Monday, January 18, 2016

Draft Nuggets #2 for KTCK 1310AM The Ticket

Draft Nuggets 2016: Entry #2
By Jeff Bowers of
Twitter: @sportsnarrative

The Cowboys Salary Cap Part I

Before a General Manager can begin to construct a plan for the offseason, he must first take a hard assessment of the team he has. That includes pending free agents, salary cap space, renegotiations and more. Here is an example of what such an assessment of the Dallas Cowboys might look like:

Estimated 2016 Salary Cap: $154 million

Current Contract Commitments (Top 51 players): $144.71 million

Cap Space Available: $9.83 million

With roughly $9.8 million dollars under the cap before any moves are made, the Cowboys rank 26th in cap space available. However, considering where this team has been in years past, it could be worst. In addition, this team has several players it could either re-work or just release and free up plenty of money to be competitive in free agency. While I don’t see this team chasing the big name free agents that could be available, I do see them signing a few key veterans or perhaps bringing back some of their own free agents to fill in the gaps on the roster.

Key Cowboys Free Agents

1.      Mo Claiborne, CB, 25 years old – Despite the fact that he has never lived up to his draft position (6th overall), I think the Cowboys would like to bring Claiborne back after a very solid 2015 (especially given lack of depth and a decision to be made on Carr). However, I’m not sure why Claiborne would want to come back to Dallas. He was drafted and seems best suited for a Man Cover scheme where he is left on an island and not asked to read and react or set the edge versus the run. Perhaps he stays due to loyalty or money, but if I was his agent I would advise him to move on.Status: Hopefully returns

2.      Greg Hardy, DE, 27 years old – With only 6 sacks on the season, Hardy really deliver for all the PR grief Dallas took to sign him. I can’t see Jason Garrett wanting to keep him around. HOWEVER, if the market on him dips to perhaps another 1 year “prove it” type deal for much less money than he made this year, I wouldn’t rule it out either. Status: Only at the right price

3.      Mackenzy Bernadeau, G/C, 30 years old – Bernadeau has proven to be a quality insurance policy at both guard and center the last 2 years. However, paying a 30 year old veteran to be an insurance policy isn’t good business. This is the kind of spot you’d ideally like to find a late-round or undrafted free agent to fill and develop in that spot cheaply. But that hasn’t always worked out for the Cowboys. Status: Only if necessary

4.      Rolando McClain, MLB, 26 years old – After being suspended for the first 4 games and then playing his way into shape, McClain finally had a quality back half of the season. I think he only returns on another 1 year, no risk type deal. If someone else wants to pay him more, then good luck to him and them. Status: Bargain bin stop gap only

5.      Lance Dunbar, RB, 25 years old – Dunbar just cannot stay healthy. He has shown great promise but only has 85 carries and 52 receptions in 4 years. If he wants to return, maybe a 1 or 2 year deal to see if he can play all 16 Status: Sign but short term

Other Free Agents (with commentary)
-          Jeremy Mincey, DE, 32 (yes if cheap)
-          Matt Cassell, QB, 33 (no)
-          Kyle Wilbur, LB, 26 (no)
-          James Hanna, TE, 26 (as depth only)
-          Danny McCray, SS, 27 (ST player so maybe)
-          Jack Crawford, DE/DT, 27 (yes please)
-          Jeff Heath, FS, 24 (no, must get better at this spot)
-          Tyler Clutts, FB, 31 (no)
-          Ron Leary, G, 26 (Yes, but he will likely get too much $)
-          Charles Brown, T, 28 (no)
-          Robert Turbin, RB, 26 (Maybe if cheap)
-          Josh Thomas, CB, 26 (depth only)

Coming up next: Cowboys Salary Cap Part II including possible cuts and restructures

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