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Cowboys take full advantage of the uncapped year

After an offseason in which many teams used the management-friendly rules of the uncapped year to restrict spending, the Dallas Cowboys quietly have taken full advantage of the absence of a spending limit in 2010 to give lots of money to the team’s players.

As reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, receiver Miles Austin’s 2010 base salary has been increased to $17 million as part of his new contract.

The only problem with this approach is that it gives the Cowboys no protection against Austin deciding to hold out or retire in the future.  A signing bonus in that amount would represent advance compensation for future services, and if he doesn’t provide those services much of the money would be recoverable.  In Austin’s case, when he’s making only $1.5 million for the entire season in 2012, he’ll have no incentive (other than training-camp fines) to continue playing.  With a base salary in 2011 of $8.5 million, Austin could simply decide, if he so chooses, to retire after the next two seasons with $25 million in his pockets — and no obligation to pay any of the money back if he calls it quits.

But the Cowboys are willing to take that risk, primarily since it gives the team a way to splurge on multiple players during what may be the only year without a salary cap.  The Cowboys didn’t spend heavily on new free agents early in the offseason because past contracts pushed significant salary obligations into 2010.  As we pointed out in March, the Cowboys had more than $153 million committed to the current year.

The move also implies that the team believes there’s a good chance a cap will return in the future.  Otherwise, the Cowboys would have spread that money out in order to give Austin a greater incentive to keep playing.

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42 Responses to “Cowboys take full advantage of the uncapped year”
  1. twinkletoes says: Sep 11, 2010 12:29 AM

    Full advantage? No, if they’d done that, their offensive line would be a LOT better. That will be their downfall this year. Every year since Jimmy Johnson’s ‘Boys (Aikman-Irvin-Smith, etc.) rode off into the sunset, it’s always been something.
    At least Jerry Jones is hosting the Super Bowl this year. That’s won’t be a bad consolation prize.

  2. miamichalupa13 says: Sep 11, 2010 12:35 AM

    That is a bit ridiculous. Like he’s really gonna retire just because he already cashed in? Not even Haynesworth’s lazy ass did that. Austin is a class act and a humble guy. My bet is that he plays harder out of appreciation for Dallas showing love ($) and faith in him. He can play without the dark cloud of uncertainty over his head. He is set for life. He no longer has to worry about being one knee twist away from being obe of those ex pros who never got the chance to cash in

  3. .Vox Veritas. says: Sep 11, 2010 12:47 AM

    “In Austin’s case, when he’s making only $1.5 million for the entire season in 2012, he’ll have no incentive (other than training-camp fines) to continue playing.”
    Seems to me he’d have roughly 32 million reasons to continue playing beyond 2011. Great forward-planning on the part of the Cowboys.

  4. Phreakin says: Sep 11, 2010 1:30 AM

    Yes, because Miles Austin is going to retire in 2 seasons. I normally don’t complain about articles on here and i’m not even a fan of the Cowboys, but this is such a filler article it’s ridiculous. I don’t understand why at the beginning of an NFL season, there’s the need for such speculative and powder puff articles.

  5. BigD88 says: Sep 11, 2010 1:40 AM

    Florio, you are just an idiot.
    I’m sure Miles Austin is going to retire in 3 years. I’m also sure he is gonna pout and whine and holdout for money just like he did this summer right?
    What a stupid article. “If Miles Austin retires at age 28, he won’t owe the Cowboys money.”
    No incentive to continue playing? Other then, I don’t know, the fact that he likes to play football and has 25 milliion in his pockets like you just said?
    Do you seriously get paid to do this stuff?

  6. hawksfan2005 says: Sep 11, 2010 5:43 AM

    this is why the salary cap needs to remain in tact. No one watches baseball because they are sick of the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. I do not want to watch Dallas, New York Giants, Washington Redskins every year in the Superbowl. It’s why I didn’t care about football in the 90s.

  7. Bwa Ha Ha says: Sep 11, 2010 6:24 AM

    Tick…………tick……………….tick

  8. Ravens-male-cheerleader says: Sep 11, 2010 7:01 AM

    …..and they will still suck. You can’t expect to go anywhere with Gomer Pyle running your offense. “well gollllliiiieeee”

  9. FireJerryJones says: Sep 11, 2010 7:15 AM

    Jerry’ acting like and even hanging out with Snyder.
    Redskins west.

  10. NYMets says: Sep 11, 2010 7:21 AM

    Yeah, but they still have Romo. And that’s a problem.

  11. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Sep 11, 2010 7:36 AM

    This is comical. You know that Jerry has been hearing all the hype about the Cowboys making it to the home Super Bowl and that he is using that hype to justify shelling out all this money. Last time I checked, you can’t make it to the Super Bowl with one of the league’s worst O-lines. Just ask Aaron Rodgers about last year. It doesn’t matter how good your QB, RBs and WRs are. There won’t be any time to do anything with the ball.

