Colt McCoy

NFC East Rumors: Long, Redskins, Cowboys

Let’s look at the latest from the NFC East, starting with how the Eagles attempt to fill the void Malik Jackson‘s injury created.

  • Jackson going down wounded one of the NFL’s top defensive lines, and it prompted Doug Pederson to address whether or not the Eagles and Chris Long had been in contact. The defensive end retired, in part because there would not be as much playing time to go around this season. But even with Jackson’s injury, Pederson said the Eagles were focused on adding a defensive tackle, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. “We’re pretty deep at D-end right now so just the D-tackle spot,” Pederson said. The Eagles signed former Dolphins starter Akeem Spence to help on their interior. Jackson has worked as a 4-3 end, 4-3 tackle and 3-4 end but was a tackle in Philadelphia’s scheme.
  • The Redskins have declared Jonathan Allen out for their Week 2 game. He suffered an MCL sprain Sunday and is considered week-to-week, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). There is a chance Allen returns for Week 3 or Week 4, with ESPN.com’s John Keim classifying this as a grade 1 sprain (Twitter link). The third-year defensive end missed 11 games as a rookie but re-emerged with a 16-game 2018 season.
  • Moving to a third NFC East team’s defensive front, Taco Charlton has yet to reward the Cowboys for their first-round investment in him two years ago. Despite Robert Quinn being suspended, the Cowboys made Charlton a healthy scratch against the Giants. A trade would not surprise Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams, with the veteran Cowboys reporter noting the team may still be looking for a safety. The Cowboys are the only known team to contact the Dolphins on now-available Minkah Fitzpatrick.
  • Washington placed Derrius Guice on IR earlier Friday but will not make that move with Colt McCoy. The backup quarterback is progressing to the point a return in advance of Week 4 is realistic, Keim tweets. Dwayne Haskins served as Case Keenum‘s backup Sunday; a McCoy return may shift Washington’s first-round passer to a more developmental role. McCoy also figures to work as a mentor-type figure for the young quarterback.
  • Sterling Shepard remains in the Giants‘ concussion protocol and will miss Sunday’s game against the Bills. The Giants also have Cody Latimer listed as questionable. New York brought back T.J. Jones this week and is set to deploy its lowest-profile receiving corps since the midseason games Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr. missed in 2017.

NFC Notes: Inactives, Peterson, Evans, Jones

Adrian Peterson will not suit up vs. the Eagles today, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has made it clear that Derrius Guice will be the starter and handle most of the rushing work.

Some of Peterson’s teammates aren’t happy that he’s a healthy scratch, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The future Hall-of-Famer is regarded by some as the best back on the team and many members of the Redskins believed that come week 1, the question would be how many carries Guice would be taking away from Peterson and not whether Peterson would be suiting up.

Washington gave Peterson a $1.5MM signing bonus and another $1MM to re-sign with the club this offseason. No word if the team has plans to trade or release him.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • TE Jordan Reed is among the other inactives for the Redskins, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. QB Colt McCoy will also not suit up.
  • Mike Evans and Devin White will both play for the Buccaneers today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The pair were listed as questionable heading into the contest will illnesses.
  • CB Byron Jones won’t start for the Cowboys today, Schefter adds in a separate tweet. Jones will play, but he’ll be limited as he is still recovering from offseason hip surgery.
  • RT Marcus Gilbert will not play for the Cardinals today, as Darren Urban relays on the team’s website. Gilbert is nursing a knee injury.

Colt McCoy To Miss Regular-Season Time?

Signs are pointing toward Case Keenum piloting the Redskins’ offense when the season begins. With Dwayne Haskins still in developmental mode, Colt McCoy‘s injury setback will point Keenum toward taking a fourth team’s snaps in four years.

Listed as the Redskins’ starter on their first depth chart this year, McCoy missed the team’s second preseason game and now is without a firm return timetable. Jay Gruden acknowledged (via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, on Twitter) Sunday his longtime backup may miss multiple games this season. At the very least, it appears McCoy is a ways away from coming back.

The broken leg he suffered took most of the offseason to surmount, and McCoy has yet to completely clear the final hurdles of this journey. McCoy visited foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson recently about his right leg, with John Keim of ESPN.com tweeting the issue continues to be McCoy’s inability to push off of that foot without pain. Gruden said he will not put the veteran passer back out there until he is absolutely ready.

