NFC East Roundup: Would Washington Trade Down?
Here’s our weekly look at what’s happening around the NFC East.
No long-term deal has gotten done with the Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant. Dallas will use the franchise tag on its No. 1 wide receiver, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com:
The Cowboys have to notify the league of the move by 4 p.m. ET Monday, which will guarantee Bryant roughly $13 million in 2015. The Cowboys will not use the exclusive franchise tag on Bryant, but a team would have to give up two first-round picks if Dallas chooses not to match an offer sheet.
At the NFL scouting combine earlier this month in Indianapolis, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he hoped the tag would be a “placeholder” until the two sides can work out a long-term deal with Bryant. Jerry and Stephen Jones had their first face-to-face meetings with Bryant’s new agents, Tom Condon of CAA and Kim Miale of Roc Nation, last Tuesday.
While Bryant’s not going anywhere, Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray will apparently get a chance to test the market, per Fox Sports:
Jones described talks with unrestricted free agent running back DeMarco Murray’s agents as “slow” up to this point.
“[Murray] is probably going to, you know, get some peace and see what’s out in the market and then we’ll talk and see. I do believe deep down he’d love to stay in Dallas.”
Meanwhile, when Peter King predicted an Eagles-Washington trade in his latest mock draft, he caught everyone’s attention, including the writers down in the nation’s capital. Here’s what they’re saying in D.C. about a potential trade.
JP Finlay of CSN Washington looks at two potential hurdles the deal would have to clear:
1. Would [Redskins GM Scot] McCloughan want to make a trade that gives a division rival a franchise QB? In two seasons with Philadelphia, [Chip] Kelly’s teams have gone 20-12, and that’s without his ideal QB running the show. [Marcus] Mariota in Philly running Kelly’s offense could present a significant hurdle to Washington getting back on top of the division.
2. Is the proposed trade haul enough? The Redskins would basically be swapping first-rounders, and dropping 15 spots in the process, along with adding a pair of fourth-rounders and a 2016 first-round pick. Compared to the crop of picks Washington gave up to acquire Robert Griffin III in 2012, King’s proposal seems a bit thin. If the fourth-rounders became second-round picks? That would change things. Considering the New York Jets draft at No. 6, and Mean Green really needs a QB, the ‘Skins should be able to extract more out of their position in front of the Jets.
Rick Snider of The Washington Post doesn’t think a trade is very likely to develop:
A trade with Philadelphia seems unlikely. Why would Washington help an NFC East rival gain a needed passer? The Redskins would be better off keeping the fifth pick than trading with the Eagles.
Washington has lots of needs so trading for more draft picks seems likely, especially if Mariota’s the bait. It’s just a matter of finding the right trade partner. And if not, maybe Washington will take Mariota with the most mind-blowing pick of the entire draft.
Dan Graziano of ESPN New York is skeptical of the Giants’ choice of Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator:
I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Steve Spagnuolo and the New York Giants are made for each other and having him back as defensive coordinator will return them to Super Bowl glory, or at least the playoffs. Maybe he’s a great coach who had a raw deal in St. Louis and New Orleans and will get to rebuild his reputation now that he’s back with the team with which he had his greatest success. Maybe the Giants see something in him that no one else in this hiring cycle saw, and maybe they’re right.
I just don’t think, if I were the Giants, that I’d risk my future on it.
The Giants needed a defensive coordinator for the long term, so they better hope Steve Spagnuolo has picked up some new tricks in his time away.
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com wonders if the Giants could go after one of the top wide receivers in the draft, should one fall:
Even though the Giants selected Beckham last year, wide receiver is not off the table. Reese said as much at the NFL Combine last week.
And why should it be? On the list of Giants needs, playmaker is right up there near the top. [Amari] Cooper or [Kevin] White could be needed just as much as an offensive lineman.
As the roster is currently constituted, the Giants have one player that strikes fear into the opposition ‐ [Odell] Beckham. Victor Cruz is returning from a very serious knee injury and the Giants can’t put all their eggs in that basket.
Tucker Bagley is a Temple student and an intern at Birds 24/7
Sheil Kapadia contributed to this post.