David Irving isn't the only restricted free agent the Dallas Cowboys have this offseason. Fullback Keith Smith, who has been an important piece in one of the league's best rushing attacks for two years, also has an expiring contract. What move might the Cowboys make to retain him in 2018?
Even though he entered the NFL in 2014, Smith has only had three "accrued seasons" towards free agency. He was only active for five games in 2015, and it takes six games to a year to count towards your eventual free agent status.
As such, Dallas will have the ability to keep Keith around using the RFA tenders. While the official amounts have not yet been announced, they are projected to be around $4 million for the first-round tender, $3 million for the second round, and $2 million for the original draft pick.
Given that he's only been paid about $600-$700k each of the last two years, Keith Smith is unlikely to get that kind of raise from the Cowboys. Fullbacks, even for a run-heavy team like Dallas, just don't have that kind of earning potential without being exceptional talents with versatile offensive skills.
That isn't to say the Cowboys wouldn't like to have Keith Smith back. Along with being a solid blocker, Smith has experience as a linebacker and on special teams. He turns just 26 in April and could be a good value option for the next season or two.
Even the lowest RFA tender at $2 million would be a bit rich for his services, though. Even worse, Smith was undrafted so the Cowboys wouldn't even get a draft pick back if somebody did try to sign him away.
If Dallas brings Keith back, it would likely be for another short-term deal at about the same salary level as he's had the last two seasons. It wouldn't be a glamorous move, but it would secure one important role on the offense and allow the team to focus elsewhere.
After a shaky year for quarterback Dak Prescott, Dallas may be leaning even harder on the run in 2018. Chemistry between Ezekiel Elliott and his lead blocker is important, so keeping Keith Smith around could have some extra incentive.
If Dallas were to let Smith walk, they may not replace him from the outside. We could see running back Rod Smith used in the FB role at times. Tight ends James Hanna and Geoff Swaim could also get work there. If nothing else, Dallas might start using more of their two-TE sets or other single-back formations.
Even though Keith Smith is a restricted free agent, the Cowboys still have to make a move to keep him around. They will either need to tag him with one of the RFA tenders or agree to some other form of contract, otherwise the fullback will be looking or a new team this offseason.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
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