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Monday, May 23, 2011
Breakfast links: Plaxico to Philly?

By Dan Graziano

As a new week dawns in the NFC East, thoughts turn to the Oneida Correctional Facility, where former Giants WR Plaxico Burress has two weeks left before his release. He'll turn 34 in August, hasn't played in two years and is returning to an NFL that has no idea when, or if, its season will start; to a field of potentially interested teams that have no idea when or if they'll be able to sign him. But speculation is unavoidable, and you're going to hear plenty of Plaxico speculation here in the NFC East.

Gary Myers of the New York Daily News wrote over the weekend that he's heard the Eagles would be first in line to sign Burress upon his release. Myers names the Steelers, Chargers, Falcons and Ravens, too, and he doesn't think the Giants will go for a reunion. But the Eagles idea is interesting. Obviously, the Michael Vick rehabilitation experience indicates the Eagles can handle such a project and that coach Andy Reid doesn't mind the idea of bringing in a talented ex-convict and being patient with him. Burress would give Vick the kind of big downfield target that neither DeSean Jackson nor Jeremy Maclin, for all of their exciting talents, offer. And Philadelphia isn't too far from Burress' New Jersey home, which might make it appealing on his end.

Contrary to what Myers thinks, I wouldn't rule out the Giants. They seem set at receiver, but Burress still has many friends there, and those friends are eager to bring him back. I'm sure they'll at least discuss it. And I'm not counting out the Redskins, either. Leonard Hankerson notwithstanding, they're not exactly loaded at WR. As for the Eagles, they were a stunning destination for Vick, if you'll recall. They came out of nowhere to sign him. If they're to sign Burress, I imagine we won't hear much from them in advance of it. They like to keep things close to the vest there. But Burress to the Eagles makes a decent amount of sense if you're speculating. Which, at this point, we all are.

Meanwhile, as they say in Scotland: To the links!

Dallas Cowboys

Blogging the Boys looks at the Dallas secondary situation, wondering specifically what would become of Terence Newman if Dallas went out and signed a free-agent cornerback. Specifically, some thought here that the Redskins might be interested in Newman if they lose Carlos Rogers and don't sign Nnamdi Asomugha, whose name is required to appear in every edition of the NFC East breakfast links.

Charean Williams talked to backup QB Stephen McGee about what he's learning in the player-only workouts with Tony Romo. She didn't ask him whether he ranked Romo or Eli Manning higher, presumably because she assumed he'd already weighed in here along with the rest of you. (tee-hee)

New York Giants

Giants coach Tom Coughlin, the original coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is back in Jacksonville for his annual Jay Fund charity golf outing, which raises money for children with cancer. Several Giants players are there along with him. The Giants' Twitter page quotes from Coughlin's Sunday night speech: "Thanks for being here tonight and giving me a chance to see my players." What a card, huh?

Ahmad Bradshaw has apparently changed agents, dropping Craig Domann and signing up with Drew Rosenhaus.  Now, Bradshaw and Rosenhaus both wait and hope that the 2011 free-agency rules turn out to make him an unrestricted free agent, rather than a restricted one.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jon Tamari talked to 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham about the challenges he faces trying to come back from his knee injury during the lockout. The Eagles can make all of the improvements they want on defense this offseason, but few would help as much as the healthy return of last year's 13th overall pick to the pass-rush effort.

Interesting look by Moving the Chains at Trent Cole's rank among defensive linemen in a stat Football Outsiders calls "defeats." A defeat, in this case, is a good thing if you're a defensive player, and Cole is obviously a very good one. (Further down, incidentally, Sheil Kapadia disagrees with me and Gary Myers about the likelihood/sense of the Burress thing.)

Washington Redskins

Mark Rypien told the Washington Post that he thought Donovan McNabb was "the perfect guy for the job" of Redskins quarterback. Rypien shares this opinion with the August 2010 versions of McNabb and Mike Shanahan.

Oh, and Skins GM Bruce Allen did a little backpedaling over the weekend, attempting to clarify Friday's remarks about how "aggressive" the team was planning to be once free agency started. It is important to Allen that people don't expect the Redskins to resume the irresponsible free-agent spending that preceded his tenure under Dan Snyder. Asked specifically about that issue, Allen says, "No, we've dealt with that." Obviously, his comments Friday were interpreted in many places (including here) as an indication that Washington would return to its free-spending ways. Allen seems to be wanting to deliver the message instead that the team is in a good position to spend to address its many needs. It's a subtle but critical distinction for which he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Snyder stayed out of the way last offseason, and there's no reason yet to believe he won't keep that same promise to Allen and Shanahan this year.