Currently over $20 million above the salary cap going into the 2013 NFL free agency period, the Dallas Cowboys are trying to find a way to keep Anthony Spencer, looking for a pretty excessive multi-year deal that his current team might not be able to give him.
Spencer has been with the Cowboys since 2007 and like most players on contract years, recorded his best season in 2012, notching up 11 sacks (a career high) playing as the outside linebacker. Despite moving to a 4-3 defense next season with a new defensive coordinator, the Cowboys believe Spencer will be just as effective playing as a defensive end as he did as a linebacker.
The problem? Money. Spencer and his agent are both showing signs of wanting to stay with the Cowboys, but Spencer knows he can command a multi-year deal worth $8-10 million a season with every team he chooses to play for, and testing the market in free agency sounds like a very tempting possibility for him.
Spencer was franchise tagged by the Dallas Cowboys for the 2012 season, which earned him $8.8 million. If the Cowboys choose to keep Spencer that way, with a franchise tag, for 2013, they’ll have to pay him $10.6 million which seems like an illogical move, considering their cap situation.
The better move for them, and probably for Spencer as well, is negotiating a multi-year deal that will spread the cap hit over a longer period of time. According to Jordan Woy, Spencer’s agent, there are talks between the sides at the moment, but with nothing new to share or any special progress (or the opposite being made).
Some might take that as a good sign, with a tendency for communications to go silent just before striking a new deal, although it might also mean the Cowboys have already given up on Spencer, knowing they won’t be able to afford his contract without restructuring multiple deals in the team (Tony Romo, Tony Romo) and cutting too many players they don’t want to lose.