Carr Still a Cowboy
IRVING – Hey, Brandon Carr, how are those conversations about a contract re-do going with Cowboys management? “You (the media) talk to me more about it than they do,” Carr replies with a wink.
The Dallas Cowboys have eyeballed the options with cornerback Brandon Carr, among those, of course, making him a post-June 1 cut. But while the calendar says Monday was that day…there is no “deadlines-make-deals” pressure here.
Carr was given a five-year, $50-million deal in 2012 and has underperformed that deal in Dallas. Oh, he’s been an ironman and he’s handled himself with a great deal of dignity…but Carr is presently schedule to make $8 million in 2015 and to impact the cap to the tune of $12.7 million. Yet his contract has finally reached a point where walking away from the player will not add additional charges to the current season’s cap.
Cut Carr? You save $8 million against the cap this year but will carry $7.4 million in dead money into 2016…oh, and you are short a player. Yes, Dallas suddenly looks more fortified at corner than it did before the draft, with rookie Byron Jones joining the position group led by Orlando Scandrick…and maybe with Mo Claiborne ahead of schedule while recovering from knee surgery. No, the classy veteran Carr – at the right price – remains appealing.
So here’s the trick: There will be no cutting of Carr because there is no need and no advantage to doing so. Dallas presently has a bit of cap-space breathing room. No urgency there. The player doesn’t make waves of disgruntlement. No bad-apple stuff there. And he helps your football team.
But that doesn’t mean the Cowboys are Carr are finished with the matter.
The two sides have visited (even with Carr’s sly joke) and there are reasons for them to visit again, because inside Valley Ranch, $8 mil for Carr is still viewed as excessive, because cap room always comes in handy even if its just a rainy-day stash, and because, frankly, once the job market dries up Carr will be more receptive to a salary slice that he would be today.
In other words: Cut Carr and another team might be willing to pay him like an “above-average corner,” let’s say at $5 mil an year. But threaten to release him a month from now…and there won’t be a bunch of teams with $5 mil openings for such a player.
Slicing Carr’s number in half remains on the table. So does the idea of an extension that might not exactly “pay him more” but would, rather, spread out his existing dollars. So it’s not that conversations with Carr are a “dead issue,” it’s that June 1 is no longer a “deadline issue.”
“I’m a Cowboy,” Carr said recently. “I love being a Cowboy. As long as I’m in this building I’m going to give it my all.”
It’s past June 1. He’s still in the building.