Cowboys Decline LB Leighton Vander Esch’s Fifth-Year Option


Jane Slater reports that the Cowboys have informed LB Leighton Vander Esch‘s agent that they’ve declined his fifth-year option. 

According to Slater, the Cowboys are still hoping to sign Vander Esch to an extension before the end of his contract next year. 

According to Michael Gehlken, the Cowboys are expected to decline LB Leighton Vander Esch‘s fifth-year option. 

Leighton Vander Esch

A decision is due by the end of business today and Dallas has been noncommittal to this point. 

The team just drafted LB Micah Parsons in the first round and Vander Esch has a lengthy injury history that probably weighs in the Cowboys’ decision. 

The fifth-year option for Vander Esch is slated to be $9.145 million fully guaranteed in 2022, per Over The Cap.

Vander Esch, 25, was selected by the Cowboys with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s entering the fourth year of a four-year, $11.847 million dollar rookie contract that included a $6.696 million dollar signing bonus.

In 2020, Vander Esch appeared in 10 games for the Cowboys and accrued 60 total tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 53 linebacker out of 83 qualifying players. 

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