Mort also reports that Nicks " is willing to weigh a one-year contract to prove his past two seasons were aberrations, league sources said."
So, a couple of things on this:
1. If Nicks really can offer documented proof that past leg injuries haven't sapped his speed and explosiveness, good for him, because there's none on his 2013 game tape.
2. If physical problems weren't limiting Nicks in 2013, and I were an interested team, I'd have a ton of questions about what was limiting him. If he was as healthy as he says he was, then it's reasonable to conclude that we were watching a player give somewhat minimal effort on the field because he was overly concerned about getting injured in his walk year. And if he's that kind of player (which nothing in his previous history ever indicated he was), that's going to turn off a team or two.
3. The one-year deal thing could happen with a lot of high-profile guys coming off down years. B.J. Raji is talking about one with the Packers, for instance. With the salary cap set to rise dramatically in the next two seasons, players know there's going to be even more money in the pool for them next year. If you're willing to bet on yourself, why not take a one-year deal and hit the market again a year from now after a better season? Nicks would only be 27 when next year's market opened.
The problem is, Nicks just had a lousy contract year, and signing a one-year deal would put him in the same position he occupied in 2013. And who'd want that player again? That's a player that gets offensive coordinators fired.
I have been saying for a while that, if Nicks really is healthy, someone's going to get a very good player for next year and beyond. My sense with regard to the Giants is that they're far enough down on Nicks due to his disappointing 2013 season that they won't be the team that signs him. I think a team or two will be willing to pay for the player Nicks was earlier in his career on the belief that, at age 26, he can still be that player again. So he'll probably get a nice deal somewhere. Other than East Rutherford.
- There will be a lot of rumors circulating this weekend, based on who the Redskins have contacted during this open negotiating period. But it’s not as if these are all meaningful discussions.
- Nobody can be signed and just because they talk to someone early Saturday afternoon, it might not mean much come Sunday night or Monday morning or, especially, on Tuesday. An agent can use that first negotiating call to get better offers from another team later in the weekend. Of course, he can always go back to the original team.
- The point is, it will be tough to get a handle on a lot of what takes place this weekend. Some teams might be reluctant to say too much for fear that their initial talk will be used as leverage for other teams.
- General manager Bruce Allen can contact an agent, ask what they want, find out it’s several million more than they’re willing to pay and then move on. But the agent can tell the media that, yes, Washington contacted us about this player. Doesn’t mean the interest is legit.
- The Redskins contacted some players early in this period a year ago and that was their only discussion. Not having cap space prohibited them from doing much, but they could have gone in different directions had they wanted or opted not to re-sign almost all of their own free agents. Still, they lacked the money to reach out to some high-profile players. It's hard to imagine they would sign someone such as Buffalo's Jairus Byrd, but they should at least make contact just in case. Along with that, they'll call the agents for players such as safety Mike Mitchell and corner Aqib Talib. Perhaps they'll find out they can sign those two at a price tag close to what it would cost to sign Byrd.
- It’s good business for agents if they can somehow spread the word that X number of teams are interested in their client (some teams more so in particular because of their desire to spend).
- In some ways, it’s akin to bringing in a number of players before the draft. Clearly you’re not going to draft all of them, but it’s part of the so-called due diligence. But this period does allow teams to shape their lists and prioritize come Tuesday. Keep in mind, though, what an agent asks for this weekend could change quite a bit once his client sits on the market unsigned in a week or two.
- This is a feeling-out period and by Monday night we should be able to have a better handle on what will happen starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday when free agency begins.
- You can’t schedule a visit during this weekend (wink, wink). And if they do schedule a visit, you’re certainly not going to let people know. The NFL wouldn’t like that.
- Players can’t talk to teams or visit teams during this period and if you represent yourself, then you can’t talk to a team until free agency begins. Also, restricted free agents can’t be discussed until free agency starts as well.
- Among the names you might hear this weekend in relation to the Redskins: defensive lineman Linval Joseph, safety Mike Mitchell, linebacker Joe Mays, linebacker Jon Beason, linebacker Brandon Spikes, linebacker Daryl Smith, safety Malcolm Jenkins, corner Aqib Talib, receiver Hakeem Nicks, receiver Golden Tate, receiver Kenny Britt, corners Sam Shields and Walter Thurmond. I don’t know about the offensive line, but there are some solid centers available other than Alex Mack. I don’t know how many of these players the Redskins will actually target, but they either make sense for them or I’ve heard their names discussed. And I know there are players not on this list who will be contacted (or, rather, their agents will be).
