Monday, August 1, 2011
NFC East Sunday: How was your day?
By Dan Graziano
Gonna make this quick since morning's coming soon, but all week I have made it a point, at the end of these busy free-agent days, to check in and ask one simple question: So, how was your day ...
"Dull." Especially compared to what the fans I'm hearing from on Twitter would like them to be doing. Look, everybody: They're going to get two safeties. They're not going to open the season with nine players on defense. But there are cap concerns, and they can't just start throwing money around the way the Eagles are. Facts are facts, and they're going to have to make sure the deal they give to their first-choice safety doesn't prevent them from getting the second one they'll also need. That first choice may well be Abram Elam, but as Sunday turned to Monday in the East, he was still unsigned. Michael Huff, a guy a lot of people wanted and thought would fit in Dallas, decided to stay in Oakland, but that could be good news, as it could signal that the safety market is settling down after the big early deals guys like Quintin Mikell and Eric Weddle got. But there are still guys available, and the Cowboys will get two. I promise. Can't tell you when, though, no matter how many times you ask. How about those Rangers, though? Really beefed up that bullpen.
New York Giants?
"Disappointing." Yes, I believe they really wanted Plaxico Burress back. No, I don't really believe he wanted to go back to them. So when he signed with the Jets on Sunday morning, I don't think it was a surprise, though I'm sure the Giants were disappointed. Their sudden interest in Burress last week, given their more pressing concerns, indicated that they're more worried about Steve Smith's knee than they expected to be. Makes you wonder if they're going to be beating the bushes for receivers now. The Osi Umenyiora situation remains a thorn in their side, as he showed up but didn't practice and is apparently complaining of a hip problem. And the Ahmad Bradshaw situation looks to be coming to a head, as The Star-Ledger reports they're bringing in Jason Snelling for a visit, either to pressure Bradshaw into signing or to sign Snelling and tell Bradshaw best of luck in his future endeavors. I'm thinking a resolution on this could come soon. Maybe even during my upcoming nap.
"Bit of a come-down, actually." It kind of had to be after the previous two days, but nothing of major consequence happened with the Eagles on Sunday. They signed veteran guard Evan Mathis to give them some coverage as they continue to negotiate with first-round draft pick Danny Watkins. They didn't get Burress either, but I have my doubts about how badly they wanted him in the first place. And there were some reports swirling Sunday night that holdout receiver DeSean Jackson might make his way into camp this week, though I've personally been given no indication of that. It's possible the Eagles could tell him he has to come to camp before they'll start negotiating, which could get him there for a few days at least before he sees and/or decides how the negotiations are going. Remember, Jackson's holdout is justified. His contract needs to be improved, and both sides agree. They just need to sit down and ... you know ... do it. On the whole, though, Sunday was a yawner by recent Eagles standards, which have been pretty high.
"Productive." I think I've used this one for the Redskins before, and it works. Washington continues to make smart, big-picture, non-flashy moves that look nothing like the free-agent plans under which they used to operate during the Dan Snyder era. They needed a right tackle, and they brought back Jammal Brown, the one they had last year. They needed a veteran running back, and they managed to get one, in Tim Hightower, who's only 25 and hasn't been ridden very hard. They're plugging away, putting things together and building for the future. It could make for a frustrating 2011 for their fans, especially in a division with three now-oriented teams. But it's the right way to go, given the number of holes they had on their roster. The payoff could be very nice down the road.
My day was long, and I'm a little road-weary, so I will bid you good night and catch you again in the morning from the practice fields in Ashburn, Va., just down the road from the hotel in which I'm writing this. On the road again to watch some football practice. Lockout feels like a million years ago.
How was your day?