NFC East Roundup: DeMarco Destined For Dallas?
Need to catch up on the division that never sleeps? We’ve got a recap of the latest news from around the NFC East.
Could DeMarco Murray wind his way back to Dallas and play for the Cowboys again? The Dallas Morning-News’ Bob Sturm wouldn’t rule it out.
Q: Players can make overtures, but there’s no way DeMarco Murray is a Cowboy next season, correct?
A: Honestly? I am not about to say for even a moment that this is out of play if the Eagles were to make him available. I don’t see that they would because the cap hit on year 2 of his deal is such that his cap hit of $8m in 2016 would jump up to $13m if they cut him. That would be pretty insane to do that. So, they could try to trade him, but they are not getting anyone to take a deal with that much guaranteed money left on it.
Now, from a Cowboys standpoint, there are definitely very key members inside the organization that never wanted to let him go and would campaign hard for his return if he was on the street. But, the time for that would be next season – not this year. At which point, most of us who were concerned about his odometer would believe that the best of DeMarco Murray has already been spent.
If not Murray, the Cowboys could be eyeing Matt Forte. Is there a chance the stud back ends up in Dallas? The Morning-News’ Brandon George examines.
Forte certainly is an intriguing free agent. He’s been among the most consistent and versatile backs since he entered the league. And, unlike [Darren] McFadden, he doesn’t come with a long injury history in the NFL.
McFadden hasn’t missed a game the last two seasons, but it’s the only two seasons in the league in which he’s played in all 16 games. Forte, on the other hand, has played in all 16 games in five of his eight seasons. He’s missed only eight games in his eight-year career, including three in 2015.
Forte just completed his second four-year contract with the Bears, this last one was for $30.4 million. But Forte won’t demand that type of money in 2016 considering he’s now 30 and coming off of a season in which he rushed for a career-low 898 yards.
Forte has five 1,000-yard seasons in the league. In his eight-year career, he’s rushed for 8,602 yards and 45 touchdowns on 2,035 carries. He’s also a threat out of the backfield, with 4,116 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns on 487 catches.
The Cowboys won’t overpay for Forte, but if they can get him at a resemble price he would make senses because he’s a complete back.
According to ESPN’s John Keim, Washington will be looking to get something for Robert Griffin III before outright cutting him.
If the Redskins keep Griffin around beyond Monday, it’s not some negotiating ploy with quarterback Kirk Cousins. He’s a free agent whom the Redskins want to sign to a long-term deal; they could also use the franchise tag to keep him around. But there’s little chance Cousins’ side would view Griffin’s still being on the roster as a possible alternative to their guy and, therefore, be pressured into a deal. Griffin’s side is well aware of his status in Washington — there’s a reason he cleaned out his locker the day after the playoff loss. And the Redskins already have opened negotiations with Cousins. His side is aware of what’s going on with Griffin, as well. Besides, if the Redskins feel they’ve hit an impasse, they can use the tag on Cousins (the deadline is March 1).
Griffin served as the No. 3 quarterback this past season — and it wasn’t just because of his option being guaranteed for injury. It was because they viewed Colt McCoy as a better backup; so keeping Griffin around would not fool Cousins’ side one bit.
Rather, if the Redskins keep Griffin around for the duration, or at least for a few weeks, then it’s likely they’re trying to see if they can swing a deal. One team source called it a long shot, but said it’s worth pursuing just in case.
If Washington decides to be aggressive in free agency, the Washington Post’s Mark Bullock has a few potential fits at wide receiver.
Big name: Alshon Jeffery, Bears, age 25
It would be a surprise if Chicago let Jeffery test the market, but he is without doubt the biggest potential free agent of this class. At 6 feet 3, 213 pounds, Jeffery is bigger than all of Washington’s wide receivers. His size is his best trait. He’s at his best when given the opportunity to go up and get the ball over the top of his defender.
That type of receiver would be a valuable asset to any offense in the NFL, especially a Washington offense that lacks size. However, it would appear that the Bears would use the franchise tag on Jeffery if they can’t agree to a long-term contract with him first. Jeffery should be the highest-paid wide receiver this offseason, either by the Bears or by someone else if he hits the open market.
Tom Coughlin doesn’t seem to be a big fan of his new post-coaching life, writes the New York Daily News’ Amara Grautski.
during his appearance to promote the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, the long-time coach sounded like that’s exactly what he wanted. He said the last month hasn’t been easy. Apparently not having a team and not preparing for another season is not something he’s handling well at all.
“Not well, not very well, to be honest with you,” Coughlin said. “It’s a difficult thing; I don’t care who you are, or how long you’ve been doing it — (and) I’ve been doing it a long time. You get yourself into the rhythm. Your whole life, your calendar of your life is based on football, about the seasons. Whether it’s in season or out of season you have a schedule that you follow. So, there’s some adjusting for me to make.”
Coughlin does still have an option to remain in the game and remain with the Giants for the 2016 season. Giants co-owner John Mara has said he’s offered Coughlin a job as a consultant, and after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s Super Bowl press conference in San Francisco on Friday, Mara told the Daily News that he hopes to talk to Coughlin more about that in the next couple of weeks.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano takes a look at a few potential salary cap problems whom the Giants could part ways, or restructure deals with, this offseason.
WR Victor Cruz
Details: Cruz has three years and $24 million left on his deal, of which none is guaranteed. His 2016 salary cap number is $9.9 million. He is 29 years old, and when the 2016 season starts he will not have played in a real NFL game in 23 months. In his most recent game, Week 6 of 2014 in Philadelphia, he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee. A left calf injury that required surgery prevented him from playing at all in 2015. The Giants still have no idea whether Cruz can be the same kind of player he was before his significant knee injury. They would save $6.1 million on this year’s cap by releasing him.
Likely outcome: Cruz is aware of the very good reasons the Giants don’t want to pay him $8 million a year anymore and likely will be amenable to a pay cut. There’s enough goodwill built up between player and team that the chances are good they work out a new deal for a lower salary that keeps Cruz in New York and allows him an opportunity to recover fully from the injuries.