- Obviously higher-profile free agents such as safeties Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward would be attractive and you need to do due diligence on them as well. But the cost might be too much.
As it stands today, the Cowboys released Everette Brown and Corvey Irvin from the unit, and are in discussions about a pay cut with starting defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
The group has four linemen who become free agents in Jason Hatcher, Anthony Spencer, Jarius Wynn and Martez Wilson.
Hatcher will test the market and could be too expensive to bring back either with a new contract or a franchise tag. Spencer is coming off microfracture surgery and team executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team is open to bringing him back. The team also has a strong interest in returning Wynn to the roster.
Overall, this group has depth issues.
Ware is the biggest question mark because the team doesn't want him to have a high salary-cap number ($16 million), but the team could be forced to just release him and create $7.4 million in cap space.
George Selvie (end) and Nick Hayden (tackle) are returning starters who excelled under line coach Rod Marinelli. However, if the Cowboys can find an upgrade in the draft to replace or create competition, it would replace Selvie and/or Hayden.
One of the keys to this group is pressure. As a whole, there wasn't enough pressure from the front four when Monte Kiffin was running the defense. Things could change under Marinelli and if the Cowboys secure better talent and get better performances in the secondary, to help with the pass rush.
Last year, Cowboys' officials said the line was a position of strength and it wasn't. The team lost Tyrone Crawford, Jay Ratliff, Anthony Spencer and Ben Bass to injuries.
Ware missed three games with a quad injury and the best lineman on the team was Hatcher, who led the team with a career-high 11 sacks.
The Cowboys did badly in the draft last year when it came to this position because it was hoping the current players on the roster would respond, and it bypassed upgrades at the position.
The Cowboys can't do that again this year.
Jones said the team isn't going to force selecting a lineman just because they need one; the Cowboys want to continue the trend of selecting the best man available.
Whatever the Cowboys elect to do, finding better talent in the draft is a must in 2014.
While he has not developed into a starter, Herzlich has been a useful player for the Giants. He's one of their best special-teams players and led the team with 14 special-teams tackles in 2013, and he's proven to be a useful reserve linebacker as well. Herzlich was a restricted free agent, so the Giants could have tendered him a contract and seen whether anyone else tried to sign him, but instead he's locked up for 2014.
Earlier this week, the Giants tendered restricted free-agent linebacker Spencer Paysinger, which means he's almost certain to be back in 2014, and they hosted recently released former Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain for a visit. McClain is a potential fallback at middle linebacker if they don't sign Beason, but they would prefer him as a strongside linebacker with Beason (or some better Beason replacement) in the middle. McClain has spoken to Buffalo and other teams as well.
The Giants have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to sign Beason if they want to keep him off the open market. While teams are allowed to start contacting the agents for other teams' free agents at noon ET on Saturday, Beason is representing himself. Therefore, the rules prohibit him from talking to any team but the Giants until the start of the new league year, which is 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
That was the immediate take after the Jaguars signed quarterback Chad Henne to a two-year contract Friday. The nature of the deal and, frankly, the nature of Chad Henne suggest the Jaguars plan to draft a quarterback in May and use Henne as an interim starter in 2014.
That place probably wasn't going to be Jacksonville. But each time a team with an obvious need at quarterback fills that need, Vick's options shrink. The list of likely possibilities includes Oakland, Minnesota, the New York Jets, Tampa Bay and Buffalo.
The other striking thing about Henne's deal is how it sets the market for veteran stopgap types. Henne will reportedly get $4.5 million guaranteed and a total of $8 million from the Jags.
Vick earned over $50 million in bonuses and salary over the past four seasons. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But he has also been dealing with the demands of the bankruptcy court, which has forced him to pay back his many creditors after his conviction on charges related to his dogfighting operation.
Vick reportedly emerged from bankruptcy only late last year. So he is surely looking for another big payday before his playing days are over. He will be 34 in June, so this is his last chance.
Did the Jaguars ever consider Vick? Did they prefer Henne because of football reasons and familiarity? Or did they figure Vick was holding out for a more prominent role than they were prepared to offer him?
The answers to those questions could provide clues about how Vick is seen around the league. The old truism that it only takes one team has never been more applicable than it is with Vick.
