For the past few weeks, there have been loads of speculation and rumors on what is going to happen once the league year starts March 18. The media will discuss if the Dallas Cowboys will retain their superstars, how will David Gettleman build the New York Giants for Joe Judge, what will Ron Rivera’s Redskins look like and can the Philadelphia Eagles get back to the Super Bowl. But no one has talked about what teams shouldn’t do this offseason. It is important to note what teams shouldn’t do this offseason if they want to fulfill their mission of either becoming a playoff team/Super Bowl contender or start their rebuild correctly. This is a list of what NFC East teams shouldn’t do this offseason.
Dallas Cowboys: Let Dak Prescott play on the franchise tag in 2020
This should not come as a shock to anyone who pays attention to the Dallas Cowboys. After re-signing Amari Cooper and franchise tagging Dak Prescott, the next step should be to lock up Prescott long-term. The Cowboys arguably had three of the top five best free agents hitting the market and after the moves they’ve done already, they have $17 million to spend on them and fill the other needs on their roster.
So far the negotiations have not gone well between Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. There has been hostility on both sides and even when offered a fair deal at $33 million a year and $110 million guaranteed and he still refused. Prescott wants to set the market and be the highest-paid quarterback of the league. He also wants a short-term deal that way he can cash out again and reset the market very soon. This is likely to make up for the fact that he had very low compensation his first four years in the league because he was a fourth-round draft pick.
If the Cowboys and Dak Prescott figure out a deal soon, this could get ugly. This is shaping up to be similar to how divisional rival Washington Redskins handled Kirk Cousins free agency. Unlike those Redskins, the Cowboys are an extremely talented team with a high ceiling, like Super Bowl high. Hopefully the Cowboys and Prescott put their differences aside for the sake of the team.
New York Giants: Avoid their needs
The New York Giants have very discretely built one of the most talented young teams in the NFL. Saquon Barkley is the face of the franchise, Daniel Jones is the franchise quarterback and they have a lot of young guys on defense with star potential. On top of that, they finally brought in a head coach that acts like a head coach, not just a coordinator riding the coattails of the team he was previously a part of. Two former head coaches Jason Garrett and Freddie Kitchens are a part of Joe Judge’s staff too which is huge for his development as a coach. For the first time in years, the New York Giants seem to be trending up. On top of that, the Giants are set to have $77.8 million in salary-cap space to build on to this young roster. David Gettleman will have his chance to build the Giants’ roster in his ideal image. But that might be the problem, if Gettleman has full control over building his roster.
Gettleman has been the butt of the joke as far a general managers since he took the Giants job. His highlights include rescinding Josh Normans franchise tag in Carolina, trading away OBJ for the draft pick that was spent on defensive tackle Dexter Lawerence, trading a third-round pick for defensive tackle Leonard Williams and now franchise tagging Leonard Williams for $16.1 million. This makes Williams severely overpaid. The Giants also have interest in drafting defensive tackle Derrick Brown. The New York Giants already have Dalvin Tomlinson and BJ Hill on their roster. Both were highly drafted and very good starting caliber defensive tackles. There is a trend here. All jokes aside, selecting Daniel Jones over Dwayne Haskins worked out a lot better than what people thought it would, but that shouldn’t get to his head. The Giants need to address their offensive line, linebacker (even after adding Blake Martinez) and edge rusher (after adding Kyler Fackrell) in the draft and free agency. This might be Gettleman’s last year with the team if he messes up the opportunity he has this offseason to turn the Giants from a laughing stock to a contender in the league.
Philadelphia Eagles: Not bring in a reliable back up quarterback
Against all odds, the Philadelphia Eagles snuck into the playoffs with Carson Wentz throwing the ball to Greg Ward and handing the ball off to Boston Scott. As not ideal as it was for Ward and Scott to be two of the Eagles’ biggest playmakers down the stretch, they did step up when asked and showed that they are great depth pieces for the Eagles to retain next season. The Eagles have a very similar roster makeup to what they had in 2017 when they won the Super Bowl, which makes the Eagles roster very old. This is why the Eagles have a roster that is more prone to injury. This also falls on the training staff which the Eagles are gutting this offseason to try and fix the problem.
However, the most important roster position that the Eagles need to have is an established back up for is the quarterback. Carson Wentz has shown that he is talented whenever he is on the field, but has dealt with injuries throughout his entire career. Wentz has not had a healthy season since his rookie year. Even though Wentz did play in all 16 regular-season games this year, he was not healthy and did not play past the first quarter of his first playoff game because of injury. The playoff injury was not his fault, but it is extremely fair to say that Carson Wentz is “injury-prone”. This is not to the point that they need to replace him, but the Eagles should have a better backup on their roster than Josh McCown, who they have to drag out of retirement in order to back up Wentz. Nick Foles would have been the perfect back up to Wentz, because he knew the offense well and the offense wouldn’t skip a beat with him in instead of Wentz. Unfortunately, Foles contract wouldn’t sit easily with the Eagles cap situation and he was traded to the Chicago Bears. The Eagles should look at Chase Daniel, Colt McCoy or Matt Moore as potential back up options after Case Keenum was scooped up by the Browns. If Joe Flacco or Brian Hoyer gets cut expect the Eagles to jump on one of them. A possible trade for Robert Griffen III would be interesting, as he has been rumored to have a trade market. If one of them were in there replacing Carson Wentz vs the Seahawks in that low scoring affair, maybe the Eagles would have won that game.
Washington Redskins: Not sign veterans to go with young roster
The Washington Redskins finally got rid of Jay Gruden and Bruce Allen. Now the team is being run by Ron Rivera. Though they do not have a general manager, the Redskins should still look to add to their roster in free agency as well as the draft. As bad as the Redskins are, they have a lot of talent on their roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They might have one of the best young front sevens in football. Especially after signing former Panthers linebacker who played under Ron Rivera for years, Thomas Davis Sr. After signing Kendall Fuller they have a true number one cornerback and high-end talented secondary player to go along with Landon Collins. They also have three dynamic running backs and some raw receivers that will develop nicely as they get older.
Even though the Redskins have a lot of young talent, they do not have enough to be competitive and should add more veterans to their roster. Their new head coach Ron Rivera is well-liked and respected throughout the league. That should lure in some veteran free agents to help give this team a boost. Greg Olsen would have been a nice addition at tight end for Dwayne Haskins, but he signed in Seattle. If the Redskins could find a way to bring in Eric Ebron or Rick Seals-Jones that would be a nice security blanket for Haskins. Another area that the Redskins should try to address is the offensive line. Daryl Williams who was drafted by and played for Ron Rivera should definitely be on the Redskins list of players to try and sign, especially with uncertainty around left tackle Trent Williams. Guard Greg Van Roten played under Ron Rivera in Carolina as well and his hitting the market. He could become the Redskins starting center.
There are a plethora of free agents the Redskins could have an in with just because of their connections with their new head coach Rivera. If the Redskins get their hands on a couple of those guys they can make the rebuild of their organization look like a retool and go a lot quicker.