Breakfast links: Earning the right to link

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
8:00
AM ET
Tom Coughlin's new book, "Earn the Right to Win," hits the shelves today. (Honestly, is that the most Tom Coughlin book title you could ever imagine? "Earn the Right to Win?") You can catch the Giants coach with one of his former players Wednesday morning when he stops by "Live" with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. Coughlin's making the rounds this week. I'm curious to see whether Strahan or any of these other morning talk-show hosts asks any good questions about whether Kenny Phillips is coming back. Anyway, links.

Washington Redskins

Though they had options, and at least one player (Fred Davis) on whom they likely would have used it under different circumstances, the Redskins did not use the franchise player designation on anyone this year. Due to their salary-cap penalty, they really count not afford to.

I very much enjoyed Rich Campbell's feature on NFL players and their off-field businesses. It includes the Redskins' Lorenzo Alexander and Kedric Golston, who are operating a brand-new Pilates studio in Ashburn, Va. as well as Giants receiver Victor Cruz's "Young Whales" clothing line.

New York Giants

The Giants could plausibly have used the franchise tag on safety Kenny Phillips or tight end Martellus Bennett, but as Ohm points out, that's not how they roll. They use the tag for its originally intended purpose -- to buy themselves extra time to work out a long-term deal already in progress. With Will Beatty's deal wrapped up last week, there was no other player for whom the franchise designation would have suited the Giants' purpose.

Assuming Bennett goes elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent, I'd expect the Giants to bring in some veteran tight end to replace him. But I doubt it'd be a high-level guy, since they don't tend to spend on that position. And regardless, they'll be keeping an eye this offseason on the development of Adrien Robinson.

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer isn't ruling out the possibility that the Cowboys trade Anthony Spencer, even after they franchised him. I think it's farfetched to believe a team would trade a draft pick for Spencer knowing they have to either pay him $10.6 million or sign him long-term, but as Todd points out it's not unprecedented.

And Calvin wondered whether the franchising of Spencer and the release of safety Gerald Sensabaugh made it more likely that the Cowboys would target safety Kenny Vaccaro with their first-round draft pick. I have nothing against Vaccaro, and it's possible the Cowboys will target him or would have anyway. But with Spencer locked up to play defensive end for at least one more year, I think it's absolutely vital that the Cowboys use that pick on a building-block offensive lineman. To think they need a first-round safety to replace what Sensabaugh gave them is to overrate Sensabaugh.

Philadelphia Eagles

This recent look by Zach Berman at the Eagles' defensive line has me thinking that defensive line could be a major area of offseason emphasis, in free agency as well as in the draft.

Seems like everybody needs safeties around here, and the Eagles are obviously no exception. Sheil Kapadia has names of some potential targets, including some future Hall of Famers. Hard to see the Eagles signing someone as old as Ed Reed, but who knows? Maybe Chip Kelly feels differently about old guys than Andy Reid did.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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