Random notes around the NFC East: The Doug Free saga concludes, donut eating Felix, Skins no-huddle possibilities, and Freeney/Woodson in NY?


• Doug Free agreed to cut his pay in half. Because some of my readers (such as the great Derf Diggy and this guy on Twitter) love it when I reference back to past articles, here was my argument for Doug Free not to take a significant pay cut… one last time. Good job by the Cowboys here. They played a game of chicken with Free and his agent, and despite having a boatload of logical reasons why he shouldn’t take a huge cut, Free did indeed agree to significantly less money. The only leverage the Cowboys had was the threat of kicking Free to the street, which was a far less appealing option to them than a more modest pay cut. But the Cowboys played the leverage they had very well, and scared Free into a bad deal. Kudos. Step 1 for the Cowboys: Complete. Onto Step 2: Hoping Doug Free isn’t terrible again this year.

• The Cowboys added Anthony Hargrove. I saw Hargrove up close at Eagles training camp in 2011. I remember him looking really quick, and thought he’d be a nice fit in the Eagles’ “wide nine.” I can see him playing the under tackle position in Dallas and possibly DE in run-heavy packages. For whatever reason, he was cut. The Cowboys will be Hargrove’s 7th team. He was a nice role player during the Saints’ title run, but has bounced around because of “dependability” and drug issues.


• The Eagles are working out TE Clay Harbor at LB, according to Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times. Interesting. OLB may be Harbor’s only chance for survival with Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey already in the fold at TE. The Eagles obviously think there’s at least a sliver of a chance for Harbor to make the roster or he wouldn’t be around. Note that they cut 2012 6th round pick Marvin McNutt last week. Also noteworthy is that the Eagles brought in Connor Barwin as a free agent, and they kicked the tires on Victor Butler, Trevor Scott, and Chris Gocong, all who would have played OLB, so clearly there’s an interest in adding OLB bodies.

• Tommy likes Chip Kelly so far.

• There’s a DeSean Jackson documentary chronicling DeSean Jackson’s rise from Pop Warner football to the NFL, which sounds pretty awesome. According to Tim McManus of Birds 24/7, Andy Reid and DeSean had a draft-day phone conversation in which Reid said he didn’t want to deal with DeSean’s dad.

• Former ESPN NFCE guy Matt Mosley slammed Felix Jones for being overweight in Dallas.

• Evan Mathis pretended to take a whiz on a sign outside the IRS’ offices. Some Cowboys blogger thinks America’s youth has been ruined by those events:



• Good look at the Pats’ no huddle here by my friend Mark at Hogs Haven. Mark shows how they use a 2-TE set in their no-huddle offense to get favorable mismatches all over the field. That part would also be applicable to the Eagles, and possibly the Cowboys this season. Mark then applies the Pats’ usage of the no-huddle to rookies Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson.

• Rich Tandler doesn’t think Tim Hightower makes any sense for the Redskins. I agree.


• Dwight Freeney apparently would like to play for the Giants, but his father said they’re broke.

• Charles Woodson’s agent told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the Giants are poking around Charles Woodson:


An agent telling a reporter that a team has interest in his client means very little, but I thought it was worth noting because Woodson seems like such an outstanding fit in NJ. The Eagles, Redskins, and Cowboys all selected TEs in the first 3 rounds of the draft, even though they already all had talented TEs in place. The Giants love running those 3-safety sets, and Woodson could be a guy who can match up against several different body types when any of those offenses go into no-huddle mode.

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  1. destockage maillot de foot…

    Il a été réanimé par le cuisinier du collège, Selon un sondage Ifop-Fiducial* – et non Ipsos maillot de foot avec flocage officiel nous lavions indiqué par erreur – paru dimanche dans le JDD, est doté dun destockage maillot de foot pour écrire ou dessi…

  2. Joe D says:

    I would LOVE for the Giants to sign Woodson. He’s been the most over rated player over the past few sesaons and is so far past his prime he’s almost in Ray Lewis category

  3. immynimmy says:

    Oh god Jimmy…PLEASE post that conversation on your site. I’d love to take a gander.

    1. It’s waaaaaay old. I’d never find it.

  4. poolboy87 says:

    Okay, Jimmy. It’s time for some math.

    Let’s say Doug Free’s agent tells them no to a salary reduction of any kind. They are left with two options at that point: retain Doug Free for his full amount this season or cut him and get a guy like Eric Winston.

