Plain and simple, the man has to stay on the field.
Sean Lee once again missed games in 2017 for the Dallas Cowboys due to injury. Not only did his five-game absence lead to a 1-4 record and an increase of 10 points per game allowed by the Cowboy defense, but it also cost the linebacker some bonus cash.
While Lee’s play has hardly declined as he’s aged, Dallas will have to start reconsidering his contract if he misses time this season too.
.@dallascowboys LB group looks good in June. Sean Lee/Jaylon Smith are healthy. Rookie Leighton Vander Esch looks the part. Lee/Smith gotta be available for all 16. Pump the breaks on the Vander Esch/Urlacher comp. Those guys don’t grow on trees. Young Dallas D could surprise.
— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschiESPN) June 27, 2018
Lee will turn 32 this season and earn $11 million. The following year he’ll have a $10 million salary. Those figures are good for third most on the Dallas roster.
Yes, Lee’s talent justifies the money being shelled out to him, but Dallas simply cannot afford to have that kind of money off the field for a third of the season again.
Yes, 2017 wasn’t a fluke, either. Lee has suffered numerous injuries dating back to 2008 during his days at Penn State. The star linebacker will have to find some way to defy a pattern of injuries dating back more than a decade if he wants to stay in Dallas.
Over the past few drafts, Dallas seemed to have been cognizant of the potential of parting ways with Lee. With linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch on the roster, Lee’s replacements are already in place. The pressure is on him.
With the history he has, it’s actually a bit surprising that Lee still has the contract he does. With the Cowboys’ situation at linebacker and with the salary cap in mind, Lee needs to get himself together and stay on the field.