Back in May, guard Ron Leary made it clear he wanted to be traded from Dallas. Leary wants to be a starter, and have a chance at earning starter money, while still in his prime and before his degenerative knees end his career. You can't blame him.
In February I speculated that we might be headed down this road. I wrote a piece outlining the Cowboys' moral dilemma in handling Leary's situation. Football is only a business when coaches and executives want it to be. The rest of the time, they preach about family and brotherhood. It's hard to have it both ways.
The same day that Leary made his desire for a trade known the Tennessee Titans suffered an injury to starting guard Byron Bell. That prompted to me look at the Titans' roster and hypothesize some trades. As fellow writer RJ Ochoa showed us yesterday, a Leary-to-Tennessee deal may still be on the radar.
However, another trade destination for Leary was proposed yesterday by a top media source:
While we wait for a potential #Cowboys QB trade, keep an eye on OL Ronald Leary. #Saints have pursued him to no avail over past few months
When I wrote about the Titans scenarios that was based on pure speculation. There were no reports of talks between Tennessee and Dallas. So, after Rapoport's news, naturally I had to check out the Saints' roster and see what they had to offer.
First, let's look at a few positions where the Cowboys clearly need some help:
The Saints only have three QBs in camp right now: Drew Brees, Luke McCown, and Garrett Grayson. They used a third-round pick to acquire Grayson last year as a developmental QB. Dallas already has two of those in Dak Prescott and Jameil Showers. That leaves McCown as the only potential target.
It would be ironic if Dallas ended up with Luke McCown, given that they were reportedly looking at his brother Josh just a few days ago. The younger of the two, Luke doesn't have quite the same name value but has managed to stick around as a NFL backup since 2004.
McCown is 35 years old but showed last year he can still produce. In Week 3 he had to start for an injured Brees on the road against the eventual NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. McCown was 31 for 38 on his passes (81.6%) and threw for 310 yards against one of the league's best defenses.
The Cowboys stated a few days ago that they were no longer pursuing a veteran QB. This may be their current stance but that could change if Prescott and Showers don't inspire confidence.
That said, McCown's availability could be dependent on how Garrett Grayson performs. The Saints may not want to give up McCown for the same reason that Dallas would be interested.
The other glaring issue for the Cowboys right now is at defensive end. You know about the DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory issues. Also, Benson Mayowa is currently sidelined recovering from a minor knee procedure. He will hopefully return for some preseason action.
Unfortunately, the Saints don't have much to offer in this area. They are in the second year of transitioning back to the 4-3 scheme after dumping Rob Ryan. That means they are still trying to stock their own depth chart and don't have many expendable assets. They have added band-aid veterans like Daryl Tapp and Matt Shaughnessy in the last few months, showing their own level of need.
I have maintained that Dallas shouldn't part with Ron Leary for less than a third-round pick. They gave him the second round RFA tender and would have received that back if a team had tried to sign him as a restricted free agent.
Some of you have said you would settle for a lower-round pick, wanting to get something for Leary rather than have him walk for nothing next year. It's not "nothing," though, to have him here as a highly skilled reserve option in 2016.
Leary already backs up both starting guards and perhaps even your center. Dallas is looking at Zack Martin to see if he can slide over and play center in case something happens to Travis Frederick. That's three different players who, if they go out, open the door for Leary to play. That makes him very valuable.
~ ~ ~
The Saints' pursuit of Leary has likely been unsuccessful for these very reasons. They don't have many players who fit Dallas' need areas and are probably not offering a high enough draft pick.
The next four weeks allow plenty of opportunity for change. The hope that each team has in current players can be realized, crushed, or at least stymied by camp and preseason performance. Injuries can quickly change the landscape. Leary's value to either party can shift as we go.
Whether it's the Saints, Titans, or some other team, it's clear that Leary will remain a talking point up until the trade deadline.
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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