The Dallas Cowboys and veteran Linebacker Sean Lee have agreed to a restructuring on the final year of his contract, keeping him with the team in 2019. The move will allow Lee to stay with the only team he's ever known, and let's the Cowboys keep one of their best and most experienced leaders.
Lee has agreed to reduce his $7 million base salary in 2019 in half. That means $3.5 million will immediately go back into Dallas' salary cap space for 2019.
Source: #Cowboys LB Sean Lee has agreed to terms on a restructured contract that keeps him in a Dallas uniform for 2019. One of their leaders is back for another year. He'll earn $3.5M but has a chance to earn his way back to his original $7M salary with incentives.
The Cowboys could have saved all $7 million by releasing Sean, but that would have left them pretty thin at linebacker. They already expect to lose Damien Wilson to free agency.
Lee can now continue to mentor Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, and other young linebackers while also providing an excellent depth option.
Dallas could also potentially start Sean in the base 4-3 defense. With Wilson leaving, Jaylon could play SAM while Lee and Vander Esch cover the other two spots.
As mentioned in Rapoport's tweet, Lee could earn back his money through performance incentives. Those likely focus on snaps or games played, which have been an issue for the oft-injured linebacker throughout his career.
However, those incentives will come out over the course of the regular season and can be accounted for later. This move immediately puts money back into Dallas' spending pool, which is welcome with free agency starting in just a few more days.
With Lee turning 34 next year and his contract expiring, 2019 may very well be his last NFL season. He was already considering retirement at the end of the season but has decided to give it at least one more run.
After today's news, it will definitely be with the Dallas Cowboys.