IRVING, Texas – Something that has been speculated for a couple of years now has finally happened as the Cowboys reworked Brandon Carr’s contract, lowering the base salary for the 2016 season.
Carr agreed to take a significant pay cut, dropping his base from $9.1 to under $6 million for this final year of the original five-year deal he signed in 2012.
Carr’s five-year, $50.1 million contract made him one of the NFL’s highest-paid cornerbacks four years ago, but although the veteran has not missed a start, he hasn’t recorded an interception in two full seasons.
Carr’s salary cap hit drops from $13.8 million down to around $10 million this year. Carr, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, hasn’t missed a start in his entire eight-year career, which is quite remarkable considering he was a fifth-round draft pick by the Chiefs back in 2008.
Ironically, Carr was selected 140th overall in that draft, just three spots ahead of Orlando Scandrick -- who is expected to start opposite of Carr or Morris Claiborne this year on the Cowboys’ defense.
Since signing the five-year deal, Carr’s production has been rather up and down. In his first two seasons with the team, Carr had three interceptions each, with a touchdown return in both years. Since then, he has not managed an interception and has given up occasional big plays – none more memorable than Odell Beckham Jr.’s one-handed touchdown catch back in a 2014 game in New York.
Off the field, Carr is one of the Cowboys’ most giving players. For the last two years, he has been the Cowboys’ nominee for the NFL’s annual Walter Payton Man of the Year award, for his continued generosity and community service.
With Carr agreeing to the pay cut, the cornerback position now includes Scandrick, Claiborne, Josh Thomas, Deji Olatoye and Terrance Mitchell. For now, it appears the Cowboys are moving last year’s first-round pick Byron Jones to safety.
The Cowboys hold the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, which starts on Thursday. Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey is one of the top targets on the Cowboys’ board and would likely start his career at cornerback if drafted.