IRVING, Texas – Sean Lee has been a lock at inside linebacker for three years with the Dallas Cowboys. Tonight, the team locked him up through the 2019 season.
The Cowboys inked Lee, who is set to begin his fourth NFL campaign next month, to a six-year contract extension worth roughly $42 million, but could escalate as high as $51 million depending on play-time incentives.
Lee reportedly will get more than $16 million guaranteed over the life of the contract.
Lee had one year remaining on the original four-year contract he signed as the No. 55 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. In three seasons, he has started 21 games, including just six last year when toe surgery cut his season short.
Injuries were taken into consideration in negotiating the deal, which has a few play-time incentives to protect the Cowboys in case Lee misses more time due to injury.
Lee is the Cowboys’ middle linebacker and centerpiece of the 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Monte Kiffin.
“When we look at things we need to do, short and long term, his agreement is on that list,” Jones said earlier this month. “Those things have to fit and we certainly, in terms of planning and management of our cap dollars and our future, we’re planning on having him on the team.
“He’d be at the top of the list. Yeah, I’d say he’d be at the top.”
The two sides had discussions this off-season. Lee was in the final year of a contract that pays him $630,000. He counts about $930,000 against the salary cap.
The club had about $10 million in cap room, meaning the extension with Lee will move more money into this season and ease the cap hit somewhat moving forward.
“Next year is going to be a tight year for us with the cap,” Jones said. “We’ve got to really be pretty resourceful.”