NFL Trade Rumors -

Report: Cowboys Will Release RT Doug Free Unless He’s Willing To Take A Pay Cut

Update:

Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas reports that the Cowboys have presented RT Doug Free with the option of either taking a pay cut or being designated as a post-June 1 cut.

McMahon adds that Dallas would then sign one of Tyson Clabo or Eric Winston. According to McMahon, Clabo’s asking price could be out of the Cowboys price range.

Free, 29, is set to make $7 million for the upcoming season, but the going rate for free agent right tackles is considerably less than that. Winston mentioned that he’s looking for $3-4 million annually and a two-year deal, so it seems reasonable to suggest that Free may have to reduce his 2013 salary to something close to this range in order to remain with the team.

We have both Clabo and Winston listed in our recently updated Best Available Free Agents list.

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Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports that free agent RT Tyson Clabo has “a lot of fans inside Valley Ranch.

Dallas has been in contact with the representatives for Clabo and Eric Winston in recent weeks, but the Cowboys aren’t believed to have as much interest in signing Winston.

Archer adds that the Cowboys could use Bryant McKinnie‘s recent contract that he signed with the Ravens (two-years, worth a maximum of $7 million) as justification for RT Doug Free taking a pay cut at some point in the near future.

It’s clearly a buyer’s market right now, so teams like the Cowboys, Chargers and Dolphins can stick to a price and see who caves in first.

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Jason La Canfora reports that the Dallas Cowboys remain interested in right tackles Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston.

  • La Canfora adds that cap space and their asking price remain an issue for the Cowboys.
  • There’s still a chance that Doug Free could be asked to take a pay cut as some point.
  • La Canfora believes Dallas would prefer to sign Clabo over Winston, assuming that his asking price is reasonable.

The Dolphins and Chargers are also believed to be monitoring the free agent tackle market. Miami is reportedly meeting with Chiefs LT Branden Albert regarding a potential trade, which could help some of the teams that are looking for reduced prices.

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Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones mentioned that they’re still considering free agent RT Eric Winston.

“He’s obviously somebody that we’re taking a look at,” Jones said during radio interview on Tuesday, via the Dallas Morning News.

Jones also addressed the situation surrounding Doug Free and their plans for him this season.

“We certainly haven’t dismissed Doug [Free],” said Jones. “We really felt like when we went to rotating him and Jermey Parnell that he really picked up his game in terms of the competition, not to mention the fact that I think he got some clarity as to what [offensive line coach] Bill Callahan was after.”

Winston, 29, is believed to be seeking $3 – $4 million annually in his next contract, but the market for his services has been slow moving to say the least. The Dolphins and Chargers have also been linked to him in recent weeks, but it appears as though he’ll have to wait until after the draft before finding his next team.

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Update:

Clarence Hill reports that a Cowboys source has informed him that they are not in contract talks with free agent OT Eric Winston like previous reports have suggested.

Winston mentioned that he’s targeting $3 – $4 million annually on a short-term deal. Winston added that he’s willing to negotiate his salary if needed, but this seems like a reasonable amount of money for a decent right tackle available on the open market.

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Dallas Cowboys and free agent offensive tackle Eric Winston are working on a deal to bring the former Chief to Dallas.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network contributes that Dallas also looked at recently released Falcons right tackle Tyson Clabo prior to talks with Winston. The current Cowboys right tackle, Doug Free, remains on the roster as well.

Winston, 29, spent his entire NFL career with the Houston Texans before joining the Chiefs last year, only to be cut after a single season.

The Cowboys, who were less than $1 million away from the NFL salary cap months ago, created room to sign players by extending quarterback Tony Romo last week. The extension creates just north of $5 million for this year.

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