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.
- A higher-profile NFC East extension doesn’t appear to be as far along, but Dave Gettleman‘s history with young stars bodes well for an Odell Beckham re-up with the Giants, Dan Duggan of The Athletic writes. Gettleman authorized a Cam Newton extension prior to the Panthers passer’s fifth season, and Luke Kuechly received one going into his fourth. Kawann Short signed a five-year, $80MM deal last year, months before Gettleman’s ouster with the Panthers. Of course, Gettleman’s rescinding of Josh Norman‘s franchise tag also was a key decision from his years in Charlotte and works against this premise. Beckham said he’ll be at Giants camp, but reports of a holdout based on where the contract talks are have surfaced.
- The Redskins are interested in supplemental draft-eligible DBs Sam Beal, Brandon Bryant and Adonis Alexander. In particular, Washington is in a unique position for an Alexander move, per J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. Second-year secondary coach Torrian Gray coached Alexander while at Virginia Tech, though the pair was only together for one season since Gray left the Hokies after the 2015 campaign (Alexander’s freshman year). Still, in a summer draft that often features players with red flags, Gray would be an ideal source here. Washington also just drafted ex-Hokie corner Greg Stroman in the seventh round. The Redskins traded Kendall Fuller, a Virginia Tech teammate of Alexander’s, and longtime starter Bashaud Breeland is on the market. They have what could be perceived as a need alongside Norman and Orlando Scandrick.
- Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley interviewed for the Giants’ OC job this offseason, doing so in addition to meeting with Eagles brass about the job that went to Mike Groh.