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Reason Eric Winston is available: Money, certainty

So what do you think Eric Winston is worth?

It's a pertinent question because, if you remember days ago I reported the Dolphins interest in the free agent offensive tackle had waned. And the only way that interest would be renewed is if Winston dropped his asking price.

Well, since then Winston has visited with the Dallas Cowboys and continued to consider a standing offer from the San Diego Chargers. And he's still unsigned.

Why?

Because he wants more money than his market is willing to offer and, I'm told by a source with knowledge of his thinking, he'd like a multi-year deal that would guarantee he's not going to merely be a one-season rental.

So what does Winston think is a fair price for his services?

“In the $3-4 million range is something that I think is more than fair for a starter who has played pretty well throughout his career,” Winston said on Sirius NFL radio.

Actually, when you consider that demand, it doesn't seem exceedingly steep until you recognize what else is involved. Because Winston is working on being with his third different team in three years, he has concerns he's simply becoming a mercenary.

So he would like some sort of certainty (as much as the NFL offers, anyway) that will keep him with his next team for a few years. That usually means a big enough signing bonus that makes cutting him after one year more difficult.

Obviously no NFL team is there right now.

Most are now focused on the draft and picking a right tackle that will be younger and more promising than Winston -- albeit with less certainty of what they'll do in the NFL -- and do that at a much cheaper price, typically.

Winston, meanwhile, wants to get a deal, "sooner rather than later."

So Winston wants his price. He wants some longer-term certainty. And he'd like that get it done before the draft.

He might get one of those, maybe two. I doubt he gets all three.

 

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