By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas – After spending five days in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine, I’m wondering about a lot of things, so we’ll bring you another offseason version of Five Wonders:
Here we go:
** I don’t wonder about the Cowboys signing Anthony Spencer
to a long-term deal before the free-agent market open. I do wonder if the Cowboys can really place the franchise tag on him for the second straight year. Owner and GM Jerry Jones said the Cowboys have a “reasonable way,” in which they can keep Spencer in 2013. By reasonable, I don’t believe he’s talking about the $10.6 million price tag as much as he is simply just putting the tag on him. If the Cowboys want to tag Spencer, they would have to essentially come up with $30 million in salary cap room because they are over the projected cap by roughly $20 million. They can get their by restructuring a number of contracts, but it pushes out bigger money against the cap in future years. They have to ask themselves if it’s worth it. The Cowboys are moving to the 4-3 and Spencer will play the right defensive end. I had one AFC personnel man tell me Spencer would go back to a six-sack a year player in that role for this scheme. Part of what made Spencer as a pass rusher in 2012 was how much he moved around.
** I wonder if people realize how well Tony Romo
is thought of in the NFL. Yes, he will put the ball up for grabs too much for the liking of some of you, but one AFC offensive coordinator said he could see Romo as the highest-paid player in football if he were on the open market. Whenever Romo signs his extension -- be it before or after free agency begins -- I wonder if the Cowboys will make it a six-year deal. In other words, it would be a five-year extension through 2018. Part of the reason for the longer deal would be to help with the salary cap in the early years of the deal. When the Joe Flacco
deal comes in, I would expect the Cowboys and Romo’s agents to get together in real negotiations. During the season, I had said it'd be a five-year extension for $85 million. Now I would put that figure around $90 million or $18 million per season. Please remember, though, that a lot of this stuff is funny money.
** It’s funny how the combine works for players. Teams constantly say they put more stock in the tape than they do what a guy does in shorts or whatever Under Armor is putting them in nowadays, but then you hear about risers coming out of the week in Indianapolis.
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