Random notes from around the NFCE: Cullen Jenkins visits NJ, and Brandon Graham is revealed as the worst punter ever

I am waaaay behind in my blogging duties lately. Apologies for that. Just resting up before the onslaught of NFL activity that’s going to commence soon when free agency hits in a little more than a week, and should be busy all the way through until the middle of May. I’ll be ramping it up bigtime over the next few days. for right now, let’s catch up:

• The Giants were able to get a deal done with LT Will Beatty before he hit free agency. 5 year, $38.75 million, $19 million guaranteed. The Giants had to get this done, and they did. I’m not sure it needs any more analysis than that.

• The Giants brought in Cullen Jenkins for a visit. Makes sense. The Giants’ DL is thin, and Jenkins probably still has a year or two left in the tank as a pass rushing DT. DJ Ware knows Jenkins all too well:

Jenkins reportedly also has other visits set up. He can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, so there should be a decent number of teams inquiring about him.

• The Cowboys are restructuring the contracts of half their team. Keep putting off fixing your cap until later, JJ.


• There is pretty much no news with the Redskins right now. They don’t have a first round pick, and because of the cap penalties imposed by the league, they are likely not to be players in free agency. There’s the whole “Is the name ‘Redskins’ racist” thing, and then there’s debate over how far along in the sales process a grass company has gotten with the Skins. On a side note on the whole grass thing, I did film breakdown of Brandon Meriweather a few weeks ago, and the Skins’ field may have caused his ACL tear, too. It’s so slow, in fact, that my buddy Kevin from Hogs Haven is interviewing Eagles players, and he got a couple of nice little quote out of Todd Herremans. The full interview is definitely worth a read in full, but here are couple quotes:

First on possibly moving back to guard:

We can’t really talk to coaches about scheme right now or where we’ll be playing. I’m just trying to get in the best shape of my life and figure it out. I’ll be able to play wherever. I’m not concerned about a move back to Guard. I’ll be able to take that in stride. With such a high pick, the Tackle class is really good this year, especially at number four, I’m sure we could get a franchise Tackle in here which if he was ready to play right away would bump me inside. But, I have no idea whatever goes on in the war room during draft day. I’m just getting ready for the season and these minicamps coming with an open mind and ready to play wherever.

It’s interesting that Herremans is keeping an eye on the draft. Some guys do that, other don’t. I think Todd would rather be tackle, but since he already got paid like a RT, that’ll make a potential move back to guard more palatable.

And then on who the toughest player to block in the NFC East. No surprise here:

I’ve got two different types of people I’m going against…the inside and outside. Right now, the person I’ve struggled with the latest is Paul-Pierre..or Pierre-Paul? Do I ever say that the right way? He’s really good. He’s so flexible and strong. It’s a weird combination.

• The Eagles signed a QB, GJ Kinne. Tommy made an interesting point about having an overload at QB to keep arms fresh in the Eagles’ soon to be up-tempo practices.

Brandon Graham is preparing for a move to linebacker, says Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. Tim went way back to Graham’s high school days for the last time he played LB. Good stuff, worth a look. But also, within Tim’s article, there’s a video of Graham in high school, where he was also a kicker and punter. Graham was an awful punter, as pointed out by my boy Gabe. I’ll add that his form as a kicker was also hideous. Based on the one punt they show in the video, I’m a better punter. They couldn’t find one kid who could punt the ball further than Graham? How is that possible? If I coached this team, I would just never punt. 4th and 32 from my own 3? Go for it! Skip to the 1:18 mark:

Derek Sarley of IgglesBlog put up a good post on Brandon Graham. His contention is that the Eagles should build around Graham, not try to fit him in somewhere that he might not be as effective.


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  3. David_Does_Dallas says:

    I like how the cameraman filming Graham’s punt panned up expecting the ball to get much more arc and then quickly pans down when he realizes the ball is barely over the opposing teams heads.

  4. Juz Saying says:

    Jerry always gets his man (Carr,Dez,Mo).P.S. glad he didnt want Asomugha more than the Eagles!

    1. Jeff says:

      I don’t think there is any way to actually verify this. If Dallas didn’t have so much dead money last offseason, they could’ve signed Nicks or Grubbs instead of Bernadeau/Livings. It’s not like they haven’t paid a lot of money for a guard before (think Marco Rivera and Leonard Davis).

      1. poolboy87 says:

        Dude, I’m a bit tired of that suggestion. Bernardeau/Livings are, combined, making about $600,000 less than freaking Grubbs. I highly HIGHLY doubt that money was the issue that kept them from signing Grubbs.

        1. Jeff says:

          Grubbs got over 15 million guaranteed in his deal, including a 10 million signing bonus.

