After the first week of the NFL’s Free Agency period, let’s break down the moves that were made and how the NFC East shapes up pre-draft for the 2020-21 season.
– Dallas Cowboys (2019-20 Record: 8-8 / 2nd in Division) –
Gained: CB- Anthony Brown, S- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, DT- Gerald McCoy, DT- Dontari Poe
Lost: DE- Robert Quinn, TE- Jason Witten, WR- Randall Cobb, CB- Byron Jones, C- Travis Frederick, S- Jeff Heath, DT- Maliek Collins, DE- Michael Bennett
The Dallas Cowboys are starting to look like an NBA team, as they’re figuring out a way to create a “Big 3” in the Lone Star State for the foreseeable future. With Dak, Zeke, and Amari Cooper (who cashed in on a huge extension) leading the offense, the Boys are back in action with a new leader in Mike McCarthy to guide the ship.
While the losses of Michael Bennet and Robert Quinn hurt, the acquisitions of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Anthony Brown, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix while solidify things on the defensive end. Letting Jason Witten and Randall Cobb walk so Amari could get his money will most likely look like the right decision, as this offense can get things done in several ways.
The question of the offseason for the Cowboys will inevitably be the contract extension talks of QB Dak Prescott, as Jerry Jones always finds a way to create drama before September. If Dak, Jerry, and McCarthy can get on the same page, this division is all but wrapped up.
Social distancing: pic.twitter.com/jGZkA6gcSi
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) March 24, 2020
– New York Giants (2019-20 Record: 4-12 / 3rd in Division) –
Gained: CB- James Bradberry, LB- Kyler Fackrell, RB- Dion Lewis, LB- Blake Martinez, QB- Colt McCoy, TE- Levine Toilolo
Lost: QB- Eli Manning, LB- Alec Ogletree, CB- Antonio Hamilton, S- Antoine Bethea, OT- Mike Remmers
The New York Giants are in an interesting spot, as their cap space will allow for the ability to shop for sizable pieces to mold around the young duo of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, but there’s one major thing holding them back….GM David Gettleman. The Giants’ manager has been known to make questionable moves to say the least. Pair that with the hiring of Joe Judge, who doesn’t have much of a NFL background, and you have the New York Giants.
Departures of defensive staples Alec Ogletree, Antoine Bethea, and Antonio Hamilton along with the retirement of Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning, the Giants are officially in the Daniel Jones era. They decided to bolster their defense, acquiring free agents Kyler Fackrell, Blake Martinez, and James Bradberry. Dion Lewis was added on the offensive end, in what is most likely the pass-catching, third down back behind Saquon. I think this team has promise in a weaker NFC East than last year, but I’m just hesitant on how HC Judge meshes in his first year.
Saquon is an OX! ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 19, 2020
– Philadelphia Eagles (2019-20 Record: 9-7 / 1st in Division) –
Gained: LB- Jatavis Brown, NT- Javon Hargrave, S- Rodney McLeod, S- Jalen Mills, S- Will Parks, CB- Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB- Darius Slay
Lost: QB- Josh McCown, RB- Jordan Howard, RB- Darren Sproles, WR- Nelson Agholor, OT – Jason Peters, OL- Halapoulivaati Vaitai, DT- Timmy Jernigan, DE- Vinny Curry, OLB- Kamu Grugier-Hill, CB- Ronald Darby, S- Malcolm Jenkins
Two full seasons removed from a Super Bowl victory, the Philadelphia Eagles are in somewhat of a tricky spot to enter the 2020 season. They have several key, aging pieces that hit free agency, as well as several big contracts that they can’t do much about. While these are side-effects of Super Bowl teams, you can’t help but question some of the moves Philly’s management team has made recently.
Jason Peters, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Malcolm Jenkins, and Jordan Howard are just some of the few experienced players that the Eagles relied heavily upon last season that will not be suiting up in Philly in 2020. One thing that they got right in a big way was solidifying the secondary in a BIG way. Acquiring corners Darius Slay / Nickell Robey-Coleman and safeties Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, and Will Parks will help an Eagles defensive backfield that has been torched the past several seasons.
Philly will most likely battle it out with the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East title, but this has a very ‘boom or bust’ feel to it.
From Lion to Eagle.
Welcome to Philly, Darius Slay! pic.twitter.com/y6RJ8wvH7V
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 19, 2020
– Washington Redskins (2019-20 Record: 3-13 / 4th in Division) –
Gained: QB- Kyle Allen, RB- Peyton Barber, S- Sean Davis, LB- Thomas Davis, CB- Kendall Fuller, RB- J.D. McKissic, LB- Kevin Pierre-Louis, OG- Wes Schweitzer
Lost: QB- Case Keenum, QB- Colt McCoy, WR- Paul Richardson, RB- Chris Thompson, TE- Vernon Davis, TE- Jordan Reed, OT- Donald Penn, OL- Ereck Flowers, CB- Quinton Dunbar, CB- Josh Norman, CB- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
The Redskins are most likely viewing this as another year of the rebuild, as they continue to flip their veteran players for younger, cheaper players, giving them a top 10 high salary cap available for free agents to visit the nation’s capital. They parted ways with several pieces of the offense, including the dual-tight end threat in Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. Paul Richardson, Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Ereck Flowers, and Chris Thompson are among the other frequently used pieces of the offense that are no longer in Washington.
Running backs Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic will look to join the Adrian Peterson led backfield, while Kyle Allen comes in to backup/compete for the starting QB job. The defensive backfield of Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are all gone as of March, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Redskins grab some d-backs in this year’s draft.
We’ll see what happens with Trent Williams moving forward, but if he does figure things out and stays in Washington, it would be a huge move to protect second-year QB Dwayne Haskins.
Sources: Redskins willing to get creative in Trent Williams trade but still demand comparable value for a 7-time Pro Bowler. Full story –> https://t.co/ctixwAVUMr
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) March 25, 2020