The Cowboys used their franchise tag on defensive end Anthony Spencer last season, but they aren’t planning on using it again this year.
That was the message executive vice president Stephen Jones sent from the Senior Bowl on Wednesday when he spoke to reporters about a variety of topics. Jones said, via Rowan Kavner of the team’s website, that the team didn’t anticipate using the tag to help them hold onto any of their impending free agents, a group that includes Spencer and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.
Spencer has been tagged twice before, which means he’d either get a 44 percent raise or the quarterback franchise tag salary. That’s far too rich for a player coming off of microfracture surgery, although Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that Jones left the door open for a Spencer return. Hatcher said that he won’t be offering any hometown discounts this offseason and a bidding war for the Pro Bowler’s services could wind up making him too expensive for the Cowboys.
Jones also said that the team is working toward a long-term deal with kicker Dan Bailey, who is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, as he rounded up the contract business that lies ahead in Dallas this offseason.