NFC East Roundup: Replacing Rolando McClain

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Here’s our weekly look at what’s going on around the rest of the division.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News looks at how the Cowboys will try to deal with the absence of Rolando McClain, who has been suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Jasper Brinkley, a free agent acquisition who started 11 games for the Minnesota Vikings last season, worked at McClain’s middle linebacker spot with the starters in minicamp. McClain underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee sometime in April or May.

If not Brinkley, Sean Lee, the starting middle linebacker who missed the 2014 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was expected to play outside this season, could fill in. Another candidate would be Anthony Hitchens, a third-year pro who backed up McClain last season and was expected to battle Kyle Wilber for the linebacker spot on the other side of McClain.

Mike Fisher of CBS Dallas says a new deal for Dez Bryant may be right around the corner.

Dez Bryant likes to tell me he’s a “hyperactive kid,’’ a fact that makes his wait on a “Cowboys For Life’’ contract all the more challenging. But sources tell me his wait is almost over, the two sides having moved to such a negotiating comfort level that there is discussion about announcing a done deal following the July 4 weekend.

The specific structure of a new deal — maybe worth $100 million spread over seven years — is not yet known. But I am told that owner Jerry Jones wants to make a “positive mark’’ on what figures to be one of the most high-impact contracts he’ll pay as Cowboys owner.

Could The White House influence the Redskins to make a name change? From The Washington Post

Efforts to lure the Washington Redskins back to the District have come up against a potentially insurmountable challenge: the Obama administration’s objections to the team’s name.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser this spring that the National Park Service, which owns the land beneath Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, was unlikely to accommodate construction of a new stadium for the Redskins unless the team changes its name.

All the money being handed out by NBA teams this week fired up Washington safety Duke Ihenacho.

Eli Manning‘s agent, Tom Condon, believes a long-term deal will get done with the Giants. From the New York Daily News.

“The interesting part about it is, since 1993, the inception of free agency, has there ever been an elite quarterback hit the open market?” Condon said. “Peyton (Manning did in 2012), but he had four neck surgeries and no idea if he would ever be well enough to play.Drew Brees, when he went to New Orleans (in 2006), he had 15 studs in his shoulder, in his throwing arm (from a hit he took in the final game of 2005).

“There’s nobody else that’s ever come up. They just re-do you.”…

“The quarterbacks always get done,” Condon said. “And the Giants are not a skittish team. So it’s not one of those things where they get nervous or they jump around or anything like that. You know you’re going to go in and it’s going to get done. I’m sure at the appropriate time it’ll happen.”

Odell Beckham Jr. was hampered by a hamstring injury once again this spring. He told Men’s Fitness that he is still not full-go.

I’m not full-speed. I haven’t been in a while. It definitely gets frustrating to an extent. It’s not fun when you don’t feel like you can go as hard as you possibly can. I’m the type of person that’s going to be 110 percent into each rep, no matter what kind of rep it is. I’m going to try and put my best foot forward always.