|The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension(Getty Images)|
On Monday afternoon, the Cowboys officially placed the franchise tag on linebacker Anthony Spencer, the team announced. That means if Spencer signs the deal, he'll receive a one-year deal with a guaranteed $8.8 million in 2012.
As noted by our Cowboys Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman, the Cowboys "beat the NFL deadline to tag Spencer by nearly an hour." In other words, the Cowboys weren't locked into doing this like the Ravens were with Ray Rice.
Which is understandable: Spencer hasn't been entirely productive since the Cowboys drafted him with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 draft, recording just 21.5 sacks in that time. But he's a pass-rushing outside linebacker, and Dallas likely felt it would be difficult to retain or replace him. Spencer understands that, telling Eatman that it's a "good and bad thing" to get the franchise tag.
"That's a good thing and a bad thing," Spencer said. "It's good because it shows how much they think of me. But you don't want to be playing on a one-year contract. You want a longer deal and the security that gives your family. But hey, I understand. It's a business.''
Spencer would've attracted some interest on the market, for sure. And he'll probably attract some long-term interest from the Cowboys too: the Cowboys won't be thrilled at the idea of taking a cap hit of nearly $9 million.
And since Dallas until July 15 to work out a deal with Spencer, don't be surprised if they wait to see who they acquire in April's draft before deciding to pour money into such a deal.
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