Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said Thursday that they will allow G Ronald Leary to speak to interested teams about a potential trade out of Dallas. However, Jones says that they have no plans to move him for “little or nothing.”
“We told Ron that he could certainly look around, but we’re not in the business of letting go of good football players for little or nothing,” Jones said, via Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram. “We got calls during the draft asking to trade for a couple of our running backs, and we just don’t have that interest. Ron’s a big part of this football team. I know it’s disappointing when you’ve been starting, and then you’re not starting. We’d hoped that he would look at it as ‘let’s come in here and compete.’
“We did tell him if the right situation presented itself or if it’s a good situation for us, we certainly understand that he’s a competitor and wants to start and go to a place where he has a better chance to start. But we expect him to come in here at some point, and we’re going to welcome him with open arms and hopefully he’s getting in shape wherever he is right now. And hopefully he gets in here sooner than later, because we want him in here. He’ll do a great job for us this year. Then, he’s an unrestricted free agent next year, and we’ll make those types of decisions. But right now, he’s signed with us and we plan on keeping him unless something that’s really attractive to us shows up.”
Reports from a few days ago mentioned that Leary had requested a trade, which explains why was not in attendance for the start of the Cowboys’ offseason program, as well as the start of OTAs on Tuesday.
Before the draft, Leary signed his one-year restricted tender worth $2.553 million for the 2016 season in the hope of facilitating a trade.
As ow now, Leary is in line to be a backup for the Cowboys in 2016, so the decision to request a trade is likely to increase his odds of seeing the field this year before testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
Leary, 26, wound up signing on with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of back in 2012. He spent part of the 2012 season on their practice squad, but has since made the 53-man roster each season.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Leary would free up $2,553,000 in available cap space while creating no dead money.
In 2015, Leary was limited to appearing in four games and played a total of 221 snaps for the Cowboys, according to Pro Football Focus.