New York Giants Rumors & News

NFC East Links: Thurmond, RGIII, Mathews

After rounding up some AFC East notes this morning, we’re shifting our focus to the NFC East, where we have items on all four clubs…

  • Heading into this year’s free agent period began, there was no chance of Walter Thurmond re-signing with the Giants, and Jordan Raanan of wonders if some recent comments Thurmond made about coach Tom Coughlin provide a clue for why the cornerback didn’t want to remain in New York.
  • John Keim of liked the work Washington did this offseason, giving the team a grade of A-minus for its moves. However, he’s still taking a wait-and-see approach to the 2015 season, noting that its not clear yet if the club has a long-term answer at head coach or quarterback.
  • Speaking of Washington‘s quarterback, Rich Tandler of wonders how much Robert Griffin III will benefit this season from the club’s improved offensive line.
  • While the Eagles‘ signing of DeMarco Murray earned most of the headlines in Philadelphia this offseason, Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap thinks the team’s deal with Ryan Mathews is one of the best running back bargains in the NFL.
  • After signing a new contract with the Cowboys this offseason, wide receiver Cole Beasley recognizes that the team has higher expectations for him, but tells Nick Eatman of that he’s approaching the 2015 season with the same mentality he always has, since “no one expects more from me than I do” (transcript via the Dallas Morning News).

Community Tailgate: Eli Manning’s Contract

We’re still more than two months away from the start of battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. Earlier this month, we launched a new series here at PFR that will be known as the Community Tailgate. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.

Of course, while the debate may get spirited, we ask that it all stays respectful. If you need a reminder of our rules, please check out our commenting policy. Basically, we ask that you refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults, and attacks. Speaking of commenting: we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Pro Football Rumors. You are no longer required to be a registered user – simply put in your name, email address, and comment and submit.

As I outlined this morning, agent Tom Condon told Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News over the weekend that he’s confident the Giants will eventually sign his client, quarterback Eli Manning, to a new contract. Vacchiano rightly points out that very few top signal-callers ultimately reach free agency, suggesting that he thinks the Giants and Manning will reach an accord at “the appropriate time.” With Manning preparing to enter a contract year, it’s not clear yet when that “appropriate time” will arrive, and what an appropriate deal for the 34-year-old would look like.

Manning had the worst season of his career in 2013, leading the NFL with a career-high 27 interceptions and suffering his first losing season since his rookie year. He got off to another shaky start in 2014 under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, but quickly righted the ship and finished the year with 4,410 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and a career-best 63.1% completion percentage.

While the Giants have to be encouraged by Manning’s play last year, the team may want to wait until after the 2015 season to negotiate his next contract, in order to assess how the QB’s second year with McAdoo plays out. It’s also possible the club wants to wait for Philip Rivers to re-up with the Chargers to help set the market for Manning.

Another accomplished veteran signal-caller, Ben Roethlisberger, inked a four-year extension worth $87.4MM with the Steelers earlier this offseason. Of course, while Big Ben’s deal may be a point of reference for the Manning talks, Roethlisberger is a year younger than the Giants’ starter and is coming off the best season of his career, so Manning may not match or surpass those contract figures.

What do you think? Will Manning sign a new contract with the Giants before the season, after the season, or not at all? Assuming he re-ups with New York, will Manning match Roethlisberger’s $21.85MM annual salary? Jump into the comment section below to voice your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Agent Optimistic About New Deal For Eli

Eli Manning is one of a few notable quarterbacks heading into the final year of his current contract, but a team source tells Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News that the Giants are confident a new deal will eventually get done, and agent Tom Condon echoes that sentiment, suggesting he doesn’t expect his client to reach free agency.

“The interesting part about it is, since 1993, the inception of free agency, has there ever been an elite quarterback hit the open market?” Condon said.Peyton [Manning did in 2012], but he had four neck surgeries and no idea if he would ever be well enough to play. Drew Brees, when he went to New Orleans, he had 15 studs in his shoulder, in his throwing arm. … There’s nobody else that’s ever come up. They just re-do you.”

While quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Sam Bradford, and Nick Foles are also discussing extensions with their respective teams, the most similar case to Manning’s is Philip Rivers in San Diego. Rivers has had a little more regular season success than his fellow 2004 first-rounder, while Manning has excelled in the postseason, winning a pair of Super Bowls. Both veteran signal-callers are expected to re-up with their current teams at some point, perhaps using Ben Roethlisberger‘s recent extension with the Steelers as a point of reference.

