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Darren Howard TUESDAY

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; from dallascowboys.com front page- Nick Eatman DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer March 14, 2005, 6:17 p.m. (CST) IRVING, Texas -Since the Cowboys' quick start to the free-agent signing period, things had slowed down quite a bit with the club electing to sit ...

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Old 03-15-2005, 01:14 AM   #1
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

from dallascowboys.com front page-

Nick Eatman
DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
March 14, 2005, 6:17 p.m. (CST)
IRVING, Texas -Since the Cowboys' quick start to the free-agent signing period, things had slowed down quite a bit with the club electing to sit back and take a deep breath.
But over the weekend, things started to heat up again, as the Cowboys engaged in serious trade talks with the New Orleans Saints for franchised defensive end Darren Howard.
As of Monday, the Cowboys and New Orleans remain in negotiations for the five-year veteran tagged by the Saints as their franchise player for the second straight season. The one-year franchise tender for defensive ends is $7.8 million, although the Saints have been trying to negotiate a long-term contract with Howard. The Saints have until Wednesday's 3 p.m. deadline to sign Howard to a long-term deal. Otherwise, league rules stipulate a franchised player can't be signed to a long-term deal between the close of business on Wednesday and July 15 without losing the franchise designation for the length of the contract.
That also is why the Saints are entertaining trade offers for Howard, who had 11 sacks in 2004 and has 41 for his career. They want to lessen the burden of his $7.8 million cap hit if he is unwilling to sign an acceptable long-term deal.
Initial reports claimed the Saints were interested in trading Howard to the Cowboys for starting middle linebacker Dat Nguyen and possibly a draft choice. But the Cowboys apparently have no intention of trading Nguyen, who has led the defense in tackles three of the past four seasons.
So for this trade to go down the Cowboys must not only first negotiate suitable compensation with the Saints on the trade but also agree on long-term deal with Howard, who is seeking a signing bonus similar to the $16million one Seattle forked over for Grant Wistrom last year. And at this point, the Cowboys seem reluctant trading away high draft choices.
Generally, trading for a player with the franchise tag will cost a team two first-round picks - identical to the compensation a team receives if it does not exercise its right of first refusal by matching an offer sheet for a franchise player. Back in 2000, the Cowboys gave Seattle a pair of first-rounders to land wide receiver Joey Galloway. But teams can negotiate the details of a trade, and it's highly unlikely the Cowboys would give up either one of their two first-round picks this season.
That would mean the Saints likely would have to settle for the Cowboys' 2005 second-round pick (10th) and possibly a draft choice in 2006 or a player.
But if acquired, Howard not only would join a formidable group of defensive linemen, including Greg Ellis, La'Roi Glover and recently-signed Jason Ferguson, but his presence likely would end all this talk of moving to a 3-4 defense. Howard, like Ellis, is also considered an undersized defensive end who plays with quickness. He would also be out of position in a 3-4 defense, which generally has oversized ends who can handle constant double-teams from guards and tackles in the running game.
Combine that with the fact the Cowboys are intent on keeping Nguyen, considered a small linebacker for inside on the 3-4 scheme, and it appears the Cowboys are leaning toward staying with their base 4-3 defense while occasionally mixing in some 3-4, just as they did last year.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:34 AM   #2
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

Trade still needs to get done. People are saying that it\'s good to have him on the team, and it is...but his price tag is way too high for someone who won\'t be a full time starter, and it\'s just hindering Will Smith\'s development. It\'s not as bad as paying for someone who doesn\'t play at all(Sully) though...
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:22 AM   #3
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

The only thing having him on the team at this point is the cap hit. Holding back the development of Smith... thats kind of weird. You can line Smith up as a LB or rotate him in in either DE postion and let him blitz. He is more of a pass rusher... you get your playmakers involved in the game, put them in position to make plays. Having Howard and or smith hurts no one except the pocket book.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:29 AM   #4
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

...and the cap world is that there is only so much pocketbook to go around. that money could be better used in contracts for deuce, etc. or heaven forbid some higher impact free agent. pocketbook is a good analogy. it is as if you had giant plasma tv and mega surround sound system but only had enough in your budget to add an old vcr and basic cable... some good stuff but it would even more enjoyable if ya had a 300 channels and the a hi end dvd player. ya could spend the money more wisely, bang for the buck baby.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

Hey I agree with you but you can\'t give up Howard for a 6th round pick either.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:38 AM   #6
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

So when the hell is this deadline. It was originally suppose to be Monday 3pm... now its Wed.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:41 AM   #7
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

The only thing having him on the team at this point is the cap hit. Holding back the development of Smith... thats kind of weird. You can line Smith up as a LB or rotate him in in either DE postion and let him blitz. He is more of a pass rusher... you get your playmakers involved in the game, put them in position to make plays. Having Howard and or smith hurts no one except the pocket book.
I can guarantee you that they will not be lining up Will Smith at LB this season or any season. There was talk of that last season, and it was nixed. I don\'t see them changing their minds. $7.8 mil is too much for someone that\'s not an everydown player.
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:02 AM   #8
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

UPDATES:

Howard signs, still could be dealt
Tebucky Jones could sign with Dolphins
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer
Saints defensive end Darren Howard signed his one-year tender as the team\'s franchise free agent, a move that does not affect the team\'s ability to trade the five-year veteran, team officials said Monday.

