There will be no holdout for Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
Lawrence, who was given his second straight franchise tag before free agency, has agreed on the parameters of a five-year deal worth more than $100 million. The team took the rare step of announcing the two sides had “agreed to terms” — usually teams wait until the contract is signed — and saying how much the contract was for.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 5, 2019
It’s a historic, enormous deal. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said the total of the deal is $105 million with $65 million guaranteed. Lawrence gets more cash in year one than any non-quarterback in NFL history, Rapoport said.
A potentially acrimonious situation between the team and its star pass rusher has been avoided with an enormous deal, assuming it gets signed. That’s great news for both sides. Lawrence seemed to be in a joking mood over his new fortune:
DeMarcus Lawrence gets deal well before deadline
Most times, long-term agreements between teams and franchise-tagged players aren’t agreed upon until just before the deadline in mid-July. That’s what happened with the Cowboys and Dez Bryant a few years ago.
Give both sides credit for getting it done now. Lawrence had expressed late last season that he wouldn’t be happy with a second straight franchise tag and could hold out. After what the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced with Le’Veon Bell last season, after he sat out all year, that had to be a scary scenario for the Cowboys.
But we’re still weeks from the draft and that situation is solved. The Cowboys had to pay a lot to get it done, but they decided Lawrence is the rare defender worth quarterback money.
Lawrence joins the rare $100 million club
Among active contracts, five defensive players have deals that are more than $100 million in total: Chicago Bears end Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Rams tackle Aaron Donald, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, Philadelphia Eagles tackle Fletcher Cox and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. That’s the best of the best.
Lawrence has put himself in that conversation the past two seasons. His career started slow, with nine sacks through his first three seasons. He broke out in 2017, with 14.5 sacks. He got the franchise tag. He had 10.5 sacks last season and a second straight Pro Bowl. The Cowboys weren’t going to lose him, so he got another franchise tag.
There will be no worry going forward. Lawrence has established himself as one of the best defensive ends in football, the Cowboys paid him as such, and he won’t be going anywhere for a while.
More from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –