NFC East: Khary Campbell
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.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
If you've attended a Redskins home game over the past couple of months, you're familiar with the club's aggressive "Vote the Redskins Ticket" Pro Bowl campaign. There are yard signs, bumper stickers, pins (worn by Redskins blogger Matt Terl) and life-sized pictures of Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff. In fact, the campaign has worked so well that the Redskins would have 17 starters if voting ended today -- and coaches and players weren't allowed to vote.
Washington may have the worst punt-coverage unit in the NFL, but that hasn't stopped Ryan Plackemeier from vaulting to No. 1 in the polls. And with all the great defensive ends in the NFC, Andre Carter has made his way to No. 2. As of Nov. 18, here's a look at how NFC East players were doing in the fan voting:
Quarterbacks: 2. Eli Manning, Giants 3. Jason Campbell, Redskins 5. Donovan McNabb, Eagles
Running backs: 1. Clinton Portis, Redskins 3. Marion Barber, Cowboys. 5. Brandon Jacobs, Giants
Wide receivers: 1. Santana Moss, Redskins 4. Plaxico Burress, Giants
Fullbacks: 1. Mike Sellers, Redskins 2. Madison Hedgecock, Giants 3. Deon Anderson, Cowboys
Tight ends: 1. Chris Cooley, Redskins 2. Jason Witten, Cowboys 3. Kevin Boss, Giants
Centers: 1. Casey Rabach, Redskins 2. Shaun O'Hara, Giants 5. Andre Gurode, Cowboys
Guards: 1. Pete Kendall, Redskins 2. Randy Thomas, Redskins 3. Chris Snee, Giants 5. Leonard Davis, Cowboys
Tackles: 1. Chris Samuels, Redskins 2. Flozell Adams, Cowboys 3. David Diehl, Giants 4. Kareem McKenzie 5. Stephon Heyer, Redskins
Defensive ends: 1. Justin Tuck, Giants 2. Andre Carter, Redskins
Defensive tackles: 1. Cornelius Griffin, Redskins 2. Kedric Golston, Redskins 5. Fred Robbins, Giants
Outside linebackers: 1. DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys 2. Jason Taylor, Redskins 3. Marcus Washington, Redskins 4. Rocky McIntosh, Redskins
Inside linebackers: 1. London Fletcher, Redskins 3. Antonio Pierce, Giants 5. Zach Thomas, Cowboys
Cornerbacks: 1. Shawn Springs, Redskins 2. Carlos Rogers, Redskins 4. Asante Samuel, Eagles
Strong safety: 1. Chris Horton, Redskins 5. James Butler, Giants
Free safety: 1. LaRon Landry, Redskins 2. Brian Dawkins, Eagles 4. Michael Johnson, Giants 5. Ken Hamlin, Cowboys
Kickers: 1. Shaun Suisham, Redskins 2. John Carney, Giants 4. Nick Folk, Cowboys
Punters: 1. Ryan Plackemeier, Redskins 2. Jeff Feagles, Giants 5. Sav Rocca, Eagles
Kick returners: 1. Rock Cartwright, Redskins 4. Felix Jones, Cowboys 5. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
Special teamers: 1. Khary Campbell, Redskins 2. Chase Blackburn, Giants 4. Keith Davis, Cowboys
Special thanks to Mike Sando for his Pro Bowl spreadsheet.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
ALBANY -- Since you're about to be treated to a continuous loop of Giants information, here's an update on what's going on elsewhere:
- Say it ain't so, Cowboys fans. The evil Mike Shanahan has a rule against live-blogging in practice. The Broncos also have an anti-blogger policy in place for games, which I had to work around once last season.
- The affable Tony Romo says he'd be happy to return to Oxnard, Calif., for training camp. He also said he's hoping the Cowboys "can compete" with the Broncos.
- Jacques Taylor says that Bradie James has done a nice job of putting his ego aside and accepting his role on the team.
- Words of wisdom from a Cowboys backup linebacker.
- Flip-flopping season is here again. Step right up, Mr. Taylor.
- Wade Phillips will ask his team to put on shoulder pads this week. Things are getting serious.
- Longtime Fort Worth Star-Telegram beat man Clarence Hill says it's time for the Cowboys to ramp up the hitting.
- Cowboys could be one "click" away from a Super Bowl, reports DMN technology writer Todd Archer.
- I watched DT Brodrick Bunkley have an excellent practice Tuesday morning. Had no clue what he'd been dealing with.
- The Daily News actually has a list of the items that were stolen.
- Bob Brookover of the Inquirer has a neat story on Dan Klecko.
- Bob also has a story on Asante Samuel's first news conference in months. I'm told that Samuel joked that Andy Reid had a lot more personality than Bill Belichick.
- Les Bowen provides an update on the Lito Sheppard saga.
- Nick Fierro thinks it's a good thing the Eagles have a short memory.
- Colt Brennan has returned to earth after his strong preseason debut.
- Marcus Mason has made quite an impression in Redskins camp, forcing Jim Zorn to contemplate keeping four tailbacks.
- The Redskins are beating up on their own quarterback.
- Redskins fans, meet your new starting weakside linebacker.