NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Redskins

     

Cowboys

  • After not being able to re-sign DE Robert Quinn, the Cowboys’ biggest hole is at defensive end per the Athletic’s Jon Machota.
  • Machota says the Cowboys could target a pass rusher or cornerback with their first-round pick. Safety, wide receiver and defensive tackle are other needs. 
  • Boise State DE Curtis Weaver had a pre-draft visit scheduled with the Cowboys. (Justin Melo)
  • Auburn CB Javaris Davis had a formal Combine interview with the Cowboys. (Justin Melo)

Eagles

  • Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice says while the Eagles have been interested in Rams WR Brandin Cooks in the past, his concussion issues in 2019 likely will prevent Philadelphia from trading more than a mid-to-late round pick for him. 
  • Kempski adds the Eagles likely won’t be interested in trading for Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins because of his $14 million base salary in 2020. 
  • Eagles DB Jalen Mills said he chose Philadelphia over other offers because he thought staying with the team gave him the best chance to win a Super Bowl. (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
  • Mills added the Eagles were the only team that asked him to switch to safety. (Shorr-Parks)
  • LSU OT Saahdiq Charles had a private visit with the Eagles before the pandemic shutdown on March 12. (Justin Melo)
  • Charles also had a formal interview with the Eagles at the Combine. 
  • Baylor DL James Lynch was set to meet with the Eagles before the shutdown. (Justin Melo)
  • Lynch did have a formal interview with the Eagles at the Combine. 

Giants

Giants LB Blake Martinez was happy to join New York in free agency for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the major three-year, $30 million contract his former team, the Packers, was unwilling to give him. Now Martinez says his goal is to change the public perception he picked up in Green Bay as a subpar coverage linebacker and cleanup run defender, which he thinks will be possible now that he’s in a new defensive scheme. 

“I think that’s the one misconception of me, I guess the public view,” Martinez said via the official team website. “The way we ran the defense, at least the last two years, is I’m kind of put into the cleanup crew guy. There’s a lot of situations where you see numerous other defenses where it’s like, OK, you have A-B gap responsibility as an inside linebacker, you have one gap responsibility — not to get too much into football stuff, but there’s two high, you have two-gap responsibility on certain plays, as other people split safety. In our defense no matter what it was, since I was the only linebacker on the field, I was taught and told once again, to be the cleanup crew guy. There wasn’t any gap responsibilities for me. It was just kind of ‘hey play off Kenny (Clark), play off Za’Darius (Smith), play off Preston (Smith), play off Dean (Lowry),’ play off these guys and basically make them right. They were able to do whatever they wanted to do and then I would go make the plays depending on that. I know there’s been things like you make tackles down the field, you make tackles here, you make tackles there. For the majority of the time there, that’s what I was told to do. It’s just me, I guess doing my job in that sense.”

  • ESPN’s Jordan Raanan writes that Byron Jones and James Bradberry were at the top of the Giants’ free-agent shopping list at cornerback. After realizing they weren’t at the top of Jones’ list, who ended up signing for five years and $82 million with the Dolphins, they turned their full attention to Bradberry. 
  • While the deals for Bradberry and Martinez initially had roster bonuses instead of signing bonuses, the Giants adapted the initial deals to create more cap space up front in 2020. (Raanan)
  • Bradberry has a $9 million signing bonus and $3 million roster bonus while Martinez has a $6 million signing bonus and $4 million roster bonus. 
  • Giants OT Cameron Fleming‘s deal is for one-year, $3.5 million with $2 million guaranteed. It includes a $1.5 million bonus on the fifth day after the contract is executed, as well as up to $500,000 per game active roster bonuses and up to $500,000 in playtime incentives. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Michigan State DE Kenny Willekes has had a pre-draft video/phone meeting with the Giants. (Justin Melo)
  • Boise State DE Curtis Weaver had a formal Combine interview with the Giants. (Justin Melo)
  • Auburn CB Javaris Davis had a formal Combine interview with the Giants. (Justin Melo)
  • Louisiana Lafayette OL Robert Hunt had a formal Combine interview with the Giants. (Justin Melo)
  • The Giants had a private visit scheduled with Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman and also had a formal interview with him at the Combine. (Justin Melo)

Redskins

  • Per NBC Sports’ JP Finlay, Redskins LB Thomas Davis confirmed that reuniting with his old head coach, Ron Rivera, was the biggest reason he signed with Washington. He did add, though, he thinks “pieces are in place” for the Redskins defense to “wreck the game.”
  • New Redskins QB Kyle Allen said the coaching staff told him they traded for him to come in and compete for the starting job: “The expectation is to come in and compete for the job. That’s an awesome opportunity.” (John Keim)
  • Allen expects his familiarity with the offense, which will be largely what he ran with the same coaching staff with the Panthers last year, to be an advantage for him: “I think continuity in the system is going to be huge for me.” (Finlay)
  • LSU OT Saahdiq Charles had a private visit with the Redskins canceled from the pandemic shutdown. (Justin Melo)
  • Charles did have a formal interview with Washington at the Combine. 
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