Anthony Spencer Signs With Saints

12:32pm: The team confirmed Spencer’s pact, although terms of the deal are not yet disclosed.

12:10pm: Longtime Cowboys defensive end/linebacker Anthony Spencer agreed to a one-year contract with the Saints, reports’s Albert Breer via Twitter.

Spencer, who played for Dallas for eight seasons and started from 2009-12, made the Pro Bowl after an 11-sack campaign in 2012 when he served as a 3-4 outside linebacker under current Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

A former first-round pick, the 31-year-old Spencer played as a backup defensive end last season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery in 2013.

Spencer’s return from surgery went well, with the former linebacker serving as a decent run defender off the bench last season. Pro Football Focus graded Spencer as its 21st-best defensive end in a 4-3 alignment (subscription required), with his strong run defense being the primary reason for the resurgence.

Although Spencer convened with the Seahawks, he also met with the Saints last month and will now serve as an edge player in a Saints look that meshes 4-3 and 3-4 principles. The Saints introduced Spencer as a linebacker, meaning he could compete with Parys Haralson and Ramon Humber for time on the outside. Last season’s work, however, showcases a flexibility for Spencer to potentially join a defensive end corps fronted by stalwart Junior Galette.

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