Eric Winston wants $3-4 million, calls free agency “frustrating”


Free agent right tackle Eric Winston says he just wants to be paid a fair wage for a starting offensive lineman, and he’s getting frustrated that no NFL teams are willing to pay him what he thinks he’s worth.

Winston said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he knows he won’t get the kind of money he got last year from the Chiefs, when he signed a four-year, $22 million contract that included a $4 million signing bonus. The Chiefs cut him to avoid paying a $4.9 million base salary for 2013, and now Winston is just hoping some team will pay him more than $3 million in salary this year.

“In the $3-4 million range is something that I think is more than fair for a starter who has played pretty well throughout his career,” Winston said.

Although Winston had an offer from the Chargers and has talked to the Cowboys, his sense so far is that teams are being extremely careful with money this offseason.

“It’s also frustrating in the sense that there are still a lot of teams with money to spend, but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to spend it,” Winston said.

The one right tackle who made good money from a new team this offseason was Gosder Cherilus, who left the Lions for the Colts on a five-year, $35 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus and a fully guaranteed $5.5 million salary this year. Winston laughed when he was asked about the huge contract that Cherilus got, although he declined to say whether he thinks he deserves more money than Cherilus.

“No comment on that one,” Winston said.

What Winston will comment on is this: If you’re a right tackle and your name is not Gosder Cherilus, the free agent market stinks.

71 responses to “Eric Winston wants $3-4 million, calls free agency “frustrating”

  1. The market dictates what you should be paid, not what you think you should be paid. He needs to wake up.

  2. When I was a FA, I looked for a $3-4M year package as a supply chain manager. Couldn’t find a taker and settled for a few dollars less than that annually.

  3. $3 million is $4 million less than Doug Free’s contract. And from what I’ve read Winston is much better.

    Get it Done, Jerry. Get the better player and save some cap space.

    I know; makes too much sense for JJ to get it done.

  4. You are worth what people are willing to pay. Take whatever you can, it’s way more than most people will ever make. I would be happy to be making 6 figures.

  5. The loaded draft at OL isn’t helping him. He’ll get a deal after the draft in that range but why pay that now? Is this guy better than Tyson Clabo? Maybe the Falcons are a good fit for Winston?

  6. I can’t believe the Colts paid a Right Tackle $35 million dollars with a $10 million bonus! I’d have to say they slightly over-paid.

    Winston is definitely worth $3 million a year.
    He is a solid Tackle with plenty of experience.

  7. It’s 100% sickening that no team is willing to pay $3-4 million per season to right tackle that can’t pass block. What do they want, a gladiator?

  8. So, all teams have less than $12m in cap space. They need room for their incoming rookies and emergency free agent signings to fill in for injured players.

    I think its safe to say that at his asking price, few teams could sign him, and those that could probably don’t need to.

  9. What’s the over/under on years that Cherilus actually plays under his contract…2?

    The Detroit Lions have a collective IQ relative to their Super Bowl appearances.

    The way I see it, Eric Winston has three Pre-Draft possibilities, Dallas/Miami/San Diego. He has already cashed the biggest paychecks of his career. Now it’s time to settle for what the market will bear.

  10. The ramifications of the rookie wage scale are pretty crazy, you can pay know commodity his value, or take a flyer on a first, second, or even third for peanuts by comparison.

  11. Gosder Cherilus…that contract is another one of Jimmy irsay’s fine examples of pillaging!!! Take that, florio! He overpaid an average (at best) player, therefore he pillages.

  12. I’m sure people will scream collusion, but this is simply a product of a relatively flat cap, uncertainty about whether it’s going to increase much in the near future, and innumerable examples of free agent flops.

    I’m just surprised it took this long for these jackwagon owners and GMs to wise up and start spending their cap space wisely. If they ran their businesses like they run their NFL teams, none of them would have ever had the money to buy an NFL team.

  13. Just becuse the Colts got suckered by Cherilus and his agents, it doesn’t mean other teams will use his contract as a measuring stick.

    This is a wierd free agent year and Winston and other similar FA’s will probably have to wait until after the draft, for an offer. He.ll also probably have to settle for less than $3 mil.

    How will he feed his family?

  14. Come on, Mr. Ireland! You have the cap space. Sign him for one year, and he can mentor whomever you pick up on day two. This year’s draft is rich with tackles. That way you can confidently go with the BPA with all of your first and second round picks…

  15. Lions’ O-line would start looking much better if they could get Winston on the cheap, move Reiff to right guard, and draft Fisher at left tackle.

  16. He just keeps talking. For a starting RT let go by 2 teams the past 2 seasons you’d think he’d be humbled. Free Agency has shown you your worth. Which is what teams are offering you.

  17. Eric Winston needs to swallow his pride and take whatever the Cowboys or Dolphins have on the table for him.

    He’s always been a good starting RT, but never elite or Pro Bowl worthy. In fact, since he got drafted in 2006, you never really heard his name until he became a free agent in the 2012 off-season and got over-paid by the Kansas City Chiefs, which have since realized they paid too much for him and cut him.

