Last year, receiver Antonio Bryant earned nearly $10 million as Tampa’s franchise player. Though no one expected him to average that much as an unrestricted free agent after a season marred by injury and decreased production, few thought he’d get $7 million annually on a multi-year deal.
But he did.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Bryant’s four-year deal has a value of $28 million, with another $1 million available in incentives.
It’s the same basic package the Ravens gave to receiver Anquan Boldin last week, and it’s roughly the third tier of wideout contracts beneath Larry Fitzgerald ($10 million per year) and Randy Moss and Roy Williams ($9 million).
By all appearances, the Bengals flirted with Terrell Owens to placate receiver Chad Ochocinco, and possibly to leverage Bryant. We also think that internal discussions regarding a possible run at Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall were aimed at knocking down the expectations of both of the unrestricted free agents with whom the Bengals negotiated.
In the end, it’s a big contract by Bengals’ standards — and it instantly makes Ochocinco second fiddle in Cincinnati.