Galloway balks at taking reduced salary

Originally Published: March 4, 2004
ESPN.com news services

Keyshawn Johnson is still heading to the Cowboys, but it will likely be for a draft choice, not Joey Galloway.

What are the options?
Keyshawn Johnson
Johnson
  • Johnson-for-Galloway: In the pre-salary cap days, this already would've been done. It's a long shot now, primarily because of what's known as the acceleration of a signing bonus. Bonuses are spread over the length of a contract. But if a player is cut or traded, the remainder gets charged immediately. A trade forces both teams to take cap hits. That's why there are rarely blockbuster deals in the NFL. The Bucs are prepared to have Johnson as "dead money'' no matter what. The part they're struggling with is paying Galloway, too. By offering only $1 million, they're essentially only willing to give him the roster bonus they would've given Johnson.

  • Trade a pick for Johnson: This is the cheapest option for Tampa Bay because it adds nothing to this year's payroll. And it guarantees getting something for Johnson. However, if the Bucs decide they'll take a draft choice in 2005 or beyond, they don't necessarily have to make that trade with Dallas. They could shop for the best offer. That's not likely considering how far Johnson and Dallas already have come, but there's always the chance. A Johnson-for-pick deal also could be used as a stopgap. It would allow the Cowboys to sign Johnson now, yet Tampa Bay and Galloway could keep talking. If they work something out, he'd be dealt for that pick.

  • Bucs release Johnson: This might not happen for nearly four weeks, which would be enough of a pain for the Cowboys. Making it worse, it also would be risky for Dallas because it would put Johnson on the open market. Other teams would use the Cowboys' offer as a starting point in negotiations. But Johnson prides himself on being a man of his word and he's given it to Jerry Jones. He's even ready to start shopping for homes in Dallas.

    -- The Associated Press

  • Once Johnson agreed to a five-year, $20 million deal with the Cowboys, Dallas was ready to send Galloway to the Bucs in return.

    However, for Galloway to fit into the trade, he would have had to take a salary cut. Galloway is scheduled to make $6.31 million this season, and the Bucs only offered him a $1 million base and a $250,000 bonus. Galloway has balked at taking the paycut.

    Instead, Johnson likely will go to Dallas for a second-day 2005 draft choice, perhaps a fifth or sixth-rounder, ESPN.com's John Clayton and ESPN's Ed Werder reports.

    If the trade can't be worked out, the Cowboys also could wait until the Bucs release Johnson before April 1, when Johnson is due a $1 million bonus.

    "Keyshawn is looking forward to getting back together with his former coach, Bill Parcells," Johnson's agent, Jerome Stanley, told Clayton..

    On Tuesday the Bucs positioned themselves to be an active participant in free agency by releasing five players, including tight end Ken Dilger and linebacker Dwayne Rudd, to trim the team's payroll by nearly $3 million.

    Receiver Karl Williams, tight end Roland Williams and safety Than Merrill also were cut. The Bucs created additional room under the NFL's $80.6 million salary cap by restructuring the contract of offensive lineman Kerry Jenkins, who had been due a $1 million roster bonus on Monday.

    From the beginning, the receiver-for-receiver trade hinged on the Cowboys' restructuring the final four years of Johnson's eight-year, $56 million contract and Galloway and the Bucs re-doing the remaining three years of his seven-year, $42 million deal.

    Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen had said that he would be receptive to a draft pick in return for Johnson if the Bucs couldn't reach an agreement with Galloway.

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday that trading a pick was not part of their discussions. "We need Galloway to get it done," Jones said.

    While the speedy Galloway was probably going to be waived because his production hasn't matched his salary, he would have given the Buccaneers the deep threat they have lacked. He did average 19.8 yards for his 34 receptions in Dallas last season.

    And Johnson, a former Pro Bowler who was deactivated for the final six games of the season because of his stormy relationship with Jon Gruden, gets a chance to repair his career and image with a coach and staff with which he is familiar.

    Johnson had his best years in the NFL with the Jets in 1998 and 1999 when Parcells was his head coach. Last season, Johnson had just 45 catches for 600 yards and three touchdowns.

    Coming off a 7-9 finish that left them out of the playoffs for the first time since 1998, the Bucs are trying to clear as much money as possible to fill needs this offseason for offensive linemen, receivers, tight ends and possibly a running back.

    Fifteen Buccaneers, including seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp, became free agents Wednesday.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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