NFC East Notes: Lawrence, Beckham, Skins

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys are going to make another attempt to iron out an extension this week. The fifth-year defensive end wants a five-year deal and doesn’t appear to be too bothered by the proposition of playing this season on the $17.1MM franchise tag. However, if the parties are going to reach an agreement, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry doesn’t expect it to be completed without the Cowboys offering Olivier Vernon-level money to Lawrence (Twitter link). When the cap resided at $155MM in 2016, Vernon signed for $17MM per year and received $52.5MM guaranteed and $40MM fully guaranteed. That per-year salary would make Lawrence the highest-paid 4-3 end in the game, and the a guarantee north of Vernon’s would dwarf the field. Myles Garrett and Calais Campbell lead the 4-3 end pack at $30MM guaranteed.

The Cowboys now have the money ($14MM in cap space with Lawrence’s tag amount factored in) to afford seeing the 2017 breakout player prove he’s worth a monster contract, but doing such a deal now would make Lawrence by far Dallas’ highest-paid defender. Considering the current salary leader on Dallas’ defense, Tyrone Crawford, has not justified a $9MM-per-year contract, this could give the Cowboys pause given Lawrence’s inconsistent history.

Here’s the latest from the NFC East.

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