The Cowboys will retain coordinators Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan and that’s huge for them in the opinion of former quarterback Troy Aikman. “To maintain the continuity with those two coordinators, two outstanding coordinators, is very, very important for this team moving forward,” Aikman told KTCK-AM (via The Dallas Morning News) “Rod Marinelli, if he had left, I thought that would be a really big blow to that defense. Scott Linehan … he was outstanding all season long. To be able to maintain the running game at difficult points in games throughout the season. To still remain committed to it. We’ve seen, for a number of years, this team get away from the run game. This year’s edition never did. I think it’s a real credit to Scott Linehan.” More from both East divisions..
- The Dolphins will not block Kacy Rodgers from taking the Jets‘ defensive coordinator job, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). However, as of tonight, the deal has not been finalized.
- A lot of people are skeptical about the Bills‘ quarterback situation with EJ Manuel currently at the helm, but new coach Rex Ryan told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that he’s not concerned. “This is not just about one man or about one position,” Ryan said. “It’s about your team and more importantly the direction of your team, I think from ownership, to president [Russ Brandon], to Doug [Whaley], our General Manager. To me, it seems like everybody wants the same thing and they all feel like there is a certain way to get there. That’s where we are tied in and we are behind each other 100 percent. I think that’s something really important to me and obviously, I think, with the players we have as well, it is a great mesh.”
- With the Cowboys in need of salary cap space, cornerback Brandon Carr could be released or forced to take a pay cut. Owner Jerry Jones sounds intent on trimming his income, which is set to count against the cap for $12.7MM in 2015. “Carr played well this year and I’m not as critical of Carr as others,” Jones said. “But that’s a lot of money. One thing that we just got to do is we’ve got to make sure that every way we can, we get the value for the money,” Jones said, according to Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News.
- Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin hit his full escalator worth $900K, so his base salary for 2015 will rise from $5.5MM to $6.4MM, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter).
- The Dolphins have 16 free agents this offseason and a dozen of them are unrestricted. James Walker of ESPN.com looked at one of those UFAs earlier today when he examined defensive tackle Jared Odrick. Odrick will probably get the most interest from teams with 3-4 schemes and Miami isn’t expected to make much of a push for him. The Dolphins need the cap space and Odrick’s spat with coach Joe Philbin doesn’t help his cause.