It’s not clear if the the Giants and Manning anticipate reaching an agreement before the 2015 season begins, but even if no new deal is in place by then and talks are shelved until 2016, there would still be plenty of time to work something out. The Giants could also use the franchise tag to prevent the two-time Super Bowl MVP from hitting the open market. No matter how the situation plays out, Condon is optimistic that Manning will remain in New York.

“The quarterbacks always get done,” Condon said. “And the Giants are not a skittish team. So it’s not one of those things where they get nervous or they jump around or anything like that. You know you’re going to go in and it’s going to get done. I’m sure at the appropriate time it’ll happen.”

2015 Release Candidates: NFC East

Most clubs have fairly set rosters at this point, as OTA, minicamp, and preseason performances won’t do much to alter roster composition. The majority of key releases came in March, but there are still several scenarios where certain contributors could lose their roster spot in the coming months. For the most part, we’ll focus on situations where the cap savings would be in excess of $1MM.

Because free agency has already passed, financial ramifications won’t play a huge role in these decisions; there aren’t a ton of high-profile free agents on which to spend that saved money, so these calls will mostly be made based on performance. However, any cap space saved through these potential releases could be rolled over into 2016, so that’s something clubs have to consider.

After looking at the AFC East yesterday, let’s dive into the NFC East…

Dallas Cowboys:

  • Mackenzy Bernadeau, G: The 29-year-old Bernadeau renegotiated his contract last spring, accepting a $2.9MM pay cut in the process. After Dallas selected Zack Martin in last year’s draft, Bernadeau went on to act in a reserve role, and saw only 75 snaps. Now that undrafted free agent La’El Collins is penciled in as the starting left guard, incumbent Ronald Leary will be demoted to act as the top reserve interior lineman, further limiting Bernadeau’s role. The Cowboys could save $1.5MM by releasing him, but I think they’ll keep him around for depth purposes. Prediction: not released.
  • Brandon Carr, CB: It’s been a strange offseason for the Cowboys and Carr, as he indicated in March that he would not accept a pay cut, a stance that Dallas has seemingly accepted. However, owner Jerry Jones has continued to say that the club wants to lower Carr’s cap number (presumably through an extension), but given Carr’s subpar play, I’m not sure tacking on extra years to his deal would be wise. The Cowboys have decent cornerback depth after drafting Byron Jones in the first round, but Jerry Jones has been adamant that the team won’t release Carr. Prediction: not released.

New York Giants:

  • Jameel McClain, LB: Entering the final season of a two-year deal, McClain could be on the chopping block due to both his salary and his performance. The 29-year-old actually played the second-most snaps among Giants defenders, but graded in the bottom 10 among inside linebackers league-wide, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Additionally, he’s scheduled to count for $3.4MM on New York’s cap in 2015; the club could clear all but $300K of that total by releasing him. The Giants are near the bottom of the NFL in terms of cap space, and they might want a little extra room to make moves throughout the season, so creating a little space here and there through moves like cutting McClain could be in the making. Prediction: released.
  • Linebacker Jon Beason and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins each agreed to contract restructures both involved straight pay cuts) earlier this year, or else they likely would have been released.

Philadelphia Eagles:

  • Riley Cooper, WR: The Eagles don’t have a ton of obvious cut candidates, and Cooper is the only veteran whose roster spot might come into question. (I thought about adding fellow pass-catcher Miles Austin here, but the club handed him $1MM in guarantees, so he’s probably a good bet to make the final 53.) Cooper took a big step back from his excellent 2014 season, as his yards per reception dropped from 17.8 to 10.5. He doesn’t figure to be a big part of Philadelphia’s offense, but given that the team would incur $3.8MM in dead money (as opposed to just $1MM in savings) by releasing him, Cooper will probably stick around for one more season. Prediction: not released.


