Monday, March 4, 2013
Breakfast links: Cowboys still tinkering
By Dan Graziano
Good morning and welcome to another fun and exciting offseason week here in the NFC East. We have eight days remaining until free agency and 52 until the draft, so plenty of time to talk it all over. Let's start with some links.
Mark Maske wrote last week that suspended safety Tanard Jackson technically remains under contract with the Redskins for 2013. Despite this, I would not count on Jackson playing so much as a snap for the Redskins this year. His drug suspension runs at least through Aug. 31 and is not guaranteed to end there. That's just the earliest date on which he can be reviewed for reinstatement. That means no training camp, and that the team must make a plan that doesn't involve Jackson as one of its answers at safety.
The Redskins believe the first couple of years' worth of work by Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen have put them in position to stick to their draft board this year and continue to build the team by taking the best player available.
New York Giants
Former Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins visited the Giants late last week but left without a contract. Jenkins has some other visits lined up for this week, and as you know I think he can help someone.
The Giants could find themselves in the market for a backup quarterback, as David Carr plans to test the free-agent market and see what's out there for him. Carr and the Giants have seemed to make a good match, and the only quarterback they currently have on the roster other than Eli Manning is Curtis Painter, so I wouldn't rule out a Carr return.
The Cowboys saved another $350,000 against the salary cap by signing center Phil Costa to a two-year contract. I have no issue with this. Costa played well when healthy in 2012 and is a still-developing player who's shown some signs that he could be the long-term answer at center. They need to get better at guard and right tackle, and to keep Costa healthy, and this will look like a fine deal.
While the Cowboys will be in the running back market this offseason, Calvin does not think they will pursue Michael Turner, who was just released by Atlanta last week.
Chip Kelly believes he can evaluate Oregon players and former Oregon players objectively, in spite of his close ties to the young men who helped him succeed as a college coach.
The Eagles aren't likely to use their franchise player designation by today's deadline, but they are watching other teams around the league as they do. And as one of the teams with the most salary cap room to spend once free agency begins next week, the Eagles are keeping a close eye on which big-name players will hit the market.