PHOENIX – With no shortage of speculation that Brandon Carr would either take a pay cut or be cut altogether from the Cowboys' roster, team executive vice president Stephen Jones did his best to pump the brakes.
"We've accounted for him, that's why he's still on the roster – we've accounted for him where he is," Jones said Tuesday at the NFL's annual meetings. "As we can continue to evaluate our roster, we'll make decisions based on the opportunities that are out there versus what we have."
Carr's contract situation took precedence during Tuesday's conversations for a variety of reasons. It's long been speculated that the seven-year veteran would be asked to take a pay cut this offseason, as he has underperformed his five-year, $50 million contract.
Asked about that fact on Monday morning, Carr's agent, Ben Dogra, said his client would be taking no such cut – a comment which only fueled the fire.
"At some point I'll get a hold of Ben and we'll sit down and visit," Jones said. "I certainly understand – obviously he represents Brandon, and I respect where he's coming from."
Asked if that visit would center around a pay cut, Jones said "not necessarily," but it does seem to make sense. Carr's cap hit for 2015 is $12 million, which is the second-largest on the Cowboys' roster behind Tony Romo. Re-working his contract to a smaller number over the final two years of his deal would free up some valuable cap space for the future.
If it isn't that simple, however, Jones emphasized his belief that Carr will be on the roster in 2015.
"Obviously, we're working around that situation. Brandon is a really good football player. At some point we may sit down and see if there's a situation that's win-win for him and us," he said. "I fully expect Brandon to be a part of our team next year."
It's not a process that has an immediate timetable, despite the constant speculation. The Cowboys found themselves in a similar situation with Doug Free in 2013, and an agreement wasn't reached until mid-May.
It's bound to be a story that develops over the remainder of the spring. But whether the Cowboys wind up asking Carr to take a cut, to hear it from team owner/general manager Jerry Jones, it's certainly something they're considering.
"Any time that we can make adjustments that gives us more cap room, that can be very appealing. That's Carr. That would be Carr," he said.