Dallas needs to back off Nnamdi Asomugha (above) a hitch in their Super Bowl plans if there ever was one.
Sometime today, the Cowboys will be $15.7 million richer. That's the savings from dropping Roy Williams, Marion Barber, Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, Kyle Kosier and Kris Brown.
Soon as Tony Romo, Miles Austin and DeMarcus Ware can pull it, another $17 million is en route.
Between necessary cuts and selfless concessions, Dallas reclaims a spot as the deep-pocketed spenders we expect.
"That will allow them to do basically whatever they want," ESPN Dallas reporter Todd Archer told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd Wednesday.
That turn showed the card you wanted.
The river? Not so much.
"... But if Terrance Newman is still on this team, that precludes them from going after Nnamdi Asomugha," Archer continued.
Since when do we have interest?
Since when should we?
Which strategy would you rather employ?
And that, per an Adam Schefter report on SportsCenter, the Jets are actually $10 million under the cap, instead of the presumed excess.
"After talking to a capologist, [the Jets] could easily go after Asomugha," he said at 9:05 a.m. ET.
And that, save for its own glut, Dallas hasn't been implicated as a player by any major affiliate this side of the CBA.
Most important were the realities that ratification brought: This isn't your older brother's NFL.
That lost generation of waste and consumerism is long behind us. Even with $3 million 2011 exemptions and $1.5 million in 2012-13 that create the guise of a "soft cap," we've broached the era of $120 million salary ceilings. One of rookie wage scales.
One of economization. Of fiscal responsibility.
Of building through the draft. Not through free agency, and certainly not this one.
That's what this NFL, and, transitively, your Dallas Cowboys, have become. So adapt. Come to terms. Quiet your clamoring for the reckless spending that buried us in the first place.
Remember: The Roy Williams trade was the mole we loved to whack. We smashed sending a first-, third-, and sixth-round picks in 2009, and a seventh in 2010, for a single player. We fumed that someone as tepid and unaccomplished and Joey Harrington's foremost victim was passed off as compensation.
(Especially when the first-rounder became soon-to-be stud Brandon Pettigrew.)
But the extension wasn't as lambasted. We didn't warm to the 5-year/$45 million deal, even with $20 million guaranteed. The trip to the register was assumed necessary, but affordable. Not only did we have to, but we could.
Same for Barber, who we figured earned his 7-year/$45 million stipend, after stiff-arming and highlight-reeling and elbow-dropping his way to...
So Barber never went for 1,000? Ever? Not even before the deal?
But neither his, nor Terrance Newman's 6-year/$50.2 million deal, were pelted with criticism. Even if they were mid-loaded specifically to circumvent a soon-to-be uncapped 2010. (The deals were reached, coincidentally, the same day owners opted out of the old labor deal.)
The mantra was, and always is, "whatever it takes."
Not to contend. Not to fill the seats.
No, that's the spiel of small markets strapped for cash and shrouded in obscurity.
In Dallas, we spend to stand last. To win every game, if possible; the last one, or bust.
If that was you, if you believe in "buy" regardless of the consequences, it's time for a change.
But if your're puffing from the ears, so dejected and disconnected from that description, fall right in line:
Say no to Nnamdi.
It's an easy temptation. Save for his lauded technique and opponents' pervasive fear, he's a pad lock you trust your sidelines with. At least Rob Ryan would, sparking the linkage that usually comes in the first act of a defensive coordinator's tenure.
But he's not worth the investment. Even at a discount, again—axed if New York and Dallas are pitted against each other—Asomugha's reported asking price lingers in the $20 millions. Consider him cut from the same "Big Three" mold as Champ Bailey, Nate Clements and DeAngelo Hall.
Only one of them hit, despite the can't-miss consensus that looms over Asomugha.
Vesting the entire franchise in one player worth it? Can three interceptions over four years, what Asomugha's pulled since 2007, swing our Super Bowl chances?
Hell, are 11, his career haul?
Are his cover jobs against top receivers even enough? The Raiders ranked No. 2 in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) against No. 1 wide receivers in 2008, more than an inkling of Nnamdi's dominance.
Since? They finished No. 20 last year and dead-last in 2009.
If you can't justify overpaying a 31-year-old for his last two years of work, how do you sell him for the next seven? Yeah, that's how long he's sticking around if you sign him.
Not only would that contradict the newfound philosophy, that hammering Jones' recklessness and clamoring for it is a little more than hypocritical.
It wipes any progress from the cuts. Even with Doug Free wrapped in The Star for the next four years (worth $32 million), and redrafting for Kyle Kosier and Leonard Davis in progress, there are still holes to be plugged.
Andre Gurode was placed on the PUP list. Gerald Sensabaugh is expected walk. Marcus Spears might be retained, but not without some convincing and coin.
The caulk is out there. Abe Elam and/or Michael Huff could putty the secondary, as could twin bro's former guys, Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura, as seamless fits with Rob as with Rex.
Stephen Bowen seems as able a contingency for Spears as the market offers. Though if you're going to spend money, defensive line and Cullen Jenkins are the ones to do it on.
These and what to do with Newman are separate issues to mull. But if he's dumped, too, the cornerback position becomes that much thinner.
So why not target the usuals, Johnathan Joseph and Antonio Cromartie? I'd more-than-settle for Joseph and Brandon Flowers (with KC in 2010) or ex-Raven Josh Wilson, who already knows the system.
The real question: Does Jerry? Does he get it, know what it takes to compete and with a longview, a competitive conscious?
Does he have the restraint that neither he nor we have shown?
Let's hope so. Indy in January is riding on us saddling up on someone other than Nnamdi.