We came into Wednesday’s Franchise Tag Deadline with five names to watch: Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Jason Pierre Paul, Justin Houston, and Stephen Gostkowski. Out of those five players, four deals got done.
The five players above were all Franchise Tagged in the Spring, in the midst of the free agent frenzy. Wednesday’s deadline was simple: If those players wanted long-term contracts, they had to be signed before the deadline. If they weren’t, they sign the Franchise Tender (or tag; I’ll refer to it as both).
Jason Pierre Paul was the only player who wasn’t signed Wednesday, and that makes plenty of sense. After almost blowing his hand over July 4th weekend (in which he lost his right index finger and sustained other hand injuries), it was no shocker that he wasn’t signed to a deal. After the incident occurred, the Giants pulled a deal they were preparing to offer JPP, which was reportedly worth $60 million.
We don’t know what the Giants’ plans are for JPP. He could sign the tag, go on some sort of injury list, or the Giants could cut him. It sounds like he’ll definitely miss some games early this season. There’s a lot that could happen with him. Not all of it I care about and/or understand.
Now that we’re passed who didn’t sign, let’s go through the four deals that were signed Wednesday.
Justin Houston, six years, $101 million
As a Chiefs fan, I’m stoked this deal got done. I didn’t want to risk Houston hitting the open market next Spring, and I’m sure the Chiefs didn’t either, especially if he had another monster season.
Out of the $101 million, $52.5 million of it is guaranteed. That’s a lot of guaranteed money. In fact, it’s the 2nd highest amount in the league for a defensive player, behind Ndamukong Suh.
This is a good deal from a short-term view. It locks up one of the most underrated players in the league. However, this is a long term contract. It’s six years, longer than most deals. My main concern with the contract is that the Chiefs paid him for what he’s done, not what he’s gonna do. Houston had 22 sacks last year, most in the NFL. Kansas City is paying him like he’s gonna keep doing that. This deal pays him an average of $16.8 million.
There’s a chance this contract could look bad in year four or so if the Chiefs over-valued him. But as a Kansas City fan, it bothers me too much to have that outlook.
Stephen Gostkowski, four years, $17 million
I found this hilarious. Pay your kicker $3 million (though he’s gonna average $4.3 million) and make he’s hitting over 90% of his kicks. That fact he was gonna be tagged for the 2nd straight year was ridiculous. The fact I’m spending this many words on this is ridiculous. Good for Gostkowski.
Dez Bryant, five years, $70 million
Demaryius Thomas, five years, $70 million
Coming into Wednesday, I didn’t think either one of these deals would’ve gotten done. Both players were threatening with long holdouts, that included missing regular season games.
While all this was going on, reports came out that the two teams colluded about their two players’ situations. Which, incase you’re not aware, is very much against the rules.
Here’s my biggest question about the possible collusion…. If the Broncos and Cowboys deny colluding, and wanted to truly show that they didn’t, how about giving your players different contracts!? Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas got the same exact contract; the only difference is a $1.5 million increase for Dez when it comes to guaranteed money.
Whether they did or didn’t collude, it wasn’t smart of either team to give the players the same contract, because that’ll only give more fuel to the reports.
As for the contract themselves, this was huge for each team to get these deals done. Had contracts not been signed, each player would’ve hit the market next Spring.
Let’s start with the Dez. He was easily the bigger story, since he plays for the Cowboys. Dez was threatening to holdout without a deal, which included missing games. While negotiations were going on, I wasn’t sure there was anyone to blame. I thought that Cowboys should’ve been doing all they could to get this done before the deadline, because there, in my opinion, was a chance Dez left after this season, due to a tense relationship with the Cowboys, part of it spurring from these negotiations.
Dallas is gonna be throwing the ball a lot this season since they have no running backs who can make it three weeks into the season. If Dez was gonna be absent, it would’ve been a huge deficit for Tony Romo and the offense. Dez is a top five receiver in the NFL. Him hitting the market in the Spring would not have been in the Cowboys best interest. The same goes for the Broncos with Demaryius Thomas.
I think the reason Demaryius’ situation was dimmed to the media was because the Broncos have other weapons. OK, that’s a stretch, but there’s that group of people who still think Peyton Manning is 2013-2014 Peyton Manning. People thought: “They’ll be fine, they have Peyton Manning. He doesn’t need great weapons.” But that’s the problem. He’s not that guy anymore. That’s why locking up Demaryius was so important. Manning gonna have to rely on his receivers more, not himself.
Demaryius may not be a top five receiver in the league, but he’s darn near close. The way the Broncos are paying Demaryius is like a top five receiver, which is fine, but it’s about the player’s value to the team, not how he compares to the rest of the league.
On the Brady Appeal, which is coming out today or nine months from now….
The most likely dates for the Brady Appeal to be released:
- Right before the first game of the year
- My first day of school
- Christmas Eve
Seriously, Roger Rabbit (I’m calling Roger Goodell that from now on. Why? Because remember, Roger Rabbit does comedy skits, but preforms them poorly, that’s JUST like Goodell.) this is getting ridiculous. How long does it take? I could figure this out faster.
The latest report is that if Roger Rabbit doesn’t whack off all four games of the suspension, he’s taking the thing to federal court, and’ll handle it there. I don’t think Goodell has the testicular fortitude (this is becoming one of my favorite phases. At least it won’t get me fired from anything, or suspended from school, which isn’t in session yet, thank god.) to whack all the games off, which is gonna tick Tom Brady off.
The bottom line: Brady’s gonna make sure he doesn’t miss any games. Whatever it takes.