New Template For Spencer's Next Deal?

IRVING, Texas -- Anthony Spencer and his agent are probably paying close attention to the six-year extension the 49ers gave left outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Tuesday.

First, that's one less linebacker on the market if the Cowboys let Spencer test free agency. Second, Brooks' contract (a reported $7 million per season) could be a base line for the type of long-term deal Spencer wants from the Cowboys or elsewhere.

If the Cowboys franchise Spencer and he signs -- a move I've felt makes sense if they really want to protect themselves prior to March 13 -- it'll cost them $8.8 million for one season. But a one-year deal allows them to evaluate his play without a long-term commitment and then come back to the bargaining table next spring. Or continue to negotiate a more cap-friendly deal. As Jerry Jones said, they could still take a pass rusher high in the draft.

In his first year as a starter for arguably the league's best defense, Brooks had an NFL-credited 50 tackles, seven sacks, three pass breakups, one forced fumble and no interceptions.

Spencer had 51 tackles, six sacks, one pass breakup, four forced fumbles and two interceptions for the Cowboys. His team-credited numbers were better: 74 tackles and 31 pressures to DeMarcus Ware's 40.

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