NFC East Roundup: Tom Coughlin Clings On

Plus, are Dallas and Washington in cornerback conundrums?

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Tom Coughlin (USA Today Sports)

This week’s roundup of the latest from around the NFC East as teams shift away from free agency and toward the draft next month.

Jordan Raanan of details the bizarre circumstances under which recently “retired” Giants coach Tom Coughlin has remained a mainstay at the team’s practice facility.

Even though he’s no longer the coach, Tom Coughlin still meanders over to the Giants facility in East Rutherford several days a week to squeeze in the early-morning workout that has become such a part of his daily routine for the past decade.

It should seem awkward, considering Coughlin no longer has a position in the organization. It’s almost as if he’s George Costanza in “Seinfeld” posing as a Yankees employee even though he doesn’t work there.

The Giants have continually said they are open to finding a position for Coughlin in the organization. But Coughlin originally had intentions of continuing to coach. He interviewed for the 49ers and Eagles jobs.

Ed Valentine of Big Blue View previews the Giants’ plan at the safety position.

New York Giants fans continue to pine for Reggie Nelson, wondering why the Giants haven’t made an obvious effort to sign the Cincinnati Bengals veteran free-agent safety. There have been no published reports recently on interest by the Giants in the 32-year-old Nelson, but you never know. After all, no one knew the Philadelphia Eagles were interested in Rueben Randle until the Eagles had signed Randle.

Still, the Giants appear to be forging ahead with the same plan they had at safety a year ago. That plan? Give the young, untested, but promising safeties already on their roster a chance to compete for the job and let the best man win. That plan was, of course, wrecked by injuries to all of the young safeties. The Giants, though, seem ready to try again.

I have written before that the plan at safety a year ago wasn’t the problem. The injuries that destroyed the plan before it had a chance to be implemented were the problem. Considering the question marks surrounding the three young players, the Giants would be smart to find a veteran safety to at least compete for the job.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News finds Joey Bosa to be the best fit for Dallas in the first round of the draft.

Ezekiel Elliott will impress the Cowboys’ contingent that has descended on the Ohio State campus to conduct its own personal job fair.

Enough that the club takes him with the fourth pick in the first round of next month’s draft?

No. The best available Buckeye for that spot remains defensive end Joey Bosa, assuming he’s still on the board when the Cowboys select.

Bosa is universally regarded as the best defensive end in this draft. Elliott holds the same distinction among running backs. If you doubt that the NFL places a higher positional value on defensive ends than it does running backs, look at the dollars doled out in free agency.

The Star-Telegram’s Clarence E. Hill Jr. investigates the cornerback crunch the Cowboys now find themselves in after losing out on free agent target Patrick Robinson.

Patrick Robinson was a done deal, until he wasn’t.

The Dallas Cowboys thought they had a deal in place with the free agent cornerback, but that was before Robinson switched agents from Kevin Conner to Ron Butler.

Within 48 hours, the situation went from the Cowboys having a deal in principle with Robinson’s first agent Conner, to Robinson’s new agent, Butler, finding his client a three-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday afternoon.

The Cowboys had hoped that landing Robinson would help crystallize their plans for cornerback Brandon Carr.

Carr has gone without an interception since 2013, has a $9.1 million base salary and $13.8 million cap hit for the upcoming season.

The Cowboys would like him to take a pay cut, but he refused a similar scenario last year. That could make him a candidate for release, except that the team is thin at cornerback.

According to the Washington Post’s Master Tesfatsion, the Redskins, too, are in a quandary as pertains to their secondary.

The Redskins depth at secondary took two big blows at the end of the season with injuries to cornerback Chris Culliver and defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett. Culliver continues to recover from torn ligaments in his right knee. Gruden expects him to be ready for the season opener, but it’s unknown how effective Culliver will be following a significant knee injury. Jarrett’s status is up in the air at the moment because of a shoulder injury he suffered during the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Gruden said he’s concerned about Jarrett’s status this offseason as he deals with a nerve issue in his right shoulder.

Washington also released safety Dashon Goldson, who was expected to make $8 million in 2016, though the team has talked about the possibility of bringing the 31-year-old back. At this point, the Redskins would head into offseason practices with DeAngelo Hall, [DavidBruton and [DukeIhenacho — as their top three safeties. Gruden said the team will experiment with using Blackmon and cornerback Deshazor Everett at safety as a result.

And finally, Rich Tandler of CSN delves into Washington’s cap situation and what room there is for any last moves in free agency.

Depending on how you want to look at it the Redskins actually have more cap space than it appears at first glance, or they may have less.

According to, Washington has $14.33 million in cap space for 2016. They are right about in the middle of the pack, with 14 teams having more space to work with and 17 teams with less money at their disposal.

However, some of the remaining cap room is essentially already spent. They need about $2 million in net cap space to sign all of their draft picks. They are likely to add some additional veteran players to the roster both before and after the draft. When the season starts they will need some additional money to pay the practice squad and players who are on injured reserve.

And if they should reach an agreement on a contract extension with tight end Jordan Reed they want to have the cap space at their disposal to be able to execute it.

It can’t hurt to create a little extra cap space. The Redskins have the option of rolling over any unused cap space into 2017.