It seems I forgot one of the provisions in the new collective bargaining agreement when I looked at Murray’s base salary ($755,469) and salary-cap figure ($946,094).
The new CBA has a “proven performance escalator” for players drafted in Rounds 3-7. Picks in the first two rounds and undrafted free agents are not eligible for the escalator.
If a player is on the field for 35 percent of the snaps in any two of his three regular seasons or if he plays in an average of 35 percent of those snaps in three seasons, then the player’s base salary in his fourth year will accelerate to the right of first refusal tender given to restricted free agents.
So instead of making a $755,469 base salary in 2014, Murray will earn a base salary of $1.389 million. When you add in his signing bonus proration and a $25,000 workout bonus, Murray will count $1.554 million against the cap in 2014.
After the year he had in 2013, he remains a bargain. He just eats up some more cap space in a year in which cap space will be precious for the Cowboys.
Murray is the only player from the 2011 draft class eligible for the “proven performance escalator.” Dwayne Harris, a sixth-round pick in 2011, did not meet the 35 percent threshold.