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Schein: NFC offseason progress report
I think the Washington Redskins are big winners in the offseason.
And Charlie Whitehurst got what???
We take the temperature of the NFC teams in the offseason in our progress reports.
NFC EastCOWBOYS: Nothing is everything
Some wondered if the Cowboys would turn into the Yankees in an uncapped year. Jerry Jones has smartly done, well, nothing. Dallas has incredible talent and several current players are due raises this year. Jones didn't spend for the sake of spending and that's smart. I think Dallas picks a young offensive tackle in the draft.
GIANTS: Perfect fit
Antrel Rolle was the one player who made sense for the Giants in free agency and general manager Jerry Reese smartly pounced by scheduling an early visit and handing over the necessary cash. Rolle is a play-making and hard-hitting safety who will be a Tom Coughlin favorite with his hard work, hustle and love for the game. Now the Giants need to add a middle linebacker. I'd sign the Raiders' Kirk Morrison and give up the third-round pick. In addition to linebacker, the Giants could also use some help at defensive tackle, offensive line and running back in the draft.
EAGLES: Waiting for QB chip to fall
Michael Vick? Donovan McNabb? Kevin Kolb? You know there is no way the Eagles have all three on the roster this year. Is there a team willing to make Philly an offer they can't refuse for McNabb? I think Kolb has the most job security of the three, with Vick being most likely to go.
I really liked the Marlin Jackson pickup. The former Colts corner can transition to safety with his tackling skills and ball-hawking ability. I also liked the Chris Clemens for Darryl Tapp swap. Tapp is a better player and better fit. The Eagles said goodbye to longtime back Brian Westbrook, who has multiple physical concerns. They signed Mike Bell -- who would be a great fit to team with LeSean McCoy -- to an offer sheet.
REDSKINS: New sheriff in town
You can tell that Washington hired a tough-minded, no-nonsense, brilliant coach in Mike Shanahan and a great new general manager in Bruce Allen. The pair trimmed the fat by cutting some underachievers (like Fred Smoot and Antwaan Randle El) in the uncapped year. And Washington didn't go nuts for a Julius Peppers.
BEARS: Waste of money
Julius Peppers took plays off. Heck, he arguably took a season off! Peppers will never live up to the contract. This is what happens when you have a coach and general manager on the hot seat. I didn't like the Chester Taylor move with Matt Forte on board. Greg Olsen wants out as new offensive coordinator Mike Martz (a terrible hire in the first place) doesn't use the tight end or run the ball. If Brandon Manumaleuna is the answer, I'd love to know the question.
LIONS: Very active
Critics say the Lions overpaid for Kyle Vanden Bosch. I say he is an all-around defensive end, a true leader and knows head coach Jim Schwartz and his system from their years together in Tennessee. I really like it. And with Vanden Bosch, the trade for Corey Williams and the ability to draft a defensive tackle at the No. 2 overall pick, the Lions will be much better on the defensive line, a major weakness last season.
I liked the Shaun Hill trade. He's the kind of backup that Matthew Stafford needed. I didn't like the Chris Houston trade or the signing of the overrated Nate Burleson.
If you thought Ted Thompson was going to be active in free agency, well you just haven't been paying attention. The Packers do it right by building through the draft. And credit goes to Thompson for keeping free-agent tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton. Thompson will draft a young tackle in April. Green Bay also predictably lost the great Aaron Kampman, who was no longer a fit in Dom Capers' 3-4 defense.
VIKINGS: Still waiting
I don't view losing Chester Taylor as a huge blow. It's Adrian Peterson's team. The Vikings' offseason is all about one thing: Waiting for Brett Favre to make up his mind.
Dunta Robinson scored way too much guaranteed money, but cornerback was a major area of weakness for the Falcons. General manager Thomas Dimitroff is banking on a change of scenery helping the talented Robinson, who underachieved the last two years in Houston. With Mike Smith coaching him up, it's a good gamble.
PANTHERS: Say good-bye
In an emotional news conference, the Panthers cut Jake Delhomme. Despite being a true leader and getting the team to a Super Bowl years ago, it was time to jettison Delhomme after a season filled with picks. And the team smartly didn't bring back Julius Peppers, an immense talent but not a hard worker. Matt Moore instantly signed his high tender and will be the quarterback. And general manager Marty Hurney trimmed a lot of players over 30 years old.
SAINTS: Lots of love
Mickey Loomis says he has all the love in the world for Darren Sharper but not all the money in the world. Sharper needs the Saints and the Saints need him. They should get a deal done.
BUCCANEERS: Good morning
The Bucs know they can sign players, right? I know they signed Sean Jones and traded for Reggie Brown, but come on guys. The great and passionate Bucs fans deserve better.
CARDINALS: Not good, but not panic time
Kurt Warner retired. Rolle and Karlos Dansby left via free agency. Anquan Boldin was traded as the club knew there was no way to keep him past his contract expiring next offseason. That's a ton of talent and leadership to leave in one offseason.
But I still think the Cards are in position to compete with the roster they have. 'Zona traded for Kerry Rhodes to replace Rolle. Rhodes desperately needed a change of scenery after he wore out his welcome in New York with his Hollywood persona. But Rhodes has talent and will maximize it playing for new Arizona defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson, who was Rhodes' first defensive coordinator with the Jets. The Derek Anderson signing gives Matt Leinart some needed competition.
RAMS: Who's No. 1?
Steve Spagnuolo paid his old defensive lineman from the Giants, Fred Robbins, relatively handsomely to help out the defense. The rumors are omnipresent that the club will draft Sam Bradford with the first overall pick. They should draft Ndamukong Suh. It's that easy.
49ERS: New Carr
Maybe I am the only one, but I liked the David Carr signing. He is far removed from the Houston debacle and could actually be better than Alex Smith. Carr has talent. He just needs to regain the confidence that was zapped by getting beat up with the Texans. San Fran will address the offensive line, defense and running back in the draft. And don't be surprised if they try to sign Leon Washington to an offer sheet.
SEAHAWKS: Charlie who?
Seahawks fans, meet Charlie Whitehurst, your new quarterback prospect.
E-mail Schein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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