Of course the bad news is that 10.63 million dollar franchise tag immediately goes against this year’s cap. This is one of the main reasons why they were so aggressive in restructuring all those veteran contracts this past week. Before last Wednesday we were 20 million OVER the cap. After the restructuring (and signing center Phil Costa and long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to cap friendly contracts) we were 4-5 million UNDER the cap.
Without those key financial decisions, being able to franchise Spencer would have been a pipe dream.
So now, it’s a win-win scenario for our Dallas Cowboys. If we do actually retain Spencer for 2013, we get a premier defensive end for our new (old) 4-3 scheme opposite of DeMarcus Ware. If we would have lost Spencer, who knows who would have played that position. Tyrone Crawford? Jason Hatcher? Sean Lissemore? Incoming free agent? Early draft pick? Right now, I would take Spencer over any of that group.
I still believe we will address the defensive tackle position early in the draft, but defensive end will not be a glaring need if Spencer indeed is brought back.
Of course Spencer does not have to accept his new franchise tag either. He is still free to accept an offer sheet from another team, but that other team will be forking over a first round draft pick if they do sign him. And that, inevitably, will scare many, if not all teams away from trying to lure Spencer away from the Cowboys.
What about a trade?
Yes we lose Spencer’s services in this scenario as well, but again, we would receive draft pick compensation (not first round compensation unless a team was willing to do so) but more along the lines of perhaps a 3rd or 4th round draft pick.
Above all though, what the Cowboys really did was buy themselves some much needed time to sign Spencer to a long-term contract, which was the ultimate goal since last offseason. The Cowboys have until about mid-July to now work out a long-term agreement with Spencer.
I was surprised we were even able to get into a position to franchise Spencer, but I will be even more surprised if they let him play the entire 2013 season under the tag like they did in 2012. My guess is they work out a contract with his agent Jordan Woy, long before that time comes. Of course if it was up to Woy, his client would be receiving the 11.2 million dollar tag for defensive ends, but the current Collective Bargaining Agreement rules against that.
Some fans might disagree with the move, stating that a former 1st round draft pick (2007) with only 32.5 career sacks in six seasons, is not worth 10.63 million for this season, or even deserving of a long-term contract.
To that I say, to each his own.
If you ask me, either way you look at it, “the dilemma” remains a win-win situation for both Anthony Spencer and especially our Dallas Cowboys in 2013.