    He’ll be 30 before December; what does he expect?

  18. His mouth generates too much attention, which is probably a good reason why he isn’t getting what he’s asking for. If a team is willing to pay for a potential distraction they will do so at their price, not the player’s.

  19. Memo to Winston:

    Think about this the next time you feel tempted to call the media together so you can slander the fans of your team.

  20. 3-4 million for a starting RT is a fair price. I’m more shocke teams keep throwing millions at Kevin Kolb.

  21. Life is tough being an unemployed American holding out for a fair paying multi-million dollar job ranging between 3-4M. How can a “good” RT live on a 2.7 million dollar wage these days????

  22. I agree with Winston. He’s not asking for the moon. I’m a Chiefs fan, and was bummed to see him go. Great run blocker, decent pass protector. Good leader, no matter what some KC folks think after he called out fans. Bears should sign him.

  23. Winston underwhelmed in Houston for six seasons and pocketed nearly $30 mil in the process. Then he backs up the Brinks truck in KC for one season. The guy hit JACKPOT twice in his less-than-stellar career, yet expects another goldmine.

    Eric: there’s a reason you’re “frustrated.” You stink.

  24. you’re obviously not worth what you think are. you are only worth what others offer to pay you. nothing more. you can go around demanding a certain amount and eventually sit o ut for the year or take what is offered

  25. Cherilus will play no more than 3 yrs. in Indy. His contract is structured very team friendly for the 1st 3 yrs. and is no big deal at all. People talk crap about the contract the Colts gave Cherilus simply because they do not understand how it is structured and the fact that he’ll never see yr. 4 of that contract.

  26. Nothing will make teams more eager to sign you than going on the radio and whining that no one will sign you.

    I picture his agent driving down the road, hearing this on the radio, and driving his car into a bridge abutment.

    Sorry, Eric, teams are learning that there are better ways to fill roster holes than giving multi-million dollar deals to guys who just got dumped one year into their contracts by 2-14 teams.

  27. He may not be very good, but his point about Cherilus is a valid one. I respect Ryan Grigson, but he really bat the shed on that one. If Cherilus is making that much, 3-4 mil for Winston is not even close to too steep.

    Winston is not actually worth that much, but given where the bar was set with Cherilus, it’s not at all unreasonable for Winston to value himself at 3-4m. It’s very doubtful anybody actually pays that much, but he shouldn’t be criticized for saying they should.

  28. When will these guys learn that talking on the radio will never help your situation…Wait til the first Tackle gets injured in practice–patience…

    Hmmm…Feels like a little bit of collusion….

  29. Dallas fans need to stop talking about getting rid of Doug Free. He has not been paid his guaranteed contract amount and will generate no cap savings if he is cut this year. If they cut him they still have to pay him this years salary and then fill the position. Not gonna happen!!!

  30. Cowboys need to sign him and jettison Free. This guy has talent and a great attitude. Come on Jerry!

  31. “It’s also frustrating in the sense that there are still a lot of teams with money to spend, but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to spend it,” Winston said.

    Blame De Smith. It’s hard to believe that guy has the nerve to collect his salary without wearing a ski mask.

  32. I have a suspicion as to why this guy can’t get a job, but I think I shouldn’t start trouble by being the first one to come out & say it

  33. He had a chance to sign with Miami before last year and he said no. He had a chance this year with us and said no. Greed is not good for you.
    This is further proof that Miami may move up in the draft for a n LT, moving Martin back to rt side.
    And it sickens me that we draft a lineman so early on, a la Jake Long.
    If we trade up, get Milliner, once a decade player.

  34. This a result of the new collective bargaining agreement and punishing the players. The teams don’t need to spend the money this year and they obviously aren’t. The players will get rich again next year and even more so as the cap grows.

    This is a simple money grab. That is why you are seeing all the one year contracts. Next years when the teams are forced to spend 90% of the cap, players like Winston will get paid big time.

  35. Philbin does not like mouthy players!

    You are worth what the market is offering you, not what you think you should be offered.

    Now with all his talking, teams are going to have another question mark about him… is this guy motivated by money? Will he give 100% if he gets less than what he think he deserves?

  36. Come on down to Tampa Bay Mr Winston… teamed with Donald Penn, Carl Nicks, Jeremy Zuttah, Davin Joseph and Eric Winston.. Top 3 offensive lines in the league? Top 5? We got money to blow since were not goin for Revis anymore (ha i hope were dunn with that dream anyways)

  37. Eric, if your mouth wasn’t so big you’d still be making over 4 million a year. Having an ego doesn’t pay. Of course since I have the same pass blocking skills as you, and I’m 220 and never played in the NFL, that doesn’t help either.

  38. For those saying Winston can’t pass blocks or even struggles against pass rushers that is false. Winston only gave up 3 sacks in 2012 & he’s an elite run blocker. He just runs his mouth too much.