  12. ejtowne says: Sep 11, 2010 8:11 AM

    Florio: Its funny that you know more about the business part of the game than the damn whole cowboys organization! Maybe JJ should give you a job. I don’t think your country enough for him though.

  13. durno99 says: Sep 11, 2010 8:28 AM

    Hey Packer idiots! This is what your team is doing with Woodson but you would not listen. We take care of our own BLAH BLAH BLAH. Again a Viking fan had to spell it out for you in crayon.

  14. malpine says: Sep 11, 2010 8:29 AM

    Uh, yeah… cuz players are always happy with the money they’ve made and would rather retire than look for the next big contract. Has that EVER happened?
    How old is Austin? How long is the contract?

  15. jcurran77 says: Sep 11, 2010 8:30 AM

    Except for the first post, the rest of them have had to been written by someone that is 38% retarded. I want a salary cap, but if there isnt one what JJ did sounds like smart business to me. Miles is young, so writing about him retiring in two years leaving 40+ million on the table is beyond dumb. It makes sense why you all don’t like it, but that is why you flip burgers for a living. You all shouldn’t have settled for a GED.

  16. Vikings=Blumpkins says: Sep 11, 2010 8:31 AM

    Another deleted post…

  17. traevin says: Sep 11, 2010 8:39 AM

    Florio,
    You obviously know nothing about Miles Austin or you wouldn’t have even bothered writing up such a hypothetical. Jones has nothing to worry about due to the kind of man involved. I don’t know who his mother was but I know she raised him right. Austin is a football player first – businessman second; truly a dying breed. Jerry would never try this with just anyone.

  18. Fire Ted says: Sep 11, 2010 8:54 AM

    Just when I think Dan Snyder might be the most ignorant, useless owner in the NFL, Jerry Jones reminds me who rules that roost.

  19. thepuretruth says: Sep 11, 2010 9:06 AM

    Make no mistake about it…Jerry Jones is the next Al Davis!!!

  20. Hansman says: Sep 11, 2010 9:10 AM

    J Jones said during the kickoff game last year that he wants the Baseball structure in the NFL. He wants the attention on him, he wants to be on National TV more than anyone, and he wants to be able to spend more. He couldn’t care less that this would definitely make the NFL a FAR INFERIOR PRODUCT.

  21. jd713 says: Sep 11, 2010 9:11 AM

    the cowboys were also one of the “final eight” meaning they couldn’t spend money on free agents unless they lost guy’s first.. Besides this was the worst free agent class in history due to the fact that teams just tendered everyone because eligibility for free agency went from 4 years to 6.
    p.s a NYMets fan making fun of the cowboys? please your the biggest loser orginaztion in sports so go away.

  22. Bill In DC says: Sep 11, 2010 9:28 AM

    Rofl @ the anti-Cowboy lapdogs knee jerk posts.
    When Florio posts that Dallas hasn’t signed Austin to a long term contract, there they were yapping about how stupid the Cowboys & Jerry were. Now that they have signed him to a long term contract that takes advantage of the lack of a cap to push money into this year, here they are yapping again about how stupid that is.
    Has Austin shown ANY indication that he’s Haynesworth? Has he shown ANY indication that he’s like TO? Has he shown any indication that he’s the type of player who’s just in it for the money? No, much the opposite. If he had shown any of those indications I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have gotten the contract structured the way it is.
    This is a smart contract for Dallas that will enable them to keep other players in 2011 & beyond. I’m only surprised that they haven’t signed any of the other guys they have to similar deals.
    Look for Free to be signed to a similar deal later this season if he plays well.

  23. Nosredna says: Sep 11, 2010 9:39 AM

    Once again CornFlorio, you ASSume that every player thinks about money first……

  24. hotchick says: Sep 11, 2010 9:43 AM

    What are the odds of Austin walking away after this season?

  25. Hap says: Sep 11, 2010 10:17 AM

    Wow. I didnt realize there were so many people jealous of Jerry’s ability to outwit the other owners.
    Get a stadium, LOSERS.

  26. NFLMMAfan says: Sep 11, 2010 10:24 AM

    Miles Austin is not Albert Haynesworth PERIOD

  27. Wonderlicker says: Sep 11, 2010 11:08 AM

    “No one watches baseball because they are sick of the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. ”
    Over the last several years, Yankee-Red Sox games have had the highest ratings in baseball. People don’t watch baseball UNLESS the Yankees or Red Sox are playing.

  28. Filthy Fernandez says: Sep 11, 2010 11:41 AM

    WHY give Austin more guaranteed money? If anything, put more incentives in his contract to ensure he DOES play well.
    Although those might be unearnable dollars with Retard Romo throwing the rock.

