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Cowboys Tag Spencer, With One Negotiation Key

Mike Fisher for 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.com
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IRVING (105.3 THE FAN)  – The Dallas Cowboys have opted for a second straight year to franchise-tag defensive standout Anthony Spencer, 105.3 The Fan learned on Monday, and both sides are now “working together on a long-term deal,’’ agent Jordan Woy tells me.

Part of the work, I’m told, regards Spencer’s side wanting to be paid like a defensive end (his position going forward in Dallas’ new 4-3 defense) and the Cowboys arguing that the franchise-tag number for a linebacker (his position last season) is more appropriate.

Franchise tags this year are $11.175 million for defensive ends and $9.619 million for linebackers. Spencer isn’t necessarily locked down to either number in the event of him forging a long-term contract with the club. And even if no agreement is reached, he can earn 120 percent of his previous number ($8.8 million), meaning his tag salary can be $10.7 million – at linebacker.

Which, again, by rule, is how he can be paid.

The CBA is clear that the correct tender for Spencer would be that of a linebacker: “… for players at the position (within the categories set forth in Section 7(a) below) at which he participated in the most plays during the prior League Year.

But of course, in the event of a long-term deal, the CBA isn’t a law but rather a guideline.

The Spencer negotiations will center on this argument: Should he be paid like the linebacker he was? Or like the defensive end he is going to be?

(© Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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