ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Marcus Spears #96 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Spears received tender at the original draft pick level, carrying a compensatory pick determined by the round in which he was originally drafted and worth $1.226 million. This is more than he received last season, when he had arguably his best season since entering the league in 2005.
The LSU product (and former 20th overall pick) posted 50 tackles in 2009, good enough for tenth on the team; his 16 quarterback pressures tied a career high, and his 2.5 sacks set a new one. For his effort, in the strictest sense of the word, Spears got a raise. The problem with this raise, though, is that Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher, Spears' backups, will each make more than him in 2010, based on the current offer.
Both received the second round tender, worth $1.759 million.
After Jerry Jones' remarks at the Combine in Indianapolis, it seems clear that--in the very least--Dallas is sending the five-year veteran a message: that he is not immune to the wave of change the owner discussed a week ago, whether or not he is with the team in 2010.
"I think that we've got some guys in Stephen Bowen and Hatcher that are going to be pushing to get on that field more,'' Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. "Those are the guys that you want to see go on up the ladder.''
Should another team sign Spears, Dallas may get a first round pick in return, as he was taken in the first round in 2005; however, due to a caveat in the agreement between the league and the NFLPA, it may only be a second-round selection.