Keenum took the Week 1 snaps for the 2016 Rams and 2018 Broncos and played most of the way for the 2017 Vikings in what was easily his most successful season. McCoy has been with the Redskins since Robert Griffin III was ahead of Kirk Cousins on the depth chart. The former Texas standout received one start last season, following Alex Smith‘s injury, but broke his leg during that game. One season, at $3MM, remains on McCoy’s contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Giants

It’s unclear if Colt McCoy ever had a realistic chance to serve as the Redskins‘ starting quarterback in 2019, but his continued recovery from a broken leg has deprived him of even getting the opportunity. McCoy won’t play in Washington’s second preseason game after experiencing leg soreness, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters (link via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). Additionally, McCoy has no timeline for a possible return, meaning he’s certainly a candidate to miss regular season time. Trade acquisition Case Keenum looks like the favorite to start for the Redskins, with 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins likely to act as Keenum’s backup, at least to open the year.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

NFC East

  • The Cowboys have a quandary on their hands: how to pay Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper? Prescott, for his part, is reportedly targeting Russell Wilson‘s $35MM yearly salary, but none of Dallas’ trifecta has set a deadline for negotiations with the club’s front office. Vice president of player personnel Will McClay admits fitting all three on the Cowboys’ books could prove difficult, but says the club is in a good position. “It makes it challenging, but it’s a good challenge because we follow the recipe that we’ve used to get these young players,” McClay told Jon Machota of The Athletic. “Now we have to figure out if we can pay them because they are good enough. It’s just to keep that thing going and trying to find young talent.”
  • After getting handed a four-game suspension for taking what he claims were fertility drugs, Giants wideout Golden Tate is considering a lawsuit against the doctor who originally prescribed the drugs, as Williams writes in a separate piece. Tate, who self-reported his violation after realizing the active ingredient in the medication was on the NFL’s banned substance list, will lose salary and signing bonus, while his 2020 guarantees are also expected to void. The veteran pass-catcher appealed his ban but was formally denied earlier this week.
  • Tate will be forced to give back some of his salary and signing bonus as a result of his suspension, and the annual average of his contract will be reduced commensurately. While that reduction could theoretically affect the compensatory pick the Eagles will receive in exchange for losing Tate as a free agent, Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice explains while Philadelphia is unlikely to be altered.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Haskins, Giants

As other teams continue to finalize pivotal extensions, work remains for the Cowboys on this front. Contract talks are ongoing for Dallas’ standout trio — Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper — entering the team’s first preseason game, and ESPN.com’s Todd Archer notes none of these contracts is particularly close to being done. Nevertheless, Jerry Jones remains confident.

You just know like so many things it’ll happen. It’ll happen,” Jones said of the extensions. “There literally is no concern on my part at all about any timeframe. That’ll happen. The results are too good for them and too good for the Cowboys. Think about it a minute. The results are too good for them and too good for the Cowboys. That always happens when it’s good for both (sides).”

Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones has mentioned possible team-friendly discounts for these players, due to the financial opportunities that come with playing with this particular franchise, and added the team not does not intend to set positional markets. (For what it’s worth, the Cowboys set the guard market last summer with Zack Martin.) Elliott, however, remains a holdout — with two days remaining until the Aug. 6 date that will determine whether the running back is a UFA or an RFA in 2020 — and Prescott does not sound receptive to a Cowboys-friendly deal.

Going from the Cowboys’ off-field matters to some of their rivals’ on-field setups, here is the NFC East’s latest:

