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Doug Free stays with Cowboys, cuts his pay in half

Doug Free AP

The long-awaited Doug Free pay cut has arrived.

Free, the Cowboys’ starting right tackle, has agreed to a new deal that will cut his pay from $7 million to $3.5 million this season, ESPN reports.

Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones has been saying for months that he wants Free to stay around, but that he doesn’t want to pay Free $7 million. The big question has been whether the two sides could agree to a new deal that keeps Free at a more affordable price, or whether the Cowboys would release him before the start of the regular season.

As it turned out, they were able to work out a new deal long before the start of the regular season. And Free will remain on the Cowboys’ offensive line for at least another year.

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44 Responses to “Doug Free stays with Cowboys, cuts his pay in half”
  1. jacobslatter says: May 16, 2013 3:46 PM

    Also cut in half by the Cowboys was the amount of hair atop his head.

  2. whatnojets says: May 16, 2013 3:49 PM

    “Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones has been saying for months that he wants Free to stay around”

    I guess the owner and the general manager got their wishes.

  3. ccjcsr says: May 16, 2013 3:50 PM

    He would have gotten half of that in the open market if they cut him, makes sense.

  4. bobhk says: May 16, 2013 3:53 PM

    I guess Doug is not Free after all.

    They may have got him cheaper but he’s still a turnstile.

    Good luck.

  5. drummerboyg12 says: May 16, 2013 3:53 PM

    Finally!

  6. ccjcsr says: May 16, 2013 3:55 PM

    Business wise a sound investment for a turnstile tackle, more incentive for him to improve!
    #business101

  7. davej13 says: May 16, 2013 3:58 PM

    How is it better to pay Free $3.5M when they could have had Clabo for the same price? I know there are salary cap implications, but still . . . .

    I have been a Cowboy fan for 40 years and this team will never win again until Jerry goes to that big football field in the sky.

  8. crownofthehelmet says: May 16, 2013 3:59 PM

    If he was at $7M, and they settled on $3.5M, that means JJ’s starting point in the negotiations was $0. Tough negotiator.

  9. paulsmith107 says: May 16, 2013 4:03 PM

    Good I’m happy this happened I know free was bad last year but so was Eric Winston and that’s who Dallas wanted to replace him with. It wouldn’t have been an upgrade and then it’s just another player to get used to the other line mates and coaches. Good lines are lines tht have been together for a while

  10. coachro66 says: May 16, 2013 4:03 PM

    I wonder how many years is the “new contract” and what it does for our salary cap…

  11. tlnolan82 says: May 16, 2013 4:04 PM

    I would have offered him 2. No more.

  12. nflofficeadmin says: May 16, 2013 4:04 PM

    Remember when people were saying that Doug Free was really good.

  13. gibbsandflair says: May 16, 2013 4:04 PM

    Orakpo and the entire Redskins defence would like to welcome Mr. Free back.

  14. tombradyswig says: May 16, 2013 4:06 PM

    31 other teams thank you jerrah!

  15. doomsdaydefensetx says: May 16, 2013 4:09 PM

    I guess that’s reasonable. We could’ve cut him and would have to I through the trouble teaching another old dog new tricks. If he don’t show some production in OTA he should be cut.

  16. micknangold says: May 16, 2013 4:10 PM

    That’s a good price for a solid RT.

  17. chuxtah says: May 16, 2013 4:13 PM

    Yes they saved against their cap number. No he isn’t worth half. Yes he does suck. Yes Clabo and Winston for less is better. Yes Jerry Jones is too proud to let go of one of his boys. Yes the Cowboys will fight for second in the NFC East

  18. We need Bud Grant says: May 16, 2013 4:16 PM

    Funny, he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would put up with the “Tim Tebow Friar Tuck” hazing….

  19. natevidlak says: May 16, 2013 4:16 PM

    Meanwhile…James Harrison is still trying to find a flux-capacitor

  20. ccjcsr says: May 16, 2013 4:18 PM

    How is it better to pay Free $3.5M when they could have had Clabo for the same price? I know there are salary cap implications, but still . . . .

    I have been a Cowboy fan for 40 years and this team will never win again until Jerry goes to that big football field in the sky.

    _________________________________

    Who said it was better? Only talking about Salary..
    #getoverit

  21. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 16, 2013 4:26 PM

    At least he doesn’t have to play for…Free.

  22. phoowes says: May 16, 2013 4:29 PM

    Great job Jerrah!

    –An Eagles Fan

  23. dboys4124 says: May 16, 2013 4:37 PM

    For everything who thinks that they should have just cut him and signed a new player like clabo or winston….

    Cutting Free before June 1 would have cost them 7mill. Designating him a June 1 cut would have made that a 3.5 mil hit this year and a 3.5 mil hit next year. Add it your clabo and you basically are still paying 7 mil. Is Clabo twice the player he is? I’m sure ATL would have brought him back if that was the case.

    This works out to be a wash for the cowboys. Having him or not would cost them at least 3.5 mil. They now have cap room to bring in other positions to compete. The Cowboys got the best deal out of what they were working with. Stop being haters until you understand what is going on. You aren’t playing fantasy football right now.

