Lawrence was officially hit with the tag on Monday, which means he'll be making at least $17 million for the 2018 season. One person who didn't hear about the news right away is Lawrence, because apparently someone forgot to actually tell him that he was being tagged. The defensive end didn't find out about the tag through the team or his agent, he found out about the move on Twitter.
Although the official franchise tag numbers for 2018 haven't been released, as a defensive end, Lawrence will get a one-year deal that will be worth somewhere between $17 and $18 million in guaranteed money. The final number won't be known until the NFL officially sets the 2018 salary cap, which will happen at some point before March 14.
When someone pointed out that Lawrence will likely be making at least $17.22 million next season, he seemed pretty excited about that.
Although Lawrence has been hit with the one-year franchise tag, the two sides are still allowed to try and hammer out a long-term deal. Lawrence and the Cowboys have until July 16 to work out a multi-year contract; if that doesn't happen, Lawrence will play the 2018 season under the franchise tag.
The 25-year-old, who had a career year in 2017 with 14.5 sacks, is reportedly seeking. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about a possible long-term contract with Lawrence at the NFL combine last week, and well, he actually sounded optimistic that a deal would get done.
"I'm satisfied at where the numbers are. Both Lawrence and the Cowboys are getting value here," Jones told the team's official website, before adding that he'd also be fine with the franchise tag. "I see it both ways. But it's an acceptable value for the Cowboys as well to be able to do the one-year deal."
Jones basically echoed the same thing his son said last month. On Feb. 22, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that keeping Lawrence in Dallas was a priority for the team.
"We won't let D-Law not be a Dallas Cowboy next year. We'll get that straight right now," the younger Jones said, via the Cowboys. "We'll do everything we can to try to make something work, and if we don't get it done then we'll franchise tag him. Then we'll go back to work. We'd like to not have that franchise tag hanging out there. We've got a big negotiation ahead of us. But we don't want Demarcus Lawrence going anywhere."
Lawrence was a second-round pick of the Cowboys in 2014, and he picked the right time to have a career-year last season. Although Lawrence had shown signs of being a star before 2017, it was hard for the Cowboys to gauge what they had in him because he missed a total of 16 regular-season games through his first three seasons.