Found April 10, 2013 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
IRVING, Texas There are two problems with the reports that have the Dallas Cowboys simultaneously negotiating a pay-cut contract for incumbent right tackle Doug Free while also negotiating a free-agent contract for prospective right tackle Eric Winston:
Problem 1: That simultaneous orchestration doesn't make sense.
Problem 2: That simultaneous orchestration isn't happening.
Some bullet-pointed truths, from sources inside Valley Ranch:
There has been nothing "imminent'' about the signing of Texas native Winston, who has experienced some good NFL years with the Texans and the Chiefs. His status in the eyes of the Cowboys is as it was when we first wrote about his availability in this space on March 6: Signing him remains a "concept.''
This is a buyer's market on players of Winston's stature. Winston himself knows this, which is why he's been so frank in public about possibly being willing to accept a short-term deal at 3-to-4 million annually. The Winston-to-Dallas story has traction because agent Drew Rosenhaus made it so; it's so widely-reported now that Winston's Wikipedia page identifies him as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Sources continue to tell me that there have been no true Cowboys negotiations with Winston beyond "touching base'' with his agent in anticipation of Dallas possibly having an opening.
The status on Doug Free's situation is essentially unchanged from when we first addressed it way back on Nov. 18: He is an adequate NFL player who experienced a lousy 2012 season. Making him a post-June 1 cut can save on his 10-million cap hit for 2013.
Is that an option? Yes, but again, it's not a more "imminent'' option than it's been at any time this offseason.
Another option: Urge Free to take a pay cut.
I'm told that this concept is in motion now as part of an ongoing discussion. Slicing Free's salary from 7 million can happen today. Or tomorrow. Or at any time leading up to June 1.
But more important than that, as we get to the root of the errant reports: It is simply not true that Dallas is both 1) forcing Free to take a salary cut AND 2) promising that available salary to incoming Winston. (Or Tyson Clabo, another accomplished tackle who is on the market.)
"You can't have too many good offensive linemen,'' one Cowboys source tells me. "But in that scenario, wouldn't we have a lot of right tackles?''
Yes, they would.
They'd have the incumbent Free. And the incoming Winston. And the emerging Jeremy Parnell. (And that's not even counting the possibility of drafting first- and second-round-caliber kids like D.J. Fluker, Kyle Long or Pugh.)
If they keep Free, they don't need Winston.
If Free doesn't take the paycut, they can try to sign Winston and won't need Free.
(By the way: Anybody who thinks Free is a candidate to move from tackle to being successful at guard hasn't talked to people in the Cowboys' personnel department.)
Dallas' leverage on Free is clear: Take the paycut or possibly be cut. It's an either-or setup for the Cowboys, and one in which the team holds the cards.
But Free has no reason to take a paycut in order to remain with a team that plans to replace him with a player signed with money that used to be his. And the Cowboys have no reason to employ both players.
There is great logic in Free accepting a reduction in salary rather than enter a flooded market where he might make less than Dallas is promising. There is great logic in Dallas positioning Winston as Free's cheaper just-in-case replacement.
But reports of an "imminent'' deal with Winston are, frankly, false.
And reports of simultaneous orchestration of deals for both tackles are, frankly, stupid.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Despite a report that the Dallas Cowboys are working on signing free agent Eric Winston, Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com says the report is not true.
“@landonmccool: @bryanbroaddusAre you saying the Winston report is overblown?” How about not true. Check who is agent is.
— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) April 8, 2013
I tend to believe Broaddus more than Schefter on this...
The Dallas Cowboys are interested in signing free agent tackle Eric Winston to a deal. In order to sign Winston the Cowboys will need to find space under the salary cap.
In order to sign Winston the Cowboys are set to ask Doug Free to take a pay cut according to Ian Rapoport.
Free is set to make $7 million this year but it is far more likely that the Cowboys release him before the...
Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys have approached RT Doug Free regarding a pay cut.
Rapoport mentions that the saving that would come from reducing Free’s $7 million base salary could be used to sign free agent RT Eric Winston.
Dallas is reportedly unsure if Free would be willing to accept a reduction in salary given that he holds some leverage in the situation.
The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs free agent right
tackle Eric Winston have mutual interest in reaching an agreement, according to
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Hear there's mutual interest between ex-#Chiefs RT Eric Winston and the #Cowboys. Dallas also looked into Tyson Clabo. Still have Doug Free
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 8, 2013
Talks between Winston and...
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, free agent offensive tackle Eric Winston is looking for $3-4 million per year.
The tackle was set to make $4.9 million in base salary before the Chiefs released him. He said he’s seeking $3 million to $4 million this year and isn’t asking for a long-term deal.
“I try to look at myself fairly,” Winston said. “I don’t ever want...
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Dallas Cowboys and free agent offensive tackle Eric Winston are working on a deal to bring the former Chief to Dallas.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network contributes that Dallas also looked at recently released Falcons right tackle Tyson Clabo prior to talks with Winston. The current Cowboys right tackle, Doug Free, remains on the roster as well.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dallas Cowboys are working on signing free agent offensive tackle Eric Winston.
Cowboys now in talks to sign former Chiefs OT Eric Winston.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 8, 2013
Update: Now there’s a report that Schefter’s report is untrue and the Cowboys arent working on signing Winston.
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