IRVING, Texas – The first reaction to the Cowboys extending Orlando Scandrick's contract two years might be confusion.
But when you look at what the Cowboys and Scandrick agreed to with the deal, then you will see it will help the team create salary-cap room over the next three years when it will need it most.
Scandrick is guaranteed $9 million on the two-year extension, but only $4.5 million is fully guaranteed at this point.
The Cowboys added $1 million to his base salary in 2014 to bring it to $4.5 million and increase his cap figure to $6.601 million. Oh my gosh, why did they do that? Well, they were planning on restructuring Scandrick’s deal anyway and this allows them to spread out the base salary that will be turned into bonus money over five years.
That move will save the Cowboys about $2.6 million in 2014. Without the extension, the Cowboys could have saved about $1.5 million.
In 2015, Scandrick has a base salary of $1.5 million. He was scheduled to make $5 million. In 2016-18, he has base salaries of $3 million each year. He was set to make $10 million ($5 million each year) from 2015-16.
So the Cowboys have saved $4.5 million over the next three years on the deal and Scandrick has gained as much as $9 million in guarantees, knowing he will be in Dallas and not a cap casualty in the near future.
Scandrick has had his best year, though the Chicago game was not a shining moment. He has shown he can be more than a nickel cornerback and has not given the job back to Morris Claiborne. Scandrick is in his fifth season and is just 26. The team hopes he can continue to play at this level for the next couple of years, which would make this move even better.
The Cowboys will be in a tough salary-cap position and will have to restructure contracts (Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Brandon Carr and potentially DeMarcus Ware) and have decisions to make on players’ futures (Miles Austin).
With Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith and Dan Bailey needing new deals over the next two seasons, the added cap space will only help the Cowboys. Bruce Carter had been in the list of players in need of contract extensions, but he has played his way off the list. Perhaps DeMarco Murray, who is also signed through 2014, can play his way on to the extension list.