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Jason Hatcher Turns Down Cowboys Offer: Dallas Going Cheap On Defensive Ends?

The bad news of the day was the Washington Redskin's signing of former Cowboys defensive end Stephen Bowen. Though Rob Ryan and some fans, including myself, were excited to see what Bowen could do in 2011 in Ryan's schemes, it is understandable that the Cowboys were not willing or able to pay Bowen $5 million a year. The silver lining was that the ‘Skins lost interest in defensive end Cullen Jenkins once they completed a deal with Bowen. In fact, it sounds like Jenkins and his agent were preparing to see the paperwork and were surprised by the end of negotiations and Bowen's signing.

As per PFT:

As we understand it, a handshake deal was close if not done.  Something happened to prompt the Redskins to go for Bowen instead.

But is the talk of the Cowboys now chasing Cullen Jenkins more a rumor than a reality? It seems plausible that the Redskins were negotiating for both Bowen and Jenkins, but thinking they were losing the bidding war with the Cowboys on Bowen, were about to spend big on Jenkins. And then it happens. Stephen and Jerry Jones decide the price for Bowen is simply too much for the team to handle. Seeing a cheaper and younger option, the Redskins end discussions with Jenkins and sign Bowen. If these deductions hold, then it appears Jenkins is seeking more money than the Cowboys are willing to offer, at least to Bowen. As OCC explained, the Cowboys are now also talking with Brandon Mebane a talented 4-3 defensive linemen that might be able to play 3-technique in a 3-4, it seems possible negotiations for Jenkins have stalled and the Cowboys are hopping his price drops in the market.

And now it seems Jason Hatcher may not be re-signed.

As tweeted by Calvin Watkins:

ESPN Blogs NFC East (@espn_nfceast)
7/28/11 7:18 PM
RT @calvinwatkins: Jason Hatcher to visit the Denver broncos on Friday. Hatcher has turned down a cowboys offer.

It is possible that Jason Hatcher is asking for more money than he deserves, but it's also possible that the Cowboys are tightening their belt. Perhaps they are also stalling for time, seeing if Sean Lissemore, Josh Brent, and Clifton Geathers are developing enough to compete for a starting spot. Perhaps Igor Olshansky has a brighter future in a Rob Ryan scheme than many expect. The Cowboys front office is very busy. Whether the reworking of franchise players' contracts, the releasing of dead-money contracts, or the developing free agency situation, learning the new cap rules and loopholes, a lot of work is happening on the fly.

How the Cowboys manage the transition into the new CBA and the new salary cap will speak volumes of the franchise's management skills, scouting ability, and thus the success of the Garrett Era. As we watch the free agency moves moving forward, keep in mind that the cap figures are funny numbers, and the Cowboys could be looking down a worrisome road and reacting to long-term consequences we as fans often overlook. According to Clayton of ESPN.

Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon)
7/28/11 4:54 PM
RT @ClaytonESPN: The bad news of releasing Colombo, Davis, R. Williams, K. Brown and M Barber, they have $20.9 m of dead money in 2012

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