The Eagles were the only team willing to take a chance on him when he was reinstated by commission Roger Goodell in 2009. Will there be another team willing to give him a starting job in 2014?
It will be one of the most-watched stories in free agency. With Vick, that's the one thing you can be sure about.
IRVING, Texas -- Wade Phillips has the second-best winning percentage of any coach in Dallas Cowboys' history. Better than Tom Landry's. I think Phillips might know that.
On Thursday, Phillips tweeted this:
And later followed up with this addendum:
My surprise was that Jason and I had coached the same number of games. Not the record - time passes quickly -I wish Jason & Cowboys well— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) March 7, 2014
Like most things with Phillips, he lacked context.
When Phillips took over in 2007 as head coach, he inherited a team from Bill Parcells that was ready to win. QB Tony Romo was going into his first year as a full-time starter. The defense had DE DeMarcus Ware at his best. WR Terrell Owens was putting up big numbers.
The Cowboys went 13-3 and had the best record in the NFC. Phillips was the perfect antidote to Parcells and the players responded. Well, they did to a point. The Cowboys were not the same after beating the Green Bay Packers to move to 11-1 and effectively clinch home-field advantage.
They got lucky to beat the Detroit Lions the following week. They lost two of their last three games, but they were in shutdown mode against the Washington Redskins with nothing to gain from a win.
Other than momentum they had lost.
The Cowboys lost to the New York Giants in the divisional round at Texas Stadium, and the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.
That's basically when the Romo narrative started. Maybe you heard that Romo went to Cabo during the wild-card weekend. Did it affect the outcome of the Giants' game? Of course not, but the perception machine was rolling, and has been rolling ever since.
In 2008, the Cowboys acted as if they were predestined to not only make the playoffs but win the Super Bowl. Go back and watch the "Hard Knocks" episodes, and you see a team full of itself. They finished 9-7, missed the playoffs and were a mess late in the season.
Phillips could not pull it all together and looked inept as he attempted to deal with the fallout from the Adam "Pacman" Jones' incident. Phillips earned a reprieve in 2009 when Dallas posted an 11-5 record, won the NFC East title, and recorded a playoff win -- but that was the high point.
The Cowboys went 1-7 to start the 2010 season, including an embarrassing home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and a gutless loss to the Packers (45-7) the following week. After that game, Jerry Jones made the switch to Garrett, and the Cowboys are 29-27 since and have not made the playoffs.
Garrett did not inherit a team ready to win the way Phillips did in 2007. By the time Garrett took over, the Cowboys were growing old on the offensive line, and there were too many people (especially those in offices at Valley Ranch) who believed they had the best talent in the league.
The head coach of the Cowboys has tremendous sway with Jones. The Cowboys did not take Randy Moss in 1998 at least in part because then-coach Chan Gailey didn't want Moss.
On that premise, the 2008 draft -- with Dallas' two first-round picks -- was a mess because the Cowboys didn't even attempt to re-sign those first-rounders (Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins) when their contracts expired. The 2009 draft was a colossal failure in part because Jones was convinced that it could be a "special-teams draft," which is as ludicrous as the "draft for backups" the team had when Barry Switzer was the coach in 1995.
This is not in defense of Garrett. He has made plenty of mistakes on the field and in the draft.
Phillips has had a tremendous career in the NFL that has spanned decades. He is a terrific coordinator, but is he in the same conversation as guys like Dick LeBeau, or even Monte Kiffin? I'm not sure a Phillips defense scared offenses the way LeBeau's defenses in Pittsburgh and Kiffin's defenses in Tampa Bay did. Phillips was a good head coach but could not get his teams in Denver, Buffalo or Dallas past a certain point.
Phillips knows his resume inside and out. He can cite team stats and all the Hall of Famers he has coached.
He can claim his tweet was more about the number of games he and Garrett have coached, but it looked more like a passive-aggressive shot at the guy who replaced him, and a way for him to remind everybody of his record.
By the way, his winning percentage is .607. Landry had a .605 winning percentage.
Phillips has spoken to the people through Twitter with these comments:
Then we have this:
My surprise was that Jason and I had coached the same number of games. Not the record - time passes quickly -I wish Jason & Cowboys well— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) March 7, 2014
Cowboys reg season gms coached- Galley-32 Campo-48 Phillips-56 Garrett-56 Parcells-64 Switzer-64 Johnson-80 Landry-418— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) March 7, 2014
Recently, Phillips said his age, 66, was holding him back from another head coaching job. Phillips is a good coach who achieved some success with the Cowboys in his four seasons. He was the perfect hire for the Cowboys after four hard years with Bill Parcells’ demanding ways.
