Cowboys Free Agency 2012: Five Days to a Big Fizzle?


Tag or no tag for Carl Nicks?

NFL teams set their final pre-free agent rosters on Monday and news in the last couple of days suggests that Dallas could lose one of its big targets to the franchise tag.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports today that free agent guard Carl Nicks is determined to test the market, which opens on March 13th.  His quarterback Drew Brees says he’s “very optimistic” that he can sign an extension before the March 5th deadline for tagging players.  The Saints hope to re-up Brees, so they can use the tag on Nicks.

— Houston GM Rick Smith maintains that the Texans want to keep end Mario Williams and are working on re-negotiating contracts to create the cap space for an extension.  Williams’ massive 2011 cap number makes franchising him hazardous to the Texans cap shape.  Watch the wires in the next few days.  If veterans start re-negotiating and taking home large bonus checks, the odds for Williams to remain in Houston will rise.

If he hits the market, the Seahawks have let it slip that they’re ready to offer him a large deal.  ESPN regular John Clayton told ESPN radio 710 in Seattle that NFC West rivals believe Seattle will be one of Williams’ suitors.

— The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Green Bay has an interest in Texans center Chris Myers.  Earlier reports from Wisconsin suggest that the Packers and incumbent center Scott Wells are at odds.

Contra Costa Times beat writer Steve Corkran tweeted that the Raiders will not franchise free safety Tyvon Branch and would re-sign him for a “modest” multi-year deal.  The 25 year old Branch may be the best free agent safety option this year.