NFC East: Day 3 FA recap

Sorry for the lack of content yesterday – I should be posting a lot more from now all the way through the first week of August, as I took time off from work to attend training camps.  I’ll be in Lehigh to cover the Eagles for their afternoon session today, and the Giants have credentialed me as well, so I’ll be heading to the Meadowlands to peek in on them soon as well.  It works out nicely for me that the Giants practice at night.  There will be some days I can catch the Eagles’ 8am session, their 2:30 session, and then head across North Jersey to catch the Giants in time for their 6pm practices.  Should be very busy – You can follow me on twitter @Jimmy_Beast for updates at camp.

Busy day yesterday – Let’s just get right to it:

Can't wait to see DeSean Jackson square off against DRC in camp... if.. you know... DeSean shows up.

Eagles trade Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2.  I’m one of the biggest Kevin Kolb believers out there, and even I think the Eagles got an absurdly good deal here.  In Cromartie, the Eagles fill the biggest hole on the team at RCB, opposite Asante Samuel.  Cromartie is fast (4.29), tall (6’2), young (25), has already had success at the NFL level (Pro Bowl in 2009), and has a very attractive contract ($950,000 in 2011, $1,128,750 in 2012).  On the downside, Cromartie had a down year last year in AZ, there are some maturity concerns, and he and Asante Samuel make up perhaps the worst pair of tackling corners in the league.  Still, DRC is a massive upgrade in comparison to what they had in place this time last year.

The Eagles now also have upped their draft pick total in 2012 to 10 picks – 1, 2, 2 (Cards), 3, 4, 4 (Buccaneers), 5, 6, 6 (Broncos), 6 (Pats).  Nothing new there.

Eagles sign Vince Young.  There were a few dicey hours yesterday in which the Eagles didn’t have the best backup QB in the NFL… and then they went out and signed Vince Young.  Young’s numbers last year:

Att Comp Comp % TD INT Rating
156 93 59.6 10 3 98.6

And the Titans just let him walk while other QB-needy teams evidently had little interest.  Why?  Well…

- He just flat-out disappeared at one point back in 2008.  And by disappeared, I don’t mean he started playing poorly.  He disappeared as in… nobody could literally find him.

- He blew up after a loss the Redskins, and just flat out up and left while his head coach was addressing his team.

- He doesn’t like being booed.  OK, so nobody likes being booed by 60,000 people, but this quote is concerning:

“Football, this is my life. This is my dream. All I did all these years growing up to get to this point and never had an injury like this before in my life,” he said. “It’s a hard time because I’m a competitor, and I definitely want to be out on the football field with my teammates. … It was my first time getting booed,” Young said. “I didn’t know how to handle that.”

Oof.  Think of the smallest markets in the NFL.  What cities come to mind?  You think of the Jacksonvilles and the Carolinas of the league.  Well, Nashville is right there, too.  I think the “Philly fan” stuff is a bit overblown, but I will say that Philly doesn’t tolerate mentally un-tough players.  Is un-tough a word?  I don’t care – I’m keeping it.

So… concerns galore.  Still, the man has a 30-17 record in the NFL.  Some will point to a good Titans defense and Chris Johnson as the reasons why the Titans won those games, and that’s certainly a fair point.  However, the Eagles have no shortage of weapons in their own right – LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, Jason Avant, etc etc.  Vince Young is enormously talented – Big guy, big arm, good runner.  Is VY good enough to make some plays and win some games should Michael Vick go down for a few?  You bet your ass he is.

And oh yeah – There’s also that whole Andy Reid / Marty Mornhinweg thing where they groom QB’s for a few years then flip them for high picks.

Eagles sign Jason Babin.  This was the Eagles’ first move of the day, and even though they landeda started at DE, it has pretty much already been forgotten.  I was tasked with the Babin writeup at BGN after the move, so rather than write about him twice, I’m going to be lazy and send you to BGN if you’re interested in my Babin take.

Winston Justice put on PUP list.  Ruh roh.  This doesn’t mean Justice can’t be ready for the start of the season, but this is obviously bad news for the Eagles.  If Justice can’t go, is King Dunlap the answer at RT?  What depth do the Eagles then have at OT?  Michael Vick’s blind side is nervous. Will the Eagles make a move to secure a RT?  TBD.

Brandon Graham put on PUP.  Expected.

(Redskins, Cowboys, and Giants recaps after the jump)…

OK, who’s next?  Hmmmm… Giants were kinda boring yesterday.  So were the Cowboys.  Let’s do the Redskins, then get back to those other guys:

Stephen Bowen

Redskins trade Albert Haynesworth to the Pats for a 5th round pick in 2013.  I only launched this blog 2 months ago, so I haven’t covered Big Al as long as the rest of the DC media, but I’m sure they feel something like this.  Or not.  Maybe this?  Probably somewhere in between.  The ridiculous contract, the conditioning tests, the road rage, the boobie fondling, the general sloth… You’ll be missed, big guy.

