Average Salary on Current Deal: $3.5M
Six months ago this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sean Lee was on the books for over $7 million in just base salary, he was coming off arguably his worst season to-date, and he no longer held a starting role on the Dallas Cowboys. Even his top reserve status was in question since Joe Thomas outperformed him as a WILL and passing-down LB in 2018.
But everything changed this winter and Sean Lee quickly became one of the Dallas Cowboys biggest values on the team.
Two things happened:
- Sean Lee reworked his contract
- And Sean Lee switched positions
While his charge against the cap will be $6,012,500, his deal is really only a 1-year $3.5 million deal. That’s because the cap charge contains his old guaranteed money. Technically, he’s only playing on a 1-year deal (per sportac) and the rest is bonuses. Not too shabby for a former Pro Bowler with position flex.
But even more important than the reworked deal is the change in position. Sean Lee has conceded the starting WILL position to Leighton Vander Esch and will move to be the primary SAM in 2019. He’s noticeably bulked up this offseason to take on the added punishment and there are indications the SAM role will grow this season.
Additionally, Lee’s presence gives the Dallas Cowboys valuable depth at WILL and MIKE. While it’s likely Joe Thomas will spell the starters on some passing downs, he’s not a fulltime replacement should either LVE or Jaylon Smith miss extended time.
Finally, adding to his value is the impact he makes in the locker room. Any one that saw All or Nothing knows Sean Lee is essentially a player-coach. He’s a film nut who understands every part of the Cowboys defense. Players and coaches alike look up to “General” Lee.