New York May Feed Dallas A Poison Pill

The Jets may employ a "poison pill" contract structure to wrestle receiver Miles Austin from Dallas

All too often lost in professional football is the deft and often ruthless maneuvering that is ubiquitous, off the field; in this light, there is no off-season, and the battle never stops. 

This is Clint Murchison, purchasing the rights to “Hail to the Redskins” and holding it, more or less, for ransom, until George Preston Marshall, the Redskins owner would give the green light to Dallas’ expansion team.
 
This is the San Francisco 49ers cheating the then poorly understood salary cap in 1994 all the way to Super Bowl glory.

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And now, this is the poison pill.
 
The poison pill clause refers to certain stipulations in a contract offer that renders the team with first rights, more or less, helpless in their efforts to resign said player. (Stay with me here.)
 
For example: Team A offers player X a contract with, say, $15 million guaranteed in the first year. Team B, who holds the first right of refusal, may not be able to spend $15 million in that given season. Team A may also stipulate that player X must be the highest paid player at their respective position, or else the entire contract is guaranteed.
 
The poison pill is the brainchild of the New York Jets’ general manager, Mike “O Tannenbaum, O” Tannenbaum. He used the bit of business savvy trickery to wrestle Curtis Martin away from New England in 1998. And now, apparently, he has his sights set on Cowboys’ receiver Miles Austin.
 
And this is why the poison pill may be of palpable concern for Dallas Cowboys fans.
 
Austin remains somewhat of an enigma, as he has missed significant time over the past two seasons because of injury. But he has a strong grasp of the system, a strong rapport with Tony Romo and he has an impressive skill set both on offense and special teams.
 
Basically, the Cowboys want him back in the offense in 2009.
 
But, given Tannenbaum’s history, as well as the palpable interest the team has shown in Austin, this could, potentially, be an incredibly difficult undertaking. If the Jets offer Austin a contract, the structure of which hinders the Cowboys’ efforts, they will end up with New York’s second round pick (52nd overall), a pick which almost assuredly would have to be spent on another receiver.
 
Presumably, the Cowboys don’t want to do this. They want Austin back, an undrafted free agent out of Monmouth, who has been somewhat of a pet project for the team. The potential is there, and it seems that Dallas believes that it will soon manifest itself in a big year.
 
Just how bad the Cowboys want Austin back seems to be the question. And, thanks to the Jets, it appears that we will soon find out.
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