          That’s much more that 600 grand more than Livings/Bernadeau.

  5. DerfDiggy says:

    You realize the cap is a fluid thing right? I never understood the whole “you’re putting off your cap problems to another day” as if the whole ceiling is going to crash in to the house in a couple years…besides the cap increasing slightly every year…there are bad investments(jerry being jerry) that are factored into the cap that will be coming off…ie T.New and the like…which will undoubtedly be replaced by jay Ratliff or whatever other veteran that will decline and be cut.

    Basically in short. They know a hell of a lot more than we do about cap structuring…and every year we think they’re doomed to being strapped they end up as players in free agency.

    Now having the flexibility that others teams have is probably a luxury that the boys will never have with Jerry as a GM…..but this whole…the sky is falling in a couple years business is false.

    1. If you are a great team and have want to keep the team together 1-2 more years going out and restructuring makes sense. If you are an a team that is still 2-3 peices away it makes no sense, because even if the cowboys have a great draft this year, they still wont be in a place next year because they are going to have to have further cap casualties.

    2. It’s a pattern. They almost never have the flexibility you’re talking about. I would think they would love to keep Anthony Spencer, but they probably won’t, because they can’t, because they’re up against the cap like they usually are in most offseasons.

      1. David_Does_Dallas says:

        With the Romo contract getting renegotiated we could sign or franchise Spencer. I am pretty sure that will not happen though, I don’t think the Cowboys value him as much at this point moving to the 4-3, getting Marinelli, and Crawford is looking pretty good.

        1. DerfDiggy says:

          I agree to an extent. They can go after anyone they want ..any year they want. The year nmandi was in play the Boys had terrible cap space.

          Its a fluid thing that’s constantly massaged. I won’t argue that if they didn’t hand out contracts like candy that they’d be able to string together a few years of bringing in multiple pieces…

          The interesting years will be dez,Lee, Carter, murray and Smith all within 2 years.(if they’re worth keeping)

      2. poolboy87 says:

        At this point they’re somewhere around $5 million under the cap without resigning Tony Romo, cutting Doug Free (could save $7 million), Marcus Spears (could save $1 million), Dan Connor (Could save $3 million), Lawrence Vickers (Could save $1 million), and without restructuring Orlando Scandrick and Jay Ratliff as they already have planned.

        They can sign Anthony Spencer if they wanted to. As for next season…I can think of $7 million that’s coming off the books between Terrance Newman and the cap penalty off the top of my head.

        There are always ways to create space. Every year money comes off the books, players can be renegotiated, and guys can’t be dropped to save money. I don’t think any of the guys I listed as potential cuts this year would be missed, and those cuts alone would give the Cowboys nearly $20 million in cap space, then if you added in a Tony Romo resigning, they could be around $25 million.

        Salary cap hell just isn’t as worrisome anymore compared to when the cap first came around. Particularly in terms of teams that will pay players with signing bonuses. I’ll gladly admit that the Cowboys make mistakes in personnel. But I don’t believe for a second that Stephen and Jerry Jones don’t know how to handle money. Heck, they built Brandon Carr’s contract to be automatically restructured when they signed him a year ago. But they’re too stupid to see a year or two down the road and are throwing money around while humming their happy-tune? I just don’t buy it.

        They were supposed to be in cap hell last year. They signed 8 free-agents. They were supposed to be desperately over the cap this year, they could potentially be $25 million under if they want to. They know how to play the cap, and you’ll have a hard time convincing me otherwise.

        1. mjoedgaard says:

          “Heck, they built Brandon Carr’s contract to be automatically restructured when they signed him a year ago.”

          I dont get this part, it makes no sense. They could just have built the contract like they wanted from the beginning because restructuring save them no cap space in the long run as the have to take the cap hit eventually.

          1. David_Does_Dallas says:

            Because having the automatic option to do something in the future is better then making that decision now not knowing if it is truly the right one. His contract wasn’t “automatically” restructured, the Cowboys just did not have to negotiate it with the player, and could do it without consent.

        2. Jeff says:

          They weren’t supposed to be in “cap hell” last year. It was widely reported that they were significantly under the cap.

      3. Cap Expert Huh? says:

        So, now you’re claiming to be a cap expert in addition to everything else huh? LMFAO!!

        1. I’m no “expert” by any stretch. But on most things I know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t think that the Cowboys do a horrendous job of managing their payroll, you’re kidding yourself.

    3. mjoedgaard says:

      When you restructure a deal, you might save money one year, but you just push the cap hit into the next year. If you do that with alot of deals, you suddenly are in a situation where you have to cut a ton of players or cant sign our own good players.

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