CeeDee Lamb takes first step in trying to land huge contract from Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have more than one pricey extension to figure out.
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys' quiet offseason is about to get disquieting. CeeDee Lamb is not expected to attend the Cowboys' voluntary offseason program, which starts on Monday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Lamb is notably in the final year of his contract, worth $17.99 million ahead of unrestricted free agency in 2025.

For Lamb, the calculus is simple. By sitting out, he makes a point to Jerry Jones and Dallas management. He wants a contract befitting his status as one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL. Heck, Lamb once said he wants to become the highest-paid WR ever, which is certainly in the cards.

CeeDee Lamb to sit out Cowboys offseason workouts to gain leverage in contract talks

When asked about Lamb's reason for not attending offseason workouts as contract talks unfold, one source close to the All-Pro wideout told Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "why would he?"

It's not terribly hard to decipher the meaning of that quote. Lamb has no incentive to make life easy on the Cowboys. He wants to compete, of course, and there's much to be gained from a full, cohesive offseason between player and team. That said, Lamb has cemented his status as one of the NFL's top WRs. He doesn't have anything to prove in workouts. The onus is on Dallas to prove its faith in Lamb by furnishing him with a lucrative extension.

The financial equation is getting tricker by the week for Dallas. After going through free agency with little more than a peep, the Cowboys still have several looming extensions to reckon with. In addition to Lamb, Micah Parsons is due for a shiny new contract, and we all know the story with Dak Prescott. The Cowboys' All-Pro QB — the reigning MVP runner-up — is set to enter the season without an extension from Dallas, setting him up to potentially test the free agency waters next winter.

It's getting harder to imagine Dallas pleasing everybody, unless Jerry Jones decides to bite the bullet and dish out a few historic contracts. There has been a lot of buzz about Dallas potentially drafting Dak Prescott's successor and preparing for the future, but that's hardly a viable plan when the roster is built to win now. Why pay CeeDee Lamb if there aren't plans to keep Prescott around?

Lamb was electric last season, the most explosive playmaker for the NFL's No. 3 passing offense. In 17 starts, he reeled in 135 receptions (the most in the NFL) for 1,749 yards and 12 touchdowns. That's a healthy 13.0 yards per catch, with Lamb operating at a volume no other receiver in the league matched.

Dallas can't afford to mess this up. It's important for Jones to read the tea leaves and understand how important it is to keep his core together. The Cowboys' postseason futility is a concern, but the Cowboys can't overreact. Prescott, Lamb, Parsons — these are the best players on the team. Dallas needs to work to put more around them, not play hardball on cut-and-dry extensions.

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