  • DeAngelo Hall: Hall agreed to tweak his contact earlier this year, eliminating the $1MM in salary guarantees he was originally due. He can still earn the same $4MM base salary that he was originally due, but Washington is now off the hook if they decide Hall isn’t not fully recovered from two Achilles tears. Washington has decent corner depth following the signing of Chris Cullier, so Hall isn’t necessarily needed. But the club would save only $2.375MM while incurring $2.438MM in dead money by cutting Hall. Prediction: not released.
  • Pierre Garcon, WR: Garcon’s rate stats stayed similar from 2013 to 2014, but his counting stats took a nosedive following the addition of DeSean Jackson. Still, he’s probably not in any real danger of being released — head coach Jay Gruden has been adamant that Garcon is in the club’s plans, and as of February the team hadn’t reached out to his representatives about restructuring his contract. Washington could save $7.5MM by releasing Garcon, however, so I’m guessing it’s a move that has at least been discussed internally. Prediction: not released.
  • Kedric Golston, DE: The 32-year-old Golston didn’t play much last season (182 snaps), but still managed to rack up poor -14.3 grade from PFF. The addition of Ricky Jean-Francois means that Golston will see even less time in 2015, and there’s really no reason for the club to pay his $1MM base salary; Washington can save $1.075MM by cutting him. Prediction: released.

NFC Notes: Gurley, Eli, Lions, Cowboys

Though most first-round picks sign deals containing full guarantees, we learned last week that Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley will only see the first two years of his contract fully guaranteed due to his knee injury, which is considered a non-football injury because it didn’t occur in the NFL. But an NFLPA source tells Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that despite the optics, this scenario is actually a win for Gurley, not the club.

“No player in the league, from [Peyton] Manning to Jadeveon Clowney] to Jameis Winston, has protection against getting cut [and not paid/and guarantees not honored] due to this type of situation,” the source told Volin. “The fact that Gurley’s agent got him two years protected for a non-football injury is better than every other player in the first round, and the league in general.”

More from the NFC:

  • Opining at a truly elite quarterback has never actually hit the open market since the inception of free agency, agent Tom Condon tells Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News that he’s confident his client Eli Manning will eventually work out an extension with the Giants. Manning will earn $17MM in base salary in 2015, the final year of his deal, and while New York could opt to use the franchise tag on him (at a cost of more than $20MM), but Condon seems sure that an agreement can be reached.
  • Responding to reader’s question in this week’s mailbag, Michael Rothstein of writes that the Lions could be on the lookout for a blocking tight end as the regular season approaches. As the questioner points out, most starter Eric Ebron‘s backups are also pass-catching types, so the club want a replacement for Kellen Davis, who played the inline role in 2015. There will be free agent options as roster cutdowns occur (as Rothstein notes), but the Lions could take a look at ex-Bengal Jermaine Gresham, who I recently ranked as the third-best FA left on the market.
  • News of the weird: the Cowboys, Giants, and Patriots will be contacted by the FAA in relation to their use of drones at practices, according to Bloomberg Business. The FAA does allow for the private use of such technology, but the user must agree to certain safety stipulations. None of the clubs had requested such clearance, per the report.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Collins, Winston

Here are some items to round out the work week across the NFL.

  • With the Justin Houston standoff still in motion, the Chiefs have other looming financial decisions, which Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star examines as the team enters the pre-minicamp evaluation period. Paylor points out how Jeremy Maclin‘s backloaded contract, which will features a $3.4MM cap number this year before escalating to $12.4MM in 2016, makes this season’s wide receiver payments particularly minuscule, as no other Kansas City outside target is set to make more than $700K. Both Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson are playing for future deals this season, but as Scott Pioli-selected players coming off injuries, they may be playing for future jobs elsewhere. The John DorseyAndy Reid power structure has yet to re-up a previous regime’s offensive lineman, as Paylor notes.
  • Jameis Winston wants to drop down to the playing weight of his redshirt freshman, Heisman Trophy-winning year of 2013 (230 pounds) after ballooning to nearly 250 in the offseason, reports Kevin Patra of The Buccaneers‘ presumptive starter’s at around 238 presently. The No. 1 overall pick also doesn’t believe he’s on a redemption tour of sorts after the legal and other negative off-field issues that mounted during his three years at Florida State, notes Tom Withers of the Associated Press. “I have nothing to prove,” Winston said. “I believe that people make mistakes but I also believe that you bounce back from those and I’m just moving forward.”
  • With the Giants lacking much depth at safety, Landon Collins will certainly receive enough reps in an attempt to make good on his aspirations at becoming the defensive rookie of the year. But so far in the less-consequential, padless practice portion, the Alabama product is pretty raw in terms of playmaking instincts, writes Nick Powell of
  • Tom Compton is still a good bet to make Washington‘s 53-man roster despite the team using the No. 5 pick on Brandon Scherff and relocating the ex-Iowa left tackle to the right side, writes Rich Tandler of A 2012 sixth-round pick, Compton (six sacks ceded) rated as Washington’s worst offensive lineman in 2014, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Extra Points: Titans, Beckham, Raiders, Bucs

Following the Titans announcement today of their 20-year agreement with Nissan, CEO/president Steve Underwood reiterated that the team is not for sale.

