Demarcus Lawrence

Extra Points: Lawrence, Gostkowski, Bills

After inking a five-year, $105MM extension with the Cowboys, DeMarcus Lawrence met with the media today. The pass-rusher discussed his impending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, although he cautioned that he’ll be ready to go for the start of the year.

“I’ll be ready for the start of the season,” Lawrence said (via ESPN’s Todd Archer). “I’m not worried about it. It’s just about getting [the surgery] over with.”

Lawrence is facing a four- to six-month rehabilitation process. The defensive end previously had two back surgeries and a thumb operation, and he’s been playing through his current injury since 2017. However, the ailment hasn’t forced Lawrence to miss any time, and he’s compiled 25 sacks over the past two years. In fact, his impending surgery may have helped to speed up negotiations.

“We were aware of it, and I knew we were getting to a point where we needed to make it happen,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “I think DeMarcus was aware of that, too. I mean, he loves to play the game. Certainly, having that looming out there was probably important for both of us to really push and make the push we did there to get it done.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Albert Breer of The MMQB has plenty of details regarding Lawrence’s negotiations with the Cowboys. Specifically, the defensive end never had any desire to leave Dallas, a fact that ended up working in the organization’s favor. If the two sides hadn’t agreed to a new deal by the July 15th deadline, Lawrence would have reported to the team on the Saturday before Week 1, and he never intended to sit out the entire season. When negotiations weren’t going well, Lawrence’s agent contacted a pair of unidentified AFC teams about trading for the Pro Bowler, although nothing ever materialized.
  • Stephen Gostkowski‘s two-year deal with the Patriots is worth $8.5MM, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The kicker just finished up a four-year, $17.2MM pact with the organization, so his average annual value remains consistent. The three-time Super Bowl champion is the third-most accurate kicker in league history. Last season, he made 27 of his 32 field goal attempts, good for an 84.4% conversion rate that ranked 20th in the NFL.
  • Quinton Spain‘s one-year deal with the Bills is worth $2.05MM, according to ESPN’s Mike Rodak (via Twitter). The offensive guard will receive a $200K signing bonus, a $1.75MM non-guaranteed base salary, and a $100K workout bonus. Spain, who started 48 games over four seasons with the Titans, joined the Bills last week.
  • The Chargers have hired La’Roi Glover as an assistant defensive line coach, according to Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com. Glover played 13 seasons in the NFL, earning six Pro Bowl nods. The former defensive tackle also earned a spot on the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s. The 44-year-old previously served as a coach with both the Jets and Rams. The organization also announced that Chris Caminiti was hired as a senior coaching assistant.

Latest On DeMarcus Lawrence

DeMarcus Lawrence‘s leverage play delayed his shoulder surgery until this week, with the Pro Bowl defensive end set to go under the knife Wednesday. But it will be a bit before he returns to action.

The recently extended standout will not be ready for the start of training camp and will not play in the preseason, Lawrence confirmed during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show (via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Jerry Jones confirmed Lawrence’s recovery will take between four and six months. The Cowboys will open their season in around five months, making it uncertain they will have Lawrence for Week 1. While Lawrence could be ready for camp, if this rehab process goes exceedingly well, it is extremely unlikely he suits up by that point given how long this operation was delayed.

Lawrence has dealt with labrum trouble for years. This surgery will prevent further damage, which could have ended up with Lawrence on IR in 2019.

For what it’s worth, the 26-year-old defender said this shoulder trouble was not on par with the back issues he experienced earlier in his career. His back problems contributed to the Cowboys franchise-tagging him in 2018, but after another season of health (relatively) and double-digit sacks, the team made Lawrence a priority and signed him to a five-year deal.

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Demarcus Lawrence Contract Details

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.

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Details, Reactions To DeMarcus Lawrence Extension

Last night, the Cowboys and star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence agreed to a lucrative five-year contract extension. The deal is expected to be worth around $105MM ($65MM guaranteed), with others noting that the pass-rusher will definitely earn more than $20MM annually.

