Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who finished tied for second in the NFL in sacks with 14.5 last season, will be franchise tagged by the Cowboys ahead of March 6th deadline, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.
If Lawrence plays under the franchise tag in 2018, he is expected to make $17.5 million a one-year deal, per overthecap.com. However, both the Cowboys and Lawrence would like to reach a long-term agreement, and not have to worry about the one-year salary. In this case, it sure seems like Lawrence is simply getting tagged so that the Cowboys have more time to negotiate a deal.
Once Lawrence is tagged, the Cowboys and him will have until July 16 to work out a contract. Wide receiver Dez Bryant was the last Cowboys player to receive the franchise tag from the Cowboys in 2015, and eventually ended up agreeing to a five-year, $70 million contract with $45 million guaranteed months later.
Here’s what Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told the Morning News regarding the franchise tag and Lawrence last month:
“To me, the only reason you use a franchise tag is to hopefully protect yourself if you can’t get a long-term deal signed that you like,” Jones said. “That’s normally the route we like to go. Certainly we’re going to roll up our sleeves and see if we can do something with Demarcus [Lawrence] without having a franchise tag.”
So theoretically, the possibility that the Cowboys and Lawrence workout a deal before the first week of March remains realistic.
In-addition to his 14.5 sacks in 2017, Lawrence also had 58 total tackles, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.
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