Dallas Cowboys draw a line in the sand for Jeremy Mincey
Going into their first practice of training camp this week, the Dallas Cowboys expected to have all of their key players in attendance. But on Tuesday, it was learned that the Cowboys sack leader from 2014 was actually a no-show when the team’s chartered flight arrived at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station in Oxnard, California.
It’s now being reported that defensive end Jeremy Mincey has been wanting to re-negotiate his current contract since February and the 31-year old is apparently willing to sit out a portion of training camp until he gets more money.
Following his unexpected absence, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones responded publicly by drawing a line in the sand for the veteran: Show up, then we’ll think about it.
"“[Mincey’s] a player under contract and we expect all players under contract to be here,” Jones told the media during the opening press conference for the Cowboys training camp (via the Cowboys official website) on Wednesday. “We’ve talked to him about it. We certainly won’t be talking to him about it if he’s not here…When he signed that contract last year, his representative was there, he was all for it and he signed it. It’s not a long-term deal. It’s over at the end of this year.”"
Last offseason, Mincey signed a two-year, $3 million contract. With $2 million guaranteed, a $500,000 signing bonus and another $3 million available through incentives throughout the life of the deal; he was arguably the best free agent who landed in Dallas last season. The seven-year veteran ended up recording 37 total tackles and a team-high 6.0 sacks during his first year in Dallas.
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According to ESPNDallas.com, Mincey is the 70th-highest paid defensive end in the league. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 16th best player at his position in the 4-3 defensive scheme in 2014. And after seeing players like wide recevier Dez Bryant and cornerback Orlando Scandrick cash in this offseason, it appears Mincey wishes to do the same.
But the aging defensive end is playing a very dangerous game in Dallas as the Cowboys added an influx of talent at his position this offseason. On top of the team signing controversial defensive end Greg Hardy to the squad via free agency in March, they also selected highly-rated Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft. The Cowboys also picked defensive end Ryan Russell out of Purdue in the fifth round.
Combined those new additions with the return of second-year talents Demarcus Lawrence and Ben Gardner, and Dallas appears to be overflowing with options at Mincey’s position. Although, there have been rumors about the veteran pass rusher playing more on the interior of the Cowboys defensive line, where the team’s depth is a bit thin.
In my opinion, the Cowboys have brought in enough talent to absorb the loss of the 31-year old Mincey. Plus, there are some decent alternatives available in free agency right now like Dwight Freeney and Red Bryant. And more talented names should be added to that list within the next couple months.
Regardless, Jones and the Cowboys organization have made it crystal clear. There will be no talks about a contract adjustment until Mincey arrives for camp in Oxnard. And until he does, the former sixth round pick could be fined as much as $30,000 for each day he misses. If Mincey is absent for enough practices, the Cowboys could also dock a portion of his signing bonus too.
"“We fully expect him to be here and if he’s not, there is recourse for us as well in terms of, he would be fined if he misses camp,” Jones continued. “But it is disappointing. We expect him to be here. We want him to be here and he can be a big part of this team.”"
You’re move, Mincey.