With the DeMarcus Lawrence contract negotiations reportedly at an impasse as the Pro Bowler is seeking north of $20 million per year, it’s understandable there may have been a growing urgency within the Dallas front office to complete a deal for defensive end Robert Quinn. Earlier this month, Quinn came to The Star in Frisco and met with Cowboys officials to more or less feel out his fit. Later, he would do the same with New Orleans as the Saints effectively tossed their hat into the ring as well for the multi-time Pro Bowler.
After that meeting, however, Quinn’s agent, Sean Kiernan met again with Cowboys COO, Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones to finalize a framework for the deal. Today, according to Ian Rapoport, the parameters of that deal have been agreed upon. In exchange for the 28-year-old former All Pro, Dallas will send the Dolphins a future late-round pick -a reasonable price for a player coming off of a 6.5 sack season.
From Up to the Minute Live on our breaking news: #Dolphins pass-rusher Robert Quinn is expected to be dealt to the #Cowboys for, likely, a future late-round pick, sources say. How it happened 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/pHgAljOd3R
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 28, 2019
There is some risk involved, of course. A 2015 back surgery may well put a premature cap on Quinn’s career, and while the Cowboys medical staff did pass him during his physical, they noted the potential long-term risk involved. Still, with one year left on his current deal, Quinn could be a solid addition to a defensive front that’s already lost David Irving and in all likelihood may lose Randy Gregory as well.
This presents us with two distinct possibilities.
- Should DeMarcus Lawrence sign a long-term deal to remain in Dallas, or simply sign the Franchise Tag already presented to him, the combination of him and Quinn should make for a formidable pair of edge rushers. For his part, over the past two seasons, Quinn has missed just 1 game, recording 15 total sacks over that period. So while he’s no longer the same All Pro who logged a career-high 19 sacks in 2013 with the Rams, he’s remained a productive player.
- If Lawrence were instead to hold off on his needed shoulder surgery due to a failure to reach a new deal, only to then sign his franchise tag right before the deadline, he could effectively collect a cool $20 million and then sit out much of the season as he rehabs. Such a development would make Quinn indispensable to the Cowboys defensive line and would unquestionably destroy the team’s relationship with Lawrence, thus undermining a future long-term deal.
Depending on Lawrence’s contract negotiations, Quinn could become either the Robin to Lawrence’s Batman or his replacement out of necessity, giving Dallas little choice but to pull the trigger on this deal. And while the Robert Quinn of 2019 is not DeMarcus Lawrence, he does provide a little insurance as well as a potential running mate for the big dog of the defense.
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