“The team is not for sale,” Underwood told John Glennon of the Tennessean. “We have not had any discussions with anyone about selling the team. Our owners are committed to continuing to maintain the team just as it is in their family, and we couldn’t be happier about that.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Following reports that Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was peeved at his teammates’ teasing, the second-year player told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that he gets along fine with the other players. “I have no problem with anybody on the team or inside or anything,” he said.
  •’s Bill Williamson took a look at the Raiders cap situation. The NFL requires teams to spend at least 89 percent of their cap between 2013 and 2016. The Raiders entered the offseason having spent just over 80 percent, and Williamson surmises that the team will need to spend nearly “all of their cap room” in the next two years.
  • Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht recognizes that it takes time to build a contender. However, as he told Steven Ruiz of USA Today, he believes his roster has improved drastically in his year-plus on the job. “This wasn’t a rebuild, this was a little bit of a retool,” he said. “When you have players like Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David and Mark Barron and Vincent Jackson and the list goes on and on, you can’t call it a rebuild. We just had a little retooling to do.”

East Notes: Bradford, JPP, Gachkar, Jets

After years of being proactive with their quarterbacks in the post-Donovan McNabb era, the Eagles are still at a crossroads with their projected starter.

Philadelphia extended Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick in the late Andy Reid years before re-signing Mark Sanchez this offseason. But Sam Bradford still sits in a walk year despite changing teams, and Andrew Brandt of analyzes the risks both sides take by standing pat and the benefits possible for each party.

Brandt estimates Bradford, with the huge caveat of whether the 27-year-old signal-caller makes it through the season unscathed, could be somewhat of a prize next offseason for a quarterback-needy franchise considering a market that as of now houses Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning could be left with only Bradford with the cost of inking QBs on a perpetual rise. But despite Bradford having already earned a preposterous $65.1MM as the last No. 1 overall pick of the old CBA, the sixth-year veteran could be worth next to nothing with another season-ending malady, increasing the urgency to negotiate a deal with the Eagles before the season begins.

Although traded for 2013-14 starter Nick Foles, who has won almost as many games (14) in three seasons than Bradford has in five (18), Brandt notes there remains a remote trade possibility, and Andrew Kulp of writes a Week 1 starting lineup featuring Sanchez is not beyond the realm of possibility. On the books for $12.99MM cap number, Bradford’s still in a solid position, with what could be a scant quarterback derby next March and the possibility of the position’s franchise tag skyrocketing to around $20MM next season, per Kulp.

Let’s look at some additional Eastern items this afternoon.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul intends to play this season at around 265 pounds, notes the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz. Weight’s served as a bit of an issue for Pierre-Paul since his dominant 2011 showing. The 2010 first-round pick hasn’t signed his franchise tender worth $14.8MM yet and hasn’t showed at the Giants‘ facilities for OTAs or minicamp, instead opting to train in his native Florida. Schwartz adds only a “remote” chance exists JPP and the Giants agree on a long-term deal by July 15.
  • Special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and linebackers boss Matt Eberflus influenced Andrew Gachkar to sign with the Cowboys, along with Texas’ absence of a state tax, reports Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. Gachkar said his primary position will likely be strongside linebacker while playing under his former instructors at Missouri and with the Chargers, respectively.
  • At the moment, the Jets‘ starting tight end is sixth-year veteran Jeff Cumberland, as Jace Amaro is listed as the H-back under Todd Bowles. But the Jets won’t wait around for the inconsistent Cumberland, writes Brian Costello of the New York Post. Although the 28-year-old hasn’t exactly had proficient quarterbacks throwing to him, Cumberland rated as the worst tight end last season among players who garnered at least 25% of their team’s snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • The Dolphins are likely to deploy Jeff Linkenbach as their starting right guard, offers James Walker of Walker predicts the former Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts cog will beat out Billy Turner for the position. Possibly the most reported Evan Mathis suitor, Miami would be giving snaps to a sub-par guard in Linkenbach in this scenario. The sixth-year veteran’s last full season as a starter — 2011 in Indianapolis — produced some ghastly results, according to PFF (subscription required). Linkenbach hasn’t started more than eight games since.