  29. Terrell Blowens says: Sep 11, 2010 11:45 AM

    There’s no way in hell that Miles Austin retires at age 27, which is what he’d be by the end of the 2011 season. A receiver in his prime never retires

  30. NOwillrepeat says: Sep 11, 2010 11:54 AM

    Wow. I didnt realize there were so many people jealous of Jerry’s ability to outwit the other owners.
    Get a stadium, LOSERS.
    ————————————————–
    Yeah, im sure the rest of the league’s owners are extremely jealous because they were out witted by plastic face on an extremely talented and future hof player in Quincy “bluntman” Carter.
    Same goes for Roy W, who has proven to be a terrifying receiving threat that has defense’s fretting week after week.
    Romo has had a great run in blowing playoff game and big regular season games as well. He’s a stud, who every other team covets. Forget Brees, Manning, or Brady. Give me Tony “Butterfingers/happy feet” Romo (name sounds like he belongs on jersey shore).
    Kudos to plastic face for having such a great eye for “talent”.

  31. Big Tex says: Sep 11, 2010 12:19 PM

    Let me get this straight, the Cowboys recognize an opportunity in the uncapped year and pay a bunch of bonus money forward so that it won’t impact them in the future in regards to a key player. And this some how leads a portion of the posters on this board to label Cowboy management as ignorant? Seem to be several posters who are ignorant of the meaning of the word “ignorant”.

  32. hawksfan2005 says: Sep 11, 2010 12:21 PM

    exactly wonder licker. The rest of the country is apathetic to baseball because its the same two piles of crap. They hate the Red Sox-Yankees dynamic. The Vikings and Saints just had the most watched football game in football history. That is right. The entire country watched a game that featured two small market teams. Try to get the whole country to watch the Twins and Padres is a World Series. It will not even be close. Football has an advantage because every team has a chance at the start of the season because every team is equal. I remember the 49ers and Cowboys literally following the money from one team to the other in the 90s. It sucked. I hated watching those teams.

  33. East Bay Ray says: Sep 11, 2010 1:14 PM

    I think every poster here who is trashing the Cowboys should announce what his favorite team is so that we can pick out any bad signing, crappy player and painful loss your team has had. And, how is this signing bad? Austin’s an emerging stud who put up his huge numbers last year in only 12 starts.
    Jerry’s a billionaire who owns the most valuable franchise in the NFL, has 3 rings, and just opened the biggest and best stadium in football. You think he accomplished all that by being an idiot?

  34. 100 no's and 1 yes still mean yes says: Sep 11, 2010 1:58 PM

    @NFLMMAfan yes miles Austin is not Albert hanesworth bcuz haynseworth actually produced at a high level for more then one year before getting paid all that money for a one year wonder that’s funny unless he is actually that good for the next 6 years then he’s a genius but for now miles Austin=Antonio bryant

  35. Hawkeye says: Sep 11, 2010 1:58 PM

    If he retired wouldn’t he be obligated to return the pro rated portion of the bonus?

  36. Waitingonthe6thRing says: Sep 11, 2010 2:41 PM

    So in a post about Miles Austin…we have the cowboy haters talking about Romo choking in the playoffs…he is 1-2 in playoff games…how many playoff games did it take Peyton Manning to get to the Superbowl??….Romo will be fine…he started his first full season in 2007…its 2010..it takes time to become a SuperBowl winning QB…

  37. philgrek says: Sep 11, 2010 3:28 PM

    @hawksfan2005:
    Most watched football game in football history? Who tells you this stuff? Maybe if football history only dates back to 1997. And if it only includes the regular season. And only if you include Prime time games. Because it was just that, the Highest-rated PRIME- TIME regular-season game since 1997. So please shut up. “That is right”…what an idiot. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  38. hawksfan2005 says: Sep 11, 2010 5:14 PM

    Oh phillus I think you are the ass that doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    My point continues to be that baseball suffers from no cap. My slight mistatement of the facts is not the point of my arguement you ignaramus. The Cowboys especially Jerry Jones wants to make it so only the Cowboys win the SuperBowl every year. Which is fine if you as a nation enjoy watching the Cowboys win every year. Every team owner should aspire to this goal. However his desparation and the impending work stoppage revolves around his ludicrous stadium expenses and his yearning to dominate the league. He knows he will outspend every owner and will do so at any cost. Breaking the salary cap is his only chance of achieving his goals to return investment on said ludicrous stadium. I personally enjoy the randomness of a Saints, Ravens, Bucaneers winning a Superbowl. That would have never happened 20 years ago. Also without a cap, the Colts would be unable to keep Manning, the Chargers would have been forced to lose LT in his prime and Ray Lewis would have been a Redskin 7 years ago. No cap equals suck. There is a reason Thursday nights game was the most watched game in the past 13 years. People love football and have a desire that any team will win. This excitement will never happen in baseball. Even a Red Sox-Yankees game will never out draw an NFL game. I hate watching the Yankees win every year. I love when the Rays and Padres and Twins contend and win. Cowboys fans there are 30 other teams and fans of said teams, deal with it, while you defend your swiss cheese line and Romo’s butterfingers. BTW-you are not making the playoffs this year, not with that o-line. I am a Seahawks fan, proud of it and I know we will suck this year and maybe a few years from now, I am a realist unlike the Cowboys fans defending their team on this string.

