The Norm thread frustrated me to no end. I know he is just doing his job and doing it fairly well if it has carried over to this forum but alas he is also misleading folks IMHO. We absolutely do have major cap issues. I trust ADAMJT13 a great deal about all matters cap. His facts are irrefutable. But the analysis of said facts is a different area. That's where the grey area lies. But the one person I trust on all things Cowboys cap-related even moreso than ADAMJT13 is Stephen Jones. And when he says we will be right up against the cap; I believe him. He isn't an alarmist. He isn't a contrarian. And he is obviously not a 'hatah' of any sort. But, but, but we can easily get 20 mil under the cap. All that is true except the "easily" part. Nothing easy about it. Players that need major commitments and/or consideration. Jay Ratliff: Everyone's new whipping boy spent 3 or 4 years as perhaps the best overall value in football. Still flashed greatness this year but if you blinked you missed it and him altogether. Didn't help that he threatened the elderly... owner. Who does that? I mean besides 80% of this forum. lol. Ratliff has guaranteed money coming this year. The best way to reward his bad behavior is to release him. He gets paid here and will WITHOUT a doubt get money elsewhere to. Houston couldn't sign him fast enough. Ratliff's deal is complicated enough that I truly have no idea how much he saves us if we release him pre/post June 2nd. But I do know he won't save us much. Leon Lett wasn't a Mensa member but good grief did we miss him. My Move: I'd keep him for 2013. I'd rather suspend him without pay for acting stupid than pay him to play elsewhere. I would not allow my money to get mad here. But it'd be very hard to pay him even more money to restructure. Another year of injuries and moodiness and he goes from headache to hard case. Miles Austin: Austin is almost on a scheduled re-structure. His base is ~6.75M. But he is coming off a very #2 WR year. That's a 2-4m per year salary slot. Do we guarantee him another 6m by handing him that before training camp? Is he in town working now or in Cali chasing wanna-be Kardashians? Miles has a top 10 WR physical make up. He is strong and explosive. He isn't naturally agile and has questionable hands/focus but his overall game is quite nice. But those nagging injuries have been more consistent than his good play. If we re-structure him we will owe him as much as 9m to cut him next year, That's crazy. So a restructure likely means he is here long term. OR... if we leave his contract alone we owe him 4.5M or so now in SB. We could bring him into camp and check him out. If he is full go we pay him this year and see what he does. Next year we'd pay only 3m to release him if that was required. And we'd have the same re-structure option next year. AND if he comes to camp and pulls a hammy TC week 1... we release him June 2nd. Saves us 4m this year and costs us only 2.25M next year. My Move: I'd give him a shot in camp and decide then. I trust I can find a use for 4m post June 2nd if Miles isn't ready to roll. And I like him better playing for big paydays than after cashing the big checks. Doug Free: I struggle to find much to discuss here. Doug Free was paid left tackle money as we saw our OL fall apart in short order and we desperately needed a young LT. But then we drafted an LT very high. Free became one of the highest paid right tackles in the NFL. That only works on Super Bowl teams holding on for a couple seasons or where the player is such a stud you can gameplan around his excellence. Neither is true here. Doug Free's best move is a new team. My Move: Designate him a June 2nd cut. Get Parnell ready all off-season. Look to the draft and FA for another OT. Worst of the worst case I go with Parnell backed up by Ryan Cook. Save ~4m this year but eat 3M next year in dead money. Tony Romo: Romo is 99.99% extended and paid a fortune. No sure ther eis any other way to go. Dallas needs to lower his cap hit and he is the team's most valuable player. My Move: Same as the rest of the sane universe, Give him a big check and hope for the best. I would ask him to be consider the team we can field around him if he is kind in cost. Dan Connor: Middling LB who could start for us but will never be a plus player. Lacks speed and explosion but can tackle and understands offenses. Costs too much right now at 3m base. My Move: I'd give him ~2m in cash up front and add a year to his deal. Lower his cap hit by a million or so. UNLESS someone else is obviously a better fit. If the Coaches tell me he isn't running 1st team I eat the 1.35m and release him. Gerald Sensabaugh: Not often discussed but Sensy is ripe for plucking if we think he has failed here. We owe him only ~2.5m in pro-rated SB which is less than his base. We could save 500k or so by releasing him today because the base is 3m. OR we could release him June 2nd and save ~1.75M. My Move: I'd get Kiffin's take. He has to decide if Sensy starts here for him or not. If he feels he needs a different safety I cut Sensy and move on. Church is cheaper, younger and on a long-term deal I can live with. Anthony Spencer: I hated franchising Spencer last year. I thought he was not worth the cash and I was clearly wrong there. BUT, where I was correct is that waiting one year to make the real decision doesn't buy you much. Minus Spencer last year we'd have had some cap cash to get better in other areas. Can we afford him? If we want to sign him long-term as a SDE and WDE we can make it work. It wouldn't be easy but it can work. Losing a guy this age who is a Pro Bowl pass rusher for nothing is almost insane. But I know we are staring that option in the face. My Move: I keep his rights and see what I can get in trade or sign him long-term with the kind of re-structure lay out Carr had. Get him in cheap for a year and either extend pay outs or eat cap hits after we've seen the game's revenue (and salary cap) grow again. --Trade. I'd take a 2nd and 4th. Or a 3rd and 6th in 2013 and 2nd in 2014. There are a glut of others whom we have to decide upon. Guys that are restricted free agents or make too much money for their roles. I won't make a long post longer by going into each, but would love to see others continue those thoughts in this thread.