NFC Notes: Cardinals, Giants, Washington


Cardinals RB James Conner said he thinks he can be a leader for the running back room.

“Especially in the backfield, I’m the older guy with the most leadership,” Conner said, via “Year 5 for me. So I just think I can bring leadership here. Just hard-nosed football, but also get involved in the passing game as well. Hard-earned yards, but also just big explosive plays, alongside with all the other guys. Just my presence.”

Conner added he thinks he and RB Chase Edmonds can be one of the best duos in the league.

“I just see us as a tandem, and I think we can be one of the best in the league,” Conner said. “He’s been waiting for an opportunity, even though he has the body of work and a resume, but to show more. I know he’s anxious to show more, I’m anxious to show. With both of us together back there with K-1 (QB Kyler Murray), weapons on the outside, interior line, tackles, everybody. There’s opportunity here. Me and Chase, we gonna feed off each other and keep this thing rolling.”


  • Fansided’s Matt Lombardo identifies Giants S Jabrill Peppers as a potential extension candidate this season. An agent notes the Giants could do a new deal to help lower Peppers’ cap hits in 2021 and potentially 2022: “I feel like he could get somewhere around $10 million per year. He’s part of a good group of safeties, but he’s not a stand-out player by himself. The thing with him, and the Giants is they may want to lower the cap hit this year and extend him now.”
  • Lombardo also mentions C Nick Gates and RB Saquon Barkley as players New York could potentially do new deals with. However, Gates is already under contract through 2022 as well as Barkley and the Giants haven’t seemed like they’re in a rush to get a long-term deal with Barkley done outside of picking up his fifth-year option. 
  • Former Giants S Nate Ebner said he will not participate in the Olympics for the USA Rugby team due to an injury, but he is on track to be ready for the NFL season.
  • New York was expected to re-sign Ebner to the roster once he was done competing in rugby. 


With an opportunity given by some veteran absences, Washington’s lone undrafted free agent, RB Jaret Patterson, impressed during OTAs, drawing some comparisons from HC Ron Rivera to Darren Sproles. He still faces a long road in camp to being able to unseat either veteran Peyton Barber or J.D. McKissic for a roster spot, however. 

“I think the biggest thing is for any spot, in terms of the running back spots, No. 1 is production,” Washington RB coach Randy Jordan said via the Athletic’s Rhiannon Walker. “That’s the biggest thing, is can you produce when your number is called? No. 2 is can you protect the quarterback, (and) make sure you know protections? Then the other thing is being able to protect the football. I think the other thing is … you’re only going to have three, so can you help us out on special teams? That’s going to be huge in terms of being able to say this guy can be a core guy for special teams or can he be a guy that can be split out wide being able to do some of the things J.D. McKissic does? There’s a lot of different things we look at, but I think overall, can he produce in all matters of fact and all the things we’re going to ask him to do?”

  • At tight end, Walker thinks fourth-round rookie John Bates and veteran pickup Ricky Seals-Jones have the edge for roster spots, with Sammis Reyes likely ticketed for the practice squad as a developmental project. 
  • While the staff says it has plans for both safeties Kamren Curl and Landon Collins to play a hefty amount, Walker wouldn’t be surprised if Curl beat out Collins for a larger role despite making far less than the veteran. 

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