Fans of the Dallas Cowboys hold out hope that all sorts of great things will happen for their team every year. This year, they likely hoped for one thing—that the team wouldn’t mess up and let their best pass rusher, DeMarcus Lawrence, get away.
As it turns out, they didn’t.
The news broke Friday afternoon that the Cowboys and Lawrence had agreed on a five-year, $105 million contract that included $65 million in guarantees. He will become the fourth highest paid defensive player in the NFL behind Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, and Von Miller.
Breaking down DeMarcus Lawrence’s 5 yr, $105M contract w/ the #Cowboys that includes $48M guaranteed at signing, $65M thru 2020, & clears $9.4M of cap space in 2019.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) April 6, 2019
Lawrence also sets a new mark for most paid out to a non-quarterback in the first year of a contract with a total of $31.1 million, besting the mark previously held by Mack by about $500,000. His base pa this season will just be $1.5 million, but he’ll also get a $4.6 million roster bonus and a $25 million signing bonus.
Rumor has it that Lawrence was going to skip all offseason activities with the team and may have even been willing to sit out regular season games had he not gotten a new deal. The Cowboys had placed the franchise tag on him again guaranteeing him $20.5 million this season, but he had et to sign it.
Lawrence made $17.1 million playing under the franchise tag last year. He is now set to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum forcing him to miss all offseason activities anyway. But he should be good to go for training camp.
— NFL (@NFL) April 5, 2019
While the team will be paying him a modest fortune this year, they will end up saving against the salary cap. Had he played under the franchise tag again, his entire $20.5 million salary would have counted under the cap this year.
Dallas has made a habit of rewarding their young players that perform with new contracts while filling in the rest of the roster spots through the draft and with affordably priced free agents. With Lawrence now safely under contract for the next few years, the Cowboys can turn their attention to how to pay Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, and Ezekiel Elliot.