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Early returns: Reese made right moves

Giants general manager Jerry Reese was roundly criticized for failing to be an active participant in free agency, especially after releasing so many veterans and watching the Eagles go on a spending spree once the lockout ended.

But a month into the season, it's Reese who looks like he made the right decisions for his 3-1 team, as the 1-3 Eagles have stumbled out of the gate.

Reese released three offensive linemen -- center Shaun O'Hara, guard Rich Seubert and tackle-guard Shawn Andrews -- in salary-cap moves. None of the three is currently with another team.

The Giants also said goodbye to punter Matt Dodge, linebacker-special teamer Chase Blackburn and fullback Madison Hedgecock. None of them are playing, either.

And the free agents the Giants chose not to re-sign? Steve Smith, who took a one-year, $4-million deal with the Eagles, has only four catches for 58 yards and no touchdowns. Tight end Kevin Boss missed the first two games with a knee problem and has six catches for 114 yards and no touchdowns.

The only free agent the Giants opted not to re-sign who is having a quality season so far: defensive tackle Barry Cofield, who inked a six-year, $36-million deal with the Redskins. He's part of a resurgent defense that has Washington off to a surprising 3-1 start. Cofield has 11 tackles, five quarterback pressures, and four pass breakups.

Asked about the transactions that have so far worked in the Giants' favor, Reese declined to elaborate. "Long season and a long way to go," he said. "We just need to let our play do the talking."

 

Rosenhaus says NFL needs him

Renowned agent Drew Rosenhaus, who is featured on the CBS news program "60 Minutes'' on Sunday, pulls no punches in saying just how important he has become to the NFL. In fact, he believes the league needs him to survive.

"I really believe the NFL would fall apart without me," Rosenhaus tells host Scott Pelley, according to a transcript released by CBS. "That may sound cocky, that may sound arrogant, but I am telling you the truth."

Rosenhaus, whose clients include Plaxico Burress, Darnell Dockett, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brian Cushing, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, tells the network that he manages to keep the peace in multiple situations where players have a problem.

"When it breaks down between the team and the player, the agent is there to pick up those pieces," he told Pelley. "If a guy says 'I want to be traded; I hate this team. I hate this coach.' I say to the player, 'Tell me, don't tell the coach. I don't want you to ruin your relationship with the team. Come to me.' "

Burress, who saw Rosenhaus during a prison visit when the former Giants' receiver was serving a 20-month sentence for illegal weapons possession, commended Rosenhaus for his loyalty.

"I know him as a person and you know where his heart is," Burress said.

 

Ex-Jets struggling

Jerricho Cotchery demanded to be released because he thought the Jets had disrespected him. Shaun Ellis wouldn't sign for the veteran minimum and instead took a deal worth close to $5 million with the Patriots. And Brad Smith didn't want to wait for the outcome of the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes before deciding to leave for the Bills.

But the grass isn't necessarily greener for the ex-Jets, who were huge contributors in the team's back-to-back AFC Championship Game runs.

Cotchery has dressed for only one game for the Steelers, and doesn't have a catch.

Ellis has just three tackles and no sacks in New England.

And Smith has two catches for 25 yards, seven rushes for 32 yards and no touchdowns. He has attempted one pass in the wildcat formation. The pass was intercepted.

 

Quick hits

Ex-Jets T Damien Woody on his former team, which has lost two straight: "What I see is a team that can't run the football, they can't protect the passer, and the quarterback is struggling. Can they turn it around? There's a lot of season left, but at this point, I think it's going to be tough."

The Bills' defense has allowed 1,407 yards combined over the past three games, the third-highest total in team history for a three-game span. Up next: the Eagles, who average 434 yards per game.

The 4-0 Lions look to remain unbeaten against the Bears, who are 4-0 against Detroit since Jay Cutler took over as quarterback in 2010. The Lions are the first team in NFL history to win back-to-back games after trailing by 20 or more points in both games.

Former Eagles teammates Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb face each other when Minnesota hosts Arizona. The quarterbacks are a combined 1-7 so far this season.

 

NFL ON TV

Sunday

1 p.m., Seahawks at Giants, Ch. 5

4:14 p.m. Jets at Patriots, Ch. 2

8:20 p.m. Packers at Falcons, Ch. 4

Monday

8:30 p.m. Bears at Lions, ESPN

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