Reports are out in the Dallas Morning News and other sources that the Dallas Cowboys have decided that the team will tender an offer to Restricted Free Agent fullback Tony Fiammetta, but not to the other RFAs, Kevin Ogletree and Chris Greisen.
While most of the attention of Cowboys fans is riveted on the NFL Combine, it is nice to see the team make a fairly concrete move. This is just the beginning, but there are some possible conclusions that may be drawn from this.
Obviously, the team plans for Fiammetta to be part of the offense next season. While another team could still make an offer to try and hire him away, the RFA tender makes the cost rather high, as the Dallas Morning News article explains.
Fiammetta would receive $1.26 million in compensation and the Cowboys would be awarded the right of first refusal. If another team opted to sign Fiammetta, the Cowboys would be given a fourth-round pick as compensation.
It seems rather unlikely that anyone would be willing to burn a fourth-round pick for a fullback, so his spot on the roster seems all but assured.
Other things after the jump.
Meanwhile, it seems that Kevin Ogletree's days in a Dallas uniform are done. Although the team could resign him at a lower salary than the tender offer would require if there is no interest in him, this seems to be a clear signal that there is not much need for him. It does suggest that the team has some confidence it will be able to work out a deal with Laurent Robinson, whose emergence as an extremely capable third wide receiver rendered Ogletree irrelevant. The possibility of signing him to a less expensive deal is still a sort of fallback position, since the current list of free agent wideouts is rather long and deep. But this just looks to me like the team thinks it can come up with the backups it needs using the other names already on the roster: Dwayne Harris, Jesse Holley, Andre Holmes, Raymond Radway, and Teddy Williams.
This simply seems the logical outcome from the lack of production for KO last year. He had every opportunity, but the numbers speak for themselves.
Initially given an expanded role, he failed to make a favorable impression, losing a fumble against Washington in a game in which he also ran the wrong routes and dropped a pass that would have resulted in a touchdown. By the end of the season, he collected only 15 receptions for 164 yards and had been marginalized after Laurent Robinson signed with the team in late September.
Whether it is Jason Garrett's hand, Jerry Jones learning a lesson, or pretty much the kind of decision the team would always have made, it does seem pretty clear that his services are no longer really needed.
Chris Greisen is also likely to be there if the team needs another body for camp, and I would not be surprised to see him turn up as camp fodder again. That does not really say much about the team's plans at quarterback, since he was never seen as a solution to much of anything.
While none of these decisions should come as much of a surprise to anyone, it is nice to finally see some actual decisions starting to fall into place. While everyone's attention is riveted on the NFL Combine, the first small steps have been taken to shape the 2012 Cowboys roster.
It also is a reminder that things are not really as quiet as they may seem. Although no actual discussions can be made with free agents at this time, it is no secret that the teams are talking with the agents, supposedly without any firm numbers being discussed. Given the speed with which deals are sometimes concluded the first day of free agency, there may be a little bit more than generalities brought up beforehand. The Combine serves as a perfect marketplace for teams to put out feelers, and agents to do the same. The related story about Brandon Carr shown earlier in the post may be one of those things. There seems to be a consensus among the reporters covering the Combine and the other teams there that the deal is going to happen, and that would lead one to think that more than just rumor is behind it all.
But meanwhile, it does look like Tony Fiammetta is all but a lock for the team, and Kevin Ogletree is on his way out the door. That would seem to be two questions answered, with many more still to come.