Thursday, March 7, 2013
Each NFC East team could use Eric Winston
By Dan Graziano
So the Chiefs cut right tackle Eric Winston on Wednesday, probably because they've decided to take a tackle with the first pick in the draft. But this isn't a Chiefs blog. This is an NFC East blog, peopled by fans of teams in the NFC East. So why are we talking about this?
Because whenever a player of whom fans have heard gets cut in the middle of his contract, one of the first questions fans immediately ask is, "Should [my team] try to sign [this player that was just cut in the middle of his contract]?" And if you cheer for a team in the NFC East, and the player in question is Winston, the answer is yes.
It amazes me sometimes, the similarities our four teams can share. They all need help in the secondary, for instance, and they all need help on the right side of the offensive line. So here's a quickie team-by-team rundown of why each of our division's teams should kick the tires on this 29-year-old offensive lineman who is allowed to sign any time.
Obviously, the Doug Free contract is a huge bust and the Cowboys need a right tackle. They need guard help, too, but a right tackle is a fine place to start. Sadly for the Cowboys, they're too tight up against the cap to really compete for a free agent if that free agent is going to draw interest from multiple teams. I still think they address this in the draft.
New York Giants
Winston is better than David Diehl or James Brewer or Sean Locklear or whoever the Giants are currently planning to use on the right side. They won't overspend, but I'll bet they at least inquire about him.
The Eagles have the best right tackle in the division in Todd Herremans, but they also have the most cap room -- by a mile. There is some sense that the offensive line would be stronger if they acquired a right tackle and moved Herremans back inside to right guard to replace the disappointing Danny Watkins. Enter Winston. They can afford him. They need him. No question they'll have interest.
This would be the perfect fit, for player and team. The Redskins need a right tackle, as it appears Jammal Brown's hip is never going to be right. Winston has zone-blocking run game experience, as well as experience working with Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan from his time in Houston. I think the Redskins would have signed Winston last year if they hadn't be blindsided by the salary-cap penalty on the day before free agency started. They would love to have him. Unfortunately, that cap penalty is still in place this year. And even though they knew that in advance this time, it's likely to keep Winston out of their reach for the second year in a row.