TUESDAY, 9:14am: Gachkar’s deal with the Cowboys is now official, according to the team.
SUNDAY, 3:44pm: Gachkar will collect $2.2MM guaranteed in 2015, tweets Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
3:17pm: The Cowboys have agreed to terms with free agent linebacker Andrew Gachkar, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). It’s a two-year deal with a maximum value of $5.5MM, adds Garafolo (via Twitter).
Even though he saw less than 400 snaps on the Chargers’ defense last season, Gachkar has drawn a significant amount of interest around the league since free agency began last week. The Vikings, Panthers, and Raiders all expressed interest in 26-year-old linebacker, who had spent his entire career in San Diego. While he started only five games in 2014, Gachkar was a key contributor on special teams, where he played on 217 snaps and posted 12 tackles.
Gachkar could potentially see a starting role on the Dallas defense, where the club has yet to re-sign linebacker Rolando McClain. Sean Lee will be returning from injury in 2015, and given that he can play either in the middle or on the outside, Gachkar could slot into the other position. Gachkar played inside linebacker in San Diego’s 3-4 defense, so the middle in the Cowboys’ 4-3 look would probably be the best fit.
Not accounting for Gachkar’s addition, the Cowboys have a little over $8MM of cap space left, so incremental additions such as this one are probably all that’s available to the club for the remainder of the offseason. Dallas has seen its linebacking unit depleted, as both Bruce Carter and Justin Durant have signed elsewhere in free agency, so Gachkar might not be the only LB addition the team makes.