Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas Beat Deadline, Sign Deals
Dez Bryant won’t be holding out, after all. Neither will Demaryius Thomas. Two of the NFL’s top wide receivers both agreed to identical deals with their respective teams on Wednesday afternoon, beating the 4:00 pm ET deadline to do so.
No Holdout For Dez
Bryant tweeted just days ago that he would in fact hold out if he and the Cowboys couldn’t come to a long-term agreement before Wednesday’s deadline. Whether it was a bluff or not, we’ll never know, as Bryant and co. fortunately agreed to terms on a five-year, $70 million deal.
There’s no doubt Bryant deserved the cash, as he put up a career high 16 touchdowns in 2014 and had the Cowboys one poorly reviewed play away from reaching the NFC title game. Dallas paid Bryant like an elite receiver, just as he should be paid, as he nets $45 million in guaranteed money and is lined up to rake in $14 million annually.
Just 26 year sold, Bryant isn’t even fully in his prime and is fresh off his third year in a row with at least 88 catches, 1,200+ yards and 12+ receiving scores.
Dallas isn’t a lock to win the NFC East or win another playoff game like they did a year ago, but holding onto their best offensive player surely helps their chances.
DT Staying in Denver
Thomas joins Bryant and Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston as the third big name to land a new deal before today’s deadline. Thomas got pretty much the same deal as Bryant, as he agreed to a lucrative five-year, $70 million contract.
Thomas gets slightly less guaranteed cash than Bryant ($43.5 million), but he’s still making about the same amount per season and is now being paid like a top flight wide receiver. Again, just like with Bryant, Thomas more than earned his hefty pay raise, as he’s now produced three straight seasons of at least 90+ receptions, 1,400+ receiving yards and 10+ scores.
Thomas had a fairly strong argument as the game’s top receiver, especially after careering in 2014 with 111 receptions and a whopping 1,619 yards. He fell just behind Bryant in the guaranteed money column, but overall is paid out quite fairly in the end.
Like Bryant, signing Thomas doesn’t guarantee anything for the Broncos in terms of wins or Super Bowl aspirations, but retaining him surely helps their odds. It’s a sound move for a team that was playing in the league’s biggest game just two years ago and still has Peyton Manning doing good things under center.
Not Done Yet
While these two elite wide receivers dominated the headlines recently due to back-and-forth contract negotiations, they’re far from the only marquee players that were trying to lockdown mega deals.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is still seeking a long-term deal and wants to be paid as much as the league leader at the position – Aaron Rodgers.
In related news, the New England Patriots got a deal done with franchise tagged kicker Stephen Gostkowski ($17 million over four years).
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