  • Although Colt McCoy spent the offseason rehabbing a broken leg, he emerged as the Redskins‘ starting quarterback on their first depth chart. It is not certain he will take the snaps in Week 1, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington indicates camp work thus far has revealed this competition has become a two-man battle between McCoy and Case Keenum. It should be expected Dwayne Haskins takes over at some point this season, but Finlay notes the first-round pick has not looked ready yet. Haskins sits as Washington’s QB3 on the first depth chart.
  • Despite Dexter Lawrence tipping the scales north of 340 pounds, the Giants are playing him as a five-technique defensive end, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com notes. This will accommodate the 318-pound Dalvin Tomlinson, who moved from end to tackle after Damon Harrison was traded midseason. Tomlinson is indeed operating as Big Blue’s first-string nose. Lawrence played the nose spot at Clemson but has impressed the Giants with his pass-rushing ability this offseason. The mammoth defensive lineman registered 1.5 sacks last season but collected 6.5 as a freshman in 2016. Either way, New York will boast a physically imposing defensive front.
  • Darius Slayton‘s encouraging offseason has not yet translated to camp, with the rookie wide receiver joining some higher-profile Giants wideouts in being unavailable. Slayton has missed 10 consecutive practices because of a hamstring injury, Dunleavy notes. For the non-Giants-following sect, Sterling Shepard broke his thumb, Corey Coleman tore his ACL and Golden Tate received a four-game suspension since camp began.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Giants

With Brandon Brooks going down with a torn Achilles in the second round of the playoffs, the Eagles face an issue regarding how their starting offensive line will look come Week 1. But five months later, Brooks revealed a bit about where his recovery process stands. The veteran guard shared a brief workout video (Twitter link) that shows him doing agility drills again. The fourth-year Eagle will almost certainly begin training camp on the active/PUP list, and it can’t be considered a lock he will be ready for the start of the season. But this represents an encouraging sign from the mammoth offensive lineman.

In the event Brooks is not ready to go in September, a contingency plan might involve a position switch. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced Jason Peters at left tackle as a rookie in 2017, has worked at guard at times this offseason. The Eagles appear to be preparing Vaitai to be their Brooks stopgap, in the event he needs more time, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in Round 1 and have rugby convert Jordan Mailata at tackle as well, so Vaitai working at guard may be a way to stay on the roster. This is interesting given that Stefen Wisniewski (24 Eagles left guard starts from 2016-18) re-signed in May. It would stand to reason the experienced interior lineman would be the Brooks fill-in, but Doug Pederson mentioned a possible Vaitai-Lane Johnson right side recently.

Shifting to more NFC East position battles, here is the latest out of the division:

  • The Eagles’ Zach Brown addition figures to clear up uncertainty about their three-down linebacker sets, with Brown joining Nigel Bradham. And despite the return of Paul Worrilow and arrival of L.J. Fort, Zangaro notes Kamu Grugier-Hill remains the third linebacker in base sets and adds it would not be a surprise to see him gut into Brown’s work in nickel sets. Grugier-Hill played 32% of the Eagles’ 2018 defensive snaps. Brown, however, posted a top-10 Pro Football Focus coverage grade last season. Grugier-Hill did not grade nearly as well.
  • Colt McCoy‘s final surgery total from the fractured fibula he suffered late last season: three. The veteran Redskins quarterback is expected to be cleared for training camp, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes McCoy indeed underwent three procedures since December — the most recent coming in April. McCoy’s knowledge of Jay Gruden‘s offense will help him in Washington’s QB battle and possibly as a mentor type once Dwayne Haskins inevitably takes over this season.
  • Once Janoris Jenkins returned to work this offseason, Deandre Baker remained a Giants first-stringer over Sam Beal this offseason. And UDFA Grant Haley resides as the favorite to replace B.W. Webb as the team’s slot corner, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. While including Beal as a possible challenger for the slot job, along with fourth-round rookie Julian Love, Dunleavy notes the 2018 supplemental draft pick does not have slot experience. This would stand to make the Western Michigan product Big Blue’s CB4 to start the season.
  • Alec Ogletree has one Giants inside linebacker job locked up, and as of now, fourth-year man B.J. Goodson is the team’s base-set starter. Tae Davis remains the nickel replacement for Goodson, per Dunleavy, but rookie fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly is in the mix for this role. The fifth-rounder out of Wisconsin was viewed as one of this draft’s top coverage linebackers.

NFC Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Vikings, Cardinals

Following Joe Douglas‘s move to the Jets, Andy Weidl has been leading the Eagles‘ scouting department as the director of player personnel, tweets Geoff Mosher of 97.3 ESPN in Jersey. Weidl previously served as Philly’s assistant director of player personnel.

It’s unclear whether Weidl’s new role is on an interim basis or permanent, but it’s obviously that the executive is prepared to take on a bigger role. Further complicating matters is the fact that Weidl could end up joining Douglas in New York.

