The NFC East figures to be wide-open once again, with the New York Giants staying strong, Chip Kelly readying the Philadelphia Eagles for a new era, Robert Griffin III getting healthy for the Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys hoping that more money will make Tony Romo win them a playoff game.
The four teams are very close in talent, and unsurprisingly some of their best players have been making waves during OTAs, starting with some good-natured trash talk:
Vick caused a stir recently, claiming that he is faster than two of the NFL's best young dual-threat quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick. Many scoffed, but Vick has had no problem backing up his words in the past. LeSean McCoy challenged Vick to a foot race earlier this month, and Vick reportedly won handily.
Unfortunately, we likely won't get a chance to see Vick, Griffin and Kaepernick line up next to each other and prove who is the fastest man once and for all. At 32 years old, Vick may not be the betting favorite, but he would at least hold his own.
Thomas is in the midst of a comeback attempt from his third career torn right ACL. While the 28-year-old could return to bolster a young group of cornerbacks, general manager Jerry Reese suggested that Thomas could be more useful at safety. Thomas says he knows the position, and would be willing to make the transition. More importantly, he would save a lot of wear on his knee.
"[Playing corner] it's more being on an island," Thomas said. "Your knee is in a more unstable situation. You have to react to the receiver. Safety is more you're dictating. So I think that's why Jerry Reese said that.
"But I already knew I'd switch to safety later in my career just because of my body type, the way I play. So I'm not scared at all. If they tell me I'm going to play kicker, I'll play kicker."
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan recently told the Washington Post that Meriweather should be "fine" for the start of training camp in July. Meriweather is coming off his first career torn ACL, suffered in Week 11 of last season. Having never experienced the long recovery process before, Meriweather is less certain of his timetable.
"I never really had a torn ACL so I don't know what the timetable is like." Meriweather said. "If you ask me, I'll tell you I can go today. If you ask me if there's any doubt, I'll say no. But if you ask the doctor and the trainer, they may say yes. So to be honest, I really don't know."
The 29-year-old safety played in just one game last season. He dealt with a litany of knee injuries that kept him on the sidelines to watch the Redskins' secondary struggle last season. Meriweather recorded an interception against the Eagles before landing on injured reserve.
Graham has had a rough start to his career in Philadelphia. After being taken No. 13 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, he has already missed a season's worth of games. He mostly rode the bench until Jason Babin was released late last season. Graham thrived in the Eagles' final five games, however, recording four sacks and giving hope that he can put his career back on track. He told the CSN Philly that he is "ready to erupt."
"To end like I did last year and to know what I could have done if I had been playing last year, it lit a fire under me," Graham said. "And I'm going to make sure I'm going to keep that fire lit."
Graham will be playing outside linebacker under new Eagles' defensive coordinator Billy Davis, meaning he'll have to take on coverage responsibilities that he has never had to deal with in his college or professional career. The transition could be difficult, but Graham will need to succeed if he hopes to stay in Philadelphia much longer.