C. Joseph Wright: If it were 10 years ago, I would have said it was worth a shot if T-New would accept a pay-cut, especially given the reality of the dead money cutting Newman will create. 10 years ago the free safety position was a lot different than in today’s NFL. Back then a free safety could get away with being a center-fielder/ball-hawk. Newman may have been able to play that position. But in today’s NFL, and on Rob Ryan’s defensive especially, the free safety has to be able to play like a strong safety. In the 3-4 defense that Rob Ryan runs, it is optimal if both safeties are “interchangeable”, which means that both safeties are required to provide run stopping support. I don’t think that Newman is capable of fulfilling those obligations.
I am one of the few that thinks that Newman may stay with the Cowboys. It would not surprise if they released him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they forced Newman to accept a new contract at a much lower salary. If they cut Newman, and don’t want to re-sign Alan Ball or Frank Walker, they will be down to just two CB’s (Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick).
I believe that Rob Ryan wants to acquire a starting CB so that Scandrick can continue in the role of slot corner. If we assume that happens, Newman would at best be the 4th corner. If he was willing to be paid like a 4th CB, it may be worth keeping him for the sake of depth. I don’t know that there are a bunch of 4th CB’s that are better than Newman. If this was to happen, it would probably require releasing Newman and letting him try to sign with another team first, and then negotiating a new contract.
Newman’s current contract is: 5/20/2008: Signed a six-year, $50.2 million contract extension through 2014. The deal contains $22.5 million guaranteed, including a $12 million signing bonus. 2011: $8 million, 2012: $6.016 million, 2013: $7,600,417, 2014: $7.5 million, 2015: Free Agent