  24. seabreezes51 says: May 16, 2013 4:40 PM

    Sometime this fall someone will beat Doug Free and get a clean shot at Tony… Doug will secretly smile.

  25. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 16, 2013 4:41 PM

    Free had very few options and had to agree to it. On June 1, Dallas could cut him and save a ot of money against the cap. Free would not likely get offered any more than Jerry was offering, in the market.

    While Jerry helped himself with the salary cap, he still has a guy at right tackle that gets penalized often and is performing poorly.

  26. heyguru1969 says: May 16, 2013 4:43 PM

    Sign on Cowboys Headquarters:

    FREE! 50% OFF!

    Hell of a sale.

  27. bewaredware says: May 16, 2013 4:55 PM

    Did someone say Orakpo?! How many times has he sacked Romo? Please, stay out when grown ups are talking.

  28. newtdobbs says: May 16, 2013 4:58 PM

    tlnolan82 says:
    May 16, 2013 4:04 PM
    I would have offered him 2. No more.

    Big talk.
    Do you have 2 to give?

  29. zack2482 says: May 16, 2013 5:11 PM

    He’s not taking a pay cut to remain a starter! People thanking Jerry for keeping him, etc. He is going to be a back up!

  30. vmannj says: May 16, 2013 5:34 PM

    Cowboys fan here. Yes, the deal saves them $3.5M on the cap THIS year. But what about future years? Jerry is notorious for giving his players terrible extensions (Roy Williams, Marion Barber, Doug Free). But he’s even worse when it comes to restructuring bad deals. Sure it SAVES $$$ now, but how much will it COST us later?

  31. woodbridgekid73 says: May 16, 2013 5:35 PM

    Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are going to ring Romo’s clock next season.

  32. phoowes says: May 16, 2013 5:36 PM

    zack2482 says: May 16, 2013 5:11 PM

    He’s not taking a pay cut to remain a starter! People thanking Jerry for keeping him, etc. He is going to be a back up!

    Who is this mystery right tackle Zack?

    Another year of a piss pour running game…

  33. thefiesty1 says: May 16, 2013 5:47 PM

    Still overpaid for the CowBabies.

  34. mackcarrington says: May 16, 2013 5:59 PM

    The NFL has had a salary cap for decades now. But Am I the only one who thinks that all of these salary cutbacks are unprecedented? I’ve heard of “market correction” but this has gone to new levels. Collusion may not be the right word for it but there is definitely something going on.

  35. dbatrox21 says: May 16, 2013 6:20 PM

    Oh boy! A 3 and a half million dollar speed bump…I can imagine Jerry will be getting thank-you cards from the rest of the NFC East.

  36. seaeagle707 says: May 16, 2013 6:37 PM

    Every time Jerry, “scores” a new deal, I get the stronger feeling that with an experienced and unchained PRO GM at the helm, the Cowboys might just start to turn the corner. With his one dimensional thinking on display constantly, it makes you wonder how Jones, ever got to be more than a salesman from Arkansas?

  37. officialgame says: May 16, 2013 6:46 PM

    Not a Cowboy fan but they did the best they could in this situation. They somewhat rectified a problem started when JJ signed a below average right tackle to a 10M per year (counting bonuses) contract.

  38. lakermetskins says: May 16, 2013 7:41 PM

    Imagine your boss telling you, ” You suck. Take a 50% decrease in pay or buzz off!”

  39. nou04 says: May 16, 2013 8:07 PM

    Its about time. I hated the fact that the poor play of Doug Free, and he was the highest paid RT in football. When he wasn’t making big money, he played very well. Maybe this will make him hungry again and improve his play to what it once was.

    To davej13, it was the salary cap implications. If he was cut, would have cost the cowboys $7 million in dead money. So to grab Clabo (which I wished they did) and pay him $3.5 mil, and Free’s $7 mil, would have been $10.5 mil on the books.

  40. orakpocalypse says: May 16, 2013 8:46 PM

    You’re welcome Ryan Kerrigan!

  41. zack2482 says: May 16, 2013 8:51 PM

    @phoowes

    He rotated with Parnell towards the end of the season. I wouldn’t roll with Parnell but he is better than Free. I would get Eric Winston and there is still time to do that. It’s no mystery. But the right side of line looks a bad as last year and you are right, piss poor running game probably in 2013.

  42. mikesowers1 says: May 16, 2013 9:29 PM

    The only reason Free agreed to less money from Jerry is because the Giants, Skins, and Eagles defenses made up the difference so they could keep running right by him…… Romo better work on his 40 times to try and outrun the onslaught. Jerry please sell the Cowboys so we can become a great team again.

  43. texasaaa says: May 16, 2013 10:13 PM

    From what I saw last year they could cut Free this year, not replace him with anyone and at least we would be the money ahead
    His play last year was like water through a sieve.

  44. watchdawg1103 says: May 17, 2013 12:41 AM

    He was going to count against the cap anyway, may as well keep him. The positive out of this is he is still relatively young, knows the system, provides depth, and after the ridicule he’s received I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play better this year. Hell hopefully he can’t get much worse.

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