Now that offseason training activities are officially underway, let's take a look at specifically what's going on with Big Blue's biggest rivals in this week's edition of Around the NFC East.
The Top Story
The former New York Giants wide receiver, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, will be out for between two to three weeks due to gallbladder surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. This spring, Randle signed a one-year, $3 million contract with $500,000 guaranteed to play in the City of Brotherly Love. Randle, 25, could miss the remainder of Philadelphia's spring practices if the time frame for recovery holds firm, but should be able to be fully healed by the time veterans need to report to training camp on July 27.
During the beginning of OTAs, it's a chance for rookies to get their first taste of NFL action and to prove that they belong on a 53-man roster. One of those undrafted rookies who will look to secure a spot is linebacker Myke Tavarres. The former Incarnate Word linebacker plays all three linebacking positions, but at 235 pounds, might best be suited to play on the weak side. Tavarres signed a contract with the Eagles shortly after the draft ended, and it became the second-highest guarantee of any undrafted player in the NFL this year, behind his teammate, offensive guard Darrell Greene. Football Gameplan's Emory Hunt compared Tavarres to Los Angeles Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Jeffrey Lurie, Doug Pederson not inspiring a lot of confidence
Every so often, Bleeding Green Nation polls its readers to determine the pulse of the fan base and their attitude toward some of the Eagles' top decision makers. This month, BGN polled its audience about their confidence in new head coach Doug Pederson, as well as chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie. As of this writing, the approval ratings are not very high for either Pederson or Lurie in the first poll of the offseason. Lurie scored a 64 percent approval rating, his worst since 2014. Pederson scored a 47 percent approval rating, but his percentage points have gotten higher since he was first considered as a candidate to when he was hired and now as the Eagles enter OTA's.
Most of the commentary focused on Philadelphia's quarterback situation, in which the team has Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel and top two selection Carson Wentz vying for playing time. ESPN's analysts were divided on the quarterback plan for the Eagles. However, the Eagles were complimented for trading with Miami, shedding money off the books and moving up in the draft to select Wentz. In case you were wondering, the Giants received a B+.
The Dallas Cowboys' 2015 first round draft pick played as a cornerback in nickel and dime packages, even stepping in as a starter at times, last season. But, Jones will convert to the free safety position as Dallas tries to shore up a shaky secondary. The University of Connecticut product was one of the NFL Scouting Combine's workout warriors, impressing scouts, coaches and general managers so much that he moved from being a Day 2 prospect to being selected at the end of the first round. His athletic ability, range and football IQ will be major factors in determining whether or not he can succeed at the position.
Starting quarterback Tony Romo, who enters OTA's without any injury or rehabilitation concerns, is one of Blogging the Boys' biggest winners this week for being back on the field and building a rapport with the younger players on the roster. However, he isn't the only quarterback impressing, as undrafted free agent Jameill Showers has become one of the key players vying to be the top option behind Romo.
"Showers did everything to make the roster last year and played multiple positions on the practice squad as well as special teams during the preseason, they rewarded him by letting him focus solely on quarterbacking. Showers is going to have to keep building on this as everyone knows the affinity that Scott Linehan has for Kellen Moore. Still, this is a very positive start for him."
Dallas, who will be without defensive ends Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory for the first four games of the season due to suspensions, is not going to sign veteran Dwight Freeney. The 35-year-old had eight sacks last season in a situational role for the Arizona Cardinals, but Stephen Jones claimed that the team will not be looking to sign Freeney, or any veterans for that matter, at this point in time. Could that open the door for the Giants to swoop in and sign the Syracuse product?
So far in voluntary offseason workouts, wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been a no-show, but quarterback Kirk Cousins says it is not a concern. Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Kendall Fuller, who suffered an injury-plagued season at Virginia Tech before entering the 2016 NFL Draft, has impressed in early workouts. At linebacker, starting inside linebacker Perry Riley has been in a walking boot, but at outside linebacker, Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith continue to impress. Smith, who was drafted last season, reportedly covered tight end Jordan Reed step-for-step on a wheel route.
Two veterans making important switches are DeAngelo Hall and Trent Murphy. Hall, a longtime cornerback, will make the switch to safety, where he is starting alongside free agent addition David Bruton. Meanwhile, Murphy, a former linebacker, will make the switch to the defensive line. Murphy said the key to adding weight consists of protein shakes and eating every couple of hours.
If you're a fan of fantasy football, the Redskins offense might pique your interest for players to fill out your roster. Rotoworld's Evan Silva released his list of the top 150 players in fantasy football next season, which includes Jordan Reed, Matt Jones, DeSean Jackson, Josh Doctson and Kirk Cousins. Last year, the Redskins had three players on the list and the five that are on the list now are the most of the four NFC East teams. Silva ranked Reed the highest of the five, at No. 35, citing that the Florida product was last year's overall top starting tight end in points per game.