- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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Spears, the second of the Cowboys' two first-round picks in 2005, was about to enter the third year of a five-year deal he signed in 2011. He was set to make $2 million this season and count $2.7 million against the cap.
The Cowboys will designate Spears a post-June 1 cut, which means they will spread out the cap hit over the next two years. He will count $700,000 against the cap this year and $1.4 million against the cap in 2014.
"Fans of Dallas thank u all so much for 8 yrs the good and bad times ill be moving on!! The support has been tremendous! From my family thx U," Spears posted on Twitter. "Guys don't be sad for me please! I've been blessed beyond measure! Everything you do in life is for a season except for family!"
The move saves the Cowboys $2 million in room this year, but they do not get the credit on the cap until June 1. Teams can put the post-June 1 tag on two players, and offensive tackle Doug Free could be a candidate later.
The Cowboys' move to a 4-3 scheme did not favor Spears, who has played defensive end in the 3-4 since joining the Cowboys.
Spears played in 15 games in 2012 with six starts. He finished the year with 35 tackles, one sack and two tackles for a loss. He had 10 sacks in his eight seasons.