Maybe the Cowboys and Broncos were colluding all along, but Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas may be too busy cashing checks to care all that much.
Minutes after word of Bryant’s five-year, $70 million contract with the Cowboys broke, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Broncos and Thomas have agreed to a multi-year contract. The general terms will sound quite familiar to anyone who read the previous sentence.
Per Schefter, it’s a five-year, $70 million contract for Thomas as well. We don’t have all the details of the deal yet, but there is at least one point where the deals don’t match up. Bryant got $45 million guaranteed from the Cowboys, but Thomas’s deal comes with $43.5 million guaranteed.
There were reports that the NFLPA was going to pursue collusion charges against both teams if the players did not sign long-term deals before Wednesday’s deadline to lock up franchised players beyond the 2015 season because of comments Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones made to Bryant about talking to Broncos General Manager John Elway about the two players. Signing two deals with the same total value may not do much to counter the notion that the two men discussed their franchise-tagged receivers, but it likely takes the steam out of a fight since both players got what they wanted.
Five players received franchise tags this offseason. With Bryant, Thomas, Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Houston agreeing to deals on Wednesday, only Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is poised to play out the year on the tag.