The New York Giants have a handful of big-money contracts to hand out this offseason. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley are both due for extensions and in line for big paydays after a breakout 2022 campaign. Dexter Lawrence is also due for an extension and, having emerged as one of the best defensive players in the NFL this season, his new contract should be a lucrative one. The Giants need to prioritize extending Dexter Lawrence and make him the focal point of the defense for the future.
The Giants need to prioritize extending Dexter Lawrence
This past offseason, the Giants picked up Dexter Lawrence’s fifth-year option, guaranteeing he will be under contract through the 2023 season. His fifth year is worth $12.4 million against the cap, but a contract extension could see Lawrence making upwards of $20 million per season.
“He belongs in that $20-million group now because he showed he can be a disruptive pass-rusher,” an NFL executive said to The New York Post. Lawrence’s cap hit of $12.4 million seemed like decent value entering the 2022 season, but that was before Sexy Dexy flexed his pass-rushing prowess on a grand scale.
Dexter Lawrence had a breakout 2022 regular season, posting career-highs with 68 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. Lawrence was instrumental to the success of the Giants’ defense. He was elite as both a run-defender and a pass-rusher. At only 25 years-old, Lawrence is starting to receive praise for being one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league.
“I do want to be a Giant forever. I got it tatted on me. I love this organization, the people in it and what it means. I grew up a Giants fan. If it is meant to be, it will be.”Dexter Lawrence via The New York Post
Dexter Lawrence’s new deal should position him near the top of the food chain alongside defensive linemen Aaron Donald ($31M AAV), DeForest Buckner ($21M AAV), and Chris Jones ($20M AAV). Lawrence’s rare ability to rush the passer makes him far more valuable than a traditional two-down, run-stuffing interior lineman. Other defensive linemen, like Jets First-Team All-Pro Quinnen Williams, could also get paid in excess of $20 million this offseason, resetting the market at the position. Defensive linemen are only seeing their salaries increase each year. The Giants will want to prioritize extending Dexter Lawrence for the foreseeable future before the price tag inflates any higher.
The Giants are preparing to face off against the first-seed Eagles in the Divisional Round this Saturday. Dexter Lawrence will be matched up against veteran center Jason Kelce, who was selected to the 2022 AP All-Pro First Team. This critical matchup could be a deciding factor in the game’s outcome. Dexter Lawrence has brought his A-game so far in the postseason, but a huge performance against the rival Eagles on Saturday will only serve to increase his market value this offseason.