Mailbag: Why Not Front-Load Deals In The Uncapped
CHRISTOPHER BUTSCHEK – HOUSTON, TX: Assuming next year is uncapped, why wouldn’t the Dallas Cowboys simply sign their restricted free agents to one-year deals, then dole out major bucks in the uncapped year? You could even structure it so any major hit would come during the uncapped year in case the cap is reinstituted down the road.
Rob: That’s pretty much what they do with the restricted tenders. It’s a one-year deal. After that, if there’s no lockout and a guy qualifies for unrestricted free agency under the existing CBA, he can hit the market and has more leverage for a long-term deal. Guys like Miles Austin and Gerald Sensabaugh could get extensions this off-season but the Cowboys don’t really have fear of losing them. Just keep in mind that this is the uncapped year, not next year.
Nick: Technically, that’s what the Cowboys will do with most of those restricted free agents. Most of those guys will only get the one-year restricted tender, so that’s pretty front- and back-loaded right there. I would guess some guys like Austin, maybe Sensabaugh or Bowen will get a long-term deal. But yes, I bet the Cowboys have figured out a way to get the bulk of the contract into this uncapped year. But don’t forget, the 30 percent rule – keeping teams from increasing or decreasing any contract by more than 30 percent of the previous season, will prohibit teams from putting all of the contract into the 2010 season.
CHRIS DANIELS – OMAHA, NE: I usually hate these questions, but what about Donte Stallworth as a third or fourth receiver?
Rob: We’re in agreement on one thing: I hate these questions too. Chris, if you’re part of the rather large contingent that wants to see more Kevin Ogletree next year, then you just totally contradicted yourself. In my opinion, it’s time to draft and develop a young receiver — not sign a 29-year-old with a history of injuries who’s coming off a six-month NFL suspension for pleading guilty to DUI/manslaughter.
Nick: I’m usually on board with stuff like this, but I don’t see Stallworth being a good fit – strictly football-wise. I’m not sure he’d be any better than the third and fourth receivers the Cowboys already have. I don’t see him as much of a special team player anyway. Yes, I think the Cowboys could use some speed at receiver, but not from a guy who hasn’t played last year, has a history of getting hurt and wouldn’t help on special teams. Those are the reasons I don’t see Stallworth being a good fit – nothing more.