Sean Lee isn’t the player he once was but that doesn’t mean he’s without value. Under the right deal, he’ still a valuable asset to the Dallas Cowboys
With Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith firmly entrenched as starting linebackers, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t in the market for a starting linebacker this offseason. Even with their heavy usage of the base 4-3 (which I believe was a mistake last season), a third CB is still more important than a third LB.
But Lee isn’t a starter anymore. The wear and tear have taken a toll and he’s now best as a role player and spot starter. Given LVE’s neck issues, that’s a fairly important role on the Dallas Cowboys. It’s not worth breaking the bank for but it’s definitely a position that deserves Dallas’ attention.
The thing is, Sean Lee is more than just the man on the field. He’s the man in the locker room. He’s the man leading meetings. He’s the man watching the film at 2am.
Who’s the next great former player turned coach? Some say Jason Witten but my money’s on Lee. Unlike Witten, Lee is universally beloved by his teammates. Lee works to make his fellow linebackers better and selflessly leads on the field and off it. Witten? Not so much.
But I’ll save my Witten slander for another day. This is about “General Lee”. How much is the right price to bring him back? I’d say $2 million for one year. While he’ll likely be able to find better offers around the league, he may very well prefer to stick with what he knows.
He may also realize he’s better without a weekly starting gig. Not everyone wants to get as many snaps as possible. Some players know quality is better than quantity and they opt for a pitch count or load management to maximize the impact of the snaps they play.
Lee can serve as a spot starter at WILL and MIKE, and occasionally as a SAM in some 4-3 situations. Keeping him at The Star another year increases the chances he makes the transition to coaching here in Dallas. And that’s where his long-term value is.
Normally I’m opposed to re-signing old players on their last leg but Sean Lee is the exception to the rule. He’s not just useful on the field but also in the locker room. And in the end, he’s a man worth keeping around to develop as a coach.
What are your thoughts on Sean Lee? Should the Dallas Cowboys bring him back another year or should they cut bait and thank him for his service?