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Brandon Carr Free Agency: Will Dallas Cowboys Be Able To Afford Chiefs Cornerback?

Given the Chiefs had already signed Stanford Routt and used the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe, it was a given that Carr was likely gone to greener pastures to be paid like a No. 1 cornerback. But he might have to find a new place to land given the recent penalties handed down by the NFL on the Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

The Dallas Cowboys were considered the frontrunners to land Brandon Carr in the upcoming NFL free agency period, which is ready to start tomorrow afternoon. They need both talent and youth in their secondary at both cornerback and safety, so many sportswriters had them grabbing Carr in free agency and a pick like Mark Barron in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. Instead, the team might not be able to afford Carr now given the $10 million cap penalty they have to take either this year or next.

The NFL assessed the Cowboys that figure after the team front-loaded contracts during the recent uncapped year of 2010. The Miles Austin deal looks to be the culprit, and the Skins were also charged a much heavier fine of $36 million of cap room lost. The ‘Boys can divide that however they want over the next two seasons, so they don’t have to take the penalty this season. But it will affect them in some way.

They have the Anthony Spencer contract to absorb and the team has been near the threshold already. Now they’ll have to dance a bit more if they want to bid on Carr’s services.

Expect the NFC North teams to also get involved. The Vikings need a top flight corner and the Bears and Lions should also be in play. Given that Carr went to Grand Valley State, the Lions could be the best guess. Then again, Lions coach Jim Schwartz will likely want to team up with his former Titans player Cortland Finnegan if possible.