles in a number of ways. And they have the cap room to compete with anyone for any player.