Cowboys might not tender every RFA

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Officially, the league has not released the tender amounts for restricted free agents, but the right of first refusal offer is expected to be worth roughly $1.3 million, a slight raise from 2011.

The Cowboys have three restricted free agents: fullback Tony Fiammetta, wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and quarterback Chris Greisen.

With such a high price tag, the Cowboys could choose to tender an offer only to Fiammetta, who excelled as a lead blocker for DeMarco Murray but battled through a mysterious illness for a few weeks that caused him to miss three games.

“We’ll have guys that we’ll tender and guys that we won’t tender,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “It’s getting higher where you don’t just assume you [tender] anymore, especially if they’re a down-the-line, special teams-type player.”

Jones said the Cowboys could offer a player a lower contract than the tender offer if the player wanted to remain with the Cowboys. If the player would not accept the offer, then he would be free to sign elsewhere.

The $1.3 million tender also affects the contract of kicker David Buehler. Because he hit an escalator in his contract in 2010, the kicker’s base salary jumped from $565,000 to $1.26 million. Buehler is coming back from a groin injury that required surgery and limited him to four games in 2011. He lost the field goal job to Dan Bailey, who also did a decent job on kickoffs in Buehler’s absence.

None of the other remaining players from the Cowboys’ 2009 draft class -- Stephen McGee, Victor Butler and John Phillips -- made their escalator and will earn $565,000 in 2012.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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