The Dallas Cowboys and franchise-tagged defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence agreed to a five-year contract, the team announced Friday. Multiple media outlets reported the deal is worth $105 million, with $65 million guaranteed and more money in the first year ($31.1 million) than any non-quarterback contract in NFL history, breaking the mark set by Khalil Mack last fall.
According to The MMQB, the deal also sets new benchmarks among defensive players in a percentage of total and full guarantees on a long-term contract. Mack, the NFL's highest-paid defender at $23.5 million annually, received $90 million guaranteed for injury and $60 million fully guaranteed at signing. Earlier Friday, NFL Network reported Lawrence and the Cowboys were making progress after negotiations appeared to be stalled last week.
Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones said last week the sides were at an "impasse," adding, "We're apart. But certainly optimistic. ... We'll continue to chop wood." The Cowboys tagged Lawrence in March for the second year in a row, giving them until July 15 to sign him to a long-term extension. Lawrence played the 2018 season on his $17.1 million tenders, and he could have made $20.5 million on the tag in 2019, but reports had indicated he was unlikely to participate in training camp if he didn't receive a long-term extension.
Lawrence, who turns 27 on April 28, reportedly was seeking a multiyear deal worth upward of the $20.5 million tag amount. He also reportedly planned to delay the shoulder surgery he needs until a long-term resolution was reached, which could explain why there was the urgency to reach a deal now and not closer to the July 15 deadline. Over the past two seasons, Lawrence has a combined 25 sacks, 49 quarterback hits and 122 tackles. The Cowboys selected the Boise State product in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
(With inputs from agencies.)