DeMarcus Lawrence Reportedly Seeking $17M Per Year in Cowboys Contract

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25:  DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts in the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

While the Dallas Cowboys haven't discussed a new contract with DeMarcus Lawrence, the defensive end reportedly has high demands. 

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Lawrence is expecting to get about $17 million per year in his newest deal. The two sides will reportedly discuss a new deal at the upcoming scouting combine in Indianapolis.

The figure is based on Olivier Vernon's five-year, $85 million deal with the Giants in 2016. Both Lawrence and Vernon have the same agent, David Canter.

Per Pelissero, the Cowboys star would be willing to play on the franchise tag, which would amount to more than $17 million for one season.

Lawrence is coming off by far the best season of his four-year career in 2017, finishing with 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two recoveries. He only had nine sacks in his first three seasons combined after being selected in the second round of the 2014 draft, making just 16 total starts in that stretch.

He served a four-game suspension at the start of the 2016 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, while back injuries also limited him to just nine games.

Although he finally reached his potential this past year while earning a Pro Bowl selection, he hasn't shown the consistency Vernon had before his contract.

The Cowboys plan to keep Lawrence if they can, as executive vice president Stephen Jones explained at the Senior Bowl, via Brandon George of the Dallas News:

"Our first goal is to sign him to a long-term deal. 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. 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 without having a franchise tag."

Although Dallas drafted a potential replacement last offseason in Taco Charlton, Lawrence's return would make a positive impact for the potential NFC contenders.

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