Jay Ratliff's decorated nine-year run with the Dallas Cowboys ended Wednesday with a thud.
The team released the four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle off the reserve/physically unable to perform list, with a failed physical tag because of his hamstring injury. By releasing Ratliff now, the team will stop paying his base salary of $1.34 million, according to the team's official website.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday on NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that he spoke with Ratliff's agent Matt Slough, who said that his client's relationship with team doctors was "strained."
Slough said there were "unrealistic expectations" about when Ratliff would return from his hamstring injury. The Cowboys thought Ratliff would be back for their seventh game, while Ratliff believed it was a year-long injury. He won't play for another team this season.
Counting on Ratliff this season was a mistake. The Cowboys paid him a $3.66 million bonus before the year, despite the fact that he's been very injury prone and ineffective in back-to-back seasons. Ratliff also was arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge this offseason and reportedly had a "volcanic" argument with owner Jerry Jones in the locker room last year.
Jones anticipated in August that Ratliff would be ready for the start of the 2013 season, but he could never get healthy. The team gave Ratliff $18 million guaranteed on a contract extension in 2011. In return, they received one poor year, six games in 2012 and no snaps this season. The team will face a $6.928 million cap charge next year after cutting Ratliff, according to Brian McIntyre. Other than that, keeping Ratliff worked out great.
We've banged this drum before, but Jones has often struggled to evaluate his own roster as the team's general manager/owner. Too often, the Cowboys waste precious cap space on players who have hit the downside of their careers.