But the decision, first reported by Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, is more than an effort to line up a new contract, either with Dallas or another NFL team. It also was a shrewd move that could increase the Cowboys' interest in bringing Spears back next year.
Spears is now represented by Bill Johnson and Pat Dye of Atlanta-based ProFiles Sports, Inc., whose list of clients is lengthy and star-studded. Current NFL players under the ProFiles umbrella include Dallas linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Keith Brooking, Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher, Denver offensive tackle Ryan Clady, San Francisco running back Frank Gore, New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, Detroit guard Jeff Backus, Tampa Bay wide receiver Michael Clayton and New Orleans offensive Jon Stinchcomb.
Prospective NFL draftees who have cast their lot with ProFiles include Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, Central Michigan Dan LeFevour, East Carolina defensive tackle Linval Joseph, Alabama guard Mike Johnson and UAB quarterback Joe Webb.
The fact that ProFiles has some high-profile clients means nothing — most agents do. But what is important is those first two names: Ware and Brooking. The two are key cogs in the Dallas defense, and of equal importance to Spears, they have contracts worth as much as $84 million between them. Johnson and Dye have good relationships with owner Jerry Jones and his son, Dallas COO/Executive VP and director of player personnel Stephen Jones.
Do those relationships mean the Cowboys definitely will keep Spears, or that they'll offer more money than they otherwise might? Of course not. But if Dallas officials are thinking of keeping just two of their three free agent defensive ends — Spears, Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen — they might think twice before letting Spears walk, even if he is the most expensive of the three (and considering his first-round pedigree, he surely will be).
This isn't to suggest that Dye and Johnson would advise their clients to look for work elsewhere, but they are human. It's no secret that some teams have better relationships with some agents than they do with others, and if Spears really wants to stay in Dallas, it's a shrewd move to have the guys who represent Ware and Brooking on his side.
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