Forgotten bonus from potential CeeDee Lamb extension proves he isn't going anywhere

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Michael Owens/GettyImages

If we told you before the playoffs that the Dallas Cowboys wouldn't be playing in the Divisional Round you would've laughed in our face. While the defense limped into the postseason, multiple analysts picked the Cowboys to reach the NFC Championship Game solely due to the Dak Prescott-CeeDee Lamb connection being unstoppable.

For reasons fans are still reckoning with, the Prescott-Lamb connection flamed out at the worst possible time against the Packers. Despite the loss, there's plenty to be excited about regarding Prescott and Lamb moving forward.

While Lamb technically broke out last season, 2023 was his coming out party in terms of cementing himself as a top-five receiver.

Like Prescott, Lamb is up for a contract extension this offseason. He's technically under contract for 2024 on his fifth-year option, but everyone expects the Cowboys to make Lamb one of the richest wideouts in the game.

You might think a Lamb extension would complicate Dallas' already-murky cap situation, but it would actually create some needed cap relief.

Here's how much cap space the Cowboys would save by extending CeeDee Lamb.

Even if Lamb becomes the highest-paid WR, he would save the Cowboys over $10 million in cap space, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports. In this case, giving Lamb a record-setting signing bonus would keep his 2024 base salary under $2 million. That would equate to some $10.7 million in 2024 cap savings.

That's a huge deal. According to Over the Cap, the Cowboys are projected to be $18.047 million over the cap in 2024. Only five teams -- the Broncos, Bills, Chargers, Dolphins and Saints, respectively -- are worse off from a cap standpoint.

There are avenues for Dallas to get back under the cap. Extending Prescott, whose $59 million cap charge sticks out like a sore thumb, is the easiest path. There's also the possibility of contract restructures and cap casualties.

If Corry's math is correct, a Lamb extension would lower that number to $7.347 million. A Prescott extension would add another $33 million to the pot, giving the Cowboys some $25.86 million in cap space. While there's a debate to be had whether Prescott should get a new deal, extending Lamb should be the front office's first order of business this offseason.

Much to the chagrin of fans, Dallas' front office has been slow to realize that the cap is easy to manipulate. With moves like this begging to be made, we'd expect Lamb to become the NFL's highest-paid receiver, or close to it depending on if he signs before Vikings phenom Justin Jefferson.

Just to be safe, someone should mail Corry's tweet to Jerry Jones' office.

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