Well, that became quite the turn of events.
Karlos Dansby's comments today about not being sure a contract extension could get done and, more importantly, yet another reference to an uncapped year in the NFL (it's not the first time), sure makes it sound like he wants to hit the open market as a free agent. Everything I have been able to gather is that Dansby's former agent and the team were indeed moving close to a deal, so scuttling that with an agent change seems to only point in one direction.
There would be risk betting on that uncapped year though, aside from Dansby possibly getting hurt during the season. Yes, some things may play into Dansby's favor – he mentioned that Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman will be a free agent after the season, except he won't with an uncapped year because he will only be five-year veteran and the "new" rules will require six seasons before unrestricted free agency. Such rules will make fewer players available as free agents, and may actually increase Dansby's attractiveness.
However, if there is an uncapped year in 2010 it also means there is no new collective bargaining agreement. With no new CBA, a work stoppage in 2011 grows all the more likely. Will there be a team willing to hand Dansby – who has yet to reach a Pro Bowl going into 2009 – some crazy $25 million number up front (and I don't know if that is what he is seeking, I am just pulling a number from air) when he may not be playing in 2011? I think owners may end up being awfully careful next offseason if the CBA situation comes to that.
Until Dansby gets a new agent in place and GM Rod Graves can talk to him or her, it's impossible to know for sure where these negotiations stand. But from where I am sitting, it sure feels like "Make a splash" is the 2009 equivalent to "Show me the money!"