The sides had until July 15 to work out a long-term contract after the club used the franchise tag on its best pass rusher again.
Under the franchise tag, which he received for the second-straight offseason in March, Lawrence would have still been the NFL's highest-paid 4-3 defensive end with a 2019 salary of $20.5 million. The result was a five-year deal that will pay Lawrence $31.1 million in the first year, with a $25 million signing bonus, a source told ESPN. 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.
Lawrence, the Dallas Cowboys second round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft finally had his breakout season in 2017 when he put up 14.5 sacks.
Next up for Lawrence will be shoulder surgery that will keep him out until training camp.
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With his new deal, per Spotrac, Lawrence is now third among defensive players in average annual value.
Lawrence has paid his dues with being one of the most unsafe defensive ends in the game today. In his career, he is fourth in the National Football League in sacks (25), tied for eighth in tackles for loss (29), tied for seventh in QB hits (49) and tied for sixth in forced fumbles (six). His rookie year was hampered by a foot injury suffered in training camp, but he had two sacks in two playoff games. Then he had just one sack in 2016, after missing the first four games of the season because of a suspension. Absolutely. Is that going to be something to watch as guys like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones need new deals in the near future?
A potentially acrimonious situation between the team and its star pass rusher has been avoided with an enormous deal, assuming it gets signed.