Don't be stunned if Jerry Jones works a deal
In this installment of Third and Short, our experts put on their general manager hats and look at the upcoming draft.
In this installment of Third and Short, our experts put on their general manager hats. What should the Cowboys do with their two first-round picks? Should the Falcons draft an impact player? And is this the Chargers' year?
Matt Mosley: What should the Cowboys do with their two first-round picks?
I've been so caught up in the pursuit of cornerback Pacman Jones that I almost forgot the Cowboys had two picks in the first round of next month's draft. In the latest Hashmarks mock draft, I have the club selecting Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed No. 22 and Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart No. 28.
Pat Yasinskas: Should the Falcons draft an immediate impact player to be the face of the franchise?
John Clayton: What do the Chargers need to do to get them over the hump?
The Chargers' strategy is to build through the draft and quickly lock up the best young players to long-term contracts. But if needs occur, Smith isn't afraid to make trades. He upgraded the offense last year by acquiring wide receiver Chris Chambers from the Dolphins for a second-round pick. Last year was a major turning point for the Chargers. Under new head coach Norv Turner, they proved they could win in the playoffs by advancing to the AFC title game. The franchise believes it has a two- or three-year window to win a championship. Next season could be that year. The schedule should allow them to get back to the 13- or 14-win area. Their schedule is one of the easiest in the league. The goal will be winning the AFC West and securing home-field advantage in the playoffs.
As usual, this will be a quiet offseason for the Chargers. They currently have four draft choices, but they should get a fourth-round compensatory pick for the loss of Donnie Edwards to Kansas City. The roster will have very few changes. The Chargers will also need a good offseason in the training room. Quarterback Philip Rivers is coming off ACL surgery, tight end Antonio Gates had toe surgery and Merriman and nose tackle Jamal Williams needed work done on their knees. Several Chargers are coming back from surgery, but none are expected to miss the start of the season. In fact, Rivers might do a little throwing at minicamp in May if he comes back quickly. This could be their year.
2008 FREE AGENCY
NFL teams began shopping for free agents on Feb. 29, with approximately 320 players available. Randy Moss (right), one of the top free agents available, re-signed with the Pats.
• Free-agent tracker
Commentary/Features• Paolantonio: Raiders wasting cash on Hall
• Clayton: Raiders immersed in spending spree
• Yasinskas: Bucs spending wisely
• Third And Short: Free-agent analysis
• Clayton: Best remaining players
• Clayton: Top 10 free-agent gambles
• Yasinskas: Saints rolling dice on Vilma, Morgan
• Sando: Role players cashing in
• Yasinskas: Jets improved, but QB remains issue
• Yasinskas: Browns focused on winning
• Clayton: Moss-Patriots deal meant to be
• Clayton: Winners and losers
• Chadiha: Reese sets the standard for rookie GMs
• Yasinskas: Five aggressive teams in the market
• Pasquarelli: Big payoffs await less-heralded FAs
• Clayton: It's better to keep your own guys
• Research: Top 10 free agents of all time
• Yasinskas: Redskins to try new approach
• Joyner: Evaluating four big names
• Chadiha: Dealing with the franchise tag
• Panthers continue O-line makeover, sign Brown
• Browns help LB depth, sign Orr to 1-year contract March 20
• Pats agree to deal with CB Bryant
• Roundup: Rams re-sign Romberg March 19
• Packers agree with LB Chillar
• Bengals' Andrews signs franchise tender
• Punter Turk re-signs with Texans
• Colts keep defensive end Thomas with new deal