A peek around at the rest of the NFC East after OTAs

Philadelphia Eagles OTAs have wrapped up without incident, and they won’t hit the practice fields again until the start of training camp in late July. I missed Eagles OTAs while on vacation (forgiveness, please), but our Shamus Clancy had you covered on practice notes here, and here.

Upon my return to reality, I intended on commenting on all the Eagles news that occurred while I was away. But, uh, there was pretty much nothing. So instead, let’s take a quick peek around at the rest of the NFC East and the top headlines from each camp.


TE Dalton Schultz was a no-show

Frustrated by stalled negotiations on a long-term deal, Schultz missed voluntary OTAs. Earlier this offseason, the Cowboys franchise tagged him at just under $11 million for the 2022 season.

On May 27, the Browns no doubt annoyed the Cowboys when they gave franchise-tagged David Njoku a nonsensical four year, $54.75 million contract, for an average annual value of $13.7 million. Here’s how Njoku’s stats compare with Schultz’s the last two seasons: 

Player  Rec  Yards  YPC  TD 
David Njoku  55  688  12.5 
Dalton Schultz  141  1423  10.1  12 

As the great Joel Corry of CBS points out, the Cowboys have mismanaged franchise-tagged players in the past: 

The last two times the Cowboys let someone play a season under a franchise tag, it cost them far more to eventually sign these players long term. The same dynamic would likely apply to Schultz with a productive 2022 season.

The Cowboys definitely wouldn’t have needed to sign defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a five-year, $105 million contract, averaging $21 million per year, if a deal had been done in 2018. At the July 15 long-term-deal deadline for franchise players, the $20 million-per-year non-quarterback didn’t exist.

Dak Prescott doesn’t sign a $40 million-per-year contract in March 2021 with an agreement reached in July 2020. There’s a good chance Prescott’s would deal would have been under the $35 million-per-year extension Russell Wilson signed with the Seahawks in 2019.

To make an Eagles point here, the early extension for Dallas Goedert — a four year extension worth $59 million signed during the 2021 season — is beginning to look like a bargain.


Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is almost impossibly stupid

On Wednesday, Del Rio referred to the former president’s credibly alleged attempted coup to overthrow the United States government on January 6 as a “dust up” that is unworthy of serious scrutiny. Simultaneously, he offered a “whatabout” pointed at protesters who had had enough of racial inequality and police brutality.

Del Rio’s political beliefs became interview fodder after he had published a number of recent tweets (his account is here) that may as well have come from the dork on your block who has a “Let’s Go Brandon” sign proudly-but-embarrassingly displayed on their front lawn. But whatever. We’ll get into all of that in more depth in the dumpster fire series later this month.

From a football perspective, Del Rio is becoming a major distraction to his own team, with potential dividing ramifications. The following is a transcription from former NFL player Brian Mitchell, who is now a DC radio host. (It’s a five-tweet thread.)

Mitchell has seen the awfulness of Washington’s franchise for a long period of time, both as a player and as a member of the media. I think the best point that he makes from a football perspective is that Ron Rivera was supposedly hired to change the culture of the team, but has allowed his defensive coordinator to consistently “poke the goddamn bear,” as Mitchell put it. 

The defensive coordinator is a figure of authority on a football team, but it’s likely that he has lost the respect of some of his players, given that the Black Lives Matter movement is one that means a lot to a whole lot of NFL players.


The Giants have been quiet

To be determined if the Giants are better this season after firing Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge, but from an outsider’s perspective, they were more fun when those two were saying/doing crazy things this time of year.

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