  39. hawksfan2005 says: Sep 11, 2010 6:18 PM

    Oh phillus I think you are the ass that doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    My point continues to be that baseball suffers from no cap. My slight mistatement of the facts is not the point of my arguement you ignaramus. The Cowboys especially Jerry Jones wants to make it so only the Cowboys win the SuperBowl every year. Which is fine if you as a nation enjoy watching the Cowboys win every year. Every team owner should aspire to this goal. However his desparation and the impending work stoppage revolves around his ludicrous stadium expenses and his yearning to dominate the league. He knows he will outspend every owner and will do so at any cost. Breaking the salary cap is his only chance of achieving his goals to return investment on said ludicrous stadium. I personally enjoy the randomness of a Saints, Ravens, Bucaneers winning a Superbowl. That would have never happened 20 years ago. Also without a cap, the Colts would be unable to keep Manning, the Chargers would have been forced to lose LT in his prime and Ray Lewis would have been a Redskin 7 years ago. No cap equals suck. There is a reason Thursday nights game was the most watched game in the past 13 years. People love football and have a desire that any team will win. This excitement will never happen in baseball. Even a Red Sox-Yankees game will never out draw an NFL game. I hate watching the Yankees win every year. I love when the Rays and Padres and Twins contend and win. Cowboys fans there are 30 other teams and fans of said teams, deal with it, while you defend your swiss cheese line and Romo’s butterfingers. BTW-you are not making the playoffs this year, not with that o-line. I am a Seahawks fan, proud of it and I know we will suck this year and maybe a few years from now, I am a realist unlike the Cowboys fans defending their team on this string.

  40. DieHardSkinsFan21 says: Sep 11, 2010 9:33 PM

    Another non story for the most over rated football team in the NFL. The cowgirls have won one playoff game in the last 15 years (beating a team that they played twice already that year) and got their ass whipped 34-3 in the very next round. Yet, some idiots throughout the league and the media think they have a shot because they have a few good players at skilled positions, no o-line, and a complete cream puff for a head coach. Furthermore, Jerrah is shopping the groceries and it doesn’t seem like there is a turn around in jerrah’s future. I am not only saying this because I am a Skins fan, but also because this is all factual. There is NO way these cowgirls make a deep playoff run or anything close. Hopefully the Skins can show them how to win a football game Sunday night. The cowgirls suck, so does their owner. Their fans get overly excited about A playoff win in the the last fifteen years and declare them super bowl champs. You talk about unrealistic fans……. Stop grasping onto 1995 when you had the last of the “super teams”. Jimmy Johnson built a 3 time super bowl champion and Jerrah tore it down. The cowgirls will suck as long as Jerrah is the “GM”. have fun seeing him on the side lines this year a-holes.

  41. Big Tex says: Sep 12, 2010 8:35 AM

    Okay BlowsHard SkinsFan21, I’ll bite the bait. You rail about how bad Jerry Jones is. So tell me, what exactly has Dan Snyder done for Washington other than give you a craphole stadium with screwed up access, ridiculous FA signings, and a new Head Coach every other season? Answer that for me and then you can get back to telling us how bad Jones is. Thanks.
    Of course, I’m sure he had all the urinals lowered so he wouldn’t have to stand on a box to take a leak. That is one thing I figure that Snyder probably got done.

  42. Big Tex says: Sep 12, 2010 11:54 AM

    @hawksfan2005
    You bag on Jerry because you think he wants to win every year? Dude, get real. I’m sure that WC Ford is sitting in his office saying “Gee, I hope we suck again.” Do you think the Glazers are happy with what’s going on in Tampa? Think Al Davis (if not in a coma) has enjoyed the last seven seasons? Every one of the NFL owners want to win and win big. Some are doing all they can to make that happen. Some are doing alot less. Would you prefer to be a fan of a team whose owner lays it all on the line or would you rather have an owner who’s happy with the TV money check?
    Do you think Bill Gates and Paul Allen became successful by talking to everybody else in the computer business about making sure the playing field was level? They figured out what the rules were and then played by them.
    Moron!

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