Sean Lee is coming back to play in 2019. The veteran linebacker came to an agreement to restructure his contract with the Dallas Cowboys to save money on the salary cap as well as to bring the longtime Cowboy back for this upcoming season.
He is scheduled to make $3.5 million in base salary for the season, but with incentives in the contract, he can make up to his original number of $7 million, saving the Cowboys $3 million on the cap. Potentially, the team could use that money for other players like DeMarcus Lawrence or a free agent on the market for a new team.
Since 2015, Lee has accumulated 404 tackles at the linebacker position, but only recording 3 sacks in that span. Before that, he suffered an ACL injury before the 2014 season started in training camp, locking up on a run play against future All Pro and first round draft pick Zack Martin. He has always been injury prone, so his $10 million cap hit was a big red flag for the team and how much they would want to invest in the oft injured linebacker.
Now that the Cowboys have shored up the linebacking core and saved some money with Lee, they can focus on other position groups in order to keep the number 6 defense of 2018 together. DeMarcus Lawrence is still waiting for an offer he likes from the team and could possibly holdout through training camp, and possibly even delay shoulder surgery on his injured labrem which typically has a 4 month recovery timetable. With Lee taken care of, the Cowboys have a long list of tasks in front of them, and the clock is ticking.
The Dallas Cowboys have approximately $25.46 million in salary cap space according to spotrac.com, which includes Tank Lawrence’s franchise tag designation. This means the team will need to figure out who to sign next, whether it be Byron Jones, the number one cornerback for your team, or Jaylon Smith who has become the greatest comeback story of all time. Smith literally had what people call a “dead leg” that consisted of nerves that no longer worked in his leg, stemming from a past injury in a bowl game playing for Notre Dame.
You can find players and positions that can be prioritized over others, but the fact of the matter is the Dallas Cowboys are trending in the right direction. Stephen Jones is managing the money well, but will have his hands full with Tank, Prescott, Zeke, Amari Cooper, Jaylon Smith, and Byron Jones on the horizon for new contracts.
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