Linky, March 6, 2012: The Eagles’ interest in Dan Connor, and a bunch of stuff to make fun of the Cowboys for today

Giants place franchise tag on Steve Weatherford – Mike Garafolo, Star Ledger

All 4 of the NFCE teams used their tag this season.  Three of them were smart.

Manningham thanks Belichick for giving him room to make big catch in Super Bowl – Mike Garafolo, Start Ledger

Manningham surely saw it as a sign of disrespect Belichick would rather see the ball go his way. But frankly, it was a matter of picking one’s poison when defending the Giants’ trio of receivers this past season. Even Manningham realizes that.

“This year it seemed like everybody needed three or four good wide receivers on their team,” he said. “I feel like any of us can make a play at any time. You need a lot of good receivers these days.”

Belichick is a fun target to rail on, because he’s a winner… and a cheater.  But anyone with half a brain would have taken away Nicks and Cruz first in that situation as well.

Giants Eli rips Saints for over Bounty-gate – Paul Schwartz, NY Post

First, can we please stop adding “-gate” after every scandal?  There’s an awesome nickname for this whole fiasco out there.  Think of something original.

“Obviously it is a big deal, what’s going on,’’ Eli Manning said last night before the premiere of the official championship video, “Super Bowl XLVI Champions: New York Giants,” at a theater in Times Square. “It’s not good for football and can’t be a part of football. I know [commissioner] Roger Goodell will do a good job figuring all this out and making sure this doesn’t happen again.’’

I’m not so sure that qualifies as “ripping the Saints,” but whatever.  Buried at the end of this article is the much more interesting quote, from Hakeem Nicks:

This past season, the Saints hammered the Giants inside the Superdome and in the third quarter a vicious hit by safety Isa Abdul-Quddus sent Hakeem Nicks out of the game with a rib contusion. Abdul-Quddus was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for hitting a defenseless player. Nicks was able to return to the game, but, given what is now known about how the Saints conducted themselves on defense, that hit certainly can be viewed in a different light.

“It’s just part of the game,’’ Nicks said. “He got a good shot on me. It wasn’t the last time I got hit that hard. I took one in the Super Bowl too. You can’t be scared to get hit.’’

Nicks, after reviewing the tape, noticed how Abdul-Quddus celebrated after the hit.

“I remember … I take notes,’’ Nicks said. Did he think the hit was delivered with the intent to injure?

“The way he was celebrating you would probably think that regardless.”

Here’s that hit:

Eagles, Cowboys, and Redskins after the jump…

Carolina linebacker Connor a team target – Geoff Mosher, The News Journal

Several league sources confirmed the team’s interest in the former Penn State All-American, who just finished his fourth season in Carolina, although the degree of interest remains unclear.

At least two sources close to the situation believe Connor, a native of the Delaware County suburb of Wallingford, Pa., is high on the Eagles’ wish list. But one source with direct knowledge of the Eagles’ offseason plans indicated that Connor isn’t their top choice and suggested that it’s less likely to happen, although he did acknowledge that Connor, 26, is someone the team has sought in the past.

All sources interviewed confirmed that the Eagles were interested enough in Connor last August to approach the Panthers about a trade, but Carolina’s uncertainty regarding the health of Pro Bowl middle linebacker Jon Beason made the Panthers reluctant to pull the trigger.

Good work here by Geoff.

Will Foster, Johnson deals impact Eagles? – CSN Philly

Let’s break down the contracts. We’ll start first with Foster. He was an undrafted free agent in 2009 who made just $525,000 in 2011 after leading the NFL in rushing the season prior. Last year, he rushed for 1,224 yards, caught 53 passes for 617 additional yards and scored 12 total touchdowns. His new deal is now worth up $43.5 million over the next five years with $20.75 million guaranteed.

By comparison, McCoy was similarly underpaid when he accumulated 1,624 total yards last season and scored 20 touchdowns. Potentially putting even more money in McCoy’s pocket by the time he gets paid, our own Reuben Frank wrote last week, “McCoy is the only player in NFL history with 3,000 rushing yards, 150 catches and a 4.8 rushing average in his first three seasons” (see story). Another point of comparison, the Carolina Panthers gave RB DeAngelo Williams $43 million over five years last season — a deal almost identical to Foster’s. The question now is if McCoy is worth even more.

Eagles sign LB Monte Simmons – Jason Brewer, BGN

Championship!

Luke at SAM – Tommy Lawlor, IgglesBlitz

Tommy opines on the possibility of KEEK-LY as an outside backer in the wide 9.

Gosselin on whether or not it was a good idea to franchise tag Anthony Spencer:

“The Cowboys have a fear of the unknown. I don’t think they have the confidence in their personnel department to go out and find a player that will upgrade a position. They love the status quo. They know what they’ve got with Anthony Spencer. They franchised him, extended (Orlando) Scandrick and extended (Gerald) Sensabaugh. They’re okay because they know what these guys can do. If they leave, they have to find somebody better, and they don’t have the confidence to do that so what they do is they keep the status quo, and the status quo is not good enough.”

It appears we’re on the same page.

Is Keith Brooking going to play for the Dallas Cowboys in 2012? – Tom Ryle, Blogging the Boys

Following the finish of the 2011 season, many experts believed Brooking had played his last down as a Cowboy. Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are the future of the middle linebacker position in Dallas, however, Brooking could serve as a reserve.

According to Brooking, the Cowboys have reached out to his agent.

Pleeeeaaase God, yes.

