Who Benson Mayowa was then: a third-year defensive end with the Oakland Raiders. Last year he managed 16 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a safety. He was an undrafted free agent with Seattle in 2013.
Who Benson Mayowa is now? A member of the Dallas Cowboys, who made Mayowa a restricted-free-agent offer of $8.25 million for three years with a $3.3 million signing bonus. ... which today the Raiders opted to not match.
This obviously isn't about monster numbers and obviously is about promise. The former Idaho Vandal has two career sacks and 30 career tackles and while he's just 24 -- so there is upside -- he's also just 6-3, 240, hardly ideal to play right end in a 4-3 defense. Now, maybe there is some Randy Gregory in there; he's also slightly-built, and Dallas had him rated as a top-15 player on the draft board last year.
Maybe paying Mayowa $8.25 million for three years is excessive, or maybe we need to trust personnel guru Will McClay and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who are largely in charge of these sorts of calls. Here's hoping that Dallas has used free agency in a way that is about finding value, and that its involvement in risk and projection works out for the host of Cowboys who have re-upped, along with defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and now running back Alfred Morris. ... and Benson Mayowa, too, even though we admit when we ask the question "Who Is Benson Mayowa?'' it takes a bit of digging and a bit of projection to see the past and the future.