Jaylen Waddle Extension Massively Increases Contract Demand for Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb While Eagles Continue To Reap Benefits of Being Proactive

Jaylen Waddle's massive contract extension continues to put pressure on the Cowboys to sign CeeDee Lamb, while the Eagles got ahead of the market in 2024.

If the Dallas Cowboys are waiting for the NFL’s wide receiver market to cool off before paying CeeDee Lamb, they are in for a rude awakening.

The Miami Dolphins continued this offseason’s trend of signing young wide receivers to massive contract extensions by inking Jaylen Waddle to a three-year, $84.5 million deal with $76 million guaranteed.

It’s clear that Dallas’ plan to wait to sign Lamb to an extension isn’t paying off. Their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, also got ahead of the constantly increasing wide receiver market earlier this offseason.

Eagles Got Ahead of NFL’s Scorching Hot WR Market

While Waddle’s contract extension may have surprised some, it’s a direct result of the NFL’s incredibly hot wide receiver market. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman was wise to get ahead of the increase this offseason.

On April 15, the Eagles signed DeVonta Smith to a three-year, $75 million extension with $51 million guaranteed.

Although the deal was signed less than two months ago, it’s already looking like a great value following Waddle’s contract extension.

When you take a step back and compare Smith and Waddle, they have incredibly similar stats since arriving in the NFL in 2021. The duo will always be compared to each other as they were teammates at Alabama and Philadelphia actually traded out of the No. 6 selection with the Dolphins, who then selected Waddle with that pick.

MORE: Ranking the NFL’s Best WR Duos

Just 10 days after signing Smith to his extension, Philadelphia also agreed to a new deal with star wide receiver A.J. Brown, who signed a three-year, $96 million deal with $84 million guaranteed.

Looking back on the deal now, it’s quite impressive that Brown received just $9 million more in guaranteed money than Waddle did from the Dolphins.

Cowboys Under Immense Pressure To Get a Deal Done With CeeDee Lamb

While several wide receivers have signed massive contract extensions this offseason, the Cowboys are seemingly sitting on their hands.

Not only has the team barely signed any outside free agents this offseason, but they aren’t signing their best players to contract extensions.

Everyone knew the wide receiver market was going to see a massive increase this offseason. Smith, Waddle, and Brown were joined by Amon-Ra St. Brown and Nico Collins as wide receivers who signed hefty contract extensions in 2024.

Now, the NFL world waits to see who will be next as Lamb, Tee Higgins, Justin Jefferson, and Ja’Marr Chase are seeking new deals.

That is exactly why the Cowboys should have been more aggressive in signing Lamb to a contract extension earlier this offseason.

Jefferson and Chase are expected to shatter the already incredibly strong wide receiver market. The price for Lamb will only increase if the Cowboys wait for one or both of those deals to get done.

KEEP READING: Who Are the NFL’s Highest-Paid WRs?

Although the Cowboys are widely expected to be one of the top teams in the NFC in 2024, they are doing a poor job of rewarding the team’s best players. It would be wise for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to take a page out of Roseman’s book in Philadelphia.

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