We’re still almost two months away from the start of battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. Earlier this summer, we launched a new series here at PFR that will be known as the Community Tailgate. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.
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Today, we’ll be talking about today’s major franchised players who agreed to extensions with their respective teams (sorry, Stephen Gostkowski). Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston all got deals done with the deadline approaching. We want to know which extension you feel was the most surprising of the bunch.
Things got pretty frosty between the Cowboys and Bryant in recent weeks. The wide receiver threatened to hold out into the regular season if he didn’t get an extension and the NFLPA is looking into possible collusion between the Cowboys and Broncos based on a complaint from Bryant. In the end, the two sides were able to meet in the middle for a five-year, $70MM deal with $45MM guaranteed by March 2016.
All week long, we heard that there was a massive gulf between what Thomas was seeking and what the Broncos were willing to offer. Thomas was said to be seeking money similar to Calvin Johnson‘s deal but the Broncos argued that Johnson’s deal was an outlier due to the unique circumstances surrounding those negotiations. Somehow, the two parties bridged their sizable gap to agree on a deal that looks strikingly similar to Bryant’s.
While things got chippy in the Bryant and, to a lesser extent the Thomas negotiations, we didn’t hear about any discord in the Justin Houston talks. The two sides went back-and-forth quietly in recent weeks and came up with a pact worth $101MM over six years, including $52.5MM guaranteed, just beating out J.J. Watt‘s pact with the Texans. Houston fell short of Ndamukong Suh‘s $114MM+ deal, but he was never really expected to garner that kind of deal since Suh got his contract on the open market.
All in all, which deal surprised you the most and why? Let us know in the comment section below!