Wide receivers Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Demaryius Thomas all have uncertain contract situations going forward. With Green and Jones in contract years and Bryant and Thomas having been franchise tagged, former agent Joel Corry (of CBSSports.com) looked at the market for all four players. The entire piece is worth a read, but here’s a glance at the highlights..
- Jones could be the first to get a new deal since signing him to an extension is a top priority for the Falcons now that the draft is over. Jones is a virtual lock to receive the franchise tag in 2016 (~$14MM) and a second one in 2017 would cost nearly $17MM. The average of those two years, Corry writes, could be used as justification for a long-term deal in the $15MM per year range with over $40MM in guarantees.
- Ryan Clady‘s negotiations could shed some light on Thomas’ situation with the Broncos. Clady secured salary escalators in his deal, and a similar approach could give Thomas the ability to earn more than $15MM per year.
- Jones or Thomas getting deals in advance of the July 15 franchise player deadline for long-term deals could benefit Bryant because of the way the Cowboys have been lowballing him. Bryant became the first player in Dallas history to have three straight seasons with at least 85 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards, and 12 touchdown receptions, so he should have a good amount of leverage. However, from a negotiation standpoint, Corry feels that Bryant has done himself a disservice by showing up frequently at the team’s facilities this offseason.
- Signing Green long-term may be easier said than done because of the Bengals‘ preferred structure with lucrative veteran contracts. Historically, the team’s contracts are light on guaranteed money due to the absence of base salary guarantees. Andy Dalton‘s recent deal, which Russell Wilson apparently wants to avoid for himself, is a prime example.