Cowboys Carr - Negotiating Down To Stay

The Cowboys are negotiating toward a way to retain cornerback Brandon Carr, hoping to avoid making him a post-June 1 cut, team sources tell CowboysHQ.com.



Working on Carr

The Dallas Cowboys are negotiating toward a way to retain cornerback Brandon Carr, hoping to avoid making him a post-June 1 cut, team sources tell CowboysHQ.com.

Carr was given a five-year, $50-million deal in 2012 and has underperformed in Dallas. But the Cowboys are thin at cornerback (with Mo Claiborne still recovering from knee surgery) and suddenly the classy veteran Carr - at the right price - is appealing enough.

There is no agreement as of this moment. But there is the understanding on the Cowboys' side that with the knee-related uncertainly of Mo Claiborne's availability, the cornerback totem pole, topped by Orlando Scandrick, needs help.

"This takes two here," owner Jerry Jones recently said. "It will ultimately fit one way or the other for us. ... But to have him playing for us, if we have dollar considerations, then that takes two of us."

Carr is presently schedule to make $8 million in 2015. But his contract has finally reached a point where walking away from the player will not add additional charges to the current season’s cap. Carr’s 2015 cap hit currently sits at $12.7 million, while the unamortized signing bonus remaining on his deal totals $12.15 million.

The idea of eating that much dead money rather than just keep the player doesn’t hold much weight until one considers that doing so would free the Cowboys of all future cap hits for Carr. If Dallas chose to walk away from Carr and eat the proration, the Cowboys would be freeing up almost $14 million of space off of the 2016 cap, and another $13m off the 2017 cap. But Dallas, needing help at the position, has another idea: Tear up that deal and start anew, maybe getting down to a range nearer half Carr's present salary.

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What would Carr command as a free agent should he decline a deal being discussed with his agent Ben Dogra? That answer, or at least each side betting on a potential answer, would likely be the agreed-upon salary. Carr may be prideful and instead of taking a reduction want to test the market. The Cowboys might say “only” $4 or $5 mil of savings in exchange for guaranteeing multiple years of salary might not be in their best interest. These are the machinations that will play out over the coming hours as Dallas works to be cap-compliant -- and have an open wallet -- by the March 10 deadline.

Onside Kicks

*So Dez gets the non-exclusive franchise tag, Stephen Jones tells CowboysHQ.com. That puts Dallas at $129 million of used cap space ... plus Dez' $12.8 mil hold ... which equals $141.8 million. But the cap is at $143.28 million? Yes. Now add the $5 million carryover from 2014 (that essentially makes Dallas' cap $148 mil) ... and there is about $7 mil of room at the moment. The team also has a few restructure and release options at their disposal should they want to create more room. This would include restructuring Tyron Smith and/or looking at QB Tony Romo to create more space. (We'll break all that down in the coming hours). There are a handful of other moves that could create a million or so of additional wiggle room. ... all simply a part of what is, as Condon accurately says, "business.''

That business is happening as you read this. Stay tuned.

*Cowboys fans get the Premium goods: What the Cowboys say privately about Greg Hardy.

*Cowboys RFAs? We've got the scoop on Cole Beasley's coming deal.

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*In an exclusive with Stephen Jones, CowboysHQ.com learns the team's "shop-and-drop'' plans with DeMarco Murray.

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