The Dallas Cowboys are actively trying to lock up center Travis Frederick.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team has been in discussions with Frederick’s agent, Joe Panos, and remains hopeful the two sides can make something happen.
Panos has been on hand at training camp the past few days.
“We’ll just continue to grind it out and hopefully find something that’s great for Travis and works for our club as well,” Jones said. “He’s one of those guys you want on your football team. He’s obviously a great football player on the field, but a better guy off.”
The Cowboys picked up Frederick’s fifth-year option this offseason, guaranteeing him $8.8 million in 2017. But they would like to reduce that number by signing Frederick to a long-term deal.
The Cowboys signed left tackle Tyron Smith to an eight-year extension in 2014 after picking up his fifth-year option the previous season. That is the goal now with Frederick.
The Cowboys would like to keep their offensive line in tact and will pursue extensions with right guard Zack Martin and left guard La’el Collins in the coming years.
“I don’t know how many different ways we can say it, but it’s the strong point of our football team,” Jones said. “The amazing thing about it is it’s not only a strength in terms of on the field, but they represent everything we want in terms of the work ethic and what they do off the field. So just a great group to try and keep them all together.”
Frederick has started all 48 games since the Cowboys made him a first-round pick in 2013, and he has made two Pro Bowls.
Frederick is regarded as one of the top centers in the game, and should be in line for a significant contract.
The Atlanta Falcons handed Alex Mack a five-year contract worth $45 million, including $28.5 million guaranteed, earlier this offseason. Before the 2015 season, the Dolphins signed Mike Pouncey to a five-year, $52.15 million deal with $22 million guaranteed and the Raiders handed Rodney Hudson a five-year, $44.5 million deal with $20 million guaranteed.
Frederick is happy to see centers get paid in the league, and wants to become the best in the NFL. So it would seem as though he would want to get paid like it too.
But Frederick reiterated after Sunday’s Blue/ White Scrimmage that his focus remains on football.
“I want to be the best player that I possibly can be and hopefully be the best center in the league, but it’s all very opinion based,” Frederick said. “For me, I need to come out and do the things right. Take my footsteps right, put my hand placement right and that’s what I’m focused on.”
Frederick said he doesn’t know too much about the negotiations up to this point, but will likely get updated during the off day Monday. But Frederick is more focused on getting his work done on the field and letting his agent take care of the business side.
“To me, it’s about reaching and trying to attain perfection,” Frederick said. “Perfection, if you talk to anybody, you’re never actually going to get there. So it’s continuing to improve on the little things, seeing the things you’re deficient at, the things that I got beat on.
“If I can eliminate those things from my game and make myself a better player, I’m going to be able to help our offense be better and ultimately the goal is a Super Bowl. It has nothing to do with individual accolades such as the Pro Bowl, All-Pro or any of that. We want to win the Super Bowl."