Ronald Leary, former starting guard for the Dallas Cowboys and current backup is missing the voluntary offseason training and hasn’t been with the Cowboys all spring. He’s a restricted free agent who has signed his tender and requested a trade.
Understandably so, Leary is a proven starter, who lost his starting job to La’el Collins in the middle of last season, and wants to play somewhere he has a chance to start. Will Leary be playing elsewhere in 2016?
While it may be fun to imagine for who or what the Cowboys could trade him, I would err on the side of practicality and say that Leary stays in Dallas. Leary doesn’t have the same leverage that other players in his position might have. Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said on Thursday that Leary can contact other teams about trades, but the Cowboys are not interested in trading good players for little to nothing. Most teams wouldn’t.
Leary is listed as a second string guard, but could potentially be bumped down to third string guard, just by virtue of the fact that he does not have the ability of position flex. The Cowboys signed free agent Joe Looney to backup the three interior offensive line positions on game day. That leaves Leary as a possible inactive on most game days, prompting his request to go somewhere he can compete for playing time.
He’s also not costing the Cowboys a lot. Leary, 27, signed his restricted free agent tender, of $2.55 million, just days before the draft. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
The Cowboys like having a proven starter as a backup guard. They wouldn’t want to spoil that sort of valuable depth for a low price. However, this could change if another team’s guard goes down with an injury and they may be willing to overpay for him.
It’s a bit unfortunate for Leary who is a good player but, given the circumstances, he may be stuck in Dallas not starting.