Since we are closing in on the 2017 NFL season, it’s time to take a look around the NFC East to see how the teams did during the offseason. First up: The New York Giants.
In 2016 The New York Giants returned to the postseason for the first time since they won the Super Bowl in 2011. To do that, they went out did a little free agent shopping, they bought defensive end Olivier Vernon, five year, 85 million dollar contract and cornerback Janoris Jenkins signing him to a 5 year, 62.5 million dollar contract. They also had Landon Collins who had a Pro Bowl sophomore season and drafted Eli Apple number 10 overall in the 2016 draft.
The Giants are expected to have one of the best wide receiving corps in the NFL with addition of Brandon Marshall, adding him to Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard who will be in his 2nd NFL season. Marshall, who signed a two year, 11 million dollar contract, is looking for a bounce back season after the 2016 campaign saw him catch just 59 passes for 788 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Giants are the Cowboys stiffest competition in the NFC East and are poised to make a return trip to the playoffs in 2017.
They always say you win football games in the trenches and The Eagles are firm believers in that as they have built one of the best offensive and defensive lines in the NFL. On the offensive line, they are hoping to keep their best player active for all 16 games after Lane Johnson missed 10 games after being suspended for violating the NFLs performance-enhancing drug policy. Fletcher Cox remains the key cog on the defensive line.
It was clear to the Eagles front office where they needed to improve heading into the offseason and it was to get Carson Wentz some down the field threats, they went out and added wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith after Wentz averaged just 6.2 yards per pass attempt, which was second worst amount starting quarterbacks in 2016.
The Philadelphia Eagles will have to have a lot of good fortune to compete for a playoff spot in 2017.
The Washington Redskins had an eventful offseason, some non football related things like general manager Scot McCloughan being fired after just two seasons, some football related like the Kirk Cousins contract situation. The redskins signed Kirk Cousins to the franchise tag that is worth 23.9 million dollars. After that decision and leading up the draft there were rumors that had Kirk Cousins wanting to go to San Francisco to join Kyle Shanahan, but that deal never materialized.
Once that was settled and it was determined that Kirk would be back, the redskins went into team building mode. They lost wide receivers Desean Jackson who went to Tampa Bay and Pierre Garcon who landed in San Francisco, but they were able to snag free agent wide out Terrelle Pryor. Pryor is coming off his first season as a full time receiver where he posted over 1,000 yards with the Cleveland Browns.
If the redskins want to compete in 2017, they, like the eagles, will have to have a lot of good fortune as they are clearly behind the giants and the division champion cowboys.
Last but not least, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys made a decision to let every veteran defensive player take their talents elsewhere. They Let JJ Wilcox go to Tampa Bay, Barry Church went to Jacksonville, Brandon Carr to Baltimore and often injured Morris Claiborne went to the New York Jets. That left Orlando Scandrick, Jeff Heath, Byron Jones and second year cornerback Anthony Brown. The cowboys went on to use 6 of their 8 picks in the 2017 draft to replace the veterans that left.
Heading into training camp, a big question will be how quickly the young guys pick up the NFL game and even with that being said, the cowboys go into the 2017 season as the favorite to win the NFC East for second straight season and the third time in four seasons.
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