Random notes around the NFC East: London Fletcher NFL ironman, Josh Cribbs visits NY, and Lane Johnson not ready for the show?

Eagles

• For the second straight year, the Eagles Almanac has received a ton of support. We’ve raised almost $5,500 in just a couple of weeks. Thank you to everyone who contributed. I can safely say that those of you who contributed are going to get our A+++ game.

• I’m not sure if I’ve pointed this site out yet, but if you’re an Eagles fan, a must read is EaglesRewind.com. Great stuff, and Brent writes pretty much every day.

• Chris Gocong is trying out with the Eagles this weekend. I was never a big fan. I can only think of one big play he ever made in Philly… a FF on Brandon Jacobs. Can anyone think of any others? It is notable, as Jason from BGN points out, that Eagles DC Billy Davis was Gocong’s LB coach in Cleveland.

• Some NFL scouts are saying that Eagles 1st round pick Lane Johnson is “not ready for prime time.”

Giants

• Browns WR/KR specialist Josh Cribbs and former 4th overall pick Aaron Curry visited the Giants today. The Giants have shown interest in former 1st round LBs in 3 of the last 4 years. The last two were Keith Bulluck (30th overall in 2000) and Keith Rivers (9th overall, 2008). Unlike Keith Rivers and Keith Bulluck, Aaron Curry’s name is not Keith.

Cribbs is an interesting name. I think that at this point in his career, he’s a return specialist only, although a very good one. Cribbs was 4th in the NFL in kick return average last season:

Cribbs

He was 6th in punt return average:

Cribbs 2

However, he caught only 7 passes last year and only ran the ball 13 times the last 2 years.

• In case you missed the completely unnecessary 5-part series on Damontre Moore, we’re up to Part III:

  1. Part I
  2. Part II
  3. Part III

Redskins

• The game plan for opposing defenses is going to be the same for every team the Redskins face for the next 10 years, or as long as RG3 is in the league. Hit him as hard as you can as often as you can. That theory applies in general with opposing QBs, but teams are going to go out of their way to tee off on RG3. The Steelers did it last year, and teams have been doing it to Michael Vick the last few years. Any optimistic prognostications on the part of Redskins fans may eventually be prefaced with “assuming RG3 stays healthy.” We may already be there.

• The Buccaneers’ Ronde Barber retired. Here’s how that’s noteworthy to the Redskins:

London

Cowboys

• I feel like every article I read in regard to the Doug Free situation only looks at it from the Cowboys’ perspective. This is old material (a week or so), but here’s Free’s case for why he’d be smart not to take a “substantial” pay cut. Free has all kinds of leverage. To suggest he doesn’t is just flat wrong.

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16 Comments

  1. MFlick says:

    If you track down the source of “He is not ready” , that scout also said that the Dallas center should have been a 4th round pick and wasn’t likely to be a starter.

  2. OlSkool1972 says:

    The Squealers didn’t do anything except get fortunate that the Skins top two receivers (Garcon,Davis) were injured and none of the other Receivers could hang on to anything that game. They think they had the Offense shut down but there were receivers running open all game long since they decided to load the box and take shots at Griffin. .

  3. CasanovaWong says:

    Jimmy I have some vid of Damontre Moore from highschool and one from his 8th grade graduation. We could probably extend this bad boy to 9 or 20 parts. WOOOOOOOOOO

  4. WeGotLinemen says:

    The problem with Ryan Clark’s analysis is that it completely forgets that RGIII’s receiving corps put up one of the worst collective performances I’ve ever seen against the Steelers.

    They had double digit drops including passes that should have gone for scores. Griffin was hitting them in the hands, it wasn’t as if the Steelers shut him down.

    In fact the ‘Skins lost that game for 3-reasons.

    1) Our offensive line had a bad day. Pass pro was poor but they couldn’t get the run game working either.
    2) As noted our receivers went all Carlos Rogers on us.
    3) Our defense had an absolute shocker. It was this final point that got us thumped. Whenever the Steelers got the ball they just strolled the length of the field. I can’t see how hitting Griffin helped them manage that.

    Also, when has any defense gone into a game with the intention to be gentle with the opposing QB.

    1. horatius says:

      This is a revolutionary new concept that DCos are going to apply to the game to stop a phenom like RG3.

      It’s called “Hit the QB”.

  5. DerfDiggy says:

    Free will renegotiate his contract for 3-3.5 mil…and Jimmy will call Free’s agent dumb…and re-link his article for the third time.

  6. poolboy87 says:

    I just think you’re placing way too much importance on the Cowboys dead money compared to how little leverage you’re giving the Cowboys based on what Free could make elsewhere at this point. Yes, the Cowboys just break even if they cut Free. But that only matters to him so much. Yes, he has leverage, but suggesting that Free can sit back and say “Suck it, I’m in charge here” is ignoring that if Free DOES get cut…then that’s not going to matter all that much for him at that point.

