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May 02, 2013

Undrafted free agent LB Brandon Magee gets $70,000 first-year guarantee, not $70,000 signing bonus

Arizona State linebacker Brandon Magee received a $70,000 first-year guarantee from the Cowboys to sign as an undrafted free agent, not a $70,000 signing bonus.

He got an actual $5,000 signing bonus and $65,000 of his salary was guaranteed. If he is cut in training camp, the Cowboys will cut him a check for $65,000. If he cut after the first game, they will cut him a check for the difference.

Clearly the Cowboys don't expect him to be cut. He was a player they had rated as a fourth-round pick on their draft board that they coveted to sign as an undrafted free agent, which is why they gave him the guarantee to sign with them over other teams.

It was similar to what the Cowboys did last year when they gave guard Ron Leary a $214,000 guarantee of his first-year salary to sign as an undrafted free agent.

According to Magee's agent Blake Baratz, the Cowboys were one of the first team's to use a first-year guarantee to entice coveted undrafted free agents to sign with them. It was born out of the rules in the new collective bargaining agreement that limit how much signing bonus teams can give to undrafted free agents.

Clarence Hill

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