Parcells, a Hall of Famer with two Super Bowl rings, has a style that grinds on players.
Phillips is more of grandfatherly type of coach whose style is the opposite.
Garrett probably needs to grind on the players more, and while there is a healthy respect level for the man, his philosophy is not leading to positive results: meaning playoff appearances.
It was just interesting to see Phillips come out of nowhere to discuss his record with the Cowboys. I remember Jerry Jones saying a few years ago that Phillips never had a honeymoon as the head coach with the Cowboys.
Phillips' reign was always questioned about whether he had command of the team and if the respect was there.
If you look at core group of players, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin, the most success they obtained was under Phillips.
There was the 2009 playoff win, the two division titles with a No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC in 2007, all under Phillips.
Yet, we had the Pacman Jones suspension, the 44-6 loss at Philadelphia, Terrell Owens’ antics and finally the 1-7 start to the 2010 season, which led to Phillips’ firing.
Maybe Phillips is just being passive aggressive with his Twitter thoughts about what he thinks of Garrett. The current coach of the Cowboys is entering the final year of his contract and there’s no guarantee he’ll receive an extension. (Phillips, by the way, received one extension from Jones).
Maybe Phillips is trying to remind everyone that his time in Dallas brought better results than Garrett’s. At least Phillips got to the postseason.
And in some ways Jones is mindful of this and probably can’t give Garrett the contract extension he wants until he can break the Cowboys cycle of 8-8 seasons.
If Garrett can’t do that, the tenure of the son of the late Bum Phillips will always have been a more successful period in Cowboys history.
But Nnamdi Asomugha in 2011 is not the right precedent for the Eagles' current situation.
Jon Runyan in 2000 is.
In 2000, Andy Reid had finished his first season as head coach, just as Chip Kelly has in 2014. Reid had drafted Donovan McNabb to be his franchise quarterback. Kelly had Nick Foles stake a claim to that role. Like Reid in 2000, Kelly has had one season to coach his new players, getting a feel for who's who and what needs to be done.
Reid had Tra Thomas at left tackle. He needed someone to anchor the other side. The Eagles signed Runyan to a six-year, $30.5-million contract that made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL.
If Kelly and Roseman see the safety position as the massive sinkhole the rest of us see, and they identify Buffalo's Jairus Byrd (or whomever is at the top of their board) as someone who can fill that hole for the next five years, they can and should be bold and make a play for him.
It is perceived as a negative that Byrd wants to be the highest paid safety in the NFL. But no one criticized Runyan for taking advantage of his well-timed free agency to become the best-paid offensive lineman.
Let's be clear: No one is saying Roseman should throw crazy money at a player he doesn't believe is a difference-maker. That isn't the point here. But the lesson from Asomugha and the rest of the 2011 moves -- forever linked to the "Dream Team" tag applied by Vince Young -- shouldn't be that free agency is bad for team building.
Runyan was an integral part of the team Reid built, a team that went to five NFC championship games. More recently, Connor Barwin, Cary Williams and DeMeco Ryans (who was acquired in a trade) came from other teams and had a profoundly positive impact on the Eagles' locker room.
In 2011, the Eagles had to act quickly after the NFL lockout ended. They didn't have the usual free-agency period to bring players in for get-acquainted visits. Asomugha was the marquee free agent and the Eagles, believing themselves one or two moves from a Super Bowl, went all in to get him.
It didn't work out. OK, it was a disaster. But that was not the move Roseman should look at when considering his course of action this offseason. The Runyan signing is a much more telling precedent.
Key free agents: LB Brian Orakpo (franchise), LB Perry Riley, WR Josh Morgan, WR Santana Moss, S Brandon Meriweather, S Reed Doughty, LB Rob Jackson
Where they stand: The Redskins have about $30 million of cap space available, even with the franchise tender to Orakpo, so they will be able to upgrade defensively for the first time in a couple years. The problem is, Washington has so many holes to fill defensively. The Redskins need two starting safeties and must replace retired inside linebacker London Fletcher. If Riley leaves -- they would like him back, but they are not yet close to a deal -- then it creates another spot. They could use more help along the defensive line. Offensively, their holes are fewer, but they need another receiver -- or two -- and an interior lineman. Moss and Doughty -- as a backup -- could return at small deals; it’s tough to see Morgan coming back. He just wasn't productive enough. Meriweather wants to return, but the Redskins need an upgrade over his 2013 performance.