    In option one, they would “pay” Free roughly the same $10.2 MM in prorated bonus over the next three seasons anyways, but they would also pay him a $7 MM salary. Meaning, if they were to keep him this season, then cut him next year, they would STILL have to account for $7 MM in dead bonus anyways, meaning Free would have counted a total of $17.2 MM against the cap.

    In option two, they cut Free, and presumably sign a guy like Winston for around $3-$3.5 MM. That costs them $13.5 MM over the next few years if they then go with a guy like Parnell the season after, or the same $17 MM if they signed another guy for similar money next year, or less if they drafted a guy earlier. Either way it’s not a loss, with the potential for a gain.

    So I have absolutely no clue why you think Doug Free was loaded with “boatloads” of leverage…but when it’s your ass on the line, and the alternative potential risk could result in you making far less than what’s being offered? I highly doubt that telling a team that, at worst, they wouldn’t have to pay any MORE money to replace you would actually be that much leverage compared to what they had over you.

    1. Anders says:

      Your math is wrong. The 10 mill is already paid no matter if he is cut or not so you can not include them.

      1. poolboy87 says:

        Hey, dumbass, the Cowboys have to still account for that prorated bonus in their cap. Hence, he is “paid” it (notice the quotation marks, indicating that the phrase is being used in a manner other than it’s most basic usage), i.e. he will cost the Cowboys $10.2 MM in bonus money over the remainder of his contract, regardless of his status on the team.

        No, it’s not wrong.

    2. So I have absolutely no clue why you think Doug Free was loaded with “boatloads” of leverage.

      It’s all here:


      He most definitely had plenty of leverage.

      1. poolboy87 says:

        Again, it would’ve probably cost the Cowboys the same amount to keep Doug Free for JUST this season (then have to replace him in 2014, adding to the overall cost) than it would cost to cut him and sign a guy like Winston for two years.

        So while I understand the whole “dead money” point of your argument, I think you’re overstating it way too much.

        Keeping Doug Free for just this season would’ve resulted in $17 MM worth of cap hits. Signing Winston for just this season and cutting free woud’ve resulted in about $13.5 MM worth of cap hits. You’re putting far too much emphasis on sunk costs. There was nothing the Cowboys could do about his cap hits. But paying him an extra $7 MM wouldn’t have made the situation any better.

        1. Honestly, I made no effort to understand your math, (A) because your wording is juuuuust confusing enough for me not to try to figure out what you’re trying to say, and (B) because I never suggested that Free should just outright say no to a cut, and therefore debating a point I never made.

          1. poolboy87 says:

            Not sure how it’s that confusing.

            Free doesn’t accept a paycut close to what the Cowboys could get Winston for, then it costs the Cowboys more to keep him then cut him. It’s not a supremely difficult concept.

            But, okay. Have a good one.

            1. Of course it costs more to keep him than cut him. That’s true of 98% of the NFL’s players. But again, not sure who you’re arguing against, since I never said Free should just outright reject any kind of cut.

              Not to mention… How do you know you want to cut him next year? What if he plays well? If you’re just resigned to Free just being awful the rest of his career, just cut him outright, months ago. But the Cowboys obviously don’t want to do that, or they’d have done it. And you’re also assuming no cut whatsoever in 2014, but a modest cut in 2014 would absolutely also be on the table.

              But for Free’s agent to drop his pants to $7 mil over the next two seasons was flat out dumb as shit.

              1. poolboy87 says:

                I’m using Free’s old contract numbers vs. the paycut because I don’t have any idea how much you think a “modest cut” is. Not putting words in your mouth, but it’s tough to make a point about salary cap space using “modest cut” as a cap number.

                But assuming you mean $1-2 million…then the question is still whether or not Free is worth that amount. I’m also not saying that there is a guarantee that they WANT to cut him next year, but if they don’t? Then the difference between what they would’ve been paying Free and what they would’ve been paying any other option at RT would’ve been even bigger than simply keeping him for one year.

                Let’s say that a minor pay cut would be dropping his salary to $5 million this year and next? Then he’d STILL be making about $3 MM more than what they’d have to pay to get Winston for both years.

                It’s not about whether or not they want him…they obviously want him. The point is whether or not they think the difference in what they’re paying him is worth the difference in performance. It’s one thing to say that the Cowboys want Doug Free over Eric Winston. It’s something else to say that they’re willing to pay Free several million more than Winston.

                I just don’t think it was in any way dumb. What else could the guy do?


                Was free going to get $3.5 guaranteed on the open market, much less that much plus another year on the deal? Not likely, and if you think he was then I’ve got some prime real estate in the Florida swampland to sell you. If he beat the market rate, then how was it dumb as shit?

