With a fairly quiet free agent season, and a few cap-casualtly releases (WR Miles Austin, DE Demarcus Ware), the Cowboys have done well to dig themselves out from under the team-building salary cap hole they've been pinned into for the better part of 3 seasons. As we head into the "lull" season of the NFL, one of the next items on the franchise's to-do list should be the long-term signing of their breakout wide receiver Dez Bryant, whose 5 year $11.81M rookie contract is set to expire after the 2014 season.
A previous projection by our premium team (a little more than a year ago) forecasted Bryant into a 5 year, $67.2M extension in Dallas. With a healthy and productive 2013 now in the books, it's safe to assume that number has increased slightly. We'll run Bryant through our projection formula, now utilizing statistics from the 2012 & 2013 seasons, to predict what the Cowboys should be putting in front of him this offseason.
|Player||Length||Value||Avg. Salary||Age When Signed|
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 (25) is younger than all of our variables at the times of their signings, we'll adjust the above contracts down to his age by adding to the overall years to make each variable player 25 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)|
|Player||Games||REC/YR||REC YDs/YR||REC YDs/G||TDs/YR|
|Calvin Johnson (2010-11, DET)||15.5||86.5||1400.5||90.4||14|
|Andre Johnson (2008-09, HOU)||16||108||1572||98.3||8.5|
|Larry Fitzgerald (2009-10, ARI)||16||94||1114||69.7||9.5|
|Mike Wallace (2011-12, PIT)||15.5||68||987.5||65.45||8|
|Dez Bryant (2012-13, DAL)||16||92.5||1307.5||81.7||12.5|
|AVERAGE PRIME %:||6.87%|
|MEDIAN PRIME %||3.07%|
Bryant not only belongs in this company, he slightly exceeds that average combined stats of our variable receivers. He'll be given positive checks across the board in terms of durability, consistency, annual improvement, and the ability to find the end zone. We'll factor in both the Average and Median percentages to show a range projection below.
|Player||Value||True Guarantees||% Guaranteed|
Length of the Contract
Our variable receiver contracts averaged out to 6.5 years. At age 25, it's fair to assume that both Bryant and the Cowboys won't want to take this contract past the age of 30 - so we'll round down to an even 5 year extension.
Value of the Contract
Bryant has overcome a few off-the-field hiccups and has settled into one of the premier receiving targets in the NFL. He broke out in 2012, and followed up with an even better and more consistent 2013. He's shown talent, durability, and the ability to score. We'll break out our MEDIAN and AVERAGE figures:
Low Value (HOMETOWN DISCOUNT)
Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage (3.07%), we're forecasting Bryant as the 3rd highest average paid WR:
5 years, $68,969,972 | $13,793,994 per year | $22,107,000 guaranteed
High Value (MAX-VALUE DEAL)
Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage ( 6.87%), we're forecasting Bryant as the 3rd highest average paid WR:
5 years, $71,512,767 | $14,302,553 per year | $22,239,000 guaranteed
We'll split the difference to offer the best-value forecast for Bryant's next contract: