Dallas Cowboys has agreed a five-year, $ 105 million deal with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, with guaranteed $ 65 million, a source told ESPN.
The Cowboys put the franchise tag on Lawrence before launching a free agency, which would have secured him $ 20.5 million, but the idea was to use it as a placeholder for a contract that would make him among the highest paid pass-rushers and a cowboy in the foreseeable future.
According to sources, an important breakthrough came on Thursday when Cowboy's executive director Stephen Jones and Lawrence spoke directly to the phone. The result was a five-year deal that will pay Lawrence $ 31.1 million in the first year, with a $ 25 million signing bonus, a source told ESPN.
Among current contracts, Lawrence's $ 65 million in guaranteed money is the fourth highest given to a defensive player followed by Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald and Von Miller.
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Without the long-term deal, a source Lawrence had not participated in the offseason program, organized team activities, minicamp and training camp and may have skipped regular season games.
Next up to Lawrence will be shoulder surgery that keeps him out for training camp. He played last season with a torn labrum.
Lawrence played on the franchise tag worth $ 17.1 million in 2018, when the cowboys hoped he could repeat his Pro Bowl level from 2017 when he had 14.5 bags.
In 2018, Lawrence ended with 10.5 bags and 39 quarterback pressures and was named the Pro Bowl for the second straight year. He collected 47 tackles and 12 tackles for loss. He also had an interception, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles while playing through the shoulder injury.
He became the first cowboy to send back-to-back seasons of double-digit bags since DeMarcus Ware in 2011-2012. Lawrence is tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks the last two seasons with 25.
Most Guaranteed Money for defensive players
|Khalil Mack||$ 90M|
|Aaron Donald||$ 87M|
|Von Miller||$ 70M|
|DeMarcus Lawrence||$ 65M|
|>> Roster Management System|
Lawrence had five of his 10.5 bags in the first four games of the 2018 season. He closed the season with a sack in each of the last two games. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli sees Lawrence as one of the best defensive linemen in the game because of not only his pass-rushing ability but also his willingness to play the race.
Cowboys traded in the second round of the 2014 draft to take Lawrence with the 34th overall election. His rookie year was hampered by a foot injury in training camp, but he had two bags in two playoff games. In 2015, he led the cowboys with eight bags.
After that season, he had his first of two back operations. Then he only had one sack in 2016 after missing the first four season games due to a suspension. Cowboys put him to the last three matches of the regular season to help him become healthier for the playoffs. The second operation, after the 2016 season, corrected the disk problem and he has not missed a game page.
Lawrence does not turn 27 to 28 April. This deal fits into Cowboy's desire to keep their young players as they have done for years, most recently with offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin.
With Lawrence's agreement definitely, the cowboys can turn their attention to wide-ranging Amari Cooper, quarterback Dak Prescott, ran back Ezekiel Elliott and cornerback Byron Jones.
Cooper, Prescott and Jones are signed in 2019, and Elliott may be in contract by 2020, thanks to the fifth option that the team will exercise later this spring.
cowboys have been rewriting their players and using the free agency to fill in gaps without overpayment. The Cowboys spoke to the agents of the four Pro Bowlers at the NFL scouting combination in Indianapolis, but the expectation was that they would become more involved after the early wave of free agency and draft.