NFC East: Bruce Campbell

It was a busy day Thursday and there could be more action Friday. So let's take a look ahead and then look back:

Scheduled visits
CB Walter Thurmond
Note: I have not heard that his visit has been cancelled after the Tracy Porter signing and interest in Brandon Browner. So as of now it looks like he’ll still visit here (originally scheduled for Friday). He also has visited with Jacksonville and tweeted Thursday that he was visiting with San Francisco that afternoon. Lots of frequent-flyer mile potential here.

CB Brandon Browner
Note: The Redskins just signed Tracy Porter, but clearly want to add more corners to go with DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson. They want to upgrade this position, but I also wonder what they have in mind because every one of these corners is capable. I have a tough time believing Thurmond or Browner or Porter, based on their experience, would want to be a fourth corner. The NFL Network reported Thursday night that Browner had agreed to a deal with New England. But Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, vehemently denied a deal had taken place to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. But Schefter reported this morning that Browner will visit with New Orleans after his stop in Washington (while also negotiating with New England and Oakland).

TE Owen Daniels
Note: Daniels arrived Thursday night and will leave after a visit Friday. He visited with Green Bay, but the Packers re-signed tight end Andrew Quarless afterward so it’s uncertain if the Packers still have any interest. The Redskins could use another pass-catching tight end to pair with Jordan Reed, coming off a concussion and limited to nine games as a rookie last season. They still like Logan Paulsen, but he’s a blocker. Niles Paul has not developed into that second pass-receiving threat after two years playing the position. Daniels has 365 career receptions, including 62 in 2012. But he was limited to five games and 24 receptions this past season because of a fractured fibula. Houston cut Daniels earlier this offseason. Given his age (31) and some durability concerns (he’s missed a combined 18 games the past four seasons, but only two in 2011 and ’12), he’d probably be best in a role where he’s not the primary pass-catching tight end. If healthy, he'd also provide good insurance in case Reed isn't durable.

Players of interest
OT Donald Penn
Note: The former Tampa Bay tackle’s first stop will be in Oakland. There’s a feeling that Penn’s play dropped off a decent amount at left tackle last season, but that a move to right tackle could be a good one -- and that’s what the Redskins would want him to play.

Waiting on
FS Ryan Clark
Note: He visited Thursday and, according to agent Joel Turner, it was “very good.” Of course, that’s how they’re usually termed; sort of like every surgery an athlete has was successful until we find out later that it wasn’t. Still, it must have been pretty good because both sides were still talking after it was over. Clark has interest from other teams, but his agent declined to say where he was headed next -- or to characterize the negotiations with Washington. Stay tuned on this one.

LB Anthony Spencer
Note: He visited Thursday as well and the Redskins remain in talks with him. If healthy, he's an excellent linebacker (or, at least, he was before 2013). Spencer played just one game last season because of microfracture knee surgery, and he's also 30. But if he can still play, Spencer could be used as a situational pass-rusher and, depending on his deal, provide insurance in case Brian Orakpo leaves after this season. Spencer played mostly on the left side in Dallas, but would occasionally flip to the right.

Done Deals
CB Tracy Porter
Note: Experienced in the slot and coming off his best season, but now playing with his third new team in three years since leaving the New Orleans Saints.

DL Jason Hatcher
Note: He'll turn 32 before the season, but will fit nicely in the Redskins’ defense with his ability to play outside in a base package and inside in their nickel. One Redskins source said Hatcher's ability to disrupt against them last year was the best they had seen in a couple years.

DL Clifton Geathers
Note: He's a big fella at 6-foot-8 and 340 pounds. In a game of leverage, that sort of height can be difficult. Last season with Philadelphia was the first time he had played in all 16 games since entering the league in 2010. He’s worth taking a shot on because the Redskins already have some depth at this position so it's not as if they're in trouble if he can’t play.

LB Daryl Sharpton
Note: Injuries have been an issue throughout his career, which could explain why he signed for just one season. If healthy he could start. He’s considered better against the run, but that’s what the Redskins want first and foremost from this position.

He’s out?
OL Bruce Campbell
Note: For a guy who has done nothing in his career (nine games, zero starts, let go by two teams), he’s sure been mentioned a lot. The contract he agreed to showed up on the NFLPA site, but it was never signed. The Washington Post reported that he underwent shoulder surgery this past fall (he was not on a roster) and that could have led to an issue with his physical. But according to The Baltimore Sun, Campbell will visit with the New York Giants. Yes, it happens where one team has an issue in the physical but another team does not. There's still a chance he ends up back in Washington. But considering the agreed-upon deal was for one year and worth a maximum of $715,000 this season, he's far from a lock to make the roster even if he does eventually sign.
IRVING, Texas -- About three days into free agency and the Dallas Cowboys are not a better team today than they were on Monday.

They cut DeMarcus Ware. They cut Miles Austin. They have signed two defensive linemen in Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain that figure to be rotation parts, not cornerstone pieces.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the NFC East …

The Philadelphia Eagles have added Malcom Jenkins and Noland Carroll and traded for Darren Sproles. The Eagles also did some nice special teams' shopping with Chris Maragos and Bryan Braman and also re-signed their punter, Donnie Jones.

The New York Giants added a piece to their offensive line in Geoff Schwartz and brought in running back Rashad Jennings. The key move, however, was re-signing linebacker Jon Beason. They backed out of a deal with O'Brien Schofield.

The Washington Redskins have added wide receiver Andre Roberts, guard Shawn Lauvao and linebacker/special teamer Adam Hayward. Bruce Campbell is a low-risk help to the offensive line.

