Barry Cofield was supposed to be an unrestricted free agent. He was supposed to be in line for a hefty raise. Instead, the Giants defensive tackle’s hopes of a big payday are disappearing as the league’s labor dispute wears on and he is growing frustrated.
“I don’t know if I could be happy coming to work knowing that I should have been a free agent twice,” Cofield said at a Founders Dinner for the Chabad Center of Jewish Discovery in Manhattan Thursday.
Much like last summer, Cofield is poised to cash in on a good year. But the labor dispute is destroying his chances. If the lockout is lifted but players and owners cannot agree on a new CBA, many players – including Cofield and teammate Steve Smith – are starting to believe they will play under last year’s labor rules.
“They might not get a full-fledged CBA done,” he said.
That hurts Cofield. Under the old CBA, players were eligible to become unrestricted free agents after their fourth year, a guideline that Cofield met last summer. He hoped to explore free agency, but last year’s labor rules added two years to the free agency requirements, forcing Cofield to accept the Giants’ one-year tender offer ($1.7 million).