The Dallas Cowboys are looking into the markets for two of their best young stars: wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and cornerback Trevon Diggs. The good news is, based on where the market is, and with how the salary cap factors in, both players could easily be retained.
Possibly even sooner than expected.
Both Lamb and Diggs were drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft with the Cowboys first and second picks, respectively. In only two years, they’ve become cornerstone pieces to this team. Setting up an explosive present and future for the franchise.
The only thing about having high quality players is eventually you’ll need to pay them high quality prices.
Looking at each player, and their respective markets, it might make more sense for the Dallas Cowboys to consider extending them in 2023.
CeeDee Lamb’s Market
For Lamb, his price continues to rise. The WR1 market has climbed up enormous heights in the past few months. Players like AJ Brown, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and Terry McLaurin have all reset the market of where the range will stand. Even players like DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel are next up, and could easily sway the market again.
Through two seasons, Lamb’s 153 receptions, 2,037 yards and 11 touchdowns are on par with most of these players in the same career timeframes. If he takes the next step as the teams true no. 1 receiver, Lamb will earn his new contract.
As it stands, the price for pure, cornerstone WR is around $25 million per year. Even players who’re considered WR2’s like Christian Kirk or Mike Williams are now earning over $18 million a year. Expensive, but you get what you pay for.
The same goes for defensive backs.
Trevon Diggs’ Market
While cornerbacks don’t cost as much as receivers do, the game’s best command top tier money. Jaire Alexander, Denzel Ward and JC Jackson’s new contracts this off-season are among the 10 richest at the position. With Ward and Alexander each exceeding $20 million per year.
The good news for the Dallas Cowboys and Trevon Diggs is this would be the opportune time for an extension. Especially if he continues to be the ball hawk he shows he is.
Going into the 2023 off-season, the expected most expensive CBs are likely to be Marcus Peters, Bradley Roby and possibly Byron Murphy. With Roby and Peters both already 30 years old and unlikely to earn what Diggs will on his second contract.
Both Should Be Extended Sooner Than Later
It’s understandable why the Cowboys would wait. They’ve got both players on their rookie deals for another year after this, possibly two with Lamb’s fifth-year option. Waiting could be what loses them both down the line.
The Dallas Cowboys have already allowed plenty of quality players to walk in free agency, get traded or cut. All in the name of team-reloading and saving cap space to sign players like these when it comes time.
If both players play at Pro Bowl/All-Pro levels this upcoming season, they’ll be seen as key components for the Dallas Cowboys future. It would beg the question of what’s the point of saving cap space if they continue not to use it?
As it stands, Dallas has the fourth most cap room in the league. The salary cap is expected to go up to a projected $230 million next off-season. The Cowboys may enjoy a rookie discount, but if they sit around (again) as other players raise the asking price, they may find themselves in a position to have to start all over again.
As they often do. With similar results.
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