Lets check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy missed his team’s minicamp as he recovered from a leg injury. However, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington observed that the veteran continued to work with tight end Jordan Reed during the sessions, and the team believes McCoy will be fully ready for training camp. The 32-year-old will be competing with Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins for a starting gig, and perhaps partly due to McCoy’s injury, the head coach has yet to make a decision on who will be the starter. “For me to make a determination on the starting quarterback after minicamp or mandatory camp is just kind of foolish,” Jay Gruden said. “We’ll let these guys continue to play and see which one continues to improve, which one is most consistent throughout the training camp and preseason and we’ll go from there.”
  • The Vikings have a number of competitions on their hands, according to Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com. Three-year veteran Kevin McDermott and rookie seventh-rounder Austin Cutting will be going head-to-head for long snapping duties, with only one of the two presumably in line to make the final roster. Meanwhile, the team is expected to host free agent punters Justin Vogel, Shane Tripucka, and “at least one other” on Wednesday. The Vikings are hoping to provide incumbent punter Matt Wile, who struggled as a holder last season, with competition.
  • Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune points to wide receiver as another position battle for the Vikings, as the coaching staff is looking for someone to emerge behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The team has tried out a number of players in their three-receiver package, including Laquon Treadwell, Jordan Taylor, and Chad Beebe. Rookie Olabisi Johnson and former CFL player Brandon Zylstra also have a chance to play a role.
  • Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL, allowing rookie Mason Cole to start all 16 games. Now, heading into 2019, both players are vying for that starting spot, and the veteran player isn’t willing to concede to his younger teammate. “Competition? Is there a competition?” Shipley asked Katherine Fitzgerald of the Arizona Republic. “I don’t know, you guys tell me. That’s what you keep saying. I’m going in as I’ve got over 100 games played in the NFL, so if they want to give it to someone else, that’s cool, that’s up to them, but I’m going in as the guy. That’s the way I operate.”

NFC East Rumors: Redskins, Cowboys, Giants

Jay Gruden studied this year’s quarterback class extensively, watching every throw each of the high- and mid-tier prospects made. The sixth-year Redskins coach said he did more work on this year’s QB class than he had in any draft since 2011, when the Bengals, Gruden’s employer at the time, selected Andy Dalton. In addition to Dwayne Haskins‘ arm strength, Gruden said the one-year Ohio State starter’s presence reminded him of Cam Newton.

They’re all pretty confident kids, bright-eyed. I was impressed with the entire class,” Gruden said, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “But (Haskins) has a demeanor and aura about him, kind of similar to Cam Newton coming out, just an aura of confidence. There’s something about him. When you’re around him, you feel like he’s got it, everything’s going to be OK — that he’s going to be successful, because he believes it.”

Haskins and Case Keenum will split the Redskins’ first-team reps, with Colt McCoy still out because of his fractured fibula injury. However, McCoy is expected to participate partially in Washington’s minicamp and be ready for training camp, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While Gruden said Haskins is no lock to play this year, nearly every recent first-round passer chosen becoming a first-season starter points to the newcomer taking the reins early.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting to news out of Dallas:

  • The Cowboys will not have Taco Charlton in action for a bit. The former first-round pick underwent ankle surgery recently, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets. While Watkins describes this as a minor procedure, Charlton will likely miss Dallas’ offseason activities. He is expected to be ready for camp. This marks the second operation Charlton has undergone this offseason. Shortly after the Cowboys’ 2018 season concluded, the 24-year-old defensive end had shoulder surgery.
  • One of Charlton’s defensive line mates may have to face the prospect of missing regular-season time. Tyrone Crawford was popped with a misdemeanor charge of unlawful assembly related to the March incident at a Florida bar, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com writes. An affidavit indicates Crawford, after being removed from the bar, threw punches at multiple security officers and hit at least one of them. This seems likely to produce a suspension for the veteran defensive lineman.
  • Cowboys seventh-round running back Mike Weber injured his knee over the weekend, but it appears he avoided a serious setback. Weber went through an MRI but was back on the practice field Sunday, per Breer. Weber is expected to compete for time behind Ezekiel Elliott and fourth-round pick Tony Pollard, with Weber profiling as more of a traditional back compared to the versatile Pollard. The Cowboys lost previous Elliott backup Rod Smith to the Giants in free agency.
  • Mike Remmers will not have a free pass to the Giants’ starting lineup. Offensive line coach Hal Hunter named incumbent Chad Wheeler the first-string right tackle last week, but that was before Remmers was signed. “It is up to (Wheeler) to hold that position,” Hunter said, via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. “It is up to everyone else to beat him out.” Remmers’ contract (one year, $2.5MM), history (64 starts) and connections to Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur would point to him having the upper hand. Wheeler took over for Ereck Flowers early last season and graded as Pro Football Focus’ third-worst full-time tackle. The Giants were connected to multiple free agent right tackles this offseason.

