Cowboys Advised to Dole Out $114 Million ‘Cap-Clearing’ Contract

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could make CeeDee Lamb the highest paid wide receiver depending on his 2024 contract extension.

Getty Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could make CeeDee Lamb the highest paid wide receiver depending on his 2024 contract extension.

It might not seem the most efficient way for the Dallas Cowboys to save cap space for 2024, but depending on how it is structured, a megadeal for wide receiver CeeDee Lamb could wind up being a “cap-clearing possibility” according to the contract website Spotrac. That’s the advice from the site as it sized up the Cowboys’ 2024 offseason financials this week.

“Extend WR CeeDee Lamb, lowering his current $17.9M cap hit in 2024. Lamb projects to a 4 year, $114M extension in our system, though a deal near $125M ($31M+ per year) is very possible,” author Michael Ginnitti wrote, in suggesting ways for the Cowboys to create more cap space in the coming months.

One of the interesting subplots for the Cowboys offseason will be what happens with Lamb, who has been clear that he thinks he is the best wide receiver in the NFL. Can he get paid like the best, though?

There are three receivers, currently, who make more than $30 million, with Chargers star Keenan Allen at the top ($34.7 million for 2024). Oft-injured teammate Mike Williams is second at $32.5 million and Dolphins star Tyreek Hill is at $31 million. Surely, Lamb sees himself as at least the equal of those players—meaning that the four-year, $125 million possibility is more relevant for a Lamb extension.

CeeDee Lamb Made Case as No. 1 NFL WR

It would be hard for the Cowboys to deny Lamb that kind of payout. He led the NFL with 135 catches this year, and was No. 2 in yardage at 1,749. He was third in touchdowns with 12 and second in first downs with 80.

At Pro Football Focus, Lamb is rated the No. 3 receiver in the league with a 91.1 grade this season, behind only Hill and Brandon Aiyuk of the 49ers.

Complicating Lamb’s extension will be what happens with the VikingsJustin Jefferson, who is also eligible for an extension and will surely ask for more than Lamb. But then, Lamb has been clear about who should be No. 1.

“I’m the top receiver in this game,” Lamb said back in November after the Cowboys beat the Giants. “There’s no question about it. If there is, I’ll see you again next week.”

And if he needs backing when he meets with the Cowboys to talk contract, he has Randy Moss. As the Twitter/X user Spoonie881 posted, “NFL Hall of Famer WR Randy Moss was asked if Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb the BEST WR in the NFL today.”

Moss’s response? “The way that coach (Mike) McCarthy is featuring him, hands down, yes.”

Cowboys Will Need to Lock Up Stars With Big Contract

All in all, though, it will be a delicate balance in 2024 for the Cowboys. Lamb is not their biggest-ticket item in the coming months—that will be quarterback Dak Prescott, who is expected to reap a deal worth more than $50 million per year. The Cowboys have the fifth-year option on Micah Parsons in 2025, but could simply choose to extend him now, too.

The problem is that the Cowboys are already over the cap.

Ginnitti wrote: “There are some holes to fill in terms of free agency & a potential cap casualty or two, but this offseason will be largely about taking care of their own – notably QB Dak Prescott, WR CeeDee Lamb, & ED Micah Parsons. Dallas rolls into the offseason around $11M in the hole in terms of Top 51 cap space.”

They will need to exercise some cap-clearing possibilities. Re-signing Lamb is a start.

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