Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Breakfast links: Eagles land their LB
By Dan Graziano
Good morning in the East, where spring has sprung early and the roster tinkering is in full swing. What will Wednesday bring? More signings? Another surprise trade? All we know for sure is it starts with links.
New Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said one of the things that convinced him to sign with Dallas was an in-person sales pitch from DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten, Sean Lee and Miles Austin, all of whom attended the dinner at which the team's brass treated Carr at Cowboys Stadium on his free-agent recruiting visit. The $26.5 million guaranteed surely didn't hurt, either.
Troy Aikman says he thinks Tony Romo is already a better quarterback than he ever was, which surely comes as a surprise to those who wanted the Cowboys to sign Peyton Manning or wish they would trade Romo for Tim Tebow.
New York Giants
Ahmad Bradshaw says his fractured foot has healed completely and that he believes he can handle a workload similar to the one he had in 2010. That would be especially nice if his friend Brandon Jacobs finds work elsewhere, as it appears he will. But I'd still expect the Giants to bring in some veteran running back to help spell Bradshaw just in case.
I'm sick of banging my head against my desk every morning looking for a second Giants link. Nobody who covers or blogs about the Giants is writing anything right now unless the Giants sign someone or one of their guys signs somewhere else. Since that didn't happen Tuesday, there's nothing out there. Go ahead, check for yourselves. I'm open to suggestions. You guys tell me what the second Giants link should be. I can't find it.
Jonathan Tamari likes the deal for linebacker DeMeco Ryans. And while Jonathan does bring up a couple of the reasons to wonder how they got him so cheap, the fact is it's an impossible deal to dislike. Ryans was a great player for Houston before his Achilles injury and will be nearly two full years removed from it (and still just 28 years old) when the 2012 season starts. Houston wasn't using him enough to justify what they were paying him, because they were taking him off the field in nickel situations in the sub packages in their new 3-4 defensive scheme. The Eagles saw a guy who was being undervalued by his team but would fill the biggest need on theirs, and they snagged him. Good for them. If it doesn't work out, they lost a fourth-round draft pick. But there's no doubt Ryan is better than anything they had at linebacker in 2011.
Players on the Eagles are excited about the move and players on the Texans are bummed out about it, as Les Bowen writes. That tells you a great deal.
Free-agent quarterback Josh Johnson, late of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will visit the Redskins on Wednesday. When this news broke Tuesday night, people were asking why, and I don't see what the great mystery is. You need to be at least three-deep at quarterback, and Johnson as the No. 3 (or the No. 2, if he can pass Rex Grossman on the depth chart) seems like a heck of a lot better option than paying John Beck $1 million. Why not take a look? Quarterback is a position at which it's important to be as good and as deep as you can possibly be. And remember, as excited as everyone is about Robert Griffin III, he is going to be a rookie. He'll need good backups.
The Redskins also re-signed Kory Lichtensteiger, who was playing very well for them at left guard last year before blowing out his knee in that completely disastrous Week 6 loss to the Eagles in which everyone got hurt and Grossman got benched for Beck. They still need to upgrade at right tackle, and if Lichtensteiger isn't fully healthy they still need to be looking for help on the interior. But they were happy with what Lichtensteiger was giving them before his injury, so he's back.