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NFC Notes: Saquon Barkley’s Return, Josh Harris’ Impact, Jerry Jones’ Influence on Commanders, Cowboys, and Giants

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Commanders

Commanders owner Josh Harris is going to have a busy offseason and told the media he is concerned with other things aside from the team name at this point.

“I’m lucky enough to be supported by an amazing ownership group, and obviously, we think we’re an attractive destination for the next generation of leadership,” Harris said, via CommandersWire.com. “This is probably amongst the most important jobs I have as a managing partner, and it’s important that I do this personally and get this right and that we bring in the right leadership. So we’re looking for the best people to build an elite franchise that’s going to consistently compete and win championships. So that’s kind of our goal in terms of the structure.

Harris responded when asked about a name change: “As you can see, we’re a little busy…Working on the next improvements to our stadium, in terms of fan experience, in terms of premium areas, and fixing a lot of different things and investing in the stadium. We’re going to be rolling out a big investment program in the next few weeks, and there’s an enormous amount of detail that the business staff and some of the ownership group are working on. Then, we’ve got obviously our new home and thinking about that. Right now, our focus today is on sports first and foremost, and then these other things and so, those are our focuses right now.”

Cowboys

  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on HC Mike McCarthy: “I couldn’t be more pleased with what he’s done and how he’s coached. … I really mean it. He has really made as big a difference from his head coaching vantage point as anybody could from any vantage point in the NFL. He’s the big difference this year.” (Jon Machota)
  • Jones pointed out McCarthy is under contract for 2024 and he isn’t worried about approaching him about an extension: “[He’s the] busiest cat in all of Texas. …So, the last thing that I want to do is spend any time talking with him about these kinds of things, on agreements, extension of agreements, especially when I’ve got one. So, that’s it.”
  • Albert Breer reports that Cowboys DC Dan Quinn will be taking interviews with the Chargers, Commanders, and Panthers.

Giants

Giants RB Saquon Barkley said he’s skipping the team’s open-door exit policy interviews.

I went through the whole process last year. We talked more than enough last year, to be honest. I’m gonna let my agents handle that,” Barkley said, via ESPN.

Barkley added that he’s “numb” to the process of being franchise tagged and asked that if that’s the route the team intends to take, they do it early on in the off-season rather than waiting.

They did it last year. So, I’m numb to it,” Barkley said. “I don’t have any feelings toward that at all. If you’re going to do it, just don’t wait until March 5. Just get it over with. If not, let me go. Simple.

Giants GM Joe Schoen said the franchise tag is certainly an option.

That’s a tool we have at our disposal,” Schoen said of applying the franchise tag. “I’m not saying we will or we won’t. A lot of those conversations will be had in the next month or so.

Barkley said he’s unsure of his future and whether or not he will continue his career in New York or elsewhere.

If it is my last game playing here — if it is — it was a fun six years,” Barkley said. “Made a lot of great memories, but it’s not like the last time I’m ever playing football. … If I knew that it was my last game, I probably would feel a little different, but like I said, I have no idea.

  • Charlotte Carroll reports the Giants fired OLBs coach Drew Wilkins and defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins.
  • Dan Duggan points out Drew Wilkins has been DC Wink Martindale‘s “right-hand man” since their time together with the Baltimore Ravens.
  • The Athletic’s Dan Duggan says to expect things to be messy between the Giants and Martindale as they negotiate a split. Duggan notes the Giants can’t block Martindale if he gets head coaching interest, but because he’s still under contract for 2024 they have some say in what coordinator jobs he could get.
  • For instance, the Eagles are expected to have a vacancy at defensive coordinator and Duggan writes the Giants will do what they can to ensure Martindale doesn’t land in Philadelphia.

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