What to expect: A much more eventful period than last year, when the Redskins could only re-sign their own players and added no one of significance in free agency thanks to the second year of their $36-million cap penalty. But the question is, Can Washington pursue someone such as safety Jairus Byrd while having so many other needs? It will be difficult, but he would solidify the deep middle. They like safety Mike Mitchell as well. Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph is another possibility. Brandon Spikes, a liability in coverage, or Daryl Smith would fill a hole at inside linebacker. What the Redskins should not do is try and fill every need with a free agent and use up all their cap space. With several prominent players up for new deals in the next couple years, they need to also have an eye on the future.
Key free agents: QB Michael Vick, WR Jason Avant, S Nate Allen, P Donnie Jones, S Kurt Coleman.
Where they stand: By keeping wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin off the market, the Eagles assured their starting offense would look very much as it did in 2013. There are no obvious positions of need on that side of the ball that would likely be addressed in free agency. The defensive side is another matter. That unit made fine progress in its first year with coordinator Bill Davis’ 3-4 scheme, but the Eagles need playmakers there, especially in the secondary. Having $20-25 million in salary-cap space gives them the flexibility to do whatever they choose.
What to expect: GM Howie Roseman has repeatedly said he does not want to overpay in free agency, but the Eagles might have to go that route with a safety like Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward or Chris Clemons. Going for bargains at that position just has not worked, and Roseman has acknowledged he doesn’t want to get to the draft in dire need of a safety. There isn’t a lot of depth at outside linebacker -- teams do their best to hold on to effective pass-rushers -- but Roseman could look for a second-tier guy there. It would not be surprising if the Eagles re-signed Jones and added a kicker in free agency to compete with, or flat-out replace, Alex Henery. Keep an eye on a return man, perhaps Devin Hester or Dexter McCluster.
Key free agents: DT Linval Joseph, LB Jon Beason, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Justin Tuck, RB Andre Brown, TE Brandon Myers, CB Terrell Thomas, CB Trumaine McBride
Where they stand: The Giants have 23 unrestricted free agents and a crying need to rebuild an offense that bottomed out around quarterback Eli Manning in 2013. They need to find a wide receiver, a running back, a tight end and at least two starting offensive linemen. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is likely to have some input in the kinds of players they pursue in free agency because he's installing a relatively new offense in New York for the first time in 10 years. They will also need to plug holes on defense if they don't re-sign Beason, Tuck or Joseph. And they could use an upgrade over McBride at cornerback.
What to expect: The Giants are trying to lock up Beason in advance of free agency but haven't yet. Once the market opens Tuesday, expect them to be aggressive in their pursuit of interior offensive linemen. If they find an upgrade at center, they can gain significant cap room by designating David Baas a June 1 cut. But they will go after at least one free-agent guard (Geoff Schwartz, Jon Asamoah, guys like that) and possibly more. Improving the protection of Manning is a primary goal for the Giants this offseason. Beefing up the interior of the line would also help them re-establish the run game. As they pursue wide receivers, keep an eye on players like Dexter McCluster and Golden Tate, who could help the Giants' weak return units.
Key free agents: Jason Hatcher, Anthony Spencer, Brian Waters, Danny McCray, Ernie Sims, Jarius Wynn
Where they stand: After finishing with the worst-ranked defense in the NFL in 2013, the Cowboys need help everywhere, but mostly on the defensive line. The need could be even greater if the Cowboys are unable to come up with a new deal for DeMarcus Ware, who is set to make $12.25 million in 2014 and count $16.003 million against the cap. Coming off an 11-sack season, Hatcher is likely to command more money from another team that will make it unlikely for the Cowboys to match, but they will not close the door on keeping him. Spencer is rehabbing from knee surgery and could be had on a short-term deal that will not involve a lot of money. The rest of their free agents are more fill-in types who will be allowed to test the market if not allowed to leave altogether.
