Wednesday was a colossal day for franchised-tagged wide receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. The Dallas Cowboys and Bryant spent nearly all night Tuesday putting pen to paper negotiating his five-year, $70 million contract.
When news broke of Bryant’s new contract just hours before the franchise tag deadline, we also found out that the Denver Broncos and Thomas had agreed to nearly the same deal. It was interesting because reports were coming in earlier on Wednesday that it appeared very unlikely that Thomas would get a new contract.
Nevertheless, both deals were finalized, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claims that Thomas’ deal had nothing to do with Bryant’s. This despite earlier reports by the NFLPA that collusion charges could be filed.
“We did not, under any type of interpretation, we did not in any way have collusion,” Jones said. “I didn’t know until just a second ago watching on television the player that Denver had signed. And so there was none between the Cowboys and Denver at all.”
It would appear that the Broncos are taking the same stance:
#Broncos: “The suggestion that our club may have colluded with another team about a negotiation is completely false & without any merit.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 15, 2015
Coincidentally, both wide receivers agreed to nearly the same contract. The only real difference is that Bryant’s includes more guaranteed money.
If we are expecting the NFLPA to continue claiming collusion, that was also thrown out the window on Wednesday.
Assistant Executive Director George Atallah sent out this emoji-filled tweet when news broke that the union was investigating the Cowboys and Broncos for possible collusion:
(🐴 ➕ ⭐️) ❤️ = 😡 👎🏽🚫
— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) July 10, 2015
That was quickly replaced with a much friendlier stance when the two contracts were signed on Wednesday:
It’s amazing what $140 million can do to change perspectives.
Photo: USA Today Sports