Too often we get caught up in the splashes in free agency only to see them not live up to the billing down the road.

Before free agency started Stephen Jones said the Cowboys would be efficient with their spending in free agency. To see them sit back and wait should not be surprising, but that doesn't mean fans can't be aggravated.

There are good players still to be had. The Cowboys could still re-sign Jason Hatcher or add Henry Melton. While they can afford both, I don't think signing both would make sense. They could keep Anthony Spencer and hope his repaired knee comes around. They could take fliers on some of the bigger names you want if those prices come down as free agency rolls along.

As maddening as the 8-8 finishes have been, the Cowboys have been the only team in the NFC East to compete for a division title the last three years. It's a hollow accomplishment for sure, especially when stacked up against the franchise's history, but spending for spending sake is not the best solution.

There is a plan and it has to be more than Mincey and McClain, right?

Redskins sign Bruce Campbell

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
1:50
PM ET
Campbell
Campbell
Offensive tackle Bruce Campbell once wowed at the NFL scouting combine, his athleticism dominating his lack of college production. Since then, and after Oakland made him a fourth-round pick in 2010, he’s been largely forgotten. The Washington Redskins hope to tap into that ability, but they’re not about to pay a big price to see if they will be successful.

Campbell agreed to a one-year deal with Washington that will pay him a base salary of $645,000 -- with bonuses that total $70,000. If he makes the roster, Campbell would count $715,000 against the salary cap.

Campbell spent two years in Oakland and one more in Carolina, but never lived up to what he showed at the combine, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds and bench-pressed 225 pounds 34 times. But his production in college equaled that of a late-round project.

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Campbell has appeared in 19 games, with no starts. Carolina cut him last summer and he did not sign with another team.

Tuesday Beastlines: Phillips ready to go

April, 14, 2010
4/14/10
11:16
AM ET
Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • The Philadelphia Daily News takes a look at the top player, riser and sleeper among cornerbacks and safeties in next week's draft.
  • Free agent quarterback Jeff Garcia confirmed reports his agent has been in contact with the Eagles, but said there has been no contract offer yet.
Washington Redskins

Draft Watch: NFC East

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
12:00
PM ET
NFC Schemes/Themes: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Schemes and themes.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin showed some improvement in '09, but the club will continue looking for his replacement. The Cowboys were very pleased with Gerald Sensabaugh's performance last season and would like to find another safety who has similar cover skills. The Cowboys are taking a long look at South Florida safety Nate Allen, who has the ball skills of a cornerback. USC's Taylor Mays might make Cowboys fans remember Roy Williams at safety -- and that's not a good thing. On offense, the Cowboys have to keep trying to draft and develop linemen. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett seems to prefer enormous linemen who can engulf defenders. Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell turned heads at the combine with his 4.8 speed and 32-inch vertical, but the Cowboys rarely call plays for left tackles to leap into the air. It's more likely the Cowboys would go after a big right tackle such as Iowa's Kyle Calloway later in the draft. NFL scouts and coaches swarm to Iowa because head coach Kirk Ferentz keeps delivering such technically sound players. A player such as Calloway could be developed as Marc Colombo's eventual replacement.

New York Giants

I asked general manager Jerry Reese to describe a Perry Fewell defense. He simply indicated that the Giants will be much more aggressive under Fewell and that you'll see a lot of creative alignments with an emphasis on getting to the quarterback. Reese also said he wouldn't enter the season on a wing and a prayer that Kenny Phillips will be fully healed. That's of course what the Giants are hoping for, but that won't keep them from potentially selecting Texas safety Earl Thomas at No. 15 overall. Thomas needs to get stronger, but he's excellent in coverage. I think he'd be a great fit for the Giants. There's also a chance the Giants could try to land inside linebacker Rolando McClain out of Alabama. Will he slip to No. 15? I have a hard time believing that. But I do think the Giants love his intelligence and playmaking ability. He'll start in the league for the next 10 years or so.

Philadelphia Eagles

The theme of the offseason will be closing the gap with the Cowboys. So you need a safety who can cover Jason Witten and a linebacker who can help account for Felix Jones. A cornerback who can cover Miles Austin would also be nice. I think the Eagles would be better off finding a safety via trade or free agency. We've seen how the defense works with a rookie safety. And even if you land Mays or Allen, there's no guarantee it will be a huge upgrade. A veteran safety who can make plays would be perfect. Darren Sharper anyone? I think new general manager Howie Roseman is also on the hunt for another pressure player to go along with Trent Cole. After doing some research during the combine, I think Roseman's much more adept on the football side than I'd realized. Keep your eye on Michigan's Brandon Graham. He's a little undersized but the guy has 29 sacks over the past three seasons in the Big 10.

Washington Redskins

Even though Mike Shanahan wouldn't confirm the Skins are transitioning to a 3-4, you know it's coming. That's what new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett feels the most comfortable doing. Everyone will talk about quarterback and offensive tackle this offseason, but the Redskins need to be on the lookout for 3-4 defensive tackles. As we saw with the Cowboys, transitioning to a 3-4 isn't always smooth. There's no guarantee that linebacker London Fletcher can hold up in a 3-4 because he'll have to take on enormous guards and centers on a regular basis. You'll see a big transformation with this team over the next couple years. If Sam Bradford's already gone, look for the Redskins to zero in on left tackles Russell Okung and Bryan Bulaga. Either one of those players could end up anchoring the offensive line for nine or 10 years. Tremendous college players who both have a high ceiling. The Skins have taken a long look at Campbell out of Maryland, so they'll be looking to see if he slips into the second round.

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