ARLINGTON, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys released information about several players being absent on the field this season, but no one quite felt the sting as linebacker Sean Lee.
Lee on the injured list did not play 80% of the defensive snaps to get his $2 million dollar bonus.
Some speculated that the team had him sit out to avoid playing out the raise.
Lee said, “It was me who decided not to play. I didn’t feel like I would be effective to help the football team. As I kept warming up (before the game), it didn’t feel better. I decided to sit. To me, it’s about being effective in the game. I’m not going to disrespect my coaches and be out there not playing the right way.”
According to the Cowboys, Lee said the terms of his contract and bonus structure was never mentioned before the game.
“They didn’t discuss anything with me,” Lee reiterated. “The decision came down to whether I could help the team or not. I’m blessed to be on this team. My main concern is finding a way for us to be a better team for next season. For me, I wasn’t going to be effective, so I had to stay off the field.”
Owner Jerry Jones said, “His value to our team, we have to protect, and he’s the first one to want to protect that,” Jones said of Lee. “So we wouldn’t under any circumstance put him out there with maybe a chance to really limit him going as far as into next year. We just wouldn’t do that. (And) we wouldn’t under any circumstances have visited with any of our players about bonuses or things like that.”
Either way ouch!