|Signing safety Dashon Goldson might make sense for a Philadelphia Eagles team looking to pump up its secondary.|
With free agency set to kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12, Elliot Harrison identifies needs for all 32 teams over eight divisional primers. You'll find the outlook for each NFC East team below, but click here to examine other divisions.
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Top priority in free agency: Offensive line.
There are so many mitigating factors here. The Cowboys just got done restructuring the contracts of several players (Brandon Carr, DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, Jason Witten) so that they could get under the cap. There are still unsigned free agents-to-be to address on this team. And then there's the possibility that Doug Free will be moved from right tackle to guard. Neither Nate Livings nor Mackenzy Bernadeau played well at guard last season after being acquired in free agency. But whether it's in the marketplace or through the draft, something has to be done to shore up left guard, right guard and right tackle.
Other areas of interest: Safety, defensive end, defensive tackle.
New York Giants
Top priority in free agency: Defensive back.
Like their divisional rivals in Dallas, the Giants don't have a ton of money to play with. They still need to make decisions about tight end Martellus Bennett and guard Kevin Boothe, who are both headed for free agency. There's a slight possibility pass rusher Osi Umenyiora could return, but it's looking doubtful at this point. Beyond these initial concerns, coach Tom Coughlin and Co. must retool the secondary, which was beaten consistently last season. Safety Stevie Brown is a restricted free agent and cornerback Corey Webster has a big cap number. Kenny Phillips played fairly well when he was in the lineup ... but he was barely in the lineup. Terrell Thomas has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament three times. This group needs a lift.
Other areas of interest: Linebacker, tight end, defensive tackle.
Top priority in free agency: Safety.
The Eagles' secondary has been a real problem. The draft is a great tool, but Philly could potentially use three new players in the secondary; in order for it to get better, some work must be done in free agency. Nnamdi Asomugha could be cut. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent. The safety position is no great shakes, either. Philadelphia's back four made every quarterback -- save for maybe Brandon Weeden -- look like the love child of Aaron Rodgers and Dan Fouts, allowing 33 touchdown passes while picking off just eight. That's unbelievable futility. Philadelphia has more than $30 million in cap space. Perhaps making a push to sign safety Dashon Goldson might be the first, most appropriate move (although signing Ed Reed would be cool, too).
Other areas of interest: Cornerback, nose tackle, outside linebacker.
Top priority in free agency: Safety.
Yet another NFC East team that needs help in the back four, and yet another NFC East team that might not have the money to acquire it. The Redskins are dealing with the harsh reality of being slapped on the wrist by the NFL for the way they structured contracts during the uncapped 2010 season (the Cowboys were also hit, but with a lesser penalty). Washington is barely under the cap and has several of its own players to sign. The safety position, where Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty are the penciled-in starters, represents a glaring need on this team. Signing the Arizona Cardinals' Rashad Johnson could be an answer on the (somewhat) cheap, but the Redskins might not even be able to afford him, given how tight their money situation is. Tight end is a major priority, as Fred Davis -- coming off a season-ending injury -- is also a free agent. The Washington offense would benefit greatly from having a big target over the middle for Robert Griffin III.
Other areas of interest: Tight end, right tackle, linebacker.
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