SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 06: Helmets of the Dallas Cowboys during training camp at the Alamodome on August 6, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The NFL's free agency period began in Dallas last night at 11:00 PM. In the hours leading up to that, Dallas gave out 11 tender offers to restricted free agents that, if nothing else, give some idea of who will and who will not be in Dallas in 2010.
We reported yesterday that Miles Austin received the maximum tender possible, worth $3.168 million and carrying first- and third-round compensatory picks; this was to be expected, and the team will continue to pursue a long-term deal for the wide receiver. What wasn't expected: Marcus Spears and Gerald Sensabaugh--each of whom were key to the Dallas defense in 2009--received an "original draft pick" tender and a second round tender, respectively.
The original draft pick tender given Spears is worth $1.226 million and carries a compensatory pick based on the round in which he was taken. The second round tender given Sensabaugh is worth $1.815 million. However, the team has expressed an interest in signing Sensabaugh to a long-term deal; no such vote of confidence for Spears, even coming off arguably his best season. We'll have more on this a little later.
Jason Hatcher, Sam Hurd, Stephen Bowen and Cory Procter each got the second round tender.
Pat McQuistan, Junior Siavii, Pat Watkins and Duke Preston each received the original draft pick tender.
Shaun Suisham, predictably enough, was not tendered.