Spencer signed his one-year franchise tag tender last week, guaranteeing him at least $10.6 million in 2013. With a long-term deal, the Cowboys would be able to reduce that salary-cap figure and have the ability to sign players in free agency.
At the NFL scouting combine last month, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Spencer’s asking price on a multi-year deal was more than the Cowboys were willing to pay, but so far in free agency the market for defensive ends has been largely underwhelming. Cliff Avril, considered the best available defensive end when free agency began, signed a two-year deal with Seattle worth a maximum of $15 million.
Spencer, 29, will be making the move from outside linebacker to defensive end in 2013 as the Cowboys shift from the 3-4 scheme to the 4-3 under coordinator Monte Kiffin.
Spencer led the Cowboys with 106 tackles in 2012 to go along with a career-high 11 sacks and was a late addition to the Pro Bowl.