The Cowboys and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence are expected to meet next week, according to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic. Lawrence is seeking a five-year deal, a source tells Watkins, but he’s not in a rush to sign.
As we’ve heard before, Lawrence is willing to play out the season on his one-year, $17.1MM franchise tag. He’s also waiting things out to see if at least one of the other top defenders will sign an extension first. That means waiting on Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, and Jadeveon Clowney, though Lawrence is the only one in the group that is actually bound by a deadline. Franchise tagged players have until July 16 to sign extensions, so Lawrence may be compelled to act first.
Lawrence, 26, had 14.5 sacks in 2017. That total was the most by a Cowboys player since DeMarcus Ware had 19 in 2011. The Cowboys also notched 38 sacks as a team, giving them their highest total overall since ’11.
The Cowboys would obviously like to lock Lawrence up for years to come, but they probably have some reservations as well. Specifically, his back issues. Lawrence has undergone surgery in the past, though he did not miss any games last season.
Lawrence may be gunning to top Olivier Vernon‘s five-year, $85MM deal with the Giants and his agent – the same one that represents Vernon – wants at least $17MM/year. For what it’s worth, Lawrence’s ’17 sack total nearly doubled Vernon’s total from his contract year. He also graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 ranked DE, putting him behind only Cameron Jordan and Von Miller amongst edge rushers.
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