Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Breakfast links: Cruz deal close?
By Dan Graziano
The relocated NFC East blog is back up and running, coming to you live from a place with power and heat while we await restoration of the home office. It's not so bad, really. If I could have one wish, honestly it'd be that they'd reopen the elementary schools. I mean, it's loud in this place, and these kids are bored. They're not at all interested in the links, either. Their loss. Your gain.
New York Giants
Victor Cruz says he's being told there's a structure in place for a new contract between him and the Giants. And since that's what he wants, good for him. I still believe, when the details come to light, that Cruz's deal will be heavily favorable to the team, since I don't see what incentive they have to do a deal with Cruz in-season otherwise. My guess is six years and somewhere in the $55 million -- $60 million range, but as always the important part will be the guarantee.
If the Giants were to bring this midseason report card home, their parents would beam proudly as they signed it and make a copy to hang on the refrigerator.
Reuben Frank thinks the problem with the Eagles is a lack of leadership among the players in the locker room. I think Reuben's is a refreshing perspective, and it reflects my experience in the postgame locker room Sunday. (Though, granted, everybody was worried about an approaching monster hurricane at that point and may have been distracted.) It's easy to pile on the coach, and Andy Reid bears responsibility and may have lost his team. But that locker room could use some internal leadership as well.
I'm not saying I did pick up Nick Foles in my fantasy league this week and I'm not saying I didn't. But while indications so far are that the Eagles haven't decided to bench Michael Vick for Monday Night's game in New Orleans, there's nothing definitive. And because they don't play until Monday, we might not get any fresh clues today either.
Bruce Carter played well Sunday in the Cowboys' first game without Sean Lee, and he'll have to continue to play well if he wants to lessen the impact of Lee's injury. Spoiler alert: Carter is not on this week's All-NFC East team, and that makes him something of an oddity among Cowboys linebackers.
It does not sound as though you should expect to see DeMarco Murray back for the Falcons game Sunday. Could happen, but it doesn't sound great. Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner should be able to run on the Falcons, but they should have been able to run on the Giants, too, and they couldn't. So I think they need Murray back, I guess is what I'm saying.
If the official, Dana McKenzie, was cursing at DeAngelo Hall on Sunday as much as Hall, who claims this is the case, was cursing at him, then yes, the NFL should take action against the official. They can't have officials baiting players. The officials are supposed to be the grown-ups out there. However, two things: First, Hall is doing damage control here, and we don't know for sure what the official said; Second, just because one is baited does not mean one must take the bait. Hall's behavior, and its consequences (30 yards' worth of penalties on one play and an ejection) were inexcusable, period. No matter what anyone else said or did. Just. Walk. Away.
In Rich Campbell's comprehensive-as-usual game film review of the defense, we learn a lot. What stands out, though, is that the Redskins' pass rush without Brian Orakpo has pretty much completely disappeared, and it's costing them.