Good morning. Good to be back. Since I've been off for five days and the combine has been going on, we should have no shortage of things to discuss. And no shortage of links.
The weekend brought this from Dr. James Andrews, who has Robert Griffin III "well on his way" to recovery from his reconstructive knee surgery. Fresh meat for the optimists, which is fine. No one's rooting against a Griffin recovery in time for Week 1 (except maybe the Redskins' opponent that week). But the priorities here need to be care and caution, and it sounds as though that's the message Andrews is trying to send. I think.
Many of you have asked what the Redskins have planned in terms of this last-ditch effort to fight their salary cap penalties. Mark Maske's latest update makes it sounds as though the plan is to ask nicely. Good luck with that.
New York Giants
Jerry Reese is hoping for a big-time rebound from Justin Tuck, who didn't play as well in 2012 as he's accustomed to playing and apparently knows as much.
Reese also said during his media session at the combine that the team would not rule out drafting Manti Te'o just because of the Notre Dame linebacker's off-field controversy. Which is no surprise. I think it's more likely that they'd rule him out because they don't like linebackers.
Jerry Jones has no plans to part ways any time soon with quarterback Tony Romo or wide receiver Miles Austin. As we have discussed many times, an extension for Romo is forthcoming because his performance merits one and they need to reduce his 2013 cap number. And just because Dez Bryant surpassed Austin this year doesn't make Austin a bad player all of a sudden. Plenty of teams would love to have such a No. 2 wide receiver.
Sean Lee appears to have been born to play the middle linebacker spot in the Cowboys' new 4-3 defense, and Jason Garrett says that's exactly what the star playmaker will be doing in 2013.
Keep a close eye on what the Eagles do in the outside pass-rusher market. They'll need to feature at least one, as Jeff McLane writes, and if they're not convinced Trent Cole or Brandon Graham can play the "predator" position in Bill Davis' defense, they will be in the market for someone who can rush the passer from the outside linebacker position.
Don't forget that quarterbacks will shoot up the first-round projection boards in the months leading up to the draft. And if the Eagles fall in love with someone like Geno Smith, he could be the guy they take at No. 4. Seriously, don't rule it out.