  39. Winston’s agent must give Florio LOTS of info…I cant really explain any other reason why this over the hill, slightly better than average RIGHT tackle who gts a decent amount of penalties continues to get stories every other day…when he actually signs with someone then report but he’s frustrated?! wow, stop the press (please)!

  40. mcaje says:
    Apr 9, 2013 9:43 AM

    The Detroit Lions have a collective IQ relative to their Super Bowl appearances.

    An incredibly stupid statement with absolutely no relevance to the topic.

  41. Wake up Jets, you had a swinging door at right tackle last year, wanna ground & pound? You need some run blockers. Get this guy in for workout.

  42. Just relax Winston. You may need to wait until the draft to be over. Once the dust settles, those teams with clear need will come back and make a deal with you. Heck, you might even get something close to what your asking…..

  43. balzer41 says:
    Cherilus will play no more than 3 yrs. in Indy. His contract is structured very team friendly for the 1st 3 yrs. and is no big deal at all. People talk crap about the contract the Colts gave Cherilus simply because they do not understand how it is structured and the fact that he’ll never see yr. 4 of that contract.


    While it is true the first three years of the Cherilus contract are more team friendly than the last two, that doesn’t mean this was a good signing by the Colts.

    With the $10 million signing bonus, Cherilus will make a total of $20.5 million over the first three years of his contract (Base salaries of $5.5, $1.0 and $4.0 million with no other roster bonus etc.) Thus, even if they cut him after year three, the Colts still would have paid him a little over $6.8 million a year.

    That’s waaaaaayyyyy too much for a below average right tackle, especially considering how the market played out after the initial signings.

    If Irsay and Grigson had waited a little while, they could have gotten a much better deal with Cherilus or someone else.

    The Colts were better off sticking to their old ways of not going out and making a splash in free agency.

  44. i’m 100% convinced that if this guy would have kept his mouth shut about Matt Cassell last year and ” welcoming ” Alex Smith” to the team, he would still be a Chief making $5 mil year. shut your pie hole bro, two teams have released you in the last 12 months, take your 2 mil a year and pipe down

  45. I am a Detroiter and a huge Lions fan.

    I will tell you with credibility that Cherlius was average at best.

    He was a 1st round pick who played more like a 4th rounder.

    Don’t know how he scored that contract. Good for him I guess.

    Weird offseason. I like what teams are doing. Not over paying for players. That’s how it should be. Players are making way too much money that doesn’t balance out the salary cap.

    However, some below average players banked.

  46. The rookie wage scale is what’s doing some of these guys in, IMO. Teams know that they can draft a guy for pennies on the dollar compared to what a Winston or Clabo have left, even if both aren’t that bad (PFF had Clabo as the #5 best RT last year, not sure no Winston).

    Pay a 30YO $4-6M per year, or draft a guy with more future potential on a longer deal for a fraction of that? The answer is obvious.

    These guys will get looks when teams hit the Oh crap” button after the draft, though. I’m a little surprised the Jets haven’t tried picking up a few OL.

  47. “Memo to Winston:

    Think about this the next time you feel tempted to call the media together so you can slander the fans of your team.”

    Slander? If memory serves, all he did was publicly rightfully defended his quarterback who was getting cheered for laying injured in the dirt.
    I would say he’s a high character guy based on that.
    Unless its some other incident you’re speaking of.

  48. It gets so tiring listening to demands that since so-and-so got this much, my guy has got to get AT LEAST that much or more. Here’s the deal, you delusional fools, what so-and-so got from the North Dakota Bumscrews is irrelevant. If your guy wanted that kind of money, he should have landed a job with THEM. He didn’t, though, and in OUR building (insert team name here), the market is what WE say it is. Don’t like that, go see if you can be a ball boy for the Bumscrews.

  49. This sounds like a guy whose agent gave him some bad advice on where the market might be this off-season…

  50. Sometimes the market isn’t efficient, but maybe the issue here is that Winston didn’t grade out as well as he thought he did last year. If he did he would have no problem getting $4 million a year as a starting right tackle.

  51. The Cowboys and other teams are thinking they may draft a right tackle like Fluker (Bama) which would cost them less.

    After the draft (maybe sooner), someone will sign Winston and I agree he deserves 3 million if he is a starter.

  52. There is nothing worse than that feeling when you realize you will be making less than $4 million per yer.

  53. Eric, I wish you’d get hurt at Arrowhead, then you’d know the difference of 1,000 cheering Cassel’s injury and all 77,000 that you called out.

    And to the guy who thinks Winston only gave up 3 sacks, that’s right, he only gave up 3 sacks…. Per game!

    Winston doubles as a Border Collie in his spare time, he already has the face of a dog and is even better at directing the sheep (DE’s) straight to the corral (the QB).

  54. If memory serves, all he did was publicly rightfully defended his quarterback who was getting cheered for laying injured in the dirt.

    Apparently your memory is just as distorted as Oprah Winstons. The play was still going and the fans that were cheering were watching Charles not Cassel. But don’t let the truth stand in the way of your deception.

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