Latest On Redskins’ QB Situation

The Redskins’ starting quarterback race is wide open at the moment, but as John Keim of ESPN.com writes, 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins is already making his case for the job.

Haskins has impressed after two days of rookie minicamp, and head coach Jay Gruden said of the Ohio State product, “[i]t’s been a treat. He’s made some throws that turn your head without a doubt.”

Of course, Haskins still has a long way to go, and two days of rookie minicamp will not make or break his future with Washington. But as the No. 15 overall pick, he will certainly be given ample opportunity to start right away, and his performance thus far has been promising.

The Redskins’ OTAs and mandatory minicamp will be critical in clarifying the team’s quarterback situation, because Gruden does not like to have a three-man competition in training camp. He believes, understandably, that it is too difficult to divide meaningful repetitions between three players, so the pressure is on Haskins and veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy over the coming weeks.

Given that Haskins has a lot of basics to master — like his footwork and dropping back from under center, which he did not do in college — Keenum and McCoy may have a leg up for the time being, especially since Gruden’s job security is tenuous at best and he needs to win games in 2019 to keep his post. But Haskins obviously has the highest upside of any of the three competitors, and the Redskins expect him to develop quickly.

Gruden said, “The most important thing in the next couple weeks is, let’s see how far we can push [Haskins]. Let’s see if there is a chance he can win the job. If we feel like he’s coming along slower, then we have to maybe push Case or push Colt. But if we feel like [Haskins] is coming along and he’s firing and he’s comfortable, then we’ll play it out and see what happens.”

Gruden sounds like a man who wants his rookie signal-caller to seize the opportunity and run with it, and Haskins is up for the challenge. He said, “I’ll be ready for whatever the coaches want from me, whether that’s starting right away or next year or through the season. I’ll prepare like I’m the starter.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins In Talks With Peterson, Scherff

Two key Redskins players, at different points in their respective careers, have engaged in discussions with the team about new deals.

Adrian Peterson has participated in preliminary talks with the Redskins, John Keim of ESPN.com notes, adding Brandon Scherff — under contract via fifth-year option in 2019 — has been in discussions with Washington about his next contract.

Peterson has said on multiple occasions he would like to return to the Redskins. The future Hall of Famer was a free agent throughout the 2018 offseason. Derrius Guice‘s injury led Peterson to Washington, and he responded with his eighth 1,000-yard rushing season. He also played all 16 games for just the second time in the past six seasons, the other being when he won the 2015 rushing title.

Guice, though, is expected to be healthy for the 2019 season. The Redskins also have passing-down back Chris Thompson under contract. Peterson’s skill set would seemingly overlap with Guice’s, but the soon-to-be 34-year-old back is obviously the more proven NFL runner and could be used in a timeshare with the LSU alum.

Scherff’s salary will spike from $6.8MM to $12.5MM this season. An extension would help the Redskins lower that cap number by a bit and help a team that will carry Alex Smith‘s contract in addition to a potential extra veteran starter-level salary, perhaps similar to the Dolphins’ 2017 Ryan TannehillJay Cutler setup.

It’s also possible the Redskins do not look to the veteran market to fill in for Smith. Washington is “looking hard” at quarterback prospects and continues to believe in Colt McCoy, Keim adds, pointing out a cheaper bridge-type option may be the better bet for Washington than a veteran starter.

An upper-echelon guard since coming into the league, Scherff can be expected to command a deal in the neighborhood of the highest-paid guards in the NFL. Zack Martin and Andrew Norwell became the NFL’s first guards to sign for $13MM-plus per year. Washington, though, already has Trent Williams and Morgan Moses signed to high-end deals and holds barely $20MM in cap space. Navigating toward a Scherff extension won’t be easy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.