              2. Let’s say that a minor pay cut would be dropping his salary to $5 million this year and next? Then he’d STILL be making about $3 MM more than what they’d have to pay to get Winston for both years.

                Sure, if you don’t count the $10 million in dead money for cutting Free.

                Cut Free and sign Winston:

                Winston’s pay 2013: $3 million
                Free’s dead money 2013: $5 million
                Winston’s pay 2014: $3 million
                Free’s dead money 2014: $5 million
                TOTAL: $16 million

                Free takes a pay cut to $5 million per season:

                Free’s pay 2013: $5 million
                Free’s pay 2014: $5 million
                TOTAL: $10 million

              3. poolboy87 says:

                Except his $10 million in unaccounted for bonus still counts if they keep him, Jimmy.

                So no. It’s not $10 million dollars TOTAL if his salary is $5 million. It’s $20 million TOTAL.

  5. NYG_Slater says:

    That Djax documentary, even as a giants fan, sounds amazing. Really looking forward to it.

  6. Imp says:

    Saying “my team has more *rings* than your does!” is just asking for trouble. Congrats Cowboys fans, you have the same number of rings as the Redskins, at five. Also, you’re behind the Giants, who has eight.

    And yes, that is true – counting pre-Super Bowl championships. Why? Because they handed out rings back then too! http://eaglesaddict.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/tommy.jpg That’s Tommy McDonald with his 1960 NFL championship ring. So yes, NFL championship do count when “rings” are mention.

    Saying “only Super Bowl wins”? That’s purposefully excluding half of NFL’s history, but that’s another argument entirely.

    (Oh, and the Packers has the most rings at *13*. Have fun catching up to that!)

    1. OlSKool1972 says:

      That’s the same thing I tell Squealer fans all the time. They act like the NFL didn’t exist before the Super Bowl.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        Pre Superbowl rings don’t count and you know it….

        But…I think the knock on Eagles fans is that they haven’t won a single SB ring…not as much that the Cowboys have won 5.

        For all the “success” that the Eagles have had over the past Decade and a half…or even going back further than that…they’ve accomplished nothing. So while many like to knock the Boys/Jerry for being pretty mediocre(rightfully so), over the past 15 years…At the end of the day, “success” in the NFL is measured by SB championships…and the only team in the NFC East to accomplish that in awhile is the Giants…

        I think that’s the issue here, Eagles fans love to tout that the Boys/Skins have had very little success recently…and for some reason they measure success by something other than a SB trophy.

        1. Joe_Blow says:

          This is to give you an example of why those rings do count. Does the 76’ers and all of the ABA teams that joined the NBA need to take down their banners as well? There is a commercial featuring Dr. J with a handful of rings and I know he didn’t win them in the NBA. A championship ring is what it is a championship ring no matter where you got it from. Professional football existed long before the NFL and AFL joined!

          1. DerfDiggy says:

            I believe you’re Canadian and would be better served watching cricket or something…

            This is america…super bowls count in America….fin.

            1. horatius says:

              Take it to it’s logical conclusion. Only super bowls in the free agency and salary cap era count.

        2. What’s your favorite baseball team?

  7. Dan in Philly says:

    How can pretending to take a leak on an IRS sign possibly be considered a bad lesson for kids?

  8. DerfDiggy says:

    Oh..and DCFanatic is the biggest idiot on the web…..and I say that as a Cowboy fan that is obviously biased.

    1. I had an argument with him over Twitter once over who was better: Dawkins or Darren Woodson. I think there are arguments for both sides, but his entire argument was that Woodson had more rings. He also tried to bring a third party in to “solve the debate.” He chose Warren Sapp.

  9. CrackSammich says:

    Clay Harbor will, at best, be TE #4 riding the bench and possibly not even dressing for games, or, at worst, cut. If they can get something more out of him, why not? If he’s good, you play him at LB. If he sucks, you cut him just like you were going to anyway.

    Or… they might just need another body at LB reps rather than another guy catching passes, given the way they’re practicing.

  10. CasanovaWong says:

    What Dwight Freeny’s dad doesn’t realize is that there’s always money in the banana stand…

    1. giantsfan says:

      this was a criminally under appreciated comment

  11. DerfDiggy says:

    Greatness knows no bounds!

    *tips hat*

  12. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    Wouldn’t a logical person surmise that “DCFanatics” were Redskins fans?

    That’s like finding out that NYGFanatics is a collection of hip-hop bloggers, and has nothing to do with the Giants.

    1. Ha, nice. Definitely a bad name.

      PHIFanatics are just fans of the Public Health Institute.

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