NFC East Update
Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports that Doug Free has re-signed with Dallas for a three-year deal worth $15 million, with $6 million guaranteed. The deal ensures that, what is generally considered the best offensive line in the NFL will remain intact for at least one more season. Continuity is paramount when fielding an offensive line and Jerry and Stephen Jones continue to make a commitment to build their team from the inside-out.
The move means that Jeremy Parnell, who started five regular season games and two playoff games in Free’s stead (due to injury) will hit the open market. Parnell, proved capable in relief of Free and in a relatively weak offensive tackle free agent class and no elite options at offensive tackle in the 2015 draft, Parnell should be welcomed by a solid demand for his services.
Free, has been a mainstay on Dallas’ offensive line since 2010. He protected Tony Romo’s blind side in 2010 and 2011 before giving way to All-Pro Tyron Smith at left tackle. He took a pay cut in 2013, but will be rewarded after two consecutive seasons of very good play at right tackle. In addition to providing stability at right tackle, the 31-year-old is the leader of the Cowboys’ offensive line.