The future of Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is still up in the air after he was franchise tagged this off-season, ensuring he’ll be with the team for the 2012 season. It’s been known for some time that Spencer wants a long-term deal, but he made it clear on Sunday he’s not concerned whether that deal is with the Cowboys or another team.
Speaking at the RAS Football Camp at Trine University over the weekend, Spencer was asked about how he feels about the franchise tag and his contract situation.
“It’s a good thing just because it feels like they really want me to be there and the money is always good,” Spencer said. “It’s all good, positive things, but at the same time, you want to have somewhere you want to be. You don’t want to have to be bouncing from team to team from year to year, so I just want a long-term deal so I’ll know where I’m going to be for the next couple of years.”
From that statement, it seems Spencer just wants a long-term deal with any team. Such a desire is normal for most working Americans; no one wants to wonder where they’ll be in a year’s time. In Spencer’s case, however, he can earn a long-term deal with his current team and be in Dallas for a long term. But that’s just it; he can earn it and he’s being given the opportunity to do so, but will he succeed?
Spencer is at least taking the right steps toward doing so. He was asked why he showed up at the Cowboys’ OTAs over the past two weeks while other franchise tagged players were “holding” out of the voluntary workouts and gave a team-friendly, politically-correct answer.
“Just because I know we’ve got a new team and a lot of new plays we’ve been putting in,” Spencer said. “Just getting around my new teammates and getting acclimated with them and just being around the team, just having that camaraderie with them. I know that’s something that we need and just being around it I think is going to help me out in the long run.”
Spencer knows that being a good teammate and doing everything he can to make himself a better player is the best way to earn a long-term contract, whether it’s with the Cowboys or another team.
Recently Spencer’s backup, Victor Butler, told RantSports.com he was grateful to the man ahead of him on the depth chart, calling Spencer “a great teammate.” So while Spencer’s comments on Sunday can be taken several ways, such as selfish or selfless depending on your point of view, the ones who know the situation best are sticking up for him.
Maybe, just maybe, the Cowboys truly are beginning to comprehend this “win now” mentality that’s been preached over the past few months. Butler didn’t throw Spencer under the bus, knowing his future is up in the air and Spencer is at OTAs trying to create chemistry with his new teammates like a good veteran should. However, Spencer doesn’t have a new contract yet, so only time will tell whether his words are sincere.