Recently, Jay Ratliff has become a thorn in the Dallas Cowboys’ side. Typically, thorns are removed, not tolerated.
On top of constantly being injured, Ratliff has feuded with owner Jerry Jones and doesn’t play with the type of consistency that a player of his caliber should. He’s currently sitting out Cowboys training camp with a hamstring strain that he suffered during a pre-camp conditioning test. What started out as a minor headache is quickly becoming a massive migraine.
To make matters worse, his on-field performance has also started to slip over the years. Closing in on 32 years of age, Ratliff is showing obvious signs of wear and tear. His production has decreased significantly and his recent history of health issues isn’t a good sign – he missed 10 games in 2012 due to numerous injuries.
At first, trading Ratliff would seem like the smart decision. The Cowboys should get something in return for the former Pro Bowler, right?
The biggest roadblock on the path to trading Ratliff would be his contract, which runs through 2017 and still carries a lot of dollar signs. Ratliff would have to be willing to renegotiate his contract with his new team, which seems unlikely. No team will want to acquire an injury-prone 32-year-old and pick up his overpriced contract.
Still, Jones and Co. might not see Ratliff as worth keeping around if the health problems persist. He’s an overpaid, aging defensive tackle who isn’t an ideal fit for the Cowboys’ new 4-3 defense, regardless of how convinced Jones is that he’ll flourish.
At this point, holding on to Ratliff is just wasting a roster spot. Hopefully Jones gets the picture and severs ties by the time the regular season arrives.