NFC East Roundup: Washington Conserves Cash

Which NFC East team is winning free agency?

Scot McCloughan

Scot McCloughan. (USA Today Sports)

Now that most of the marquee off-season free agency signings have died down, let’s check in with the Eagles’ NFC East rivals to see how their off-seasons are coming along.

Dallas Morning News reporter Rick Gosselin is concerned about the Cowboys’ backup quarterback situation.

I love Kellen Moore as my third quarterback, not my second. I still expect the Cowboys to bring in another veteran quarterback to back up [Tony] Romo and compete with Moore. Colt McCoy and Chase Daniel were two QBs the Cowboys had their eyes on but both went elsewhere for bigger money than the Cowboys were willing to spend. The offseason doesn’t last one week. The Cowboys have several months to find a suitable backup for Romo. So check back with me in July. If Moore was my 2 heading into camp, I’d be concerned. His size is a concern to me — both his lack of height and lack of bulk.

Former NFL quarterback and now Cowboys color analyst Babe Laufenberg names a sneaky need for the 2016 Cowboys offense.

The overlooked area of Cowboys draft needs is wide receiver. If Dez [Bryant] goes out again, they are extremely limited. We saw that last year. With all the talk about the backup QB’s ineffectiveness, I defy you to find guys running open all over the field. Wasn’t happening. They got eaten up on the outside. And the staff had a chance to see it when Dez was holding out through the offseason. So, it should not have been a surprise. Wasn’t a surprise to me.

Bill Pennington of the New York Times writes that Jason Pierre-Paul’s hand injury is steadily healing.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said Tuesday that recent off-season surgery had improved the function of his damaged right hand and that he did not plan to use the mittlike wrapping he needed last season.

“I am not going to use a club next year,” Pierre-Paul said, referring to the bulky bandage he wore in games after he lost his right index finger and parts of his thumb and middle finger in a Fourth of July fireworks accident. “If I feel like I want to, I can, but my hand can be perfectly fine.”

The New York Post’s Paul Schwartz studies the New York Giants’ history of splurge signings.
The first week on the open market… had the Giants spending quickly, freely, easily and extravagantly. This is not the way teams with established track records of success care to operate, with good reason. History tells us time and again that winners now are often losers later. The Giants, desperate to turn around a four-year slide of non-playoff irrelevance, this winter rushed into a perfect storm, a confluence of factors that made it clear they would seek to rebuild their roster by stomping along a dangerous path.
It always looks good when these names are typed into the depth chart, but a team assembled this way usually is fool’s gold. In the past 10 years, the six teams (Dolphins, Jaguars, Eagles, Redskins, Buccaneers and Browns) that have spent the most money in free agency have cashed in with a total of just four playoff victories — three by the Eagles and one by the Jaguars. The moral of the story: You cannot buy your way out of playing lousy football.
The Giants were at such a low level talent-wise and there was such a losing vibe around this team that it will take more than flashy signings to prove anything to anyone. There is no EZ Pass lane to the playoffs.

Kirk Cousins is perfectly happy to play on the Franchise tag according to the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg

By accepting the Redskins franchise tag earlier this month, Kirk Cousins narrowed down his options to two: either he’ll play for Washington next season for $19.95 million, or he’ll sign a long-term contract with the team. The former would offer Washington’s quarterback a hefty 2016 payday and the chance for even more riches in the future, assuming he plays well. The latter would offer a bit more stability and certainty, both for the player and the team.

While the Redskins and Cousins are expected to keep negotiating during the offseason — and have until July 15 to reach a deal — the quarterback doesn’t sound particularly anxious about his scenario.

“I’m very content in the situation I’m in, and love the opportunity to prove myself again next season,” Cousins told ESPN’s Jim Trotter this  week from the NFLPA meetings in Maui. “I feel like it’s only fair, if that’s what’s asked of me, to go out and prove that I ought to be a starting quarterback. And that’s okay with me.”

CSN Washington’s Rich Tandler examines some trade options.

TE Niles Paul—When Paul was injured last year they brought in Derek Carrier, who is a similar player. If Carrier, who suffered a torn ACL in early December, is going to be ready for training the camp Paul could be expendable. He has a $1.25 million salary and the Redskins would have to carry $667,000 in dead cap if they dealt him.

ILB Perry Riley—He has lost his starting job due in part to a foot injury that got Mason Foster into the lineup. There should be some demand for a 28-year-old player who has started for four and a half years. To be sure, his $4 million salary does detract from his trade value but a team in need could pay it. The Redskins would be left with a little over $1 million in dead cap.

WR Pierre Garçon—This seems very unlikely but if a contending team has a training camp injury it’s possible. On the Redskins side of it, they might consider this if they go for a receiver early in the draft and feel that he can be productive as a rookie. Garçon is in the last year of his contract and a team trading for him would be responsible for his $7.6 million salary.