Now that the pass-rusher has inked his new contract, he’s set to go under the knife. Albert Breer of TheMMQB reports (via Twitter) that Lawrence will finally undergo shoulder surgery. The procedure is expected to take place next week.

Lawrence has been dealing with a torn labrum for the better part of two years, and recovery time is expected to take three to four months. As a result, the defender will likely be sidelined until training camp.

Let’s check out some more notes pertaining to Lawrence’s new contract…

  • Lawrence also received a $25MM signing bonus, reports David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). This probably helped to make up some of the discrepancy between the final contract and Lawrence’s asking price, as the lineman was reportedly seeking a contract that would pay him around $22.5MM per year. As Jon Machota of the Dallas News tweets, Lawrence will ultimately earn $31.1MM in the first year of the deal. For comparison’s sake, Khalil Mack earned $31MM last season.
  • According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the two sides made major strides on Thursday evening. Executive vice president Stephen Jones talked with Lawrence on the phone, and the two parties talked through any monetary issues. Less than 24 hours later, the two sides agreed to a deal.
  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says the Lawrence contract is good news for Texans star Jadeveon Clowney and Seahawks standout Frank Clark (Twitter link). The reporter believes the two players now have parameters set for any future extensions, noting that the franchised pass-rushers could also expect to receive $20MM annually.

Cowboys Extend DeMarcus Lawrence

The DeMarcus Lawrence contract drama is about to be over. We heard earlier today he was nearing a deal with the Cowboys, and now it’s more or less official.

Lawrence and the Cowboys have an agreement in place that will pay him more than $100MM over the course of a five-year extension, sources told Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that they’ve “agreed on basic parameters of a deal.” Garafolo posted in a follow-up tweet that Lawrence will indeed be getting more than $20MM annually. Rapoport soon noted in a tweet that it’ll be worth $105MM total.

Just a few days ago we heard talks were at an “impasse,” so things clearly progressed quickly. Last month, Lawrence reportedly upped his asking price to $22.5MM annually, and it sounds like he got close to it. Cowboys exec Stephen Jones had previously said that Lawrence’s desire to get paid like Aaron Donald and Von Miller was holding up negotiations, and he indicated that the Cowboys wouldn’t cave from their asking price.

Lawrence might not be getting as much as the top couple of guys, but he apparently is breaking a record. Lawrence “will get the most money in Year 1 for a defensive player ever,” Garafolo tweets. The previous record, Garafolo notes, was held by Khalil Mack, who got $31MM in the first year of his deal.

It also sounds like a huge portion of Lawrence’s contract will be guaranteed. Albert Breer of SI.com chimed in a with a tweet noting the deal “will set new benchmarks for defensive players in percentage of a multi-year deal fully guaranteed, and percentage in total guarantees.” Todd Archer of ESPN.com later tweeted that $65MM of the deal will be guaranteed.

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Cowboys, DeMarcus Lawrence Nearing Deal

The Cowboys and Demarcus Lawrence are nearing agreement on an extension, according to PFT. We have similar word from Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (video link) who hears the two sides are in deep negotiations with reason for cautious optimism. 

Both the Cowboys and Lawrence’s agent want to get a deal done sometime soon and there’s hope that a pact can be agreed to in the near future. Often times, franchise tagged players will not make real headway on negotiations until the deadline draws near in July, but this could all be sewn up months in advance.

Just a few days ago, things seemed to be at an impasse between the two sides. The Cowboys finally upped their offer to about $20MM per year, but Lawrence’s camp countered by asking for around $22.5MM per season. A deal worth $20MM/year on average would make Lawrence the NFL’s highest-paid 4-3 defensive end, but he’s now gunning for a contract that would put him in the same neighborhood as Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack.

Lawrence, 27 in April, has spent his entire five-year career with the Cowboys. He has posted double digit sacks in each of the last two campaigns and is currently cuffed by a second consecutive franchise tag. Unfortunately for Dallas, Lawrence has indicated that he will not play on the one-year tender, even though it would pay him $20.5MM.

 

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Community Tailgate: How Will DeMarcus Lawrence Saga End?

