Ben Wilkerson

NFC East Notes: Manning, Manuel, Cowboys

Eli Manning has not expressed interest in a coaching position, but the likely Hall of Fame quarterback has not closed the door on remaining with the Giants in another non-playing capacity. The recently retired passer said he would be interested in a role with the team going forward, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The Giants likely would not say no to such an arrangement, though it remains to be seen if Manning would consider a position immediately. If Peyton Manning‘s measured approach to post-retirement offers is any indication, it may be a while before his younger brother commits to returning to the league in a potential front office role. Manning will not land on the Giants’ reserve/retired list, as he was set to be a free agent in March. The 16-year Giant recently said he believed he could still play. So Eli might be patient before entering a post-playing role, in the event an unforeseen development opens up a starting job somewhere.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles interviewed former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel for a role on their staff, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). They are eyeing the former safety-turned-coach as their secondary coach. Manuel, 40, did not coach this season but spent five years with the Falcons — four of which as either Atlanta’s secondary coach or DC. Dan Quinn fired him after the 2018 season.
  • After making several splashy additions to their staff, the Cowboys added a couple of lower-profile assistants. Mike McCarthy hired ex-Rams assistant special teams coach to the same position, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. A former NFLer, the 30-year-old Daniels spent the past two seasons on Sean McVay’s staff working under John Fassel. McCarthy hired Fassel to be his ST coordinator and has signed off on bringing the Rams’ special teams staff to Dallas. The Cowboys also hired ex-Redskins defensive quality control coach Cannon Matthews, per Yates. Matthews will remain in a defensive quality control role.
  • Although the Giants brought in ex-Cowboys coach Marc Colombo to head up their offensive line, they will keep one of Pat Shurmur‘s assistants on staff in this department. Ben Wilkerson will remain as the team’s assistant O-line coach, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. Wilkerson, 37, served in this role in each of Shurmur’s two seasons.

East Rumors: Patriots, Cousins, Giants, Foles

Will Rob Gronkowski retire this offseason? The tight end hinted at the possibility following the Patriots‘ Super Bowl loss, but head coach Bill Belichick isn’t panicking.

At the end of every season, every person goes through somewhat of a process at the end of the season and then the following season,” Belichick said (via Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com). “I think everyone that is involved in a NFL season, you get pretty drained especially after a season like this. [You] go through the end of the year process. The following year is the following year. It’s the same for everybody. I certainly can’t speak for anybody else.

You’d have to ask any individual for every situation, but I would say five minutes after the game, or the day after the game is not really the time to make those decisions.

Gronkowski maxed out his incentive-laden 2017 contract by returning to first-team All-Pro status, the fourth time he’s done so in his eight-year career. Only Tony Gonzalez (six) earned more first-team All-Pro distinctions. Gronk will turn 29 in May and still has two seasons remaining on his extension signed back in 2012. He’s set to earn $8MM in base salary in 2018 and take up $10.91MM of the Patriots’ cap.

Here’s more from the AFC champions and the latest from the NFC East.

  • Take this with a grain of salt, but Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told reporters that he will not address whether he’s going to join the Colts as their new head coach or stay in New England as their offensive coordinator (Twitter link via Doug Kyed of NESN). A report emerged during Super Bowl LII that McDaniels was considering backing out of his unofficial Indianapolis agreement.
  • Redskins president Bruce Allen has been speaking to rival executives about possibly tagging Kirk Cousins, but they don’t see the logic in doing that, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. The feeling around the league, La Canfora says, is that consideration of the tag feels overly personal. As PFR’s Rory Parks explained over the weekend, tagging and trading Cousins could wind up backfiring hard on the team.
  • The Giants are planning to hire two more assistants for Pat Shurmur‘s first staff. Deshea Townsend and Ben Wilkerson will be joining the staff as assistant defensive backs coach and assistant offensive line coach, respectively, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports. A 13-year NFL veteran corner, Townsend served as the Titans’ DBs coach during Mike Mularkey‘s two-year run. Wilkerson spent the past three seasons on John Fox‘s Bears staff.
  • Carson Wentz‘s severe knee injuries would make the Eagles “fools” to trade Nick Foles now, especially considering what Jimmy Garoppolo fetched in a trade in October, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. Signed to just a two-year, $11MM deal, Foles could serve as an elite insurance policy while Wentz recovers. While the Super Bowl champions’ franchise quarterback is hopeful to return in time for the start of the 2018 season, the December setback could leave him on the shelf going into training camp.
  • Conversely, the Eagles’ lack of a second- or third-round pick in next year’s draft could make acquiring a second-rounder more important than keeping Foles while Wentz recovers, Les Bowen of Philly.com writes. Foles’ previous shortcomings as a starter should give teams pause, but his 72 percent playoff completion rate this year was third in NFL history — behind only Joe Montana (1989) and Troy Aikman (1993) — for a player with at least 75 throws. And his stock will probably never be higher. The 29-year-old passer would be an interesting name on an already complex QB market.

Zach Links contributed to this report.