Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Cowboys and the salary cap
By Tom Carpenter
ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton and ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer agree that the Dallas Cowboys are on target to be about $18.2 million over the salary cap as things stand now, so how will they work out their finances this offseason? First, they will try to restructure some contracts.
"The Cowboys have a built-in trigger in Brandon Carr’s contract that will lower his $16.3 million cap number and save about $10.5 million based on how they structured his contract when he signed last year," Archer wrote. "They can re-work the deals of DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten and Miles Austin to roughly save another $11 million."
Of course, reworking contracts essentially just pushes those salary-cap issues down the road, which means they will be a thorn in their side at a later date. To that end, there are some contracts that might just be axed.
"There are a number of players that could be on the chopping block -- Doug Free, Jay Ratliff, Dan Connor, Lawrence Vickers and Marcus Spears -- and could create approximately $13 million in space," Archer added.
"By designating Free as a post-June 1 cut, the Cowboys will free up $7 million of space in 2013. But since that wouldn't come off the books until June, they could use that money to sign their draft picks -- much the same way they did with the post-June 1 release of Terence Newman in 2012."
One other thing the Cowboys could do to adjust their salary-cap issues is to sign quarterback Tony Romo to a contract extension. It will be intriguing to see how exactly they handle their finances and what sort of moves that will allow them to make on the free-agent market this offseason.