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Dallas Cowboys Extend CB Orlando Scandrick

The Cowboys have rewarded one of their few standout defenders for his 2013 performance.

Rob Carr

It has been reported that the Dallas Cowboys have extended the deal of CB Orlando Scandrick through the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Sort of.

The Cowboys have added two non-guaranteed years to the end of Scandrick's deal, which means if he is released before 2017, he will not see any of the new $6 million. He will receive a $1 million bump in 2014 pay, and what the guarantee does for him is ensure his place on the team.

Prior to the extension, Scandrick was scheduled to count just over $5.6 million against the Cowboys 2014 cap. His unamortized portiong of his signing bonus was $5.7m. Which means that Dallas could have released Scandrick in an effort to get his deal completely off the books for the 2015 and 2016 season. That would have meant no additional money for Scandrick.

Now, Scandrick is guaranteed to make $4.5 million in 2014, one million more than his best case scenario. That's the win for him.

His base salaries for 2015 and 2016 are now reduced from the $5 million mark that was planned. This lowering could also make him more attractive to remain on the team in those years. The injury guarantee only means that if he suffers an injury and cannot play, then Dallas pays him upon release. If they release him for any other reason: skills decline, cap room, replacement, none of that money is guaranteed.

Scandrick, a slot corner before this year who has taken over for oft-injured second-year pro Morris Claiborne, has shown his ability to man all corner positions; a skill very much coveted in today's NFL. The new deal will technically add $9m of guaranteed money to Scandrick's original deal which he signed in 2011.

That extension, shortly before the 2011 season started, added an additional five years to the one remaining, and paid out $27 million. At the time, some wondered whether Scandrick was worth the money, but he has played the best ball of his career in 2013 and has filled in admirably as Claiborne has dealt with multiple injury issues.

Scandrick's new money is reported as $9m guaranteeed but that isn't exactly the case. Here's the rundown.

  • Scandrick apparently sees no up front money
  • In 2014, Scandrick's base salary goes from $3.5m to $4.5m. All of that money is guaranteed whereas none of the $3.5 was.
  • However, Scandrick's base salary drops in both 2015 and 2016. It was scheduled to be $5m in each of those years. His base in 2015 is now just $1.5 million. All of that money is "injury" guaranteed. His base in 2016 is now $3 million. All of that money is also "injury" guaranteed.
  • Two non-guaranteed years have been added to Scandrick's deal, $3 million apiece in 2017 and 2018.

The timing might not be good, as his performance against the Bears' behemoth wideouts from Monday night is still fresh in everyone's minds. But those folks should remember, a secondary is only as good as the pass rush in front of it, and Dallas had none to be found in that game.

Scandrick was a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft, when Dallas also selected CB Mike Jenkins in the first round. He received his extension with Jenkins still on the roster and outlasted him as Jenkins moved on to Oakland this past offseason. Orlando has always been known as a good run support defender and blitzer from the slot, but his coverage game has stepped up recently as well. Scandrick's highlight game came a few weeks ago, when he completely shut down the Giants' slot menace, Victor Cruz. He also had standout performances against Minnesota and St. Louis.

Dallas was already about $20m above the projected 2014 cap of $126 million, but seeing how Orlando Scandrick survived the "nuclear option" this doesn't appear to be a bad deal at all.

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