    So really, the argument that the Cowboys facing a big amount of dead money gives Free a lot of leverage is only true if the Cowboys are willing to pay Free what he’s making right now, or close to it. If they’re willing to eat that money to cut him, then what leverage does that give Free? Just as importantly, how deflated is the RT market right now? Tyson Clabo just got one year for $3.5 million. Does Doug Free think he’s going to get that? What happens if the Cowboys draw this out a bit more until Justice and Winston get signed? What’s the job market going to be like for him at that point?

    I would say that Free’s biggest bit of leverage right now is that there aren’t really any better options out there. I just don’t think the dead money plays that big of a role, so if the Cowboys are okay starting Parnell (which is a monstrous “if”) then he’s in trouble.

    At the end of the day, I think a fully guaranteed $4.5 million would be the best scenario either side can reasonably expect.

    1. Brian says:

      Free has leverage because the Cowboys are going to be right up under the salary cap once they sign all their rookies.

      Sure, they can cut Free, but all that does is create a giant hole at RT without freeing up a dime in salary cap space. In game theory that’s called a non-credible threat. The Cowboys best option would be to keep Free on the roster since the salary cap space is the same either way.

      Should they choose to spread the cap hit over 2 seasons (by cutting him after June 1st), they run into 2 other problems. 1) There’s a good chance Eric Winston will have already signed elsewhere by then like Clabo just did, and 2) even if Winston IS available, he suddenly assumes a ton of leverage since he would literally be the only viable option that’s available that the team could play at RT. So he would pretty much have them over the barrel with his contract demands.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        Except you haven’t factored in that they JUST may think Parnell is a viable starter(or even stop gap). Infact, he played as well or better than Free. If they’re willing to cut him, and try for Winston or some other FA…then that makes Free that much more expendable. Jimmy doesn’t take that into consideration. If the Boys are willing to cut free…they’re willing to do it without another FA option…which gives Free less leverage than Jimmy has made it seem.

        1. horatius says:

          Parnell is so much better than free that JG wouldn’t let Parnell play a full game without subbing him out.

        2. mjoedgaard says:

          If they believed so much in Parnell, they had cut Free already.

      2. poolboy87 says:

        Except, no, they won’t be. They’ve got around $5 million in space at the moment, with more coming in June due to the cutting of Spears. With a couple more expected cuts, they’ll have plenty of room for rookies. Add about $1 million onto their current top 51 contracts and you’ll have what they need to sign their rookies, as the remaining contracts will simply replace others currently on the roster. Signing rookies just doesn’t chew up tons of cap room. Most of them will be making about $400k this season, so for every rookie on your team, you typically SAVE money all in all. Looking at the amount that they owe those players and suggesting that all their remaining cap space needs to be appropriated to those players misses the reality of the salary cap. Those contracts are already on the books in the form of some other player that’s already on the roster.

        And cutting Free creates a giant hole at RT? Last time I looked, PLAYING Free leaves the Cowboys with a giant hole at RT. You’re telling me you honestly think that the Cowboys would prefer to pay Doug Free a salary of $7 million instead of going with Parnell at a salary of $1 million? You think Free is $6 million better than Parnell? Because I doubt that they agree.

        As for your 2 “problems”: nobody seems to be beating down Winston’s door at the moment. But even if he does sign, that doesn’t mean that the Cowboys are just going to say “crap” and pay Free whatever he wants. As far as his leverage…seriously? You think Winston is going to have a ton of leverage because the only team to come looking for him would like to sign a middling stop-gap player? He would only assume a “ton of leverage” if he had multiple teams in the same situation. Otherwise, his options are to play for a reasonable amount, pay for a crap amount, or not play at all. I’m not really sure if you understand “leverage” but a mediocre player who’s been sitting on the market for months doesn’t have tons of it.

        Even if he’s the only viable option that’s available, he doesn’t get to ask for whatever amount he wants…because if the Cowboys don’t give it to him, then he would have no other options available. Just like Free…his leverage is limited insofar as the Cowboys are willing to pay him $7 million instead of going with whatever other options are currently on the roster. Both players still have to consider the fact that in trying to play hardball, the could ultimately be costing themselves significant amounts of money if the worst case happens.

        1. mjoedgaard says:

          “And cutting Free creates a giant hole at RT? Last time I looked, PLAYING Free leaves the Cowboys with a giant hole at RT. You’re telling me you honestly think that the Cowboys would prefer to pay Doug Free a salary of $7 million instead of going with Parnell at a salary of $1 million? You think Free is $6 million better than Parnell? Because I doubt that they agree.”

          Why havnt they cut Free if the believe this? If they believed in Parnell, Free would have been long gone.

          1. Bob says:

            Because there’s no advantage cutting Free prior to June 1st just to designate him a June 1st cut anyway, and they feel Free at a $3-4 million is better than Parnell at $1 million. That doesn’t make Free at $7 million a better option than Parnell at $1 million. Pretty obvious really.

  7. Free leverage is take a pay cut fat boy & shut up or go the Eagles like Felix jones.

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