Dallas Cowboys 31-year-old defensive tackle Jason Hatcher never did too much in the first seven years of his career out of Grambling State, but he broke out in a huge way this season for the Cowboys. Hatcher has spent his entire career in Dallas, and he became a terrific interior pass rusher this season with nine sacks, and he also batted three passes at the line of scrimmage and recorded 37 tackles overall. He went from decent-to-great, and he’s about to reap the rewards in free agency this upcoming offseason.
Hatcher has never come off as somebody who is interested in making less than his full value, as he opted to sit out of a Week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints due to an injury, citing his own health and status as a veteran in a contract year as reasons. He caught some flak for that, but I appreciated the candidness and didn’t see an issue with it.
I don’t see an issue with what I’m about to discuss next, but I can definitely see where Cowboys fans would be upset. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, Jason Hatcher is going to try to make as much money as possible this offseason and won’t be offering the Cowboys any hometown discounts. While he did thank Jerry Jones and the Cowboys organization for his time with the franchise, it seems like he’s ready to leave and get as much money as possible.
At 31, it would be wise for Hatcher to cash in, since it’s going to be his only shot at getting a big payday in this league. While the Cowboys would like to keep a talented interior pass rusher like Hatcher, they simply don’t have enough money to sign a guy who clearly wants to cash in and sign with the highest bidder. Both sides are resigned to the fact that a split this offseason is inevitable, and it will be interesting to see which teams show interest in Hatcher and how much money they are willing to give to the nine-sack DT.