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Will CeeDee Lamb deal exceed $30M a year? How market affects Cowboys’ extension-seeking WR

It still appears a matter of when, not if, a Lamb long-term extension with Dallas is completed.

FRISCO — A common misconception regarding today’s NFL wide-receiver market is that Tyreek Hill’s contract extension in 2022, worth $120 million across four years, created some kind of benchmark for other top receivers. Hill’s annual average of $30 million was highly inflated, as the Miami Dolphins used a $43.9 million salary without guarantees for the deal’s final season.

The Hill deal is often discussed dismissively within league circles.

A fake 30.

Inevitably, a wide receiver would come along whose $30 million annual average is beyond reproach. The Philadelphia Eagles’ A.J. Brown and Detroit Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown recently cleared the $30 million mark in new-money earnings.


Cowboys veterans and the 2024 rookie class will share a practice field Monday for the first time. Barring a sudden mammoth extension, Lamb all but certainly won’t be on it. His ongoing absence from the team’s workout program gains gravity the deeper the spring goes, as the club is scheduled to conduct six organized team activity practices and a three-day minicamp from May 21 to June 6.

Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb not at voluntary offseason workouts

It still appears a matter of when, not if, a Lamb long-term extension with Dallas is completed.

Last month’s deals for Brown and St. Brown did not raise the price tag. To argue otherwise would be to assume Lamb would have accepted a contract below $30 million in annual new-money worth, which overlooks the steep jump in the league’s 2024 salary cap and the fact Lamb is coming off a franchise-record 135 catches for 1,749 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Lamb’s agent, Tory Dandy, was never going to be influenced by the agent who negotiated Brown’s contract.

Dandy represents them both.

Whenever Lamb is signed, where his new earnings register in relation to a $30 million average— a real, not fake $30 million — will be notable. Until then, the wait continues.

Lamb has yet to attend any of the Cowboys’ spring meetings or on-field workouts while awaiting an extension. He cannot be fined for skipping since the activities are voluntary until a June 4-6 minicamp. That said, the workout program is almost universally attended.

OTA and minicamp practices are the first offseason events in which offensive and defensive players can directly compete against each other. One-on-one drills for receivers against cornerbacks, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods are among the practice periods Lamb stands to miss — not to mention rapport-fortifying reps with his quarterback.

Skipping those practices wouldn’t be ideal, but missing the start to training camp in Oxnard, Calif., is more consequential. Training camp beginning in late July can be viewed the most powerful catalyst for negotiations.

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