Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says no decision has been made by the team whether to pick up cornerback Morris Claiborne’s 2016 option.
His comments Wednesday does a good job of clarifying a statement made by his dad, owner Jerry Jones, on Tuesday.
Jerry Jones said the Cowboys had seen enough from Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in 2012, to pick up what is expected to be an $11 million fifth-year option in 2016. Teams have until May 3 to make that decision, or else their players could become unrestricted free agents after the 2015 season.
However, Stephen Jones said, that was more of Jerry Jones expressing public support for a player who has been labeled as a big-time bust.
“Jerry is always going to compliment our players,” Stephen Jones said. “He thinks more of our guys than anybody. But, at the same time, when we sit down and take a look at what we have to do underneath our salary cap that plays into it. We have to look at his health, we have to really measure everything.
“I think his point was we think a lot of Mo. We’re still believers that if Mo had a fully healthy offseason and a fully healthy season, that he would play up to our expectations. But you know that’s just something we have to manage in terms of the money.”
Claiborne, 24, had another injury-plagued season. His 2014 campaign ended in Week 4 against New Orleans, as he ruptured a patellar tendon in his left knee. He then underwent surgery to have his right knee scoped earlier this month.
Claiborne is hoping to be ready for training camp, but there is no guarantee of that for now.
“That’s still to be determined,” Stephen Jones said. “We’ve got to see how he recovers, how his rehab goes, how his progress is. We’ll make those types of decisions accordingly.”