Linebacker Andrew Gachkar, whose contract expired after two years with the Dallas Cowboys, currently remains a free agent. Depending on what happens in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys may be interested in re-signing Gachkar for veteran depth and special teams leadership.
The Cowboys aren’t going into the draft with linebacker as a major need. They have Pro Bowler Sean Lee and returning starters Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. Everyone is excitedly awaiting the debut of Jaylon Smith, last year’s second-round draft pick. They also have veteran Kyle Wilber and prospect Mark Nzeocha under contract, plus a handful of unknowns.
If Dallas doesn’t add anymore LB talent in the draft, Gachkar might be a good addition as an insurance policy. There are still major concerns about Jaylon Smith’s health and Mark Nzeocha has also battled injuries for the last two years. If things don’t go well with them, or if something bad happens elsewhere at the position, Gachkar’s experience and system familiarity would be nice to have.
The veteran minimum salary for a player with six years of tenure, which Andrew Gachkar has, is just $775,000. That’s peanuts for a guy who can play all three LB positions and has been one of your core special teamers.
There’s really no downside here for the Cowboys. If Gachkar is okay with taking a minimal contract over having no job in 2017, you get a cheap veteran who you can easily release in August if there’s no room for him.
Moves like this can happens well into the offseason. Dallas may still have Gachkar on their radar but are waiting to see what the draft and the undrafted free agent pool yield. However, unless they do spend a mid-round pick at linebacker, the need for one more reliable body at the position will still be there.