The Dallas Cowboys have no plans to be major players at the start of free agency on Thursday, but they are making moves and clearing cap room just in case they change their mind.
The team restructured the contract of Pro Bowl linebacker Sean Lee on Tuesday, clearing up a little more than $5 million in cap room, per sources.
The move gives the Cowboys roughly $8.5 million cap space heading into Thursday. Lee was set to make $9 million base salary before the bulk of it was turned into bonus to clear room.
Lee is the third player to have his contract adjusted to clear up cap room, joining tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick.
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The Cowboys had a league-low $3.2 million in cap space, per the National Football League Players Association, before reworking Lee’s deal.
The team has 18 players who will be free agents on Thursday, including receiver Terrance Williams, cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, safeties J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church, nose tackle Terrell McClain and defensive end Jack Crawford _ major contributors last season.
The Cowboys needed more cap room if they had hopes or retaining any of them once they hit the open market.