Redskins sign Stephen Bowen away from Cowboys.  I thought the Skins overpaid for Barry Cofield when they signed him away from the Giants.  I also think Cofield is a bad fit for a 3-4.

I think they probably overpaid for Bowen, too, but at least he should fit their scheme well.  Bowen is young (27), healthy (unlike another heavily rumored target, Cullen Jenkins), is very much an up-and-comer, and as an added bonus, it weakens a division rival.  But at $27.5 million over 5 years?  For a 3-4 DE with 11 career starts?  I’ll be honest – I have not watched tape with an eye specifically on Stephen Bowen, so maybe I’ll hold off judgment for now.  Now that’s hard-hitting analysis!

Redskins sign punter Sav Rocca.  With the signing of Rocca, the Redskins have now poached players from each of its three division rivals.

The first day I ever covered training camp for the Eagles, one of the first players that walked past me was Sav Rocca.  He’s jarringly big.  He dwarfed me, and I’m 6’3, 220 (although I was probably closer to 6’3, 200 this time last year).  I blame Roger Goodell for getting fat.  Why not?  Anyway, if you saw him in 7-11, you’d stop and wonder if he was an NBA SG/SF – not a good one, mind you -more like the guy that comes off the bench, camps out behind the 3-point line, and plays bad defense.

Oh, right… As a writer that primarily covers the Eagles, you’re probably interested in hearing what I think of his punting ability.  Here it is:  He’s fine.

Redskins sign Chris Chester.  Many believe Chester is just an average NFL starter, but he should be an immediate upgrade at center over the recently cut Casey Rabach.  Rabach was a great pro for a long time, but the NFL is a tough business.  The Redskins get much younger here as well, as Chester is 28.  Rabach turns 35 in September.  Shelling out $20 million over 5 years for Chester sounds like a lot, but Chester is versatile, as he can play all 3 interior OL position.  I think I like this signing.

Cowboys DE’s dropping like flies.  As noted above, the Redskins signed Stephen Bowen away from the Cowboys.  Whether or not the Cowboys were wise not to try to match the Redskins’ offer, the reality remains that they lost a guy that was going to start for them this season at a position where they have a ginormous hole.  Was it that they didn’t want to pay that kind of money because they were making a wise personnel decision, or that they couldn’t pay that kind of money because of the cap situation they created?  I don’t know the answer to that.  The Cowboys will say (and already have) that the Redskins overpaid.  While I agree the Skins overpaid, I don’t think I buy that rhetoric coming from the Cowboys.  If the Cowboys had the kind of cap space the Redskins have, I think they’d match.  This whole “fiscally responsible” thing is only happening because the Cowboys are forced into it.

In related news, it appears DE Jason Hatcher has turned down an offer from the Cowboys.  The Cowboys’ defense is in shambles.  That defense, as currently constructed, does not have an NFL starting-quality DE… or safety.  There’s still time in FA, of course, but the Cowboys have a large number of holes to fill, and not a lot of cap space.  I think this team is in big trouble.

Cowboys add Marc Colombo to their list of cuts.  Expected.  And necessary.

The Giants were quiet yesterday.  I think they’ll be a little noisier today, perhaps even resigning Ahmad Bradshaw.

Osi expected to come to camp after all.  Super guy.

Giants re-sign Mathias Kiwanuka.  Good signing.  He’s worth more to the Giants than anyone else.

Giants add Madison Hedgecock to their list of cuts.  No surprise there.

19 Comments

  1. Fiftyfourd says:

    Eagles signed nnamdi today… Jimmy, do you think they’ll trade asante or drc?

    1. fiftyfourd says:

      I hope they keep all 3 btw

    2. They won’t trade DRC. They just brought him in. He was part of a plan. I don’t think they’re flying by the seat of their pants here.

        1. Fiftyfourd says:

          I’ve been stalking this site, BGN, and Iggles Blitz all summer, so I’ve already read both articles haha! I really hope they keep all three though, I think that might make up for the inexperience that I believe they’re going to go with at LB.

  2. DaCrock says:

    No need to apologize about Sav; I was just kidding. Besides, Dan in Philly gave me the scoop.

    Speaking of kickers, what’s the Eagles plan? Are they going to roll with Chas Henry and Alex Henery? Both seem like talented guys, but with neither having sniffed NFL grass or goalposts, is Andy Reid really comfortable with that? If so, it’s a pretty ballsy move.

    I can’t say that I’m thrilled with the Skins’ game plan–Rocca sounds like an upgrade from the disastrous trio of Josh Bidwell/Hunter “the punter” Smith/Sam Paulescu in 2010, but Graham “who knows?” Gano is kind of a dicey proposition; hoping we bring someone into camp (Kai Forbath??) to provide competition.

