COMMENTARY | Can I be Frank for a moment?
Yes, Spencer had the best season of his career this past season, leading the Cowboys in tackles and sacks. Very much so deserving of a little extra money heading his way. But the line is drawn at that $10.6 million franchise tender he was given by Dallas for the second year in a row.
There's much speculation going around in Cowboys Camp right now on what will Dallas do with Spencer: Sign him long term? Trade him? Or just have him play the year out and evaluate him on that front?
If you're the Cowboys, the main priority seems to be Option No. 1.
Spencer's agent Jordan Woy said that Spencer and Dallas will be discussing a new contract that will keep the former first round pick in Dallas for a long time. However long, and for however much money, is still to be determined.
Here's the problem: It's the Cowboys. The decision making hasn't been quite the best in recent memory. Word of this coming down that Jerry Jones wants to lock up Spencer long term shouldn't come as a shock, but it's enough to cause a headache.
How much money is he worth? We'll find out after this season in Dallas' first under Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2, 4-3 defense.
The market in terms of defensive ends has been a relatvely quiet, and cheap one. Cliff Avril just signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks for $15 million, so the parameters of Spencer's new deal start at roughly $7.5 million per year.
That's a contract for a guy who many said was struggling heavily last season in Detroit. So what does that say for Spencer?
It gets brought up more times like a broken record, but the fact that Spencer hasn't played in a 4-3 scheme since he was in Purdue should be a cause for curiosity: Almost the same curious questions when relating to DeMarcus Ware.
Spencer has a huge chance to lock up a big-time contract... Next year. Not now.
The red flags have been heavily emphasized more than once lately: He's coming up on 30 years old, the scare for inconsistency is there, etc.
If he goes out and has another solid year to where he can command for more than the $7.5 million that Avril got in Seattle, he'll be getting calls from not just the Cowboys, but about 25-plus other NFL teams.
Whatever contract talks Jerry and Stephen Jones are thinking right now, step back and take a breather.
Now's not the time.
Danny Webster is a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys. You can get in contact with him by following @DannyWebster21 on Twitter.
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