Eli Manning is the leagues 5th best quarterback, according to ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski. Photo by Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI
With training camps set to open in a couple, here's what NFC East teams have been up to over the past week:
New York Giants
ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski chose Giants QB Eli Manning as the NFL's 5th best quarterback. Jaws said Manning improved his progression reads in 2011, calling Manning, "...one of the smartest, most aware quarterbacks in the NFL." Ahead of Manning: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. I think Jaws has this one about right. You could argue for maybe Matthew Stafford ahead of Eli, but two Super Bowl rings make a difference. Former Giants receiver Amani Toomer disagrees -- he thinks Tony Romo is the best QB in the NFC East. Which is also arguable, but I'd still take Manning.
Giants linebacker Adrian Tracy is switching from linebacker to defensive end where he played at William & Mary. At 6-2 and 245, Tracy is undersized, but he has reportedly dropped body fat and increased strength in preparation for the move. He's expected to be a speed rusher who will provide breaks for Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora. The Giants converted Tracy to linebacker after picking him in the 6th round in 2010. Now he's switching back.
Michael Vick got married this summer in Miami Beach. Vick reportedly spent $300k on security, which included uniformed police officers taking cameras and cell phones at the door.
ESPN's Adam Schefter mused recently that he thinks Andy Reid will remain as the team's head coach as long as he wants the job. He does not believe Jeffrey Lurie will fire the mustachioed Reid. Which gives those Eagles fans who haven't liked the team's performance in recent years a serious case of heartburn.
Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III remains unsigned, but there's no acrimony between the two sides. Apparently they're being slowed by "offset language," which really shouldn't hold anything up because no one wants the language to be triggered anyway. Basically, "offset language" details how much the Redskins would have to continue paying Griffin if he's released in the next four seasons and then signs with another team. If this language comes into play, it's an abject disaster for both Griffin and the Skins.
Don't believe any chatter you may have heard about Fred Davis getting a long-term contract before the season. Considering Davis's off-field escapades last season -- as well as his courtroom drama in the offseason -- Washington will wait to see if Davis can make it through the season without incident before considering him for a multi-year deal. Don't be shocked if this is his last season in burgundy and gold.
Dallas remains in the
market for a third receiver after missing out on Baylor wideout Josh
Gordon in the supplemental draft. The Cowboys were rumored to be
interested in the talented but troubled Gordon, who possesses big-time
ability. The Cleveland Browns landed Gordon with their 2nd round pick
from next year.
The Cowboys traded up to get LSU cornerback and return man Morris Claiborne, but Claiborne remains unsigned and his agent is making noise that he might not sign before training camp opens on July 25. Only 2 of the top 10 picks have signed. Like Griffin and the Skins, Claiborne's deal is being slowed by offset language.
Fantasy players looking for a sleeper value pick should consider Dallas RB DeMarco Murray. Murray took over the starting role last season and performed admirably until he sustained an ankle injury. He's healthy now, and the Cowboys expect him to be their workhorse ball carrier. If he can stay healthy, expect BIG numbers from #29.