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News » Jets courting Austin Cowboys counting on restricted free agent to be key player in offense

Jets courting Austin Cowboys counting on restricted free agent to be key player in offense

Jets courting Austin Cowboys counting on restricted free agent to be key player in offense
IRVING - The Cowboys are counting on wide receiver Miles Austin being a major player in their offense in 2009, but the New York Jets might have something to say about that.

According to sources, the Jets have scheduled to meet with Austin, a restricted free agent, Thursday and Friday.

The Cowboys gave Austin a $1.545 million tender offer that would require a team to give up a second-round pick as compensation if the Cowboys did not match. The restricted free-agent signing period ends on April 17. Four restricted free agents have signed offer sheets this off-season, but their teams matched the offers.

If the Jets sign Austin, the Cowboys would have a week to match the offer. New York's second-round selection is No. 52, one spot behind the Cowboys' first pick of the draft.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones praised Austin two weeks ago at the NFL owners meetings, saying he would not have released Terrell Owens if he did not have Austin, an undrafted free agent in 2006. Despite not being signed, Austin has been a regular at Valley Ranch since last season ended.

Austin, a New Jersey native, caught 13 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns last season. Two knee injuries knocked Austin out of four games, but he showed big-play potential against Green Bay with two catches for 115 yards.

Restricted free agents Cory Procter and Stephen Bowen, signed their $1.545 million tender offers within the last week. A fourth, wide receiver Sam Hurd, remains unsigned.

Johnson to the Bengals: Tank Johnson said he couldn't wait to leave the Cowboys. On Tuesday, he found a new home in Cincinnati with a one-year deal.

Johnson joined the Cowboys in 2007 after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy during his time in Chicago. He had 45 tackles and a sack last season as Jay Ratliff's backup at nose tackle.

Read emerges in Oregon: Former Cowboys special teams coach Bruce Read has returned to Oregon State. Read told The Oregonian that the Cowboys have a lot of drama but that he didn't have any regrets.

When asked if the criticism about the Cowboys special teams bothered him, Read said, "Yeah, it does still hurt. You feel like you could have done better if you had this or that, or if you had done something different yourself. So you always reflect back and think, 'Why didn't it work?'

"We went through a whole lot of special teams guys, but the thing is in the NFL they don't care," he added. "They want it absolutely perfect every time and if it's not, that's it. Next."

Staff writer Brian Davis contributed to this report.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 9, 2009

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