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Kevin Burnett leaves for San Diego; terms of the Gerald Sensabaugh deal

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Time to say goodbye to Kevin Burnett. As expected, he reached a deal with the San Diego Chargers and will have a chance to compete for a starting LB position there. That was something we just couldn't offer him after bringing in Keith Brooking. Even though Burnett was a valuable reserve that served us well in the nickel defense as a cover linebacker, the Cowboys brain-trust just never saw him as a full-time starter. He was a good player and I wish him well. But, this leaves us with a hole at ILB behind Bradie James and Keith Brooking. I know there's Bobby Carpenter and I'm sure he will get at least a shot to compete for some playing time there but I truly believe the Cowboys will be looking for ILB help in the draft. Brooking is no spring-chicken and there's no guarantee Carpenter will even be here after this year; it's time to think of the future in the middle. The Cowboys need to address this position in the upcoming draft.

Another position that looked to be a sure draft need was safety. Even though it's still a little sketchy, it might not be as crucial after today's signing of Gerald Sensabaugh. Granted, it was only a one-year deal.

Sensabaugh needs to pass a physical before the one-year, $1.75 million contract goes through, according to a source.

Make the jump for more safety discussion.

The Cowboys have Ken Hamlin, they may have Orlando Scandrick if he can make the change they anticipate for him, and now they got Sensabaugh. Depending on what happens to Keith Davis in free agency and the fate of Pat Watkins in training camp, the position isn't as dire as it was a week ago. I'm not saying they shouldn't draft a safety if one they like falls to them early in the draft, but they do have a little flexibility now. It's not quite the emergency it looked like it was going to be. Here's Jerry on Sensabaugh:

"[He] really fits the description of what we want back at safety," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday on a local radio station. "We're crazy about him on special teams and have some experience with him there. There's a safety that gives you some flexibility as far as moving another corner that we might have used in semi-safety/corner role."

He turned down a three-year deal from the Saints because he wants to test free agency again after this year. 

But, [Sensabaugh's agent] said, "After weighing each option, we felt like the terms and length of this deal were more favorable for Gerald at this point in his career."

The Saints were looking for a three-year deal, but Sensabaugh, 25, preferred the one-year deal, which gives him a chance to improve his stock and enter the market again next year.

As you can see from above we got him at a dirt-cheap price for one year and there's a reason for that. His recent arrest, his third in three years, I'm sure that tamped down the market for a young player who had a good year in 2008. He probably could have gotten more money if not for the recent arrest even though it was a minor offense in the scheme of things. In today's NFL, Roger Goodell doesn't mess around so any scrape with the law can be detrimental.

And without opening up a whole 2nd amendment debate about gun control in America, here are the details of each of his arrests so everybody is clear on the facts.

Arrest #1: 

Kingsport police stopped Sensabaugh...for speeding in his 2006 BMW and subsequently arrested him for carrying a firearm without a permit. During the traffic stop, police recovered a loaded Springfield 9 mm pistol in the car's console, in addition to another fully-loaded magazine.

Arrest #2:

Officials at the Kingsport (Tenn.) City Jail confirmed Thursday that Jaguars safety Gerald Sensabaugh was arrested May 30 for reckless driving stemming from an incident in which he was allegedly "doing wheelies on a motorcycle."

Arrest #3:

When [Officer] Lunsford found Sensabaugh's license was suspended for multiple violations and failure to satisfy a citation, she made the call to arrest the [player].

Guns were found in Sensabaugh's possession during the arrest. Sensabaugh was not charged for having a Bersa 380, an International Arms AK-47, and a Glock 22 in his cars because he had a permit.

Discussing his character and whether Jerry should be bringing in another player who has had scrapes with the law is fair game. But please don't turn the thread into a general discussion on guns in America.

By the way, this is what Yahoo Sports had to say about him a couple of days ago when they were reviewing the best free agents still available. They had him at #5 in the under-30 category.

5. Gerald Sensabaugh, S: He’s got some off-the-field issues that have really hurt his stock, but he quietly had a solid season as a starter in Jacksonville last year, leading the team with four interceptions. He needs to be surrounded with some talent in the secondary, largely because of the chances he takes at times. He turns 26 in and June and could still get better with a consistent starting role.