With the NFL season quickly approaching, there are headlines across the NFC East. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with all of the New York Giants division rivals this offseason in this week’s Around the NFC East.
Is this receiving corps better than last year?
The Washington Redskins lost both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon this offseason in free agency. Although they had those losses, the Redskins added former Browns WR Terrell Pryor on a one-year deal. So did the receiving core get better for worse? Mark Tyler of Hogs Haven explains.
Overall, the Redskins receiving corps got younger, cheaper, much bigger and more physical. Red Zone fades, a favorite of coach Gruden's, may actually work with this group!
I feel with the upside of the four previously mentioned, and the additions of newcomers such as veteran Brian Quick, and rookie Robert Davis, will propel this group to new heights, and make this offense even more dangerous than it was last year. The red zone woes that plagued the team, could become a thing of the past.
Will the new additions, plus the maturation of some younger veterans, make the 2017 receiving corps better than last year's group...only time will tell.
5-11 season for the Skins?
The Redskins finished the 2016 season with an 8-7-1 record, good for third in the NFC East. Nick Jones of USA Today Sports doesn't have as high of hopes for Washington coming into this season. He released his projections for the upcoming season on Monday and forecasted the Redskins to win just five games.
Just as Davis guaranteed, his midsummer exercise managed to infuriate portions of certain fan bases, including at least one from the NFC East. Davis predicts the Redskins, who went 8-7-1 last season, will finish 5-11, with one more win than the Browns and last in the division. He sees the Cowboys (11-5), Giants (10-6) and Eagles (9-7) all finishing with winning records.
“The questions about Kirk Cousins’ future will be on constant loop,” Davis writes about Washington. “And he may not enjoy the present all that much after losing two 1,000-yard receivers.”
Jaylon Smith’s emergence
You better get used to the top story of training camp being the Cowboys linebacker enigma that is Jaylon Smith. Whether it’s good or bad, you’ll get a good dose of 54. And so far, so good as the young LB was quick out of the gate, turning heads and generating a lot of buzz.
The Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith with the third pick of the second round back last season, but he has yet to see the field because of knee issues.
La’el Collins signs two-year extension
The Dallas Cowboys, who hope to sign right guard Zack Martin to a long-term extension this summer, have agreed with their prospective right tackle, La'el Collins, on a two-year extension worth up to $17.4 million, sources told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.
Collins was set to be a restricted free agent after this season, but he is now signed through 2019. He is guaranteed $9.5 million at signing and will also receive a $4 million signing bonus, a source said.
Collins' base salary will increase each year, from $1 million in 2017 to $4.5 million in 2018 and $6.5 million in 2019. If he plays in 85 percent of snaps in 2017 and 2018, his 2019 base salary will jump to $8.5 million.
Jim Schwartz likes what he sees from Timmy Jernigan
Schwartz really seems to like Jernigan. Shortly after the Eagles traded for the former Ravens defensive lineman, he revealed Schwartz told him he’s going to have a big year.
Schwartz is right when he says the addition of Jernigan has flown under the radar. But it shouldn’t remain that once the real games start.
Jernigan projects to be a pretty good player. He had the highest percentage of run stops among 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL last year, per Pro Football Focus. He also ranked 14th best at his position in Pass Rushing Productivity.
Eagles hoping for big things from Alshon Jeffrey
The Eagles signed former Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffrey to a one-year deal this offseason. The once weak receiving corps will look to Jeffrey to score in the red zone.
The free agent addition immediately becomes the best receiver Wentz ever has had.
“It’s really nice having a guy like Alshon, not only catch radius, but he has some of the strongest hands I’ve ever seen,” Wentz said, via Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The thing with Alshon and I, we just have to keep building that chemistry, building that relationship. … You can just see, he’s kind of a different animal, throwing the ball to him. He can cover some ground. It’s nice to have a guy like that.”
The Eagles ranked 24th in red-zone touchdown percentage last season, converting only 27 of 55 possessions inside the opponents’ 20-yard line into touchdowns. They scored field goals on 22 red-zone possessions.