The Saints also are expected to release safety Tebucky Jones today, after failing to complete a trade with Miami. The move comes on the day the Saints were scheduled to pay Jones a $400,000 roster bonus. The Miami Herald is reporting Jones will sign a three-year contract with the Dolphins as early as tonight.

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The move to sign Howard is significant only because it guarantees him a $7.8 million base salary this season. As Collective Bargaining Agreement rules stipulate, the salary is 120 percent of the $6.5 million salary he earned as the Saints\' franchise free agent in 2003.

If Howard didn\'t sign the tender, the Saints would have been free to pull the offer at any time, rendering Howard an unrestricted free agent at a time when few teams have the cap room to negotiate such lucrative long-term contracts.

The Saints are free to discuss a deal for Howard with other teams without a deadline and can trade him without incurring a salary-cap hit. As of Friday, the Saints were $5.4 million under the cap.

If the Saints want to negotiate a long-term deal with Howard before trading him, they must do so before 3 p.m. Wednesday. Otherwise, they\'ll have to wait until after July 15.

Clubs interested in acquiring Howard are not restricted from negotiating a long-term deal with him, provided they have the room to accommodate his contract under the $85.5 million salary cap.

Dallas still is the most interested suitor. Miami, Minnesota, Seattle and Washington also have been mentioned as possible trade candidates.

Cowboys officials have exchanged proposals on a long-term contact with Howard\'s agent, Gary Wichard, in recent days and have discussed compensation with Saints officials.

Howard is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the one defensive end Grant Wistrom received from Seattle as an unrestricted free agent last season. That six-year contract totaled $33 million and included a $14 million signing bonus. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was unavailable for comment Monday.

In other free-agent moves, Seattle linebacker Anthony Simmons left town Monday without a contract offer and was on his way to Green Bay for a visit with the Packers today.

New Orleans also has expressed interest in scheduling a visit with Tampa Bay defensive tackle Chartric Darby. The 6-foot-0, 270-pound veteran visited Seattle on Monday. He also is considering a visit to Atlanta.

Darby is the third veteran defensive tackle the Saints have pursued during free agency.

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Old 03-15-2005, 09:03 AM   #9
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

Ex-teammates eager to acquire Howard\'s help

By Clarence E. Hill Jr.

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


IRVING - • Cowboys who have played with Saints defensive end Darren Howard know the impact he could have on the defense.

Although they remain interested, the Cowboys are not speaking officially about their pursuit of New Orleans defensive end Darren Howard.

Vice president Stephen Jones, who is handling the negotiations with the Saints and Howard\'s agent Gary Wichard, spent much of Monday in stadium meetings in Arlington and did not return phone calls.

Wichard was also unavailable for comment.

However, three former and possibly future teammates of Howard expressed their excitement about the possibility of the Cowboys acquiring him.

Receiver Quincy Morgan and cornerback Terence Newman played with Howard at Kansas State. Defensive tackle La\'Roi Glover played alongside Howard with the Saints in 2000 and 2001.

All three players said Howard would be a huge addition to the Cowboys\' defense, setting up a potentially formidable front with Glover, defensive end Greg Ellis and defensive tackle Jason Ferguson. Howard, 28, had 11 sacks in 13 games in 2004 and has 41 in his five-year career.

\"He\'s a very good player,\" Glover said. \"People say he doesn\'t have edge speed. But he has a tremendous feel for the game, and he understands angles. He has been very productive during his career. It would be a big help, depending on what we had to give up.\"

Newman said Howard has simply done in the NFL what he did in college.

\"We used to call him Sack-O-Velli,\" Newman said. \"He is big time. He is a physical presence. He would definitely be a help to our defense.\"

Morgan said he spent much of the weekend trying to reconnect with former college teammates to see if Howard is indeed coming to Dallas.

But before any of that happens, the Cowboys have some work to do.

The team would have to agree on a multi-year contract with Howard -- who is seeking a deal similar to the six-year, $33 million contract, including up to a $17 million bonus, that Grant Wistrom received from the Seattle Seahawks last year.

Then they need to work out a trade with the Saints, who are seeking at least a second-round pick for the five-year veteran.

Howard signed a one-year, $7.8 million franchise offer with the Saints on Monday, but he still reportedly wants out of New Orleans -- which wants to move him in a trade to clear salary-cap room.

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Old 03-15-2005, 09:04 AM   #10
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Darren Howard TUESDAY

Cash up front
The only thing new on the Darren Howard trade front is that the Cowboys were a little surprised hearing Howard would like a $16 million signing bonus on a long-term deal. The Saints are in trade talks with the Cowboys on Howard, who would like a six-year, $33 million contract, similar to what Grant Wistrom received from the Seahawks last season. Wistrom received a $14 million signing bonus. Howard would like a percentage increase from those numbers.
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