Sean Lee will have some options as he approaches unrestricted free agency in 2020. The 33-year-old rebuilt his brand by proving he can be durable over the course of a full season -- having been active in 16 regular season games for the first time in his career -- and making several impact plays en route to a stat line that boasts 86 combined tackles, four pass deflections, a sack, and an interception. Needless to say, the Dallas Cowboys aren't ready to part ways with Lee seeing as he's on the upswing, and sources tell CBS Sports the team will offer him a deal to stay put in North Texas.
That doesn't mean Lee won't test the market, which is to be expected, given the fact he's never been a free agent before. The All-Pro linebacker is curious to find out his value on the open market and would like to hear what other teams would offer him by way of playing time, considering he might find himself again being a rotational piece for the Cowboys in 2020 if Leighton Vander Esch remains healthy.
To that end, one team he reportedly has his eye on is the New York Giants, per Matt Lombardo of NJ.com, in a move that would indirectly reunite him with Jason Garrett -- the once longtime Cowboys head coach who now operates as offensive coordinator for Big Blue under newly-hired head coach Joe Judge. It might also see him follow Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten east, with Witten himself being open to the possibility of joining the Giants, if they'll have him.
"Who wouldn't want to play at least one season in New York?" the source said, via Lombardo.
While the verdict is out on that question, considering the Giants haven't exactly been a beacon of victory over the last several seasons, it is completely logical a thinned linebacker corps in New York would create a demand that marries with a solid offer of money and playing time to Lee. The decision to release Alec Ogletree only deepens the need, which buoys the potential offer(s), and Garrett will champ at the bit to lobby Rhule and general manager Dave Gettleman to toss Lee a uniform.
There's a fit for Lee and his veteran football mind in New York, but wooing him away from his beloved Cowboys will not be an easy task for any team, and especially if that team is an NFC East rival. That's admittedly not impossible, but the bottom line is owner Jerry Jones wants Lee to in a Cowboys uniform this coming season, and the cost to keep him won't be excessive. After all, this is the same player who approached the Cowboys brass -- unprovoked -- in 2019 to take a voluntary pay cut and do "whatever the team needed" him to do to stick things out in North Texas.
Despite needing contract extensions on Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and others (that may or may not include Byron Jones), Lee isn't a Tier-A free agent who'll command/demand the type of money that makes a hefty dent in the massive cap space the Cowboys currently enjoy. He can be easily worked into the financial spreadsheet, making the sales pitch to keep him one more predicated on playing time than money. As long as he gets quality field time, Lee wants to remain a Cowboy.
That doesn't mean he isn't willing to listen to all the serenades in his first-ever free agency dance though, and the Giants are apparently ready to push some "dough re mi" in front of him.