It seems a distant memory when Brandon Carr dazzled his way into our hearts with an interception that sealed the victory against the Steelers. Yet, two years removed, the Cowboys are having some buyer's remorse for that $50-million deal inked in 2012.
Only two cornerbacks are scheduled to make more money than Brandon Carr in 2015; Darrell Revis and Patrick Peterson. Although Carr's base salary is $8 million, he has a total cap hit of $12.717. For a guy who posted an overall -9.1 grade according to PFF, that price will need to come down. In order to gain a better perspective, allow me to give you the full disclosure of his contract as detailed by OverTheCap.com :
|Player||Team||Total Value||Avg./Year||Guaranteed||Avg. Guaranteed per Year||%Guaranteed||Free Agency Year|
|Darrelle Revis||Patriots||$32,000,000||$16,000,000||$11,500,000||$5,750,000||35.90%||2016 UFA|
|Patrick Peterson||Cardinals||$70,050,000||$14,010,000||$16,250,000||$3,250,000||23.20%||2021 UFA|
|Richard Sherman||Seahawks||$56,000,000||$14,000,000||$12,431,000||$3,107,750||22.20%||2019 UFA|
|Joe Haden||Browns||$67,500,000||$13,500,000||$22,678,193||$4,535,639||33.60%||2020 UFA|
|Brandon Carr||Cowboys||$50,100,000||$10,020,000||$25,500,000||$5,100,000||50.90%||2017 Void|
Although Carr didn't play nearly as poorly down the stretch, he still has yet to find a level of consistency that would warrant the payday. Out of all the highest-paid corners in the league, Carr has the most guaranteed money, which is a problem. Carr didn't record a single interception in 2014, gave up six touchdowns and was penalized 11 times. Carr was also responsible for allowing the opposing quarterback a 100 or better passer rating in 11 games.
I believe that the Cowboys will try and get Brandon Carr back at a reduced rate, but they could cut him altogether. If they designated Carr a post-June 1 cut, it would save the Cowboys his $8 million base. However, it would add $7.434 million in dead money for 2016. If Dallas did not want to designate him a post-June 1 cut, then they would save $566,000 against the cap but would wipe him from the 2016 books.
This is precisely why the best option would be a reduced salary. The Cowboys needn't worry about his value on the open market. After two slumping seasons, it's not likely that Carr would get anywhere near top dollar. The front office should offer Carr a similar deal to what they gave Doug Free, complete with built-in incentives. That way Carr could earn back some of what he lost. It certainly worked for Free and his play dramatically increased over the next two seasons.
Brandon Carr has all the ability to be a good player, whether it be scheme fit or personal issues, he just hasn't fit the bill since 2012. I've always been a big supporter of making the player bet on himself. At this point there is no justification in paying Brandon Carr among the top corners in the league. I also don't see it beneficial to cut him, because of the ramifications. If Dallas can keep Carr at the right price, it will allow them relief. It would also place the ball in Carr's court, which would be the ideal scenario.