We heard several days ago that negotiations between the Cowboys and franchise-tagged pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence are at an impasse, and the circumstances behind that impasse are the stuff that offseason drama is made of.

Lawrence, who willingly played out the 2018 season under the franchise tag, does not want to go year-to-year anymore, and he has made it abundantly clear that he wants a long-term deal. The Cowboys are happy to give it to him, but they do not value Lawrence’s skill-set quite as highly as Lawrence himself does. Dallas reportedly would give Lawrence a contract that would make him the highest-paid 4-3 defensive end in football, which would mean an AAV of over $18MM, but Lawrence is seeking a pact that would pay him at least $22.5MM per year (of course, if Lawrence were to sign his franchise tender, he would earn over $20.5MM this year and be eligible for free agency again in 2020).

In fairness to the Cowboys, Lawrence is simply not worth that kind of commitment. The market for premium players in the NFL is reset each time a new extension is signed, so if Player X signs a $100MM pact in August, Player Y, who is good but perhaps not as good as Player X, could very well land a $110MM deal in September. But sometimes, the gulf between Player X and Player Y does not justify that type of raise.

Aaron Donald‘s contract with the Rams, which he signed just last August, pays him $22.5MM per year. Lawrence is not the kind of game-changing talent that Donald is, nor is he as impactful as Khalil Mack, who signed a $23.5MM/year deal right after Donald got his payday. To be sure, Lawrence is an excellent player, but he is just not on the same level.

Further complicating the issue is that Lawrence is trying to leverage the shoulder surgery that he needs in order to continue playing into the type of contract that he wants. Lawrence wants to wait to have the surgery, which carries a four-month recovery period, until he gets his extension, and the Cowboys obviously don’t want to play along with that plan. If Lawrence wants to be ready for the start of the 2019 season, he would have to go under the knife by early May at the latest, and if he postpones the procedure, he may only be hurting himself in the long run.

We would like to know from our readers how you think this saga will play out. The safe money in these types of scenarios is always on the two sides reaching an accord, but that does not always happen. Theoretically, the Cowboys could give Lawrence permission to seek a contract with another club and then trade him to that club if he reaches an agreement, but it is difficult to imagine another team being willing to meet Lawrence’s contract demands and cough up draft compensation to acquire the soon-to-be 27-year-old.

If Lawrence refuses to come to the table, the Cowboys could rescind the franchise tag, which would make Lawrence an unrestricted free agent. But at that point, the market may not be as robust as he would like it to be, especially if he has not had the surgery yet. He could end up having to settle for a one-year pact for less than he would have earned under the franchise tag.

The guess here is that Lawrence and the Cowboys agree to terms on a multiyear pact that will pay Lawrence about $19MM per season, and that the agreement will come in the next few weeks so that Lawrence will be ready to go come September. It appears that Dallas has the leverage, but the club obviously does not want to risk losing a key player while also creating animosity in the locker room and alienating future free agents.

But what do you think the team should do, and what do you think will ultimately happen? Let us know in the comments section.

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DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys At ‘Impasse’ In Negotiations?

It doesn’t sound like DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys are going to reach an agreement on a longterm deal any time soon. The pass-rusher was franchise-tagged by Dallas earlier this month, and the two sides have been negotiating ever since. 

But the Cowboys’ front office and Lawrence’s agent , David Canter, have “reached an impasse in negotiations,” according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). We heard a couple of days ago that Lawrence was upping his asking price from $20MM annually to around $22.5MM annually, so this news isn’t shocking. The Cowboys are reportedly offering Lawrence a deal that would make him the league’s highest-paid 4-3 defensive end, but Lawrence wants something more in the area of what Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are making.

Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said earlier this week that the team was “motivated” to get a longterm deal done, but that they weren’t inclined to pay him Donald money. In addition to salary demands, Rapoport reports there’s another issue holding up a deal. We heard back in January that Lawrence would undergo surgery this offseason, as he had been dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Rapoport says the Cowboys want Lawrence to get surgery right away to ensure he’s fully healthy for the start of next season, but Lawrence is going to wait until he gets a new contract to get the shoulder surgery. It appears he’s using the needed surgery as leverage in negotiations. According to Rapoport, the surgery Lawrence needs has around a four month recovery period, so there’s somewhat of a deadline here.