Largest 2015 Cap Hits By Team: NFC East

Earlier this month, I took a closer look at the top 2015 NFL cap hits by position, checking in on offensive players, defensive players, and special-teamers. Those lists revealed some interesting details about how teams around the NFL are delegating their spending for the 2015 season, with some clubs focusing heavily on certain sides of the ball or specific positions, while others spread out their cap room enough that they barely showed up on any of the top-10 positional lists.

Starting this week, we’ll shift our focus to those individual teams, examining each club’s top 10 cap commitments for the 2015 season. We’ll break it down by division, allowing us to make a few observations about each team’s largest cap numbers for the coming year.

First up? The NFC East. Let’s dive in….

Dallas Cowboys:

  1. Tony Romo, QB: $14,973,000
  2. Dez Bryant, WR: $12,823,000
  3. Brandon Carr, CB: $12,717,000
  4. Jason Witten, TE: $8,512,000
  5. Sean Lee, LB: $5,450,000
  6. Morris Claiborne, CB: $5,175,069
  7. Miles Austin, WR: $5,106,200 (dead money)
  8. Tyron Smith, LT: $5,039,000
  9. Orlando Scandrick, CB: $4,382,271
  10. Doug Free, RT: $3,980,000 (dead money)
    Total: $78,157,540

Of the four teams in the NFC East, only the Cowboys have multiple dead money charges within their top 10 cap hits for the coming year. Unlike Austin, Free is still on the roster, but his previous deal voided after the 2014 season, leaving some dead money on Dallas’ books while the club signed him to a new contract. If we take into account Free’s new contract, which has a $3MM cap number this year, he’s counting for nearly $7MM against the Cowboys’ cap.

Elsewhere on the list, the Cowboys devote significant cap room to the positions you’d expect — quarterback, wide receiver, left tackle, and cornerback. There are no Russell Wilson-esque bargains in the East, where three of the four teams have their quarterbacks at No. 1 on their list of 2015 cap commitments. As such, it makes sense that cornerbacks would be high on each club’s list as well. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, their two highest-paid CBs have either had trouble staying on the field or haven’t been as effective as anticipated, given their price tags.

Bryant’s and Carr’s cap charges could change before the regular season begins, if the former reaches a long-term agreement with the club or the latter agrees to rework his contract.

New York Giants:

  1. Eli Manning, QB: $19,750,000
  2. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE: $14,813,000
  3. Victor Cruz, WR: $8,125,000
  4. Will Beatty, LT: $8,050,000
  5. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB: $7,250,000
  6. Prince Amukamara, CB: $6,898,000
  7. Jon Beason, LB: $4,154,166
  8. Jameel McClain, LB: $3,400,000
  9. David Baas, C: $3,225,000 (dead money)
  10. Steve Weatherford, P: $3,075,000
    Total: $78,740,166

The total cost for the Giants’ top 10 cap hits is nearly $79MM, higher than any other team in the NFC East. That figure is largely impacted by Manning’s cap charge, which is approaching $20MM as he enters the final year of his contract. The club could ultimately reduce that figure if Manning signs an extension this year, but it’s not a necessity.

What’s interesting about the Giants’ list is how many question marks there are here — of course, the team won’t get anything out of Baas, whose cap hit is made up of dead money, but there may be concerns about other players here too. A torn pectoral figures to keep Beatty sidelined until November, and Beason, Amukamara, and Cruz are among the players who are coming off serious, season-ending injuries, though they’re expected to be ready to contribute this fall. The Giants’ success this year may hinge significantly on whether those high-priced players are fully recovered.

Also worth noting: New York is the only team in the NFC East with a special teams player in its top 10 cap hits for 2015, as Weatherford sneaks onto the list.

Philadelphia Eagles:

  1. Sam Bradford, QB: $12,985,000
  2. Jason Peters, LT: $9,050,000
  3. Byron Maxwell, CB: $8,700,000
  4. Connor Barwin, OLB: $7,000,000
  5. Brandon Graham, OLB: $6,000,000
  6. Malcolm Jenkins, S: $5,666,666
  7. Lane Johnson, RT: $5,225,974
  8. DeMarco Murray, RB: $5,000,000
  9. Brent Celek, TE: $4,800,000
  10. Riley Cooper, WR: $4,800,000
    Total: $69,227,640

One silver lining of the exodus of highly-paid veterans like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Evan Mathis, and Jeremy Maclin? The total cost of the Eagles’ top 10 cap hits for 2015 is the lowest in their division, at just over $69MM, allowing the club to spread out moderate salaries to more players further down on the roster. While the Cowboys and Giants have multiple players with cap numbers exceeding $12MM, the Eagles’ second-largest hit barely surpasses $9MM.

