The start of free agency begins Tuesday at noon, by that time all NFL teams are required to be under the salary cap of $123 million for 2013.
The Dallas Cowboys began the year approximately $20 million over the cap, but managed to restructure some contracts to give the team some breathing room. The team then franchise tagged defensive end Anthony Spencer, which is worth $10.6 million in 2013, but that put the team about $7 million over the cap once again.
The Cowboys could have created more room under the cap by signing quarterback Tony Romo to a long term deal, but those talks seem to have subsided. Unless the Cowboys and Romo come to an agreement by noon on Tuesday, it doesn’t appear that Dallas will be dipping into the free agent market; at least not initially.
On Monday, the Cowboys cut linebacker Dan Connor and restructured the contracts of nose tackle Jay Ratliff, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and guard Mackenzy Bernadeau to get under the cap, once again.
Those moves have helped the Cowboys get roughly about $175,000 under the cap. Yay!
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones has said before that the cap is a fluid situation and the team could strike long-term deals with Spencer and/or Romo, but it doesn’t appear that will happen before the start of free agency at noon on Tuesday. The team may also choose to cut some players or keep restructuring contracts to create more space under the cap, but that will probably happen further down the road.
As of right now, I’ll put it this way Cowboys fans. If you know who the free agent is, the Cowboys cannot afford to sign them.