Which free-agent move in the division surprised you the most? ESPN’s NFC East reporters make their picks:
Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys reporter: I can’t say Tony Romo still being on the Cowboys’ roster, can I? The Redskins got a good deal with Terrelle Pryor (one year, $6 million). I didn’t see that one coming at the start of free agency and that’s a nice way to replace the losses of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. But the Redskins had me scratching my head by signing Terrell McClain away from the Cowboys and saying goodbye to Chris Baker. As effective as McClain was for the Cowboys last year, he has not shown a lot of staying power in his career when it comes to health. Baker always seemed to give the Cowboys troubles.
John Keim, Washington Redskins reporter: The Redskins’ moves, at least when it came to allowing players to walk, didn’t surprise me. Their one signing that did was receiver Terrelle Pryor. Even they were surprised by that move, but it occurred because his market didn’t develop the way he’d hoped. It made sense for Philadelphia to sign two free-agent receivers — it wasn’t surprising that defensive tackle Bennie Logan left, but I was surprised Washington didn’t sign him. Dallas’ changes in the secondary were only mildly surprising. So perhaps the most surprising move was New York signing Jason Pierre-Paul to a blockbuster four-year, $62 million deal. The Giants were going to keep him around, having used the franchise tag on him. But the new deal provided cap relief in 2017, enabling New York to sign running back Shane Draughn and re-sign linebacker Keenan Robinson. It also gave Pierre-Paul $40 million guaranteed. After the season, some suggested Pierre-Paul either would need to sign a less-lucrative deal for about half what he eventually landed.
Tim McManus, Philadelphia Eagles reporter: The Cowboys’ inability (or unwillingness) to keep their secondary from getting picked apart in free agency is a little curious. They lost safety Barry Church(Jaguars), cornerbacks Brandon Carr (Ravens) and Morris Claiborne(Jets) and sub-package linebacker/safety J.J. Wilcox (Bucs). They offset the loss at corner somewhat by signing Nolan Carroll to a three-year deal, but he struggled at times last season for the Eagles and can’t be considered an upgrade barring a bounce-back season. This draft is said to be full of quality safeties and corners, and it looks like the Cowboys will be one of the teams trying to take advantage of that.
Jordan Raanan, New York Giants reporter: Consider me shocked that the Redskins allowed both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to walk, then signed free-agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor on a one-year prove-it deal. As if they didn’t have enough unknowns with their quarterback situation, now they add Pryor to the mix. Here is a player whose attitude has been questioned and he has added to the Redskins’ potentially toxic mix. It’s all curious to me. Just when it looked as though Washington really had something going — especially on offense — this happens. It’s hard to imagine it ending well this year with the quarterback having one foot out the door and working with a new No. 1 receiver who comes with question marks.