Despite initially being displeased that the Dallas Cowboys used the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive season, the newly rich defensive lineman never planned to take a page out of the Le'Veon Bell playbook and sit out the 2019 campaign if sides couldn't come to a long-term agreement by the July 15 deadline.
"You ain't got to worry about that. It wasn't going to be a Le'Veon situation. I ain't skipping $20 million for nobody," Lawrence said Thursday at a press conference after signing his new lucrative long-term deal.
Bell famously skipped the entire 2018 campaign, forgoing a $14.5 million season, after being franchise-tagged in back-to-back seasons. While perhaps some will follow in Bell's footsteps down the road, it's more likely players will react like Lawrence suggests and play under another tag despite being dissatisfied sans long-term security.
Luckily Lawrence never came close to having to prove his sentiment.
Lawrence was set to earn $20.5 million if he played on the franchise tag. Instead, Dallas brass and the pass rusher came to an agreement on a $105 million, five-year deal that includes $65 million in guarantees, and the most cash paid out in year-one than any non-quarterback, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Lawrence didn't take the fact that he's now the highest-paid player in the Cowboys' rich history lightly.
"Humbling to be in this situation. Thank God for everything he put me through" he said. "The contract is a big accomplishment, but my goal is still to get a (Pro Football Hall of Fame) gold jacket."
First, Lawrence must get healthy. The dynamic pass-rusher is set to undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday -- a lingering issue that helped spur both sides to the bargaining table sooner than the July 15 deadline. Lawrence reiterated Tuesday that he plans to be ready by the start of the regular season after a four-to-six-month rehab.
Paid. Happy. And hopefully soon, healthy.