Details, Reactions On Bryant/Thomas Deals

Reports earlier this week suggested neither Dez Bryant nor Demaryius Thomas had better than a 50/50 chance of signing an extension this week, so it came as a bit of a surprise yesterday when both players got deals done with their respective teams. We examined a few specific details of those contracts earlier today, and now we’ll round up a few more notes and reactions related to the pair of extensions. Let’s dive in….

Bryant negotiations:

  • Although Bryant admitted that going through his contract situation this summer was “extremely hard,” he reiterated on Wednesday that he was willing to sit out regular season games if he didn’t get a new deal (link via Dallas Morning News). “I am that guy that, I have to stand by my word, because that’s how I want to raise my babies,” Bryant said. “It was all me. It was honest.”
  • Appearing on 105.3 FM in Dallas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones answered a few specific questions about the negotiations with Bryant, noting that the “false financial perspective” set by Calvin Johnson‘s and Larry Fitzgerald‘s contracts was problematic during contract discussions. The Dallas Morning News has that quote and several more from Jones.
  • During his own radio appearance in Dallas, executive VP Stephen Jones also discussed the deal in some depth, admitting the Bryant negotiations were among the most difficult the Cowboys have ever had. Once again, the Dallas Morning News has the details.

Thomas negotiations:

  • Broncos general manager John Elway told reporters, including Troy Renck of The Denver Post (Twitter link), that there wasn’t any movement from June 1st until Wednesday morning on Thomas’ deal. At that point, talks between the two sides reignited and led to a five-year, $70MM deal being reached.
  • Elway also explained that keeping Thomas and locking him up long term was the first step in keeping this Broncos team together, tweets James Palmer of NFL Network.
  • According to Mike Klis of 9News, the Broncos had a seven-year, $100MM offer on the table for Thomas, but the Pro Bowl wideout opted for the five-year, $70MM pact instead. While the seven-year deal looks more impressive on paper, and would’ve increased the average annual value of the extension, those final two years essentially would’ve been risk-free options for Denver, so it’s not a surprise that Thomas chose the shorter deal.

Potential impact of Thomas/Bryant deals on other players:

  • Now that Thomas and Bryant have gotten something done, there’s a “general sense” around the Falcons that Atlanta could lock up Julio Jones by the start of training camp, despite a lack of progress so far, according to Vaughn McClure of The Falcons’ camp is scheduled to get underway two weeks from Friday.
  • After seeing the deals signed by Bryant and Thomas, Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton might be hearing cash registers in his head. The 25-year-old Hilton, who has back-to-back seasons of 80-plus catches and 1,000-plus yards, is entering the final year of his deal, and issued the following tweet on Wednesday: “All this BREAKING NEWS. Does this mean the bar is set?? #THEGHOST”
  • Hilton will have a hard time demanding a contract in the same range as the five-year, $70MM extensions signed by Bryant and Thomas, but those deals help to reset the market for receivers, and should benefit the Colts wideout in other ways, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.

Other Thomas/Bryant leftovers:

  • While collusion between teams during contract negotiations isn’t permitted, players and agents are allowed to talk, and it was legal collusion between agents Tom Condon and Todd France that helped both Bryant’s and Thomas’ extensions get done, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Condon’s agency, CAA, is on the verge of buying France’s agency, Five Star Athlete Management, and the two agents took advantage of their new relationship.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap examines how the Bryant and Thomas contracts compare to one another, as well as how the deals match up to those signed by a few top players at other positions.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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One comment on “Details, Reactions On Bryant/Thomas Deals

  1. Dallas Robinson

    Despite his production, I think Hilton will still be hampered by his size (5’10”, 180). Thomas and Dez are both over 6’2″ and around 230 pounds. Hilton isn’t a slot guy like Randall Cobb, but I bet he’ll get a deal that’s closer to Cobb’s than to Thomas or Dez.

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