The full deal has yet to be released, but we’ve managed to pick up some more details about the contract signed Friday by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
The $55 million in guaranteed money includes a whopping $40 million that is fully guaranteed. (Again, $11.5 million of that already was guaranteed as a practical matter, since that was his existing 2013 base salary.)
The other $15 million is guaranteed for injury only. Half becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2014 league year, and the other half becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2015 league year.
In all, he’ll get $57 million over the first three years — a great haul, but less than Drew Brees’ $61 million over three and Joe Flacco’s $62 million over three.
As one league source explained it, it’s a “good deal for Romo, but not a crazy, market deal.”
Perhaps the most confusing aspect of the Romo deal is the timing of it. The Cowboys typically do everything big. For some reason, however, they slipped this one into the late Friday afternoon news dump on what was for many a three-day holiday weekend.
And if there’s any doubt that the transaction wasn’t carefully planned, a video was produced by the team’s official website, with Romo and his wife and son arriving in owner Jerry Jones’ office to sign the contract. So this wasn’t like the Joe Flacco deal, with an agreement in principle leaked on Friday and signed on Monday. This was a contract that was fully worked out (possibly even before the report leaked of the team’s inability to use the franchise tag in 2014) at some point before Romo and his family strolled into the Valley Ranch headquarters to apply his name at the bottom of the last page.
Even then, it’s odd that the two sides didn’t wait until Monday to finalize the contract and proclaim it to the world, getting the maximum publicity and attention. Maybe, after 17 years and counting of not getting past the divisional round of the playoffs, the Cowboys are starting to realize the only press conference that really matters is the one held the morning after the Super Bowl.