    1. Watched both young guys in camp today. Very little you can tell from kickers/punters just kinda hanging out on an empty field. I’m going to keep an eye on them.

  3. DaCrock says:

    A few points:

    1. Sav Rocca – He’s a big guy and he’s “fine?” I know you’re a busy guy right now, but how about a little more meat for Skins readers? From what I saw of him as a fan of an opposing team, he had a surprisingly good year last year, but prior to that, I was thoroughly unimpressed (I seem to recall more than his fair share of low, “shankalicious” punts a couple of years ago against the Skins).

    2. Stephen Bowen – We’ll see what he brings, but I’m pleased with the signing. While Cullen Jenkins is clearly more talented at this stage, I was concerned about his age and injury history. And rumor is that he really tried to squeeze more $$$ out of Skins and Bruce Allen balked. Who knows how true that is? I think Bowen won’t put up big sack #s (most 3-4 DEs don’t, the OLBs do in a 3-4), but he’s a true 3-4 DE that will be a good run stuffer, and will generate pressures that create opportunities for Orakpo (much the same as he did for Ware). Dallas listed re-signing him as 2nd or 3rd priority behind Free /Kozier and getting CB help, so they can’t be happy to see him go. Was he overpaid? Well, when interviewed by DC media, he admitted he would have returned to Dallas if they had come across financially like the Skins did, so perhaps. But he got much the same deal as Babin (5 yrs., $27.5MM vs. 5 yrs. $28MM)–more guaranteed ($12.5MM vs. $5-6MM, but that makes sense, as he’s 27, Babin 31). So he’s being paid theoretically as an “up and comer,” vs. Babin for one great year. Were both guys “overpaid?”

    3. Chris Chester – 5 yrs., $20MM sounds like a lot, and is, but let’s be honest–all else being equal, would you leave the Ravens to go to the Skins unless they were going to show you the money? Difference between Bruce Allen and his predecessors is that he’s paying up where he has to in order to get his man, not to “make a splash.” Chester is young, versatile and has a history with Chris Foerster (Skins OL coach who held same postion w/Ravens while Chester was a “pup”). He also fits the zone blocking scheme (ran a 4.8 40, and actually played some tight end for Ravens).

    Time will tell on all these moves, but it’s clear Skins now actually have a plan, and that’s encouraging, even if we have quite a way still to go.

    1. Tyler says:

      Babin’s deal is likely front loaded(with the Guaranteed $) so its possible this is really a 2-3 yr deal w almost no chance he will see yrs 4-5. See Westbrook’s last deal w Eagles as an example.

      That said I think the Bowen deal was decent. He’s shown flashes. Better to pay for an up and comer like Bowen than Jenkins, who has an injury history and has probably peaked already. Very fwd thinking signing by the Redskins

    2. The Legend says:

      Rocca has a strong leg, is good when the weather is warm, sucks when the weather is cold

    3. Dan in Philly says:

      Rocca is great one punt, terrible the next. On the whole I rather liked him. He’s usually at his best when pinning down the oppo inside their own 20 or 10. Sometimes he’ll shank one.

      All in all, he should have been better than he actually was. If he can get consistent, he’ll be one of the better kickers in the NFL for you.

    4. Yeah, sorry. Kinda mailed that one in on Sav, haha. Tried to be jokey about it. Had to rush to finish this up before I had to leave for work. I’ll get to him at some point.

  4. brisulph says:

    Now that you’re credentialed by the Giants, you have to ask Beatty how old he is (per Free’s suggestion).

  5. The Legend says:

    The Philly fan thing is completely overblown, people still bring up Santa Clause, or the jail cell at the vet & when they want to say we’re not a bad city like ….. they always say Philly. They never focus on the good stuff the Philly fans do & it’s bs!

    Rocca is fine when the weather is warm, he sucks when it is cold

  6. Matt says:

    So the Eagles are using backup QB’s as investments? Its a really interesting concept and would be amazing if Reid/Marty can flip another QB.

    1. The Legend says:

      Reports are saying the VY deal will only be a 1 year deal, I would make it a 2 year deal

  7. Tyler says:

    Also the cowboys will be i cap hell next year with over 20M in cap hits in 2012 from the veteran cuts they made this year. This is a team on the way down not on the way up. If they had a better personnel dept I’d say they could compete w lower cost guys, but Jerrah doesn’t know how to do that.

  8. Dan in Philly says:

    I had the thought that most of the concerns about VY were about his lockerroom and off the field issues. Is there any chance Reid and the FO discussed this with Washburn, and he was able to address these concerns, and that’s one reason he will end up in Philly? Maybe he felt the problems were as much how Young was handled by Fisher as anything else.

    1. Good point. Hadn’t made that connection.

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