FRISCO, Texas – In an offseason of obvious change, at least something will be staying the same.
After taking some time to weigh his options, Sean Lee reportedly will re-sign for a one-year deal that will keep him with the Cowboys for an 11th season.
The deal is expected to pay Lee $4.5 million, with $2 million fully guaranteed. He returns for another season as one of the primary members of the Cowboys' linebacker corps, alongside Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith.
Lee will turn 34 this summer, but he turned back the clock a bit last season. He initially started the 2019 campaign as the Cowboys' No. 3 linebacker, manning the strong side for the first time in his career. But with a neck injury bothering Vander Esch, he stepped in and started the final 10 games of the season, displaying the same instincts and tenacity he has always been known for.
In total, Lee appeared in all 16 games last year, starting 13. He finished with 109 tackles, four tackles for loss and his first interception since 2017 – a dazzling, 25-yard return in a 44-21 win against the Rams.
It was the type of performance that should give the Cowboys peace of mind. Vander Esch underwent neck surgery after the season, and Smith was inconsistent in 2019. Lee's presence should provide an enviable safety net.
In December, Lee wasn't ready to speculate on his future, though he did affirm his love for the organization that drafted him.
"We'll see, the future, but I love being here," he said. "I love that it's a family atmosphere. Unbelievable players. It's been a blessing to be here."
Originally drafted No. 55 overall back in 2010, Lee is one of the longest-tenured players on this roster. He has appeared in 112 career games, totaling 782 tackles and an impressive 14 interceptions.
Of course, one of the biggest narratives of Lee's career is how much more he could have done if he had better luck with injuries. He missed the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL, and he has missed multiple games in six different seasons.
Despite that, Lee has been one of the Cowboys' most consistent playmakers for nearly a decade. For at least one more season, he'll continue doing so as part of one of the most talented linebacker units in the NFL.