Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has been sitting out the team’s offseason workouts in hopes of getting a new contract. The Cowboys’ fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft had been given a five-year, $27 million deal in 2011 but had his contract extended to add another $9 million in guaranteed money following the 2013 season. Still, Scandrick has been eyeing a longer-term deal that better reflects both his value to his team and how much he has improved as a player.
After signing the contract in 2011, Scandrick totaled only 10 starts in the next two seasons, making it seem like the Cowboys made a mistake by giving him the initial five-year deal in the first place. But since 2013, Scandrick has started in 29 games. He’s improved not only his interception total (two in each year) but his coverage skills have been considerably better, with 22 passes defensed since 2013, and zero touchdowns allowed in 2014 according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Now, it looks like the stalemate between Scandrick and the Cowboys is coming to a close. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Scandrick will report to the team for their next phase of offseason activities and it is expected he will get the new deal he’s been seeking by the end of the week.
When the Cowboys get back to work on Monday, CB Orlando Scandrick will be at Valley Ranch with teammates with eye on new deal by end of week
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 17, 2015
Scandrick was a bright spot on a Cowboys defense that outperformed expectations last year. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him 10th overall at his position for 2014, making him the Cowboys’ top corner for the season. The Cowboys have been hit-or-miss (and mostly miss) at the cornerback position of late, with 2012 first-round draft pick Morris Claiborne struggling through numerous injuries as well as performance issues and Brandon Carr, whom the team signed to a five-year, $50.1 million contract in 2012, not living up to expectations. Though the team did take another cornerback in this year’s draft, Byron Jones, the Cowboys need Scandrick in order to have both continuity and talent in their secondary.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed optimism last week that the team and Scandrick could come to a satisfactory agreement for both sides in short order. In speaking with the Dallas Star-Telegram‘s Clarence E. Hill on Wednesday, Jones said, “Of course we stand strong about what a good player [Scandrick] is, how much we need him, how much he helps us and would like to get something satisfactorily worked out with him… Hopefully we can get something worked out that can be in the best interest of the Cowboys and also accommodate what he needs to do.”
As the start of this year’s free agency proved, quality cornerbacks are neither a-dime-a-dozen nor do they come cheaply. Expect Scandrick to see a major increase in his guaranteed money from his impending new contract. Dallas’ “no-name” defense may just have produced a big-name—and big-money—cornerback after all.
Photo: USA Today Sports