NFC East: best match 09
OK, let's come up for air for a moment and see who else is on the free-agent market. The Redskins obviously made the biggest splash, signing defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, cornerback DeAngelo Hall and guard Derrick Dockery. The New York Giants didn't go the high-profile route, but they did a nice job landing linebacker Michael Boley and defensive tackles Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty (he's being projected as a DT).
The Eagles and Cowboys weren't quite as active. The Eagles brought in Shawn Andrews' older brother Stacy to start on the offensive line. But they lost a local icon in safety Brian Dawkins. The Cowboys will replace aging veteran Zach Thomas with aging veteran Keith Brooking, although I do think it's an upgrade. They also traded for backup quarterback Jon Kitna, who is a significant upgrade over Brad Johnson. OK, let's see who else is out there:
This team could use another safety and a cornerback to help replace Anthony Henry, who was traded to the Lions. Henry wasn't going to start in '09, but his departure means the Cowboys need more depth. Former Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs appears to be a nice match -- even though he's battled injury problems. He grew up watching his father, Ron, play for the Cowboys and would love nothing more than to finish his career in Dallas. Safety Josh Bullocks is a player the Cowboys liked in the draft four years ago. Last time I looked, he's still on the market. The Cowboys won't spend any significant money, though, because they're focused on signing linebacker DeMarcus Ware to a long-term extension.
With the departure of Dawkins, the Eagles need reinforcements. Giants unrestricted free agent James Butler is still out there, but he was headed to Cleveland to visit with the Browns last time I checked. Philadelphia needs to continue to fortify its offensive line, so it would make sense to re-sign left tackle Tra Thomas. Even though they have the money to do it, don't look for the Eagles to make a play for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The other safety that the Eagles could be interested in is Ravens unrestricted free agent Jim Leonhard.
The Giants struck quickly and it appears they'll sit back and cherry pick at this point. They made significant upgrades at linebacker and defensive line. They still need a receiver, but they won't break the bank for Houshmandzadeh. Steelers unrestricted free-agent wide receiver Nate Washington is a possibility. At this point, though, I think the Giants are content to sit back and see if any players slip through the cracks.
The Redskins tried ignoring free agency and investing in the draft last year. They apparently didn't have any fun. Dan Snyder and his right-hand man, Vinny Cerrato, were back to their wild-spending ways Friday, guaranteeing Haynesworth $41 million and Hall a paltry $22.5 million. I think the Redskins would be wise to bring linebacker Khary Campbell back. He's an excellent special teams player and can start in a pinch.