What to expect: Not much. Last year the Cowboys added safety Will Allen and linebacker Justin Durant in free agency on short-term, low-money deals. The approach will be more that way than setting the market on a player as they did in 2012 for cornerback Brandon Carr (five years, $50 million). Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys can be "efficient" spenders in free agency. The Cowboys will have to create space under the cap to sign players to modest deals. The best bet is for them to look for low-cost help on players on the line looking to rebound from down years or injuries. They also could look at safety, though Jerry Jones said at the NFL scouting combine that they liked their young safeties such as J.J. Wilcox. Whatever money the Cowboys do have is more likely to be set aside for Tyron Smith and/or Dez Bryant.
So I thought I’d take a look at four players who have been in the news lately, which prompted a round of questions:
CB Champ Bailey: Loved covering him early in his career in Washington and also watching him play. But what does he have left? The assumption is he could move to safety. However, in doing that he’d have to learn a new defense and a new position. That’s a lot to ask. Denver’s decision to release him is not about money, it’s about where his game stands. Perhaps if that Lisfranc injury heals well this offseason he’ll regain some of that lost explosiveness. But the team that knows him best did not think that would happen. It’s a tricky injury. He liked playing in Washington. He definitely tired of the organization so it’s debatable if he’d even want to return.
CB Cortland Finnegan: The Redskins likely would have pursued him in 2012 had the salary-cap penalty not been applied. This is why free agency is dangerous: Finnegan never came close to living up to his five-year, $50 million contract in St. Louis. Just remember that next week. Injuries cost him nine games this past season – three because of a hamstring issue; he was then placed on injured reserve because he fractured an orbital bone behind his left eye. But he was playing poorly before the injury. Last year, he had a nagging hamstring injury that left him mostly as a nickel corner (though he played in every game). He’s considered good in the locker room. At 30, once corners start breaking down it’s hard to trust them. And, at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds a move to safety is probably not the best idea. St. Louis apparently wants him back. If I’m the Redskins, I stay away from an aging corner coming off injuries who is smaller and doesn’t know my defense.
CB Brandon Browner: Unlike the other two, he already was an unrestricted free agent. But I’m including him here because of his recent reinstatement, so he became a popular one to ask about. But as part of his return to the NFL, he’ll have to sit out the first four games of 2014. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he’s big and physical. That style works great – when you have a pass rush like Seattle to match. But he’ll also turn 30 before the season and he’s limited as to his style of play. What they don’t need are more aging defensive players. And when physical corners age, if they can’t get their hands on a receiver, they struggle. However, Browner was well-liked in the Seattle locker room. I’d consider him more for safety than corner at this point.
KR/PR Devin Hester: Another player who already was a free agent. But, like Browner, Hester was in the news when the Bears confirmed they would not be re-signing him So ... there were questions. I would definitely consider him because it’s clear he’s still good. Hester averaged 27.6 yards on 52 kickoff returns last season (with four fumbles) and 14.2 on punt returns. He returned a punt 81 yards for a score against the Redskins. Shocker there, I know. Of his 18 punt returns, four went for at least 20 yards -- that’s three more than the Redskins had in 35 returns.
Hester counted $2.98 million against the salary cap in 2013. The Bears do not want to pay a return specialist that kind of money and it’s hard to blame them when they have other areas to fill. His lack of versatility hurts – he was tried at other spots and never produced. Do not fool yourself into thinking it would be different elsewhere. He’s a bit of a luxury and for a team with bigger holes, should he be signed even for, say, $2 million a year? But he has averaged at least 14.2 yards per punt return in three of the past four years.
The biggest name to watch from the pro day was cornerback Jason Verrett, a potential late first-round or second-round pick.
The Cowboys have an interest in bringing Verrett in for a private workout, but will be cautious because of his health. Verrett will need surgery to repair a torn labrum.
"[The doctors] feel like it’s gonna be a very short process," TCU coach Gary Patterson told TCU 360. "Everybody that’s done it has been able to be back before camp. On the high road, I think that’s what he’s anticipating. That he’ll be back before camp."
Verrett, the co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, missed just one game last season because of the injury.
As for the workout, Verrett did 19 reps of 225 pounds, impressive considering he needs surgery. Verrett didn't run the 40, however he posted a 4.38 40 at the combine. Verrett had a 39.5 vertical jump at the pro day.
Quarterback Casey Pachall, safety Elisha Olabode, tackle James Dunbar, guard John Woolridge, cornerback Keivon Gamble, running back Waymon James and center Eric Tausch participated in the pro day as well.