Cowboys LB Sean Lee took a reduced salary to keep his spot on the Dallas roster after the emergence of other young players reduced his role in 2018. Lee, a former All-Pro linebacker as recently as 2016, isn’t opposed to other concessions to get on the field.
“I said, ‘I am trying to get out there and play. You need depth in special teams,’” Lee said via Pro Football Talk. “That is part of being a linebacker, being able to play a lot of those positions. Making myself available is what I tried to do.”
Lee’s projected to start at strongside linebacker if he can stay healthy, which has been an issue throughout his career. Last year’s starter at strongside linebacker only played a tad over a quarter of the Cowboys’ defensive snaps, however, so special teams could be Lee’s ticket to more playing time.
“I am just trying to help anyway I can,” Lee said. “I like being on the field. I want to try to make an impact. You can make a lot of plays on special teams, hopefully plays that can change a game. Having an impact anyway I can, that’s my goal.”
- Robinson notes the Cowboys are working to be more creative with LB Jaylon Smith, featuring him more as a pass rusher in some packages.
- Robinson mentions Cowboys TE Jason Witten looks like he’s moving around better than he did before taking a year off from the game.
- Robinson says the team might not be able to afford some guys, like CB Byron Jones and OT La’el Collins, who would be prime free agents on the open market.
- Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay says the team is monitoring the available free-agent safeties, including Eric Berry, but reiterates the team is happy with the players on the roster: “We really believe in Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath and the depth that we have.” (Jon Machota)
Eagles QB Carson Wentz has finished each of the last two seasons on the sidelines instead of under center. An ACL tear knocked him out in 2017 and back issues ended his 2018 season. The biggest priority on Wentz’ offseason to-do list, other than signing his major four-year extension, was getting back to full health and figuring out how to stay there. So far, he feels good.
“Back feels good. Knee feels good,” Wentz said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I feel about as healthy as I’ve felt in a long time, both physically and mentally. Been able to take a step back due to the injury the last few years, unfortunately, but it allowed me to see the game from a different perspective. Allowed me to invest a lot of time and energy into my body and into not only get healthy but finding ways to stay healthy for hopefully the duration of my career. I feel really good and ready to go.”
Wentz says he’s lost a few pounds this offseason during the course of his training, though he downplayed the significance that could have on his long-term durability.
“I wasn’t necessarily setting out to lose weight,” Wentz said. “It was just a byproduct of some of the things I’ve been doing but at the end of the day it’s all about how I feel. By no means do I think I’m now too skinny or anything. I’ve lost a couple pounds. I’m not making a big deal about that. But just overall, being healthier … I think will help the longevity of my career. Having played a couple seasons now knowing the rigors of this game, obviously I’ve gotten hurt a few times but it wasn’t because of not being able to take a hit or anything.”
- 94WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks writes that Eagles LB Kamu Grugier-Hill has likely solidified himself as an every-down starter so far through training camp.
- Shorr-Parks adds Eagles CB Sidney Jones has improved and has started seeing first-team reps at corner.
- Eagles WR Mack Hollins suffered a new lower-body injury, not a setback from a previous groin injury. (Zack Rosenblatt)
- Eagles CB Cre’Von LeBlanc is week-to-week, per HC Doug Pederson. (Rosenblatt)
Redskins HC Jay Gruden said earlier in the week WR Trey Quinn had all but locked up the starting slot receiver position. Informed by reporters, Quinn was less than enthusiastic to hear tha.
“I don’t like it. I kind of want everybody to call me Mr. Irrelevant again,” Quinn said via ESPN’s John Keim. “That’s just what I’ve had, I had to transfer away from college and make it on my own…I kind of want everybody to say you suck and just continue to go play ball.”
- The Redskins released a statement calling reports that OT Trent Williams‘ relationship with the team was fractured beyond repair “100 percent false” per ESPN’s John Keim.
- According to Fansided’s Matt Verderame, multiple agents view the Redskins as incompetent “at the highest level,” specifically owner Dan Snyder and GM Bruce Allen.
- One agent said Snyder, seen by many as one of the worst owners in the league, hasn’t improved since he bought the team in 1999: “He’s the same dud owner he was 20 years ago. It’s crazy. Who’s been in the league 20 years and doesn’t improve? …Has Dan Snyder grown one day in 20 years on his job?”
- Another agent criticized the way the team handles injuries, which is notable considering Williams’ conflict with the team is at least in part about his treatment by the medical team: “If I have a client hurt in the building, there’s normally some communication. I have not heard one fucking word from the Redskins organization. That’s unheard of in the National Football League.”
- Verderame writes that Allen is hard to reach and most football conversations filter through either senior VP of football operations Eric Schaffer or director of player personnel Alex Santos.
- Verderame adds Schaffer has taken a larger role in personnel decisions, which has led to fewer splashes for major free-agent signings aside from S Landon Collins this year.
- Problems dealing with the Redskins are not universal, however, per one of Verderame’s sources: “I think any agent making a big deal out of this is being sensationalistic.”