Doug Free has agreed to take a pay cut and will remain a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
If you recall, Free was scheduled to make $7 million this season and would count $10.02 million against the salary cap. Free’s new contract is a two-year deal; however, I do not have the details of the contract as of this article, but Free’s new salary will be about half of what it once was.
I will say that this is the best move Free and his agent could have made because it would have been nearly impossible for Free to find a $3 million to $3.5 million yearly salary on the open market.
The Cowboys said all along that there was no rush in solving the Free situation, but with OTAs on the horizon; the time to act was now. In the event that Free suffered an injury at practice, then the Cowboys would have been on the hook for his $7 million salary.
The Cowboys coaching staff was encouraged by Free’s play during the second half of the season, once he started splitting time with swing tackle Jermey Parnel, and think that a second season under Bill Callahan will aid in his development.
Personally, I think that a better guard next to him will work miracles for Free. I know he’s not the greatest tackle in the NFL, but when he played next to a solid guard, as in Kyle Kosier, his struggles weren’t as obvious. With the news that incumbent starting right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau has gone under the knife for shoulder surgery, Free might be playing next to a different guard for the third time in three years.
The deal will probably save the Cowboys about $6 million against the salary cap, which will create enough room for the team to re-sign Sean Lee and or Dan Bailey if they choose to.