Dez Bryant got his money. And the Cowboys have their franchise receiver locked up for the next five years. Five years for $70 million to be exact. Signed on Wednesday, the contract was penned on the final day players saddled with the franchise tag could ink a multi-year deal before 2016. So no holdout for Dez, although count me as a skeptic as to whether he would have stuck to his guns when the $750,000 per games checks didn’t arrive in September (the amount he would have made under the franchise tag this season). But I also didn’t think Jerry & Co. would allow the season to begin without Tony Romo’s #1 target in the lineup. So count me as one of the “not surprised” to see the deal get done.
Bryant’s $14 million annual average salary now makes him the league’s second-highest paid wide receiver, trailing only the Lions’ Calvin Johnson. But Bryant has jumped Megatron with his potential $45 million in guaranteed money – a record at the position. The Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas signed his own five-year, $70 million deal literally just minutes after Bryant, but received less guaranteed money (the collusion talk is not finished I fear).
According to ESPN, the deal includes $32 million in fully guaranteed money – a $20 million signing bonus and guaranteed salaries of $3 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016. That guaranteed money will increase to a total of $45 million if Bryant is still on the team’s roster on the fifth day of the league year in 2016, kicking in another guaranteed $13 million for the 2017 season, then Bryant’s base salary for 2018 and 2019 will be $12.5 million per year.
The ultimate Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens direct tweeted to Bryant – @DezBryant #OKState proud of you. We’re both rich now. Want in on #OKState football stadium? “Pickens/Bryant Stadium” Not cheap though.