Orlando Scandrick Released by Cowboys After 9 Years with Franchise

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2018

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys announced they will part with veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The post-June 1 release designation will save the Cowboys $3 million. 

Josina Anderson of ESPN initially reported the move.

Scandrick appeared in 125 games over nine seasons with the Cowboys, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.

The move comes after ESPN.com's Todd Archer reported Scandrick had requested the team release him this offseason.

By following through on his wishes, the Cowboys save $1.4 million but have a little over $3.8 million in dead money counting against the salary cap, per Over the Cap. Because of that, some may question whether the team would've been better off waiting until June 1 to release Scandrick, considering Dallas would've saved $3 million with nearly $2.3 million in dead money.

That route would've left Scandrick in a tougher position, though, since teams likely already would've made their biggest offseason moves to address the secondary.

Scandrick's desire for a change of scenery was understandable. While he started 11 games for the Cowboys in 2017, he looked destined for a lesser role in 2018. Second-year duo Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie will comprise Dallas' cornerback partnership of the future, and Awuzie in particular is likely to assume more duties next year.

The 31-year-old saw the writing on the wall toward the end of last season, per the Dallas Morning News' Kate Hairopoulos:

"The young players here....they're playing well together right now. They're going to continue to grow, and continue to get better, and I'm not at the point in my career where I'm just willing to be an inactive guy or a guy that's not a part of what's going on and can't help the team win. Obviously, I'm still under contract so that's not ultimately my decision, but I'm prepared for whatever."

Scandrick now has an opportunity to find a better shot of being a starter elsewhere—or at the very least a role where he can see the field regularly.

Based on his near decade of experience in the NFL, Scandrick will likely have a healthy market in free agency for his services.

The fact a back injury caused him to miss the final five games of the 2017 season could hurt his value, though. His lackluster numbers (38 combined tackles and zero interceptions) won't do him any favors, either.

Still, the free-agent market at cornerback isn't very deep with many of the big names signed. Teams looking for a more cost-effective option to address their pass defense would do well to consider a short-term deal for Scandrick.

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