Garrett says Anthony Spencer is among the better outside linebackers in the 3-4 – Carlos Mendez, Cowboys corner

No, he’s not.

I’d like reservations at this restaurant please – Jason Brewer, BGN

In free agency the Cowboys are cornered – Rafael Vela, Cowboys Nation

Consider the available draft alternatives.  Dallas won’t get a shot at LSU’s Morris Claiborne.  The next highest rated corners carry risk.  North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins can play, but he was kicked off Florida’s team.  Jenkins has three drug arrests to explain way, and four children to support.  He’s the kind of prospect Jerry Jones would have drafted without hesitation ten years ago.  He doesn’t look like one Jason Garrett would select.  Dez Bryant has had trouble adjusting to professional life and he doesn’t carry half the baggage Jenkins does.

Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick also represents risk.  Some teams left his interviews unimpressed with his explanations about a drug charge that was later dismissed.  One claimed trust issues with Kirkpatrick.  The Cowboys may not be one of Kirkpatrick’s critics, but Wes Bunting told me last week he still thinks Kirkpatrick may be gone before the Cowboys pick.

Should the Cowboys base all their cornerback plans on landing Kirkpatrick at 14?  If they fail, they could be starting a 2nd rounder corner.  Some good ones will be there, but is that any way to assure improvement in 2012?

I think there’s a good chance one of Carr or Finnegan will be a Cowboy a week from tomorrow.

I’ll reiterate what I said last week – It would be fun to have a heel like Finnegan in the division, although I think Carr is the better player.

Laurent Robinson: It’s a business decision at the end of the day – dcfanaticsblog

Has Laurent been hanging out with Antrel Rolle?  Anyway, I found the poll here interesting.  It appears most Cowboys fans think Robinson is going to walk in free agency.

Vincent Jackson not given franchise tag by Chargers, opening door for Redskins to pursue – Mark Maske, Washington Post

60 for 1106 and 9 last season.

On the Redskins’ hunt for a WR – Dan Graziano, ESPN NFCE Blog

When I spoke with Shanahan in December and asked him about offseason priorities, he specifically mentioned wide receiver and said, “We need a No. 1.” With as much cap room as the Redskins have, they should be able to afford any of the No. 1 wide receivers available — be it Jackson, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Pierre Garcon or whomever. All of those guys are likely to demand more than what Johnson just got from Buffalo, and with the possible exception of Garcon their track records indicate that they deserve it. Johnson’s deal establishes the bottom of the free-agent wideout market, and is surely helpful to the Redskins as they budget their potential offers.

Note: Dan published this before Bowe got tagged yesterday.

Mike Shanahan: “I think we were a playoff caliber offense this year” – Michael David Smith, PFT

Oof.

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  16. ct17 says:

    A lot of Giants fans were looking at Connor back when he was drafted.

    Don’t know about the bounty, and don’t think the Saints hit was that horrible, but I would agree the celebration was uncalled for. Notice how it continued after they realized Nicks was down. I remember thinking after the game that I would be fine if there was no fine, but that the safety was a jerk. But DBs are always stupid. I can’t stand when they celebrate after tackling someone after they gave up a catch for a first down.

    I remember laughing when Scandrick was extended. It was right before a Giants-Cowboys game.

  17. Roy says:

    Love that menu. But I’d say that a Cowboy sandwich should be really shiny, full of hot air, and predicted to be the greatest thing you’ve ever tasted–until the moment you take a bite.

  18. Immynimmy says:

    Meh, Connor is a great LB, but he’s too injury prone.

  19. Tracer Bullet says:

    Garcon wasn’t anything close to a #1 in 2010 and that was with Peyton Manning. I hope and pray Washington thinks he can be a #1 with BeckMan or a rookie. They’re going to have to overpay for Coulston or Jackson, who has said he wants to say in SD.

  20. Roy says:

    I seem to remember the Patriots laying a humiliating 52-7 ball-stomp on the Skins when Gregg Williams was the DC, on a day when the Skins defense had injuries, Campbell was a rookie, and the Pats were cruising to a 16-0 record. So if this bounty deal was really so prevalent and clear-cut, how’s it possible Brady was still standing at the end of that game?

    1. DCeaglesfan says:

      Well, because obviously the Skins are terrible at football. Maybe that’s why they needed additional incentives to play good defense. But seriously, just because you employ an illegal bounty system in order to motivate your defense, that’s not gonna guarantee results – you still gotta be skilled enough to follow through on the field.

      But still, administering the bounty system even if it fails to deliver results is still against the rules, both the NFL’s and quite possibly our legal system’s. It’s like running a counterfeiting ring that makes really shitty fake bills and gets caught immediately. Though as Sideshow Bob would say – “Attempted murder? Now really, what is that? Do they give you a nobel prize for attempted chemistry?”

      1. Roy says:

        I hear you. I’m just questioning whether this “system” was really as straight forward as is currently being portrayed in the media. This all seems a bit hazy to me. A collective money pot rewarding hard hits generally is different from a bounty, which suggests a specific sum was put on a specific player’s head. Skins players, at least, are not indicating that occurred.

    2. Will says:

      Wasn’t Brady’s o-line really really good that year?

      And that the most amazing part about the Giants upset is that they not only touched Brady, but dominated their o-line?

  21. romu says:

    Thank you Mike for a good laugh.

  22. brisulph says:

    man Eli, be careful with all that “ripping” commentary you made… people might accidentally think you had something inflammatory to say. Talk about over trumping a headline to get some hits.

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