NFC East Notes: RGIII, Mariota, Hardy, Eagles

The Buccaneers, Titans, and Jets have very clear needs at quarterback, and top prospects Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota could represent great options at the top of the draft for those teams. The Jaguars and Raiders hope they filled that hole in the draft last season.

The one team that could possibly go either way is Washington. Even with Robert Griffin III in the fold, if they have the chance to draft Mariota with the fifth pick, it might make sense, writes John Keim in his mailbag for ESPN. Even if the team does draft a quarterback with intention of replacing Griffin, Keim believes both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy would still have a place on the depth chart.

For the record, he doesn’t see the team getting a chance at either of the two top passers.

Here are some more notes from around the NFC East:

  • Keim has not written off the RGIII era in Washington just yet. He addresses the team’s options should Griffin return to his 2012 Pro Bowl form. Keim writes that the team will engage Griffin in long-term extension talks should he perform at a high level this season, and would be able to franchise the former first-round pick if they cannot come to an agreement. He writes that the only decision coming is whether or not to exercise Griffin’s fifth-year option by May 3rd, at a price tag of about $16MM.
  • After jettisoning DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin off the team over the past two offseasons, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has built a receiving corps focused on more than speed and experience. Kelly places a high priority on other facets of the position, including toughness, blocking, and running hard routes, writes Jeff McClane of He adds that Kelly understands the value of an elite receiver who can get himself open and make difficult catches, but wasn’t ready to pay Maclin as if he was one of the truly elite pass catchers in the league.
  • The Cowboys made a stride to significantly improve their defense by signing Greg Hardy, but the move is met with mixed feelings by many in Texas and across Cowboy nation. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawling is among those disappointed in the team, writes Todd Archer of“I’m a big Cowboys fan. I love them to death and I want them to beat the Eagles every time they play,” said Rawlings. “But at some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys any time soon.”
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