|James D. Smith / Associated Press|
|Gerald Sensabaugh had a career-high five interceptions last year. How will that translate in free agency?|
Gerald Sensabaugh seemingly did everything necessary to boost his stock in free agency.
After generating impressive statistics last season, the Dallas Cowboys' veteran strong safety had reason to expect to cash in once he hit the open market this year.
There have been a couple of problems with that plan, though. One, because of the lockout, the market didn't open and remains closed. Two, the Cowboys haven't exactly sounded as if they're gearing up to lavish Sensabaugh with a huge payday once NFL business resumes. They've talked about wanting to re-sign him, but only at a "sensible price."
"To be honest, I have no clue what that means," Sensabaugh told me during a recent interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I tried to give them every opportunity to (re-sign) me that I could (before the lockout). But I'm just looking forward to going into free agency. I'll be open to going back to the Cowboys, but I'm going to go out there and see what options I have and what will be the best fit for me."
Sensabaugh figures to have some options. He certainly put up the sort of numbers that teams looking for safety help should find attractive. He had career bests for interceptions (five), tackles (57) and his first two sacks as a pro. He also said he was responsible for allowing only one passing touchdown.
"I thought that I had a pretty good year, just me individually," Sensabaugh said. "Unfortunately, the team didn't do too (well), which always downplays your play."
Sensabaugh is a smart, instinctive player whose experience should be even more beneficial given that, once the lockout ends, all players will enter the season without the benefit of offseason workouts.
Younger players presumably will struggle to make a strong impact, at least in the early going. With six years of experience (the first four with the Jacksonville Jaguars), Sensabaugh should have an advantage.
"I don't understand how they're going to (get) these rookies (ready to play immediately)," he said. "They're doing their little on-field practices or whatever they're doing (on their own). But without any coaching from your actual coach, I don't see how these rookie guys are going to have any time (to transition to the NFL). It takes a lot learning a playbook."
Follow Vic Carucci on Twitter @viccarucci.