As the NFL Owners Meeting proceeds in Phoenix, Arizona, it seems like a good idea to look around at what the Eagles' rivals in the NFC East are up to…
Let's do this the easy way—short concise "Pro Football Weekly" style… [Note: UFA means unrestricted free agent; RFA means restricted free agent; EFA means exclusive-rights free agent; FFA means franchise free agent.]
NEW YORK GIANTS:
UFA: WR Ramses Barden (4), TE Travis Beckum (4), DT Rocky Bernard (11), LB Chase Blackburn (7), OL Kevin Boothe (7), QB David Carr (11), WR Domenik Hixon (6), CB Bruce Johnson (4), OL Sean Locklear (9), RB Kregg Lumpkin (4), CB Justin Tryon (5), PK Lawrence Tynes (9), CB Brian Witherspoon (4).
RFA: RB Andre Brown (3), S Stevie Brown (3), WR Victor Cruz (3), TE Bear Pascoe (3).
Key arrivals: Brandon Myers, ex-Raiders TE, March 18; Ex- Cowboys nee Panthers LB Dan Connor, March 17 (one year); Ex-Raiders TE Brandon Myers, March 16 (one year); Signed Ex-Bengals PK Josh Brown, March 13; Signed CB Aaron Ross, March 12; Signed ex-Eagles DT Cullen Jenkins, March 10 (three years, $8 million).
Key departures: S Kenny Phillips, March 14 (signed with Eagles); TE Martellus Bennett, March 12 (signed with Bears); Released RB Ahmad Bradshaw, DT Chris Canty, Feb. 6; Released LB Michael Boley, Feb. 5.
Key re-signings: LB Keith Rivers, March 14 (one year); RB Ryan Torain, March 12; OT Will Beatty, Feb. 27 (five years, $38.75 million), DT Shaun Rogers, Feb. 7.
Big news of Monday, March 18, 2013– The Giants signed tight end Brandon Myers, who played four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, as a free agent. Last season, he started all 16 games with career highs of 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns. Myers was a pass-catching tight end in Oakland. He graded out as the worst blocking tight end in the league according to Pro Football Focus (by quite a wide margin), and it's surprising that the Giants decided to go with a tight end who's more of a receiver than a blocker.
One of the big questions on the table of the Giants right now is can they get a deal done on restricted free agent Victor Cruz? He's going to want Wes Welker-type money. Welker just signed with the Broncos for $6 million a year.
UFA: DT Kentwan Balmer (5), OL Jordan Black (8), OL Jammal Brown (8), TE Chris Cooley (9), TE Fred Davis (5), DE Kedric Golston (7), CB Cedric Griffin (7), QB Rex Grossman (10), S Tanard Jackson (5), S Madieu Williams (9), DE Chris Wilson (5).
RFA: DT Chris Baker (3), WR Brandon Banks (3).
Key arrivals: Ex-Buccaneers OT Jeremy Trueblood, March 14; Signed ex-Patriots NT Ron Brace, Feb. 14.
Key departures: LB Lorenzo Alexander, March 13 (signed with Cardinals); Released CB DeAngelo Hall, March 11.
Key re-signings: LB Bryan Kehl, March 15; DE Kedric Goston, March 13; Re-signed P Sav Rocca, March 12; Re-signed LS Nick Sundberg, March 10 (four years);Re-signed TE Logan Paulsen (three years), RB Darrel Young (three years, $6.2 million), OLB Ron Jackson (one year), OG Kory Lichtensteiger (five years), March 9.
The Redskins' biggest problem this year is they are in salary cap hell, having been penalized $18 million against the cap for the way they structured some of their players' contracts in 2010.
The 'Skins still need to find a starting free safety from a dwindling market. But they're doing a fairly nice job at solidifying their offensive line. As Dan Graziano reported in ESPN's NFC East Blog, they spent last week picking up potential fallback options like Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood at right tackle. But they wanted 2012 starter Tyler Polumbus back all along. Monday, Polumbus tweeted that he was re-signing with Washington. John Keim reports it's a two-year deal.
Tight end Fred Davis remains a free agent they're hoping to re-sign.
UFA: DE Victor Butler (4), CB Michael Coe (6), DE Kenyon Coleman (11), OL Derrick Dockery (10), S Eric Frampton (6), CB Mike Jenkins (5), RB Felix Jones (5), P Brian Moorman (12), WR Kevin Ogletree (4), S Charlie Peprah (7), LB Brady Poppinga (7), LB Ernie Sims (7).
RFA: S Danny McCray (3).
Key arrivals: none yet!
Key departures: TE John Phillips, March 13 (signed with Chargers);Released LB Dan Connor, March 11; Released S Gerald Sensabaugh, March 4.
Key re-signings: Franchised OLB Anthony Spencer, March 8 (one year $9.619 million); OL Phil Costa, March 2 (two years); OL L.P. Ladouceur, Feb. 28 (five years)…LB Ernie Sims just re-signed March 18 to the veteran minimum.
The Cowboys are up against the cap limit, too, and part of that is due to their contract situation with Tony Romo. The team needs to renegotiate a long-term deal with Romo in order to spread out his current salary cap cost, which is very high.
"We were never going to be big players in free agency this year," Cowboys' executive V.P. Steve Jones said. "We played there last year, and we felt like we did some good things, and we've got to see what the end results are. A big focus for us is on this draft. We need to draft well."
That explains the goose-egg in the "Key Arrivals" category above…
Cowboys will be looking for major help for their offensive line from the Draft. Jones said no decision has yet been made on RT Doug Free, who would save the team $7 million in salary cap space as of June 1 if cut. But the Cowboys can't dump their starting right tackle until they find a better replacement. Free often struggled, along with the rest of the Dallas O-Line last season.
The Cowboys may try to sign a veteran safety, as one of their projected starters (Matt Johnson) is coming back from a season lost to injury.
Dan Graziano has described the Cowboys as being stuck in a rut of "patching up their problem positions" with "project guys". Funny…haven't I heard that before in Philadelphia? But the difference is now…the Eagles have the cap room to avoid the "project" rut. Dallas (at the moment) does not.