Miscellaneous news and notes from around the league. . .
- Saints safety Jairus Byrd underwent “optional” back surgery to repair a disc issue, according to Katherine Terrell of Nola.com. While head coach Sean Payton downplayed the seriousness of the procedure, Terrell’s colleague Larry Holder is skeptical, especially since Byrd just inked a six-year, $54MM ($26.3MM guaranteed) deal.
- The Cowboys have acknowledged a contract extension for star receiver Dez Bryant is “a possibility,” but he’s not the only skill player on the roster in need of a new deal, as running back DeMarco Murray is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie pact. The Cowboys are a different team with Murray healthy, asserts ESPN’s Todd Archer, who considers what the team should reasonably be willing to pay to retain Murray’s services beyond 2014.
- Eagles first-round pick Marcus Smith is working exclusively at Connor Barwin‘s “Jack” (left outside) linebacker position, which enables him to learn multiple responsibilities while honing his technique, writes csnphilly.com’s Matt Allibone.
- Michael Wilhoite leads a group of 49ers linebackers vying to keep NaVorro Bowman‘s seat warm, writes Eric Branch on sfgate.com.
- Who says fullbacks are a dying species? More love from Pro Football Focus, who tabs Collin Mooney as the Titans’ “Secret Superstar.”
- With the departure of Antonio Smith, third-year defensive lineman Jared Crick has a chance to take on a more prominent role for the Texans, writes Dale Robertson in the Houston Chronicle.
- The Jets have $23MM in cap space, notes ESPNNewYork.com’s Rich Cimini, who also states the team views Kyle Wilson as a slot corner, “nothing more.” Meanwhile, Cimini hears from scouts that Dimitri Patterson, projected to start outside opposite Dee Milliner, is actually better suited in the slot.
- After losing Morocco Brown to the Browns, the Redskins have promoted Alex Santos to director of pro personnel, according to Zac Boyer of the Washington Times (via Twitter). Santos has spent the last six years as a pro scout.