The Dallas Cowboys would like offensive lineman Doug Free to
take a pay cut prior to the start of the season. If he’s unwilling to do so,
the Cowboys could elect to cut him and sign one of the free agent lineman still
available – including Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston – according to Todd Archer
of ESPN Dallas.
The Cowboys could use the deal recently reached between the
Baltimore Ravens and Bryant McKinnie to attempt to convince Free to take a cut.
If this and other tactics don’t work, they could threaten to cut ties with him
and pursue other options on the open market.
Free is set to make $7 million this season. Dallas isn’t
expected to pay that amount, and if Free were a free agent he likely wouldn’t
get that kind of deal from any other team. For this reason, he has to decide to
either reduce his salary with the Cowboys – down to the range of $3 million – or
accept the chance that they’ll cut him and he’ll have to find work elsewhere,
potentially at a lesser rate.
Winston has already said he’ll play for roughly $3 to $4
million, while Archer says that Clabo has “a lot of fans inside Valley Ranch.” Whatever
the case, the Cowboys are expected to line up with a right tackle that’s making
around $3 million this season, not $7 million.
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