“Personally, I don’t think the Cowboys will keep Spencer next year because I think he’s going to test the market first and there will be some big-time money out there for him,” Eatman writes. “Surely the Cowboys want him back and I bet he wouldn’t mind staying here.”
Spencer was franchised last offseason, which ran the Cowboys $8.8 million for the 2012 season. Eatman believes that Spencer could warrant a contract somewhere in the $10-$12 million ballpark annually.
Dallas will have an awfully hard time keeping Spencer in Dallas as they are currently $20 million over the cap.
Eatman floats out the idea that the Cowboys could cut players like Doug Free and Dan Connor, which would create $10 million cap space for them to work with. He adds that Brandon Carr, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten, and Miles Austin could all be asked to restructure their contracts at some point in the near future.
Spencer is one of the best 3-4 outside linebackers set to be available come March, which means he’ll likely have more value to a 3-4 team than as 4-3 defensive end. Dallas would be hard-pressed to match any offer during free agency, so if they really want to keep Spencer, they would have to clear cap space and tag him in the hopes that they’re able work something out in the coming months.
We have Spencer ranked 13th on our list of the Top 50 Free Agents.