Giants All-Pro Could Command ’20-Plus Million’ Contract: Report

Dexter Lawrence

Getty Images Can the Giants keep Dexter Lawrence in blue for his entire career?

The New York Giants are serious about retaining Dexter Lawrence for a long time.

It’ll cost them some serious money, though. 

Big Blue and its Pro Bowl defensive tackle are negotiating a deal that will land “at least somewhere close to ($22 million per year), according to ESPN senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler. 

“The Giants have been talking to Lawrence and his reps about a potential deal,” Fowler said on SportsCenter. “Nothing has come together yet. But that defensive tackle market is huge right now.”

Fowler highlighted the deal Washington game Daron Payne on March 12 — a four-year, $90 million contract — as a comparable baseline for Lawrence. Other tackles like the Titans’ Jeffrey Simmons and the Jets’ Quinnen Williams are also expected to command “maybe $20-plus million” per year, per Fowler. 

That’d be a solid pay bump for Lawrence, who’s slated to make just $12.4 million this season, according to Spotrac. The Giants exercised his fifth-year option in April 2022.

But Lawrence proved he deserved a pay bump in the year that followed.  The 342-pound Clemson product tallied 7.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, 28 quarterback hits, and 36 pressures, according to Pro Football Reference. 

Lawrence was named to his first Pro Bowl and listed as a second-team All-Pro last season, too. 

Here’s what you need to know about Lawrence and his ongoing negotiations with the Giants:

New Dexter Lawrence Deal Tops Giants’ Offseason Checklist

Big Blue isn’t bashful about their plans to pay Lawrence. 

General manager Joe Schoen told reporters at an end-of-season press conference in January that Lawrence had “done enough” to merit a new contract. And in March, Schoen told reporters at the NFL Combine that a new deal for Lawrence is already in the works.

“Dexter, Joel Segal’s his agent, we’ve had conversations with him,” Schoen said. “Dexter’s a great leader, great player, did a good job for us this year. So he’s definitely somebody we’ll talk to and would like to have him here for a long time.”

Schoen and New York’s regime knows it’ll need to pay up for that privilege. 

Future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald makes an average of $31 million a year from the Rams, according to OverTheCap. Payne comes second at a distant $22 million — and he and Lawrence share Segal as an agent.

That agent’s goal this offseason? Resetting the market for defensive tackles who aren’t Aaron Doanld, according to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan. Lawrence should become one of the six current tackles making north of $20 million annually. 

How The Giants Afford A Dexter Lawrence Deal

Segal will ask for it; Schoen and the Giants should be able to accommodate it with some financial gymnastics.

Fellow Giants tackle Leonard Williams makes $21 million per year, according to OverTheCap. Only two teams pay two different defensive tackles more than $17 each — the 49ers (Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead) and the Commanders (Payne and Jonathan Allen). 

To pay Lawrence, Williams’ contract will need amending and extending. But Schoen sounds open to that an other alternatives, like backloading a potential Lawrence deal for short-term cap relief and planning for $115 million in projected cap space in 2024, per OverTheCap.

“(Lawrence is) on the fifth-year option,” Schoen said. “You can lower that number with a signing bonus. So, the signing bonus allows you to spread the money over the length of the contract up to five years, and that’s how you’re able to lower the yearly amount that counts against the cap.”

Other players like running back Saquon Barkley and left tackle Andrew Thomas could also see their deals changed to free up room for Lawrence.

Schoen has avenues to get creative. In doing so, he’ll be able to secure one of the game’s most dominant pieces at a price that makes sense for all parties involved.

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