Contract Forecast: Dez Bryant

Contract Forecast: Dez Bryant
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Contract Forecast: Dez Bryant

His quarterback is newly and plentifully extended, and the other offensive pieces around him (Miles Austin, Demarco Murray, and recently Jason Witten) have trouble staying healthy for long periods of time. All signs point to Dez Bryant being the focal point by which the Cowboys plan around in 2013, and quite possibly a monster statistical season for the 3 year receiver.

With that being said, our Premium NFL team analyzes the financial & statistically comparisons to forecast an extension the Cowboys should offer Bryant THIS offseason - assuming that waiting another year may cost them plenty more.

It should be noted that a recent prediction for Giants WR Hakeem Nicks has been qualified as a model for our analysis with Bryant.

Quick Points
  • His 12 TDS in 2012 was 3rd among receivers (James Jones GB, Eric Decker DEN).
  • His 92 Receptions in 2012 accounted for 41% of passes caught by Cowboys' WR.
  • He has 11 TDs, 52 rec., & 602 yards more than Demaryius Thomas - the only WR taken ahead of him in the 2010 draft.
  • According to Pro Football Focus, his two biggest weaknesses are Blocking and Penalties.
Comparable Wide Receivers
Dez Bryant will be 25 in November of 2013, so we'll assume he's 24 for purposes of this report - a very young age when considering a major contract extension.

Calvin Johnson
The most important factor to mention here is the inclusion of Detroit WR Calvin Johnson - who's been left out of all other Wide Receiver forecast analyzations due to the large gap in statisical comparison. Bryant is the first receiver to come fairly close in "type" and "production" - a big receiver, generally un-coverable, who scores every week.

To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Calvin Johnson 7 $132 million $18,857,143 25
Pierre Garcon 5 $60 million $12,000,000 26
Dwayne Bowe 5 $56 million $11,200,000 27
Andre Johnson 7 $67.8 million $9,685,000 28
Roddy White 6 $42.7 million $7,120,000 27
Averages 6 $68,204,000 $11,072,571 26.6

Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Wide Receivers in the NFL

Because Bryant (24.5) is younger than all of our variable receivers, we'll bring the above contracts down to his age by subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 24 years old. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
6 $78,249,887 $13,041,648
Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the two years prior to signing their second contract by showing Games Played, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving Yards/Game, and Receiving TD.The results will provide is with an indication of his "prime" value prior to signing a potential extension.
Player Games Receptions Rec Yards REC Yards/Game REC TD
Calvin Johnson (2010-11, DET) 15.5 86.5 1400.5 89.9 14
Pierre Garcon (2010-11, IND) 15 68.5 865.5 57.6 6
Andre Johnson (2008-09, HOU)16 108 1572 98.25 8.5
Dwayne Bowe (2011-2012, KC) 14.5 70 980 67 4
Roddy White (2007-08, ATL) 16 85.5 1292 80.75 6.5
Averages 15.4 83.7 1222 78.7 7.8
Dez Bryant (2011-12, DAL) 15.5 77.5 1155 74.15 10.5
% Difference 100% 93% 94.5% 94.2% 134%
Our results here show that Bryant is nearly status quo in most categories, with the exception of maybe the most important - Touchdowns. Without including Calvin Johnson, Bryant's 10.5/year TD average would have taken these averages through the roof. Factoring the total percentages across the board brings us to a Prime Percentage of 103.1%, a figure we'll add into our previously determined base value.
Guaranteed Money
Nearly a year removed from his last offseason confrontation, Bryant and the Cowboys have shown great strides in stabilizing the trust and durability of his NFL career early on. These measures combined with elite statistics mean big time guaranteed portions of this new deal. We'll break down our averages below:
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Calvin Johnson $132,000,000 $53,250,000 40.3%
Pierre Garcon $42,500,000 $11,000,000 31.8%
Andre Johnson $67,800,8000 $15,000,000 22.1%
Dwayne Bowe $56,000,000 $20,000,000 35.7%
Roddy White $42,720,000 $18,600,000 43.5%
Adjusted Regression 33.8%
Length of the Contract
With two years remaining on his 5 year rookie contract we'll be realistic in assuming that an extension right now would add 5 years to the remaining figures.

Value of the Contract
Our initial age-adjusted regression provided an average annual salary just north of $13M. Even with the inclusion of arguably the best "big" receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson, Bryant held up a positive Prime Percentage (103%). When factoring this into both our initial contract value and guaranteed money percentage we're able to forecase the following:
Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $67,164,486
Average annual salary $13,432,897, estimated $22.7 million in guaranteed money