IRVING, Texas – In a move that comes as no surprise, Anthony Spencer signed his franchise tag tender Tuesday afternoon, the final day before the start of free agency.
The importance of signing the tender is to avoid the possibility teams have to pull back the offer. It doesn't typically happen but after the tender is signed, then it makes the contract guaranteed for this season.
Now there are some things still left in the air.
For starters, it's not a guarantee Spencer will be with the Cowboys next season. Another team could sign him to a long-term contract, but since the Cowboys have placed the franchise tag on him, they would get two No. 1 picks in exchange.
A more likely scenario would be a trade before any offer sheet is signed. The Cowboys could trade Spencer to a team with the intention of signing him to a long-term deal. Or that team could just accept his franchise tag tender of $10.63 million. That trade would probably be more in the second-to-fourth-round range.
The Cowboys could also give Spencer a long-term contract. Doing that would likely lower his cap charge this season and give the club some flexibility in free agency. That would wipe out the $10.63 tender but it's likely the new deal would at least assure Spencer of making about $10 million annually, if not more. [embedded_ad]
Or, and this is shaping up to be the most likely of scenarios, the Cowboys could just keep Spencer on the one-year tag this year. That way they get another year to evaluate him as he moves to defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Spencer has really only lived up to first-round pick status this past season, when he had a career-high 11 sacks and a team-high 106 tackles, earning him his first Pro Bowl selection.