Free agent offensive tackle Eric Winston is frustrated with the way things are shaping up this offseason, the veteran told SiriusXMSports, according to UTSanDiego.com. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Winston is looking for a short-term deal in the $3-4 million range.
He was set to make $4.9 million with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, but was released for salary cap issues as the team addressed other needs in free agency. Winston, 29, had discussions with the San Diego Chargers on a possibly deal in late March, but the two sides didn't reach an agreement.
Winston has been a productive player for some time now, playing in all 16 games over the past six seasons. San Diego, unfortunately for Winston, isn't desperate for a new starting right tackle. Winston isn't interested in being a backup at this point and wants to contribute as a starter.
One issue with Winston's chances at finding a team with the deal he's after is the strong tackle class in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft. It's an incredibly deep class and many of the tackle-needy teams may be looking to that for an upgrade at the position.
Winston has noted teams' reluctance to spend money on the position thus far, saying on SiriusXM "I don't think I'm asking for pie in the sky numbers. Middle of the road is fine. But, it's also frustrating from the sense of, there's still a lot of teams with a lot of money to spend, but it doesn't seem like anyone wants to spend it."
It's likely Winston will find a home for the 2013 season, probably as a starter, but as to whether or not he'll get the $3-4 million per year that he's after is anybody's guess.
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