Free agency is upon us. The time has finally arrived to see which new shiny acquisitions the Cowboys will pass up on. It’s a lesson many of us have to learn all over again each year as we struggle to understand that this new front office doesn’t splash around in big free agent purchases.
But one thing this team does like to do is retain their own talent. With so many key players hitting the free agent market this year, we’ve come to terms that we can’t keep everyone. However, there is an expectation that some Cowboys players will remain with the team. Their asking price on the free agent market will have a lot to do with whether Dallas can keep them or not, but if Cowboys’ Insider, Mike Fisher’s assessment of these contracts are any indication of what they’ll go for - we could be saying goodbye to a lot of players.
Big Ron deserves to get paid. If there is any type of justice that needs to happen for any Cowboys player this off-season, it would come in the form of a healthy paycheck for #65. He has played extremely well for this team while making next to nothing (well, next to nothing in terms of football contract value). That’s the price one pays for being undrafted due to concerns of a knee injury. But Leary is worth his weight in gold and now demands a sizable contract.
I agree with Fish in his assessment of Leary’s price. About $8 million per year seems reasonable for the talent he brings to the offensive line. I love Ron and think he handled these last two seasons like a true professional, but if I was an outsider, I’d be
leery skeptical that the Cowboys offensive line made him look a little more polished than he really is.
He doesn’t leave the team empty handed, however, as his new contract with his new team will help the Cowboys get a nice compensation pick in 2018. He is one of the more underappreciated Cowboys players, but his contribution to the team’s success will never be set to the wayside from this fan. Last month, I tweeted a picture of my little Gracie in a #65 dress.
And he approved. Such a class guy.
This one is the trickiest of all the Cowboys free agents. If you look at the long list of free agent wide receivers, there is a lot of variation as to where Williams ranks among them. If he falls within the top five, he could get one of those $7 to 8 million per year deals that Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu got last year. But alas, all the free agent wideouts won’t be able to get these type of deals. Some will have to go for cheaper and if Williams falls outside the top 10, his price becomes more affordable.
Fish has TWilly getting one of those bigger deals and priced out of Dallas. I’m not in agreement with him on the size of the contract (I’m guessing a five-year, $26M deal), however, this price will still be too rich for the Cowboys. It will be close though. The front office will make a serious effort to keep him because his deep threat ability and contributions in the blocking game fit extremely well within the offense. But with the team possibly able to supplement his talent in the draft, that could make the Cowboys a little stingy when distributing their allocated cap space.
The best thing to do is root for a big payday for TWilly so the Cowboys can stack up on comp picks.
Believe it or not, there was a point last year when McClain was the best defensive player on the field for the Cowboys. He started off the season fierce. While a healthy McClain is a valuable asset on any team, the emergence of both David Irving and Maliek Collins make the veteran DT expendable. He was a great bridge player and he has served his purpose.
#Cowboys Terrell McCLAIN Estimated Contract: 4 years, $19M, $4M sign bonus, $8M g'teed GONE (and gone early, I bet)— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) March 6, 2017
I completely agree with Fish on this one. McClain’s strong 2016 performance will land him a good deal with another team early in the free agent period.
The Cowboys veteran safety has been a solid fixture in the defense for the last few years. With Byron Jones moving over to free safety, the Church/Jones combo played extremely well last season.
If Fish’s numbers are correct, this would mean the end of Church in a Cowboys uniform. At 29 years of age, the Cowboys won’t throw this kind of money at him. The team values his leadership and will work to get something done, and will do so at a cheaper cost. I have Church staying in Dallas with a four-year, $22 M deal.
The 30 year old cornerback has been in Dallas for five seasons and has never come close to playing at a level that would resemble his $50 M deal he got in 2012. And while his cost has brought forth a lot of undeserving hate towards Carr, he’s still a solid corner.
This is the one player Fisher has the Cowboys keeping. I agree that Carr will remain a Cowboy, but it will come at a slightly cheaper cost. I have him agreeing to a three-year, $14 M deal.
The flash of great play combined with his sixth overall draft stock will garner some real interest in other teams. Claiborne certainly has some good upside, but his dependability is something that the Cowboys can ill afford to shell out extra cash for.
#Cowboys Mo CLAIBORNE. Estimated Contract: 2 Years $11M, $3.5M Sign Bonus, $5M g'teed, Per Game roster bonuses of $125K. GONE— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) March 6, 2017
I agree with Fish. Claiborne will cost too much and the Cowboys will let him walk.
Which of these free agents do you think the Cowboys will re-sign?