The work the Eagles did this past offseason is reflected heavily on this list, as major free agent signings like Maxwell and Murray show up here. Even Graham, who has spent his career with the Eagles, can be considered a free agent addition since he talked to other teams before returning to Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, I was a little surprised to see Celek and Cooper, a pair of steady but unspectacular veteran pass catchers, crack the top 10 here. Younger, cheaper players like Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor may end up producing better numbers, but if Bradford is going to succeed in Philadelphia, he’ll likely need the veterans to chip in as well.


  1. Trent Williams, LT: $14,230,393
  2. Pierre Garcon, WR: $9,700,000
  3. Desean Jackson, WR: $9,250,000
  4. Ryan Kerrigan, OLB: $7,038,000
  5. Robert Griffin III, QB: $6,719,713
  6. Jason Hatcher, DT: $5,203,125
  7. DeAngelo Hall, CB: $4,812,500
  8. Kory Lichtensteiger, C: $4,300,000
  9. Chris Culliver, CB: $4,250,000
  10. Stephen Paea, DT: $4,250,000
    Total: $69,753,731

Like Philadelphia, Washington has some new additions show up on its list, and the money spent on Culliver and Paea reflects the team’s dedication to investing in and improving its defense. Still, the club’s top three cap numbers belong to offensive players, including a pair of wide receivers.

The fact that Washington is the only franchise in the NFC East without an expensive quarterback allows for a little more spending flexibility elsewhere, but the team’s QB situation is also arguably the shakiest in the division. One might wonder if it’s worth dedicating so much cap room to playmaking receivers like Garcon and Jackson, when it’s not clear which of Washington’s quarterbacks is capable of consistently getting them the ball.

As for the No. 1 player on this list, Williams is in the final year of his contract, so we could see his number reduced if he signs an extension. Either way, he’ll likely be much further down on next year’s top 10 list, if he’s on it at all.

Over The Cap was used in the creation of this post.

NFC Notes: Garrett, Vikings, Bears, Giants

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has spent much of his head coaching career on the hot seat, but that changed last season as Dallas finished 12-4 and won a playoff game. But Garrett, who recently signed a five-year extension with the club, says he never considered his contract situation last season. “I can honestly say to you that I never really thought very much about that,” Garrett told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “What I do every day is I wake up and try to do everything I can to build the kind of football team that we all can be proud of.”

Let’s check out more from the NFC:

  • Charles Johnson emerged as the Vikings’ main receiving threat down the stretch last season, and Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press doesn’t think the 26-year-old pass-catcher will remain anonymous to NFL fans for much longer. After failing to earn playing time with both the Packers and the Browns, Johnson came to Minnesota via a waiver claim, and after being inserted into the starting lineup Week 10, he totaled 25 receptions for 415 yards. The Vikings’ offense will look different in 2015 given the return of Adrian Peterson and the addition of Mike Wallace, but Johnson figures to retain his role as Teddy Bridgewater‘s No. 1 option in the passing game.
  • Vic Fangio is a clear improvement at defensive coordinator for the Bears, but Matt Bowen of the Chicago Tribune wonders if the club has enough pieces with which Fangio can work. Antrel Rolle, Pernell McPhee, and Eddie Goldman were solid adds through free agency/the draft, writes Bowen, but the thought of Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston as stand-up outside linebackers is worrisome. Additionally, the veteran crop of corners behind No. 1 Kyle Fuller (Tim Jennings, Alan Ball, Tracy Porter) leaves much to be desired. Per Bowen, Fangio’s schematic prowess can cover up many personnel holes, but ultimately Chicago’s distinct lack of playmaking talent on defense may be its undoing.
  • A pair of Giants prospects — offensive lineman Michael Bamiro and tight end Will Tye — are aiming to become the first NFL players who hail from Stony Brook University, as Barbara Baker of Newsday details. Bamiro stuck with New York on a futures contract following the 2014 season, while Tye went undrafted in May.