For AJ Green and Julio Jones, their contract situations are a bit different than what we saw for Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas this offseason. When it came to Bryant and Thomas, it was either a long-term deal, or a franchise tender that they would have to (eventually) sign. While both Bryant and Thomas saw their negotiations come down to the final hour, the two got their extensions and now head into the 2015 season with smiles on their faces.
Bryant received a five-year, $70 million deal that features $45 million in guaranteed money. Not surprisingly, Thomas’ was right on par with that, coming in with five-years, $70 million and $43.5 million guaranteed. Both deals are great for the receivers, and obviously have two franchises who are thinking Super Bowl happy that they have their top receivers locked in, but these deals mean even more than that.
For Green and Jones, who head into the final year of their contracts, they’ve both said they’ll simply remain focused on playing while the deals work themselves out. This, in turn, means that the pressure will be on their agents to work on new deals, which also means that they’ll be using the new deals for Bryant and Thomas as a negotiating point. How does $14 million per year sound? I’m sure if you asked Green and Jones that, both would be pretty happy to land long-term extensions that feature that type of money and similar guarantees.
It’s a complete unknown how the future will look for Green and Jones, but it’s safe to assume that both will get the franchise tag next offseason if they can’t work out a new deal after the year. Even with that said, the market has now been set for the two young stars and we should probably expect the numbers to be similar to what we just saw Bryant and Thomas receive.
The excitement of the negotiations for Bryant and Thomas is now over, which means one thing. It’s time to finally focus on training camp and getting ready for a huge 2015 NFL season, which should feature plenty of excitement. Fortunately for fans of the Cowboys and Broncos, that excitement will feature two No. 88’s on the field all season long.