Several teams will enter free agency next week with money pouring out of their pockets to spend.
The Dallas Cowboys are not one of those teams.
Despite the salary cap being higher than initially anticipated, the Cowboys are still on the wrong side of it. They need to clear up cap space before the start of the 2014 league year on March 11 and have already planned to release Everette Brown and Phil Costa as a means of freeing up some space.
In addition, they are also restructuring the contracts of other veteran players. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, the Cowboys have restructured the contracts of cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Sean Lee. The reworked deals convert base salary into bonuses that can be prorated over the length of the contracts, thus lessening the cap hit for this season and deferring it to future years.
Per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the restructured contracts freed up $8.5 million in cap space – $3.75 million from Scandrick and $4.75 for Lee.
Dallas had just given Scandrick a two-year extension in November and already needed to revisit the deal to fix their cap problems for next season.
DeMarcus Ware’s contract remains an issue that Dallas may have to deal with as well. His cap hit is the second highest of any player on the roster and releasing him would free up over $7 million in space. However, there still hasn’t been any movement on either a pay cut, restructure or release at this point.