The Cowboys will be busy this offseason trying to retool their roster and get back into the playoffs. Tough decisions lie ahead, and one of them involves veteran Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. At this point, it’s hard to say if he’ll return to Dallas in 2018.
After drafting Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis over the last two years, the Cowboys have a nice trio of young corners. Scandrick turns 31 next month, and while still a veteran leader in the locker room, he was already losing ground to the youth movement last season.
Along with age, Orlando has had issues staying healthy. He missed five games in 2017, and four in 2016. His missed time is actually part of why Anthony Brown — a sixth-round pick in 2016 — was able to ascend so quickly with an unexpected amount of playing time.
The decision to part ways with Orlando Scandrick would be easier if his contract offered more incentive, but the cap relief isn’t as much as you might think.
Much like we discussed last week with Tyrone Crawford’s deal, Scandrick’s contract was restructured in the past to free up cap space. That pushed guaranteed money into later years and thus makes it less profitable to cut Scandrick now.
That said, there’s still some cap relief to be had.
If Dallas cuts Scandrick outright, they will get back about $1.4 million from his $5.3-million cap hit in 2018. If they make him a June-1st cut, the cap relief increases to $3 million and pushes $1.6 million of dead money into 2019. Dallas may look at those modest savings and decide it’s better to just keep Scandrick around one more year for veteran depth and leadership. In 2019, they can cut him outright for $4 million in cap space, with only a $1.6-million penalty.
Another factor here is the arrival of Kris Richard as the new defensive backs coach.
Coming from Seattle, Richard is bringing a very specific philosophy and pedigree when it comes to the secondary. He may not value a veteran like Scandrick if he’s looking to incorporate new methods and styles into the Cowboys’ cornerbacks.
What’s more, there’s talk of Byron Jones moving back to corner after an underwhelming season at safety. He fits the physical mold of the corners Kris Richard liked with the Seahawks. That would almost certainly push Orlando Scandrick out the door.
Right now things don’t look good for Scandrick’s return in 2018, but we’ve seen before that the Cowboys hold on to veterans for an extra year or two, despite expectations. Will that prove true in Orlando’s case, or will changes to the coaching staff and roster, plus the team’s desperation to get back into the postseason, leave him the odd man out?