Houston became the highest-paid linebacker in National Football League history Wednesday when he agreed to a six-year, $101 million contract, over half of which is guaranteed, hours before the Wednesday deadline for players who had franchise tags to sign long-term deals.
As said by NFL.com, Bryant will receive $70 million over the length of the new pact, $45 million of which is guaranteed. The Chiefs were forced to put the franchise tag on him, which would have been a one-year deal worth about $13.1 million.
The three-time Pro Bowler is coming off his best season: He caught 111 passes for 1,611 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014.
The Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos locked up their respective receivers with very similar five-year, $70million contracts after the teams were accused of colluding. As said by Rapoport, the Cowboys offer of $12.83 million per season bodes well for Cowboys fans but he also expressed doubt that Bryant’s threats of sitting out training camp and regular season games were legitimate. “I couldn’t even say nothing but just smile and laugh, because I couldn’t believe it”, Bryant said in a story on the team’s website.
In case you may have missed it, the NFL Player’s Association was prepared to pursue collusion charges against the Cowboys and Broncos if Bryant and Thomas hadn’t received their new deals prior to the league’s Wednesday afternoon deadline. As reported by McClure, the Falcons have said they want to keep Jones, and the receiver has not threatened a holdout the way Bryant did before he got his new contract.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones met with Bryant during a recent visit by the receiver to the Cowboys’ minicamp.
The Cowboys opted to franchise Bryant in March rather than 2014 rushing champion DeMarco Murray, so there was almost no chance Dallas was letting Bryant get away.
With financial security and his mother’s pending freedom, Thomas can focus on adjusting to new coach Gary Kubiak’s offense now. The folks over at Broncos blog Mile High Report are taking it well, with “Yes” dominating the “Do you like this deal for Thomas?” poll option.
Thomas told The AP this spring he also didn’t think his absence from the offseason program would hamper his timing with Manning, suggesting their three years together gave him confidence “we can pick up where we left off” whenever he signed his deal.
The final issue is how much Bryant would count against the salary cap this season.