Less than a week after Jerry Jones went on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM to express certainty regarding Miles Austin's future with the Dallas Cowboys, Stephen Jones, Jerry's son and team Vice President, has said that the receiver will not get the franchise tag, which would keep him in Dallas through 2010.
As it stands, Austin is set to become a restricted free agent.
Jones the younger, though, echoed his father's confidence in discussing the Pro Bowler's future with reporters at a press event at Cowboys Stadium.
"We don't need to use the franchise tag," Jones said on Wednesday. "How many times have you seen another team give up a one and a three?"
Here, Jones is referring to the most valuable tender possible--which would pay Austin $3.168 million and carry two compensatory picks (first and third round) should another team snatch him. The obvious irony in Jones' comments is that Jerry gave up a first-, third- and fifth-round pick for Roy Williams two years ago.
Obviously, according to both Jerry and Stephen, Dallas would like to lock up Austin with a long-term deal; this is uniquely difficult however, with the current state of labor negotiations, the consequences of which, obviously, are unknown. If the respective sides can not come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement by March 5, the 2010 season will be uncapped.
"It's very difficult for us to make an offer when we don't know what the system is going to be," said Stephen Jones. "I'm not saying that it won't happen, but it may be difficult. We want to win next year, but we want to win in the future."