It’s been a long time coming, but offensive tackle Doug Free might have already played his last snap with the Dallas Cowboys.
Free carries a $7 million base salary in 2013, which will count $12 million towards the Cowboys’ salary cap. Considering that Dallas will already be $18 million short in cap space due to sanctions placed on them a year ago, the Cowboys will need all of the available salary that they can get.
The Cowboys might also need some extra cap space this offseason if they plan on bringing Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer back into the fold. Put simply, Jerry Jones and Co. are going to have their hands full in the next few months as they attempt to get their financial situation in order.
What makes this split more likely is the fact that Free’s play has seen a significant decline in recent years. While the Cowboys have fielded one of the worst offensive lines in the league, Free has been a fragile bookend at the right tackle spot. The six-year veteran wilted against anything more than an average pass rush and looked like one of the worst offensive tackles in the NFL throughout the 2012 campaign.
Despite starting all 16 games last season, Free has proven that he is no longer worth the hefty price tag. Since putting on his best performance in a contract year and landing himself a new deal, he hasn’t been able to display that same effectiveness.
By all appearances, Free’s time in Dallas has come to an end. We’ll find out in just over a month where he’ll go next.