It was only last week that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said linebacker Sean Lee was at the top of the team’s to-do list for a contract extension. Now, it's done.
Lee agreed to a six-year $42 million extension with a $10 million signing bonus and $16.15 million guaranteed, according to a source. The contract runs through 2019 and could be worth as much as $51 million. He will have base salaries of $630,000 in 2013, $5.5 million in ’14, $2.5 million in ’15, $3 million in ’16 and $7 million each year from 2017-19.
Lee could earn an extra $1.5 million that is guaranteed in ’15 if he plays 80 percent of the time the next two years.
Lee had one year remaining on his rookie deal, scheduled to have a cash value of $676,000.
The sides began talking the second day of practice in training camp, with both wanting to make a deal happen before the season opener.
“Sean was adamant: He wanted to a Cowboy for life,” said Mike McCartney, Lee’s agent. “It was important to him. He wants to focus on football. He is obsessed with being a great player more than any player I have worked with. …He is special.”
Lee, 27, was a second-round draft choice in 2010. He has 253 tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles in three seasons.
He has become a team leader and is expected to excel in the Tampa 2 scheme of Monte Kiffin.
But Lee has yet to play 16 games in a season. He missed 10 games last season with an injury to his right big toe, was out one game in 2011 with a partially dislocated wrist that required a protective cast for much of the season, and in 2010, he missed two games with a hamstring strain.
-- Charean Williams/Clarence Hill