Giants give DT Dexter Lawrence $90M, 4-year extension

Jordan RaananESPN Writer5 May 2023, 02:153 minute read

Kimes: Lawrence extension was a no-brainer for Giants

Mina Kimes explains why the Giants signing Dexter Lawrence to a 4-year, $90 million extension was an easy decision.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — New York Giants All-Pro defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence reached an agreement Thursday on a four-year, $90 million extension, with $60 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The deal makes Lawrence the third-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL behind Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Jeffery Simmons of Tennessee.

It comes after Lawrence, 25, opted out of the start of the voluntary portion of the Giants’ offseason program due to a contract disagreement, a source told ESPN in April. He stayed in touch with the team and coach Brian Daboll as he dealt with his contract situation.

The Giants’ plan has always been to settle Lawrence’s contract this offseason. He was scheduled to play on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, and the team wanted to lower his salary cap by $12.4 million this season.

Talks have been on hold in recent weeks, although signing Lawrence was the Giants’ top priority ahead of running back Saquon Barkley, who has also stayed away from off-season practices as he has yet to sign his franchise label.

“Let’s get to the draft,” general manager Joe Schoen said last weekend of negotiations with Lawrence. “His representation had a lot of prospects in the draft, and we were focused on the draft in our meetings.

“Next week things will calm down a bit and we will resume the tour with everyone.”

Lawrence’s agent Joel Segal also represents Giants first-round pick Deonte Banks.

The deal was done quickly after the draft after Lawrence enjoyed the best season of his career playing nose tackle in 2022 under the new regime. He dominated and finished with 68 tackles, a career-high 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

When Lawrence was on the field last year, the Giants allowed 4.9 yards per carry. When he wasn’t, they allowed 6.2 yards per carry, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Lawrence’s guaranteed $60 million is tied with the Kansas City Chiefs’ Donald and Chris Jones for the second most guaranteed at a defensive tackle, behind Washington Commanders’ Daron Payne ($60.02 million), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The defensive gear market has been established this offseason with the signings of Simmons and Payne. Simmons receives $23.5 million per season and Payne $22.5 million. Lawrence’s deal puts it at $22.5 million.

All three players came in with a similar guaranteed sum: Payne ($60.02 million), Lawrence ($60 million) and Simmons ($59.8 million).

Lawrence and Simmons are locked up for five years – 2023 plus their four-year extensions. Payne received a three-year extension.

Signing Lawrence was part of the Giants’ plan to create cap space to navigate this year. New York headed into Thursday just $575,857 under the cap, according to NFL Players Association records. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had less.

Lawrence was the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft in an acquired pick from the Cleveland Browns in the trade of Odell Beckham Jr..

The Clemson product played 64 games in its first four seasons, missing only two games. The 6-foot-4, 342-pound lineman has recorded 16.5 sacks, 116 tackles and 4 forced fumbles during his career.

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