While you and I were likely sleeping, WWL Radio Host and New Orleans Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic gave us some interesting news last night. Garic tweeted that former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer is being courted by the Saints.
Spencer, who just turned 31 in January, was originally a first round (26th overall) selection by the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. He played in 60 of the first 64 games in his four years with Dallas, and became one of the emerging stars for their defense. Arguably, when defensive coordinator Rob Ryan entered the picture in 2011, that’s when Spencer caught fire. He’d be subject to the franchise tag in 2012, and finish with career bests in tackles and sacks, despite appearing in only 14 games. Spencer turned in 95 tackles (55 solo, 45 assisted) and 11 sacks.
Spencer would once again be placed under the franchise tag in 2013, and would have to switch a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. He went from being a left outside linebacker to a defensive end. Spencer missed all preseason action due to a surgical procedure in his knee. He appeared in one regular season game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and would opt for microfracture surgery on his knee.
Spencer returned for the 2014 season, and was extremely underwhelming on the stat sheet. After playing in 13 games, he’d tally only 23 total tackles and a half sack. Spencer also scored a defensive touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the Week 17 finale. Despite the performance, Spencer still earned positive grades from Pro Football Focus at a 2.3 overall, excelling in run stopping with a grade of 3.6. His pass rushing grade finished out with a -2.3.
As for the New Orleans Saints interest, it hardly comes as a surprise. Spencer is definitely a ‘Rob Ryan guy’. This move would likely be for depth only, as it’d be easy to see Spencer as a situational role player for Ryan’s defense. The NFL could still pass down judgement on Junior Galette, which could yield way for a player like Spencer to step in instantly. The rest of the Saints outside linebacking corps is composed of Parys Harlason, Ronald Powell, and Kasim Edebali.
Could a Spencer signing mean the Saints totally abandon a pass rusher early in the NFL Draft?
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