- Regarding Commanders DE Montez Sweat‘s fifth-year option, HC Ron Rivera responded that it is still “early in the process” but the edge rusher is still a “big part” of their plans. (JP Finlay)
- Nicki Jhabvala reports the Commanders plan to exercise Sweat’s fifth-year contract option before the May 3 deadline.
- When asked about the traits of quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft, Rivera said that the position is something they are considering at No. 11 overall: “We’re picking at No. 11, and I promise you these are all things we’re looking at.” (Doug Kyed)
- Rivera added that they are working to determine the potential trade market for “big name” quarterbacks this offseason: “That’s what we’re trying to find out.” (Ben Standig)
- Rivera mentioned that they want to be “very proactive” toward finding a franchise quarterback: “This year, we’re being very proactive … trying to truly cover every base. … it’s a long process and you’re still not guaranteed anything. … every time we hear something we’re checking into it.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
Cowboys WR Amari Cooper and his contract will be at the forefront of Dallas’s offseason plans this spring, writes Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. Cooper’s $20 million salary will become fully guaranteed on March 20th at 3 P.M. CT if he’s still on the roster. By releasing Cooper, the Cowboys can create $16 million in cap space for the 2022 season.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones declined to say whether Cooper would be on the roster in 2022: “It’s too early for me to address that.”
When asked if there was a potential pay cut on the table, Jones responded: “I don’t want to address any of that as far as the details of any contract.”
One complicating factor to releasing Cooper is the Cowboys have two other pending free agents at receiver: Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson. Gallup is also coming off a torn ACL and his surgery in February puts his availability to start the season in question.
“A lot of things affect [Cooper’s status] in terms of obviously we’ve been so fortunate to have those three great receivers on our roster and obviously that’s hard to keep doing under a salary cap,” Jones said. “And certainly Ced did a really nice job for us and he’s up. So there’s some moving parts there that we’ll have to continue to massage as we move forward.”
However, what’s undeniable is that Cooper’s production (68 catches, 865 yards, eight touchdowns) did not quite match how Dallas is paying him as a bonafide No. 1 wideout. He also only had 104 targets, which Jones said is a function of how the team prefers to spreads the ball around on offense. why pay a receiver No. 1 money if you’re not going to use him as a No. 1? Jones acknowledged that would play a role in their decision.
“I just think it’s an offensive philosophy, and when we had the players that we had, between [coordinator] Kellen [Moore] and Dak, there was a progression of where you threw the ball,” Jones said. “Depending on how the defense played you, it would point the ball to certain places. If they are going to double over here and they are going to double over the top over here, that is going to dictate that the ball goes here. So I think it more of a system deal. It wasn’t a ‘We are not going to target Amari’ as much.”
- NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport doesn’t think bringing back Cooper at his $20 million salary is something Dallas would consider. He gets the sense a pay cut is something they would explore but a restructure is not.
- Eagles GM Howie Roseman voiced confidence in Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback: “There’s no doubt about it.” (Tim McManus)
- When asked about potential interest in Deshaun Watson, Roseman responded: “We have Jalen Hurts” (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
- Roseman thinks that RB Miles Sanders, who is entering the final year of his contract, still hasn’t reached his full potential: “The best is yet to come.” (Josh Tolentino)
- Roseman said addressing the Eagles’ pass rush is a priority this offseason: “The bottom line is we didn’t get enough pressure on the QB. …It’s a priority to us. We’ll have opportunities this offseason to do it, and I would be very surprised if we didn’t do something there.” (Zach Berman)
- Eagles OT Andre Dillard has been speculated as a potential trade candidate but Roseman said even if he’s not starting he’s valuable to the team as depth: “Just to think that he can only play left tackle limits him and probably does him a disservice, but having a really good offensive line is important. Having depth on the offensive line is important.” (Mike Kaye)
- Eagles HC Nick Sirianni is hopeful that veteran C Jason Kelce will return next season, but is still unsure: “The keg arrived at his house today.” (Eliot Shorr-Parks)
- Sirianni reiterated that there is “no question” about Hurts’ ability as a quarterback: “There’s no question Jalen Hurts has the arm strength to make all the throws. He has amazing ability to create. We just want to see him to continue to get better with his accuracy and decision making.” (Josh Tolentino)
- According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, the $21.9 million salary-cap number of CB James Bradberry is simply too high for the Giants, who are unable to restructure the last year of his deal.
- Vacchiano adds the team either has to extend Bradberry’s contract or give him a pay cut, both of which he is unlikely to accept, as being paid in free agency is the option he is most likely interested in.
- Giants GM Joe Schoen pointed out there could be a “surplus of college free agents” this offseason after several players returned to college last year: “You’ve got to remember there’s two classes (in) the draft. A lot of kids went back to school last year with the COVID year, so maybe there’s a surplus of college free agents that can make your team.” (Vacchiano)
- Giants HC Brian Daboll said he “never” feels comfortable as a play-caller in the NFL given he’s always looking for ways to gain an advantage: “You’re never comfortable. I have too much respect for the game.” (Mike Giardi)
- The Giants had a formal interview with Arkansas WR Treylon Burks at the Combine. (Pat Leonard)
- Colorado State TE Trey McBride has had a formal meeting with the Giants and Daboll at the combine. (Art Stapleton)
- The Giants announced that they are hiring Angela Baker as offensive quality control coach and Cade Knox as an offensive assistant and game manager.