Cowboys lock up stud linebacker Sean Lee through 2019
Lee and the Cowboys have agreed to a six-year contract extension worth $42 million. With one year remaining on his rookie contract, Lee is now locked up through the 2019 season. The deal contains $16.1 million in guaranteed money, with additional $9 million available through incentives. Adding playing-time incentives to the contract was a wise move on the Cowboys' part, considering Lee's injury history.
The smartest move for owner/GM Jerry Jones and the Cowboys' front office, however, may have been to let Lee play out 2013 before either signing him to a new contract or franchise tagging him. As I said, Lee has a history of injuries, and another injury plagued season could make this look like a bad extension right out of the gate. Of course, Jones has never failed to be among the most aggressive spenders in the NFL, and once again he gets his guy, even if it is a high-risk, high-reward signing.
Lee became a starter for the Cowboys in 2011 - his second season in the league. Since then, he has started 21 games, during which he has racked up 163 tackles, five interceptions, ten passes defended, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.
If Lee can stay on the field, this is a quality signing for Dallas, especially if Lee returns to his early 2012 form. The risk, however, lies within Lee's ability to stay healthy, which he has struggled to do since his college days at Penn State.