The Dallas Cowboys will not get defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence signed to a long-term contract before Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The tag was always the likeliest option for Lawrence, who would certainly be the best pass-rusher on the market if he were allowed to make it to free agency.
He will not, though. The Cowboys wll use the tag, which will pay Lawrence about $17.5 million for the 2018 season, unless they manage to use the extra time to get a long-term deal done. After tagging Lawrence before the 1 p.m. PT deadline, the Cowboys will have until mid-July to negotiate a long-term deal.
Anybody thinking the 49ers could have used Lawrence are absolutely correct, but few actually thought that Lawrence would play anywhere other than Dallas in 2018. Of course, things could still fall apart in such a way that he is somehow available because the NFL is ridiculous and crazy things happen but ... it’s not going to happen.
Lawrence was tied for second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career in 2017. The 49ers have the interior of their line set pretty well, but are hurting for a productive pass-rusher.
John Lynch has alluded to some changes with current players on the roster to mitigate the issues, but most believe the 49ers need to add a premium edge player sooner rather than later.