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January 29, 2010

Austin ready for free agency

In any other year, wide receiver Miles Austin would be cashing on his breakout season with a big-money free agent contract.
 
But because of the uncapped year in 2010, Austin will be a restricted free agent rather than an unrestricted free agent.
 
It means the Cowboys can tender him a contract offer and have the right to match any contract he gets from an opposing team. Other teams might also be leary of signing  Austin to an offer sheet because it means they will likely have to send two draft picks back to the Cowboys.
 
For the record, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already said he wants to keep Austin and sign him to a long-term contract. Austin says he wants to stay in Dallas but he's ready for whatever might happen.
 
"I'm not oblivious to what's goin on," Austin said. "There are things you can control and there things you can't contro. What I can control is working out and being ready. We will see what happens."
 
A team to keep an eye on is the Dolphins, where former Cowboys coaches Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano are running things. They have a need for a receiver and they know Austin from their days in Dallas.
 
Asked if he thought the Dolphins might make a run at him, Austin smiled and said,"They might. We will see."

Of course a starting point for any contract with Austin is the five-year, $45 million contract the Cowboys gave Roy Williams last season before he was replaced by Austin as the team's No. 1 receiver in 2009.
 
Clarence E. Hill Jr.

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