Doug Free agrees to cut salary, stay with Cowboys
MAY 16, 2013 4:52p ET
As first reported by FoxSports Southwest, the beleaguered right tackle agreed to a reduced two-year contract that guarantees him $3.5 million for 2013 and has a similar (but non-guaranteed) salary in 2014. This is an escape from cap hell for the Cowboys, who were once on the hook to pay Free $7 million for 2013 as part of a four-year, $32-million contract he signed in 2011.
Had the Cowboys cut Free, they would’ve taken a cap hit of approximately $4.5 million for each of the next two years — and would’ve had to hire a replacement like free agent Eric Winston at an additional cost.
Two years ago, Free showed the promise that earned him the big contract while playing left tackle. He was at right tackle last year and struggled so much that for the final month of the season he split snaps with prospect Jermey Parnell.
The move — which may free up $3.5 million under the cap this year as the Cowboys turn their focus to an extension for linebacker Sean Lee — came to a head this week in anticipation of next Tuesday’s start of OTAs. The Cowboys had no intention of leaving the $7 million price tag unchanged, for in the event of a Free injury, the club would be on the hook for that number.
Instead, Free made the move through the team’s headquarters, taking care of football business, then taking care of financial business … and now needing to pull his $3.5 million worth of weight.
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