The purpose of the NFC East Notebook is to keep up with the New York Giants‘ divisional rivals, but I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the release of Victor Cruz. It was the biggest story in the NFC East this past week.
Cruz became the latest NFL-veteran cap casualty, as his contract value soared far beyond his on-field productivity. It was inevitable and you’re all familiar with the story.
What I will say is it’s been fun to watch the Paterson, N.J. native’s career unfold in Giants’ blue, from undrafted free agent to nationally recognized star and champion. The salsa is forever engrained in Giants history.
With that said, let’s spin the NFC East.
James Dorsett of Hogs Haven came up with a pretty comprehensive list of all the reasons Washington should sign QB Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal. Cousins played 2016 out under the franchise tag and could do the same in 2017. Among Dorsett’s strongest points: Cousins statistically keeps pace with the league’s elite signal callers and is low on mileage.
Ten reasons Kirk Cousins is worth the money | Hogs Haven
In each of the past two seasons, number eight has ranked in the top eight in the following eight passing statistics: completion percentage (1st in 2015 and 8th in 2016), first-down percentage (7th and 8th), passer rating (5th and 7th), yards per attempt (8th and 3rd), adjusted net yards per attempt (8th and 4th), DVOA (6th and 5th), DYAR (7th and 3rd) and QBR (6th and 6th). Here is a list of the other quarterbacks that also finished in the top eight in those statistics this past season: Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott and Drew Brees.
Mark Tyler asks whether Washington should explore trading CB Bashaud Breeland before extending his contract in 2018, and 46% of voters say yes. Depth at the position may make Breeland expendable in the very-near future.
Should the Redskins Trade Bashaud Breeland? | Hogs Haven
If general Manager Scot McCloughan feels like second year corner Kendall Fuller can bounce back from a tough rookie season, and become an impact player on the outside opposite Josh Norman, the Redskins may be prudent to look into some possible suitors for Breeland. There is also potential in third year pro Quinton Dunbar, who saw significant action as a rookie, but saw a bit less of the field last year due to Norman, Breeland and Fuller securing reps.
Wide receiver Maurice Harris learned a great deal from Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson and plans to use those lessons even if the two depart D.C. this offseason.
Maurice Harris Grateful For Time With Jackson, Garçon | Redskins.com
“I try not to make it a big thing, like putting any extra pressure on myself,” Harris said. “I still try to do the same things, make sure I go work out. As long as I stay prepared and play as hard as I can, and do my best, that’s all I can control, so that’s just my thing. I just try not to buy into it too much. But I obviously notice it, everything that’s going on, and am aware of what could potentially could happen. Whatever happens, you’ve just got to come ride with it, and be there for the team.”
Tony Romo expects the Dallas Cowboys to release him, according to Ed Werder. Water is also wet. Romo’s due over $24 million next season, nearly 40 times what Dallas will pay starting QB Dak Prescott. Dave Halprin argues cutting Romo instead of trading him doesn’t serve the ‘Boys.
Sources: Romo expects to be cut | Blogging The Boys
Add in the quote about starting two or three more years, and you can’t help but think these sources are pushing a theme that would ultimately benefit Romo. The idea that he could be released so that he could negotiate a deal with any team he chooses would be especially enticing to Romo.
Some recent rumors have linked the Cowboys with Jason Pierre-Paul. Michael Sisemore says Dallas won’t need to make a run at big-money FA’s to bolster their pass rush.
Cowboys will look to their own to improve pass rush | Blogging The Boys
As much help as this team needs, with Randy Gregory out indefinitely, DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford mending constant injuries; maybe their true hope is already on the roster. Think about this, Dallas’ has pieces to build around. The emergence of young players like David Irving and Maliek Collins gives the Cowboys somewhere to start.
Contrary to popular belief, Dak Prescott wasn’t just some late-round pick for a team who was already satisfied with their draft. The Cowboys had watched and communicated with Dak throughout the entire process.
Cowboys Didn’t “Luck” Into Dak Prescott | Blogging The Boys
There was no quarterback that the Cowboys met with more than Dak Prescott in last year's draft process. It wasn't that the Cowboys didn't consider first-round talents such as Wentz, Goff or Lynch; ... Nobody intrigued them more than the Mississippi State kid that beat them in the Senior Bowl and had an incredible air about him. Though they had guys rated higher than him, they met with Prescott at every juncture they could including sending Wade Wilson to him several times. They grilled and drilled Prescott over and over again because they didn't know what they thought about him. They knew that they liked him, they just didn't know why and it was important as ever that they got it right.
In an eye-opening fanpast on Bleeding Green Nation, the ineptitude of the Eagles wide receivers is put on full display. It’s worth the read, especially considering former Giants receiver Rueben Randle still didn’t come close to making Philly’s final roster.
Eagles wide receivers: By the numbers | Bleeding Green Nation
In 2014, Jordan Matthews was ranked as a top 20 receiver in receiving TDs, and 36th overall out of 433 in receiving yards. In 2016, he was ranked 76th overall in receiving TDs finishing with just 3, and 48th in receiving yards. His most glaring numbers this year were such: 3 TDs, 1 fumble, 6 drops.
Bleeding Green wants the Eagles to sign Bayonne, N.J. native and Rutgers product Kenny Britt, and why shouldn’t they? Eight seasons and two knee surgeries in, Britt would still be the Eagles best WR.
Kenny Britt makes sense for the Eagles | Bleeding Green Nation
But signing Kenny Britt is something the Eagles should absolutely do and signing with the Eagles is something Kenny Britt should absolutely do. Why? You might ask, because these two need each other, that’s why. Most of Britt’s career have been flashes of potential.
In the latest probably-not-gonna-happen news, Brandon Lee Gowton asks what would happen if DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy reunited with the Eagles. Apparently, Jackson has spoken about it with friends, so it may not be totally out of the question.
DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy back on the Eagles in 2017? | Bleeding Green Nation
We already know Jackson is set to be a free agent. Multiple reports emerged throughout the 2016 season that indicate Jackson and the Eagles have mutual interest in reuniting. Jackson also reportedly told several former teammates, including McCoy and Brandon Graham, that he was coming back to Philadelphia.