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NFC East Notebook: Joe Bugel, franchise tag history, Jamal Adams rumors

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Here’s what’s happening around the NFC East this week

Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys - September 19, 2005 Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Another week down without sports.

Beyond the blockbuster Cam Newton to the New England Patriots signing, the biggest news around the NFL this week involved mostly responses to the pandemic.

Most of the other professional sports leagues have had to make fast adjustments to figure out how to resume playing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Other than moving the 2020 NFL Draft to a virtual format, the NFL has not had to make too many adjustments in response to the pandemic just yet.

That changed this past week as the league reportedly cut the preseason in half and cancelled the supplemental draft.

The Dallas Cowboys originally had five preseason games scheduled, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in which former head coach Jimmy Johnson and former safety Cliff Harris were set to enter the HOF this year. Those festivities have been delayed until 2021 and the Cowboys were then set to play four preseason games along with every other team in the league.

That number decreased further when rumors escalated about the league cutting the preseason in half. This news comes on the heels of rumors about limiting training camp rosters and flying to and from games in a single day this season.

Of course, if this news proves to be true, it’s hard to imagine that anyone will feel too distraught. With any luck, experiencing a shortened preseason this year might just set the groundwork for the future.

Then, there is the news about the supplemental draft.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL can elect to hold a supplemental draft, but the league has reportedly decided not to hold one this year due to the pandemic.

The supplemental draft gives teams a chance to bid on players who had their college eligibility affected and did not enter the regular spring draft. Teams can bid the following year’s draft picks on eligible players. The club that submits the highest pick is granted that player, forfeiting the corresponding pick in the coming year’s draft.

Prospective supplemental draft picks will not be free agents but can instead enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

Now let’s dive into news around the NFC East this week.

Washington Redskins

SB Nation’s Hogs Haven website owes its name to former Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel, largely known as one of the best offensive line coaches in the game. We remember Bugel in this week’s notebook as he passed away at 80 years old on Sunday, June 28th.

Most casual football fans know that the Redskins’ nickname, “the Hogs” refers to the dominant, and successful offensive line on the team during the 1980s. Some of the players who made up this line include Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Mark May, Jeff Bostic, and George Starke. Grimm is in the Hall of Fame and Jacoby was a finalist three times.

But the Hogs owe their success to Bugel, who was the offensive line coach of the Redskins from 1981-1989. He helped lead the Redskins to two Super Bowl victories in five years and three appearances. Over the course of his 32-year career, Bugel bounced around as a head coach for the Phoenix Cardinals and spent some time with the Oakland Raiders. But he came back to Washington to close out his career in a six-year stretch from 2004-2009.

As the legend goes, the hogs got their nickname during a training camp practice. “Okay, you hogs, let’s go down in the bullpen and hit those sleds,” Bugel said.

The name stuck, especially as the Redskins continued to win. After finishing 25th in scoring the season before Bugel joined, the Redskins finished 10th in scoring the very next season. On the ground, they were seventh in total touchdowns and 12th in total yards.

In the nine seasons as the Redskins offensive line coach, Washington finished with eight winning records and played in four conference championships. His second Super Bowl victory with the team came in 1987 when his offensive line allowed for the team’s rushing game to finish with 2,102 yards on an average of 4.2 yards per carry.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann had the following to say following Bugel’s passing.

Dallas Cowboys

In the wake of drama surrounding Dak Prescott and his franchise tag, our colleagues at Blogging the Boys did a deep dive into the history of the franchise tag that I think most people often either do not know, or forget about.

The franchise tag was created in 1993 in order to help teams secure a player for one season at a price that is determined by averaging the top five contacts at the player’s position. Since the tag was invented 27 years ago, the Cowboys have taken advantage of it eight different times, six of which have occurred since 2012, including each of the last three years.

Blogging the Boys details and grades each of the eight tags, including Flozell Adams, Ken Hamlin, Anthony Spencer, Dez Bryant, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Prescott.

It is no secret around the NFL that Prescott has had a successful first four years in the league, particularly when he came just one yard shy of matching Tony Romo’s franchise record for passing yards in a season. But the critique is and will continue to be focused on whether Prescott can win big games in big moments

In analyzing the former eight Cowboys who have been tagged, Blogging the Boys concluded that the Cowboys have had mediocre results when using the tag in the past. In some cases, they spent more upfront to lock in a player who they discover is worth keeping around long-term and in others, particularly with Bryant and Hamlin, the tag was not successful. It remains to be seen how Prescott will fit into this larger picture.

Philadelphia Eagles

In last week’s notebook, we talked about the rumors that link Jets safety Jamal Adams to the Eagles. Bleeding Green Nation weighed in with their perspective this past week on why a trade for Adams is not in Philly’s best interest.

Others teams that have been connected to Adams include the division-rival Cowboys, the Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans.

First, it’s important to remember that history shows us that GM Howie Roseman has never traded more than a third-round pick for a player.

Then, there is also the salary cap situation to consider. In both 2021 and 2022, the Eagles are already projected to spend the second most cap space on the defensive side of the ball. Therefore adding someone like Adams, who has openly expressed his desire to be the highest paid safety in the league, poses a significant hurdle for Philadelphia.

The offense’s of the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins might be able to breathe a sigh of relief.