Posted Thu Jul 22nd by Jon Heath
On Thursday rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant signed with the Dallas Cowboys. The 24th overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft signed a five-year, $11.8 million deal that includes $8.5 million guaranteed, ESPN reports.
Of the 32 1st round draft picks, Bryant is the first to sign. Being the first, he may set off a chain reaction of signings. Two picks before the Cowboys chose Bryant, the Broncos drafted fellow receiver Demaryius Thomas. Bryant’s $8.5 million dollar guarantee may be a key factor in the Broncos negotiations with Thomas, as well as Tim Tebow.
The Cowboys start their Training Camp in two days, the Broncos on the other hand have more time to finalize contracts, as their rookies won’t be reporting until Monday (the 26th). The Broncos four drafted rookies currently under contracts are J.D. Walton, Jammie Kirlew, Syd’Quan Thompson and Perrish Cox, with Walton the only high draft pick (3rd round). According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Eric Decker and Eric Olsen’s contracts are all but signed. Once the Broncos sign them, only OL Zane Beadles, Tebow and Thomas will remain unsigned.
Last season’s first rounders Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers each held out while negotiating contracts, which possibly affected their rookie seasons negatively. There is no real way to know, but Ayers’ lack of production could partially have been a result of lack of knowledge of Denver’s defensive scheme.
This year the Broncos are hoping Thomas and Tebow won’t miss any practices while holding out for a bigger contract. The signing of Bryant may speed up the rookie signing process for the Broncos. The bar has been set to what a 24th pick is worth, now the Broncos should be able to calculate what a 22nd round pick is worth.
Pigskinology.com has a nifty little chart predicting the 2010 first rounders’ guaranteed money in their contracts. According to their calculations, Thomas can expect $8,747,615, with Tebow getting $8,728, 934. I expect a lot of signings over the next week, let’s hope the players agree with the Broncos on their worth, and not try to pull a Michael Crabtree.