Looming is Thursday's deadline for Dallas to announce its plans for the standout left tackle: Should they name him the franchise player thus guaranteeing him a $9 million salary, or should they risk losing the 32-year-old via free agency?
Adams' pre-emptive strike of sorts: On Wednesday morning, the eve of the deadline, we've learned that he's changed agents, from Roosevelt Barnes to Jordan Woy, the highly-respected Dallas-based agent with a long and cooperative history of dealing with the Cowboys.
"I think there is already an understanding between the two parties of at least one thing,'' Woy tells TheRanchReport.com. "Flozell Adams is considered as good a left tackle as there is in the game.''
That belief will be the foundation of Woy's negotiating position with the Cowboys – negotiating that we understand is already underway. The two sides have yet to get into the details of dollars and years yet.
However, as Woy tells us, "We believe we're going to end up on the same page. It will be better for both sides to get it worked out as quickly as possible.''
The switch to Woy could conceivably smooth the negotiation process. However, the biggest move still is on the Cowboys. The free-agency market opens on Feb. 29. Almost certainly, Adams will be wildly coveted. He plays a premium position, the left-tackle spot, where he protects Tony Romo's blindside and where he and Leonard Davis key Dallas' power running game. He has qualified for four Pro Bowls in the last five seasons. At 6-7 and 340 pounds, he is quick and agile and long, and has a track record of surviving duels with the likes of Osi Umenyiora of the Giants and the rest of the lightning-quick pass-rushers the Cowboys regularly face.
Adams' penchant for false starts seem, frankly, a small price to pay for the excellence that caused Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman to name the veteran to his NFL All-Pro Team.
Of course, there is nothing "small-priced'' about the franchise tag.
Adams will be 33 in May, and while he did sustain a knee injury that caused him to miss 10 games in 2005, he is a relative ironman. The Cowboys have the cap room to make this happen, but they must also wrestle with free-agency decisions involving Marion Barber III and Chris Canty. (They also have the option of juggling some current contracts with restructuring or releases.)
Woy will obviously attempt to negotiate a long-term deal for his new client, but it is really wise for Dallas to lock itself into Adams for the next five or six seasons? One major argument for doing so is the strength of the O-line as presently constructed; Adams helps make it among the most solid units in the NFL. One major argument against? The assumption that heirs Doug Free and Pat McQuistan are about ready to play.
The Cowboys think Free in particular is on the verge of being a successful left tackle
Adams' agent is prepared to argue that his client is a foundation piece of a team oh-so-close to a Super Bowl.
Says Woy: "There's not necessarily a downside to (getting the franchise tag). It's just part of the process of hopefully keeping Flozell Adams a Cowboy.''
From here, that seems like a winning argument. Flozell obviously thinks so; Woy's history with Cowboys management suggests that they will give his argument a listen.
EXCLUSIVE- Adams Changes Agents
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