There are three classifications of Free Agents in the NFL and on the Cowboys. They are Unrestricted Free Agents or UFAs, Restricted Free Agents or RFAs, and Exclusive Rights Free Agents or ERFAs. If a player is an RFA this year it means the Cowboys can place a tender offer on that player and if a team signs him the Cowboys would be awarded the Draft Pick designation for that tender offer. The Cowboys RFAs for 2013 are, Center Phil Costa, Safety Danny McCray, and Cornerback Sterling Moore.
Let’s say the Cowboys place a 3rd round tender on Phil Costa. If no team signs him to a deal the Cowboys would bring him back and negotiate a deal most likely. If a team signed Costa the Cowboys could match the offer and keep him, or let him go and receive that team’s third round pick in this example case. Of these three players I would place tenders on Costa and Moore, but would let McCray go. That is me personally, it is nothing against McCray, I am looking at this as a business too, and with Matt Johnson possibly coming back next year I think McCray’s options with this team are limited.
Next let’s look at the ERFAs. This year there is only one, Linebacker Orie Lemon. This designation is pretty self explanatory. Dallas has exclusive rights to negotiate with him unless they set him free. I like Orie Lemon and think he is worth bringing back in 2013.
Finally, we look at the big category, the UFAs. Sitting on top of the UFA list is 2012 Franchise designee, Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys must once again decide if they are going to slap the Franchise Tag on Spencer. The Franchise Tag guarantees that player the average of the top five salaries in the NFL for his position. Last year this gave Spencer $8.75 million reasons to be happy. With the new contracts last year and the Cowboys move a 4-3 scheme where Spencer would be a Defensive End, this means to do this again they would have to give him over $10 million in 2013.