Later today, as part of our "Dream Team of Tomorrow" project, you will see my list of the players I think will be the stars of the NFC East in the years 2014-2016. The Eagles' Brandon Graham is the kind of player who could make his way onto such a list -- a 2010 first-round draft pick whose job is to sack quarterbacks. But he's not on my list (which only includes one player per team anyway), because he's injured and might not see the field for a long while. According to reports that surfaced Wednesday, Graham had microfracture surgery on his right knee last December and the Eagles didn't reveal that.
Microfracture surgery is a very serious procedure that involves, as Jeff McLane writes, "the drilling of small holes in the bone in an attempt to stimulate cartilage growth" and likely will keep Graham out longer than was initially forecast when he injured his knee. So in spite of Graham's protests to the contrary ("Everybody needs to worry about this lockout, if anything. I got this!" he wrote on Twitter), it looks as if the Eagles won't be able to count on much, if anything, from Graham in 2011. That's a shame for the young man and the reason we've been hearing so much noise about Philly possibly trying to find a pass-rushing defensive end in free agency. This is a go-for-it year for the Eagles, and they can't wait around for Graham to get healthy. If he can help, so much the better. But if he does come back in 2011, he's likely to find himself playing behind a veteran end.
The Eagles continue to hope the lockout ends in time for them to hold their training camp at Lehigh University, as they always do. Team president Joe Banner tells Philly.com that it's a priority for the team. Interesting nugget in Jon Tamari's story: Apparently, if the Eagles do have training camp at home in Philadelphia this year, fans won't be allowed to see any of it, because the team has an agreement with the residents in the area surrounding its regular-season training facility that they won't hold any fan events there.
Dez Bryant says he's dropped 10 pounds and is back to his college playing weight. He says it's helped him get quicker. He says doctors haven't cleared him for football activities yet, but he doesn't sound worried that it'll be too long. And he doesn't want to get into a war of words with Deion Sanders, who keeps needling him in various interviews. Probably a good idea, Dez.
Tony Romo said he believes the lockout will be over "shortly," his broken collarbone is completely healed and that he loves the way the player-organized workouts have gone for the Cowboys. Then he went and played golf. I also understand you can now find his wedding video online, though I don't have a reliable link and frankly wasn't all that interested. Sounds like a lot of Coldplay involved.
New York Giants
Prince Amukamara is apparently seeking and getting some advice this offseason from fellow Nebraska alum Ndamukong Suh on how to handle the transition to life as an NFL player. Good move, Prince.
Giants 101 takes a look back at Victor Cruz's journey to the Giants' 2010 active roster and wonders whether he'll be able to crack the lineup as a receiver on this year's team. Won't be easy, as the Giants remain loaded at that position. But I know the coaching staff thinks a lot of Cruz.
Terrence Austin, a 2010 seventh-round draft pick who managed to make the Redskins' roster last year, hopes to be able to be a bigger part of the offense in 2011. Hey, look: I have no idea who from among Washington's current receiving group will emerge or even play. But someone will. If you're a receiver on the back end of the Redskins' roster, you have hope and opportunity.
You will see solar panels in the parking lot if you go to a game at FedEx Field this year. The Redskins are working on trying to reduce their carbon footprint, which is nice, being socially responsible like that. Now, about that nickname ...