Wednesday, July 27, 2011
NFC East Wednesday: How was your day?
By Dan Graziano
We keep up the best we can as things unfold, but it's always good to step back every now and then and evaluate things from a bigger-picture standpoint. That is why we have "How Was Your Day?" -- a recurring (well, the past two days, at least) feature here on the NFC East blog during this frenzied free-agent season. Each of our four teams is a perpetual newsmaker and is hard at work on a number of fronts. So, as the sun sets in the East, we ask once again: How was your day? ...
"Realistic." We woke to the news that the Cowboys had re-signed left tackle Doug Free, an expected but important move they'd said would be a priority. But while they made a few more cuts, got to work on negotiations with first-round pick Tyron Smith and let it be known that their starting center had knee surgery last month, it felt like a bit of a slow day for the Cowboys -- a day seemingly spent assessing where they are on a number of fronts. They'd have loved to sign safety Eric Weddle, but he got a deal to stay in San Diego that was enough of a whopper to make them wonder if they'll be able to afford their second or third choices. They've dabbled in talks with Cullen Jenkins, but they seem more likely to either bring back their own defensive ends (Stephen Bowen and/or Marcus Spears) or go after guys like Robaire Smith and Kenyon Coleman. And while they'd surely liked to have been in the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes, they say their starting cornerbacks this year are likely to be Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman again. The Cowboys have many moves to make, but their cap concerns appear as though they'll keep them from the top end of the free-agent market. Which may be fine, but it doesn't make for as exciting an offseason as fans might like. Their next big move could be the re-signing of left guard Kyle Kosier.
New York Giants?
"Businesslike." The Giants woke to the news of Barry Cofield agreeing to a contract with Washington, and while they were ready to move on without him they can't be happy that he stayed in the division. A few hours later, they learned that their planned meeting between head coach Tom Coughlin and free agent Plaxico Burress wouldn't be permitted until Friday, and that Burress would follow it with a trip to Pittsburgh to meet with the Steelers. But while all of that was going on, the Giants took care of some details. They gave Coughlin a one-year contract extension through 2012. They told Rocky Bernard he'd be cut since they couldn't rework his contract. They spoke to Brandon Jacobs about reworking his, and to free agents Ahmad Bradshaw and Kevin Boss about returning, though neither of those deals was done by sundown. The Giants also added a new center, David Baas, to replace Shaun O'Hara. They still need to get their own guys (Bradshaw, Boss, Steve Smith, Mathias Kiwanuka) re-signed and then hunt for a linebacker and more offensive line help, but things seemed to be progressing Wednesday after a Tuesday that saw nothing but subtraction.
"Painfullly patient." Yes, Kevin Kolb is still an Eagle. No, the Cardinals haven't gone in a different direction yet. There still remains the strong chance that these two teams do a trade of Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a pick sometime in the next couple of days. But the Eagles are being patient, as they can and should, since they shouldn't deal Kolb unless they're getting exactly what they want or more. He'd have value to them as a Michael Vick backup, and that's not a bad worst-case scenario. So while fans may be getting impatient, the Eagles are wise to wait this out. While they waited, they signed all of their draft picks except first-rounder Danny Watkins and seventh-rounder Greg Lloyd, and Andy Reid fielded (ducked?) questions about whether or not DeSean Jackson is planning a holdout. There is talk about Jason Babin for defensive end and possible solutions at linebacker, and if they don't get Rodgers-Cromartie they'll still need a cornerback. But the Eagles are proceeding patiently and slowly as activity swirls around other teams.
"Busy!" They started the day with the Cofield news, then lost out on Santonio Holmes when he agreed to re-sign with the Jets. So they drowned their sorrows by adding three new receivers, none of which are as good as Holmes -- Donte' Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Stokley. I like the Gaffney pickup a lot (they got him from Denver in a trade for defensive lineman Jeremy Jarmon), but the others are low-risk, potential upside players who are worth a chance because the Redskins need help at the position. Worst-case, Anthony Armstrong and Leonard Hankerson play better than expected and they don't need those guys. Their best move of the day was getting cornerback Josh Wilson, who's young and good and speedy and improving and will replace Carlos Rogers as they continue their rebuilding project and suddenly have a very strong secondary. And don't underestimate how excited the Redskins are to have received anything at all in exchange for Donovan McNabb. I expected they'd have to cut him. A sixth-round pick and maybe two? They took that and ran. Nice, busy, productive day for a team that had a lot of work to do and still does.
My day? Why, thanks for asking. I enjoyed it. Making plans for training camp trips, which will be fun. And I like being on TV, something "First Take" has given me a chance to do a lot this week. Hoping to grab more than four hours' sleep tonight, but we'll see.
How was your day?