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Eric Winston wants $3-4 million, calls free agency “frustrating”

Chiefs Packers Football

Kansas City Chiefs’ Eric Winston lines up before an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Free agent right tackle Eric Winston says he just wants to be paid a fair wage for a starting offensive lineman, and he’s getting frustrated that no NFL teams are willing to pay him what he thinks he’s worth.

Winston said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he knows he won’t get the kind of money he got last year from the Chiefs, when he signed a four-year, $22 million contract that included a $4 million signing bonus. The Chiefs cut him to avoid paying a $4.9 million base salary for 2013, and now Winston is just hoping some team will pay him more than $3 million in salary this year.

“In the $3-4 million range is something that I think is more than fair for a starter who has played pretty well throughout his career,” Winston said.

Although Winston had an offer from the Chargers and has talked to the Cowboys, his sense so far is that teams are being extremely careful with money this offseason.

“It’s also frustrating in the sense that there are still a lot of teams with money to spend, but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to spend it,” Winston said.

The one right tackle who made good money from a new team this offseason was Gosder Cherilus, who left the Lions for the Colts on a five-year, $35 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus and a fully guaranteed $5.5 million salary this year. Winston laughed when he was asked about the huge contract that Cherilus got, although he declined to say whether he thinks he deserves more money than Cherilus.

“No comment on that one,” Winston said.

What Winston will comment on is this: If you’re a right tackle and your name is not Gosder Cherilus, the free agent market stinks.