According to the NFL Network, Lawrence and his agent are looking for a contract that would pay in in that $17 million a year neighborhood, so the Cowboys had no reason not to go ahead and hit him with the tag, just to be safe.
BC-FBN-Cowboys-Lawrence, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 367Cowboys put franchise tag on DE Lawrence at $17.1 millionAP Photo NYPS201Eds: Updates with Lawrence signing, adjusts official salary number. He told reporters at the Pro Bowl last month that, "Franchise, not bad".
"Certainly, we're going to roll up our sleeves and see if we can do something with DeMarcus without having a franchise tag".
Dallas wants a long-term deal in place with Lawrence.
The two sides reportedly will keep talking, and the team will have until July 15 to sign Lawrence to a multi-year deal - assuming Lawrence doesn't sign the tender offer before then.
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In other words, they can immunize him from criminal liability. "It's absolutely ridiculous what they want from me". USA intelligence said those documents were illicitly obtained by or on behalf of the Russian government.
The tag shouldn't cause any clashes with Lawrence, unlike it does with other players. Lawrence surpassed his previous career high of eight sacks in the fifth game.
In 2016, Lawrence only started in three of his nine games played due to lingering back problems.
Lawrence is the only one of the Cowboys' recent additions who has developed into the pass rusher the team need.
The second-rounder out of Boise State timed his breakout season perfectly, and what a breakout it was. Canter led the charge on the Giants signing Olivier Vernon to a five-year, $85 million deal with a whopping $52.5 million guaranteed after the Dolphins rescinded their transition tag. Losing him wasn't an option. "We'll do everything we can to try to make something work, and if we don't get it done then we'll franchise him".
The Cowboys have also used the franchise designation on Anthony Spencer (2012, 2013), Ken Hamlin (2008) and Flozell Adams (2002). Lawrence is coming off a career year in which he finished tied for second in the National Football League with 14 ½ sacks, but he underwent back surgeries in consecutive offseasons prior to that. If the Cowboys wanted to tag him a second time in 2019, it could cost upwards of $20 million. The deadline to tag players is Tuesday, March 6. Tagging Lawrence would leave them with just about $4 million in salary-cap space, and they've talked for more than a year with offensive guard Zack Martin (whose deal expires in 2019) about an extension.