Rapsheet says Lawrence will need to go under the knife by April or May at the latest if he wants to be ready for the start of the 2019 season. That’s well before the July 15th deadline to agree on an extension, and it’ll be interesting to see which side blinks first. Lawrence has been one of the better pass-rushers in the league the past two years, and had 10.5 sacks last year.

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Cowboys Notes: Lawrence, Irving, Jones

Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones had hip surgery this week, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The issue started for Jones during the 2018 season and the club initially hoped that it would heal with rest. Unfortunately, things did not improve, forcing Jones to go under the knife. The good news is that the team believes Jones could be ready for training camp.

To date, the 26-year-old (27 in September) has not missed an NFL game. Last year, the Cowboys shifted Jones back to cornerback after spending the previous two seasons at safety and he thrived. Jones led the club with 15 pass breakups and earned the first Pro Bowl nod of his career.

Jones figures to be a part of the club’s plans moving forward and an extension could be on the way. For now, he’s set to play out his fifth-year option in 2019 at a salary of $6.26MM.

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Cowboys exec Stephen Jones says Demarcus Lawrence‘s desire to get paid like Von Miller and Aaron Donald is holding up negotiations. “The top two guys, I’m sure that is why we’re struggling a little bit,” Jones said (via the Dallas Morning News). “There is a delta between the top two guys and where the rest of the edge rushers and pressure players have been paid up to this point. We’re motivated to do it right now. We were motivated to do it before we put the tag on him. At the same time, we have some conviction of the range he should be in in terms of his compensation and I’m sure they have some conviction of what they’re asking for. I’m not being critical, but therein lies the root of the negotiations.” The Cowboys are offering Lawrence $20MM per season, but Lawrence recently upped his asking price to $22.5MM/year.
  • Defensive tackle David Irving has retired from the NFL, and as he tells it, it was coach Jason Garrett‘s suggested course of action. “He told me I should just quit, smoke all the weed I want, the team didn’t need me,” Irving told Jori Epstein of USA Today. “I’m a distraction to the team. He views marijuana as a drug, whereas I view it as a medicine. It’s not a good situation.” Meanwhile, Irving says owner Jerry Jones was supportive of him and expressed disagreement with the NFL’s drug policies that landed him an indefinite suspension. Irving, meanwhile, plans to be a pro-marijuana advocate in his post-football life with a focus on how CBD can help NFL players deal with pain.
  • On Thursday, the Cowboys acquired pass rusher Robert Quinn from the Dolphins, which should help to reinforce their D-Line after losing Irving to retirement and Randy Gregory to an indefinite ban. Of course, they could be left with a glaring hole on the other side if they are unable to reach a long-term deal with Lawrence.

DeMarcus Lawrence Increases Asking Price

The Cowboys recently stepped up their offer to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to meet his $20MM asking price. But, as Marlo Stanfield once famously said in “The Wire,” the price of the brick is going up. 

In the last few weeks, Lawrence has gone from asking for $20MM/year to $22.5MM per annum, according to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic. The Cowboys’ current offer would make Lawrence the league’s highest-paid 4-3 defensive end, but the pass rusher is looking to match the $22.5MM AAV on Aaron Donald‘s deal and inch towards the $23.5MM per year earned by Khalil Mack.

Lawrence, 27 in April, is already the highest-paid 4-3 defensive end in the NFL thanks to his $20.5MM franchise tag. However, he has indicated that he won’t report to the club until he gets a new deal.

This is shaping up to be a challenging negotiation for the Cowboys, but that’s nothing new for owner Jerry Jones.

This has gone on as far back for me, notably, with Emmitt Smith,” Jones said. “Any of you know my relationship with Emmitt Smith today know that’s a memory we smile about the way we are, 20-something years later and we’re in business together. That’s just part of the business. The main thing, and I don’t want to be cavalier, this is a significant thing for not only our franchise but DeMarcus’ life. It would make anyone be very, very judicious as they are working through the terms of this agreement.”

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