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NFC East Notebook: Washington Football Team, more headlines

Here’s what’s happening around the division this week

The debate over Washington’s new nickname has been extended a year. On Thursday, the team released a statement announcing that it will be called the Washington Football Team for the upcoming season, pending the adoption of a new nickname.

The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season.

“The decision to use “Washington Football Team” for this season allows the franchise the ability to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input,” the team said in a statement. “To date, we have been pleased to see so many people putting forward their vision of what the new name and design should be on their social media channels and we look forward to including their feedback as this process progresses.”

Images on the team’s website show players in the same burgundy and gold color scheme with helmets featuring player’s number and no logo. There is no Native American imagery on the uniforms.

The team also said that it will begin the process of retiring all Redskins branding from team properties, including FedExField, Redskins Park, and other physical and digital spaces. The goal is to have this process completed in time for the team’s home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 13.

The new, albeit generic, nickname replaces a nickname that many have long considered to be a racial slur towards Native Americans. Washington has been defined by the Redskins moniker for the past 87 years.

Between now and September 13, the team is tasked with removing all Redskins signage from physical and digital spaces. This is no easy task. Not only does the Redskins logo exist physically at team facilities but the official club address is 21300 Redskins Park Drive. The team’s official Twitter account was changed to @WashingtonNFL. But this is only the beginning of what will be many, many changes in Washington.

Let’s dive into the rest of the news surrounding the division this week.

Washington Football Team

At the time of last week’s notebook publication, there were whispers about news surrounding the Washington Football team that reportedly had nothing to do with changing the name. Last Monday, the team announced that it would officially be retiring the “Redskins” name and logo and that the team’s new name would be announced soon. It was a historic moment for a franchise that has long said it would never change its name.

Yet, just as Washington appeared to be taking a step forward, a report by the Washington Post broke on Thursday night in which 15 former female Redskins employees said that they were sexually harassed during their time with the team. Just one woman, Emily Applegate, released her name while the 14 others chose to remain anonymous due to fear of litigation because of signed nondisclosure agreements with the team. Two additional female reporters were also cited in the report, including The Athletic’s Rhiannon Walker and the Ringer’s Nora Princiotti

Applegate described her experience working for the team.

“They cried about the former chief operating officer’s expletive-laced tirades, Applegate said, when she recalled him calling her “f---ing stupid” and then requesting she wear a tight dress for a meeting with clients, “so the men in the room have something to look at.” They cried about a wealthy suiteholder who grabbed her friend’s backside during a game, Applegate said, and the indifference the team’s top sales executive displayed when she complained.”

The allegations raised range from 2006 to 2019, spanning the majority of owner Dan Snyder’s tenure. For the most part, the allegations fall into the following two categories: unwelcome advance or sexual comments, and pressure to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients. Larry Michael and Alex Santos, the two men who were fired earlier this week, are former members of Snyder’s inner circle.

The team has hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson and her firm Wilkinson Walsh to provide a third-party investigation.

On Tuesday, the team announced that it would be hiring Julie Donaldson as its senior vice president of media. She will be the team’s highest-ranked female executive and the first woman to be a regular on-air member of an NFL team’s radio broadcast booth.

A step in the right direction for Washington, but hopefully just the first of many actions the team takes to right the wrong’s of Snyder’s tenure.

Dallas Cowboys

New is comparably calm around the rest of the division as the Cowboys are focused on more typical football concerns, such as singing rookie contracts and improving for the upcoming season.

One of the more notable signings for the Cowboys centered around CeeDee Lamb this week. According to Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys have agreed to terms with Lamb on a four-year deal, fully guaranteed worth $14.01 million.

Dallas selected Lamb with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and he is one of the most anticipated wide receivers to come out of what was one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent history.

The Cowboys also agreed to terms with cornerback Reggie Robinson II on his rookie contract earlier this week. Dallas selected Robinson in the fourth round of the draft. Robinson became the third player of the seven-man draft class to make an agreement with the team, along with fifth-rounder Bradlee Anae and seventh-rounder Ben DiNucci.

Robinson was the first of Dallas’ two fourth-round picks. He was a four-year starter at Tulsa and recorded four interceptions in his senior season.

Fellow rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs is still without a deal for now.

Philadelphia Eagles

Meanwhile in Philly, all 10 of their picks from the 2020 NFL Draft class have agreed to terms on rookie contracts.

Among some of the notables, wide receiver Jalen Reagor signed a four-year deal worth $13.2 million and Hurts signed a four-year deal worth about $6 million.

Also, amidst coronavirus concerns, it seems increasingly unlikely that the Eagles plan on bringing a full 90-man roster to training camp this year. They parted with undrafted rookie free agent Khalil Tate earlier this week and also officially released Trevor Williams and waived Keegan Render. Their roster is down to 87. It will be interesting to see if this becomes the new norm amongst teams heading into the 2020 season.