On Friday, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys agreed to a five-year deal worth $105MM, making the defensive lineman one of the highest-paid defenders in the league.
That deal will include plenty in guaranteed money, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer (Twitter link). Breer broke the deal down like this:
- 2019: $25MM to sign, $4.6MM roster bonus due on May 1, and $1.5MM base salary.
- 2020: $16.9MM base that is fully guaranteed.
- 2021: $17MM base with an injury guarantee that converts to a full guarantee in March 2020.
- 2022: $19MM base salary.
- 2023: $21MM base salary.
That’s $48MM fully guaranteed, but it is practically $65MM as the team would have to cut him after just one season to avoid paying that extra $17MM. It was reported recently Lawrence was seeking $22.5MM annually, and while he didn’t get that figure, he got close, with an average annual value of $21MM.
The Cowboys reportedly offered Lawrence an AAV of $17MM at the NFL Combine, which his camp countered with at least $20MM, The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins writes. Following the owners meeting, the Cowboys increased their offered to $20MM, but Lawrence’s agent, David Canter, pushed for $22.5MM. Dallas also reportedly originally offered Lawrence a six-year deal, but moved it down to five before the sides agreed on a price tag.
Now that he has signed his deal, Lawrence will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum. That procedure will take place on Wednesday, which will prevent complete dislocation, Ed Werder tweets. If dislocation happened, Lawrence would be looking at an IR stay, Werder hears.
With the new deal, the Cowboys gained an extra $10MM in cap space, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill tweets. Now that Lawrence’s deal is out of the way, the Cowboys are eyeing new contracts for several players, including Dak Prescott.
In Watkins’ piece, he notes the Cowboys are monitoring talks between Seattle and Russell Wilson before engaging with Prescott about a new deal. Regardless how that deal unfolds, Prescott is a near lock to sign a $100MM-plus contract with Dallas sometime soon.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.