After being franchised tagged for a second straight year, DeMarcus Lawrence has gotten the long-term he sought from the Dallas Cowboys.
After initial talks on a long-term deal didn’t get anywhere, the Dallas Cowboys franchise tagged defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence for a second straight. Lawrence seemed ready to hold out absent a multi-year deal, but after a report earlier Friday a deal was close Ian Rapoport and Mike Garofolo of NFL Network reported the Cowboys and Lawrence have agreed to a five-year deal.
Due in part to injury, Lawrence underachieved over his first three NFL seasons. But he had a breakout season in 2017 with 14.5 sacks, and followed it with 10.5 sacks and a top-10 grade among edge defenders from Pro Football Focus last year.
Rapoport has reported it’s the aforementioned five-year deal for Lawrence, worth $105 million with $65 million guaranteed.
Rapoport passed along the impact of Lawrence’s deal on the market for pass rushers, most specifically Frank Clark and Jadeveon Clowney.
The Year 1 cash in Lawrence’s contract is above all non-quarterbacks in NFL history.
With his new deal, per Spotrac, Lawrence is now third among defensive players in average annual value.
Albert Breer of The MMQB has the exact number on that first year, with all $65 million in guaranteed money in the deal coming in the first three years.
Via NFL Research, and NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Lawrence now sits atop the heap among defensive players in terms of guaranteed money.
ESPN analyst Louis Riddick is a believer in Lawrence.
Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News pointed to the stout defensive end group the Cowboys have assembled.
Sports “tax man” Robert Raiola reminds us Texas is a no state income tax state, which is nice for Lawrence.
With Randy Gregory suspended indefinitely, and even with a trade for Robert Quinn, the Cowboys had to get something done with Lawrence. He has essentially been playing for a contract each of the last two years, so the only thing that keeps the move from getting an A grade is a bit of lingering skepticism he’ll stay motivated to produce after getting paid. But Dallas has made a significant bet he will, and time will tell if their faith is rewarded.