Dez Bryant, the standout wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, agreed Wednesday to a five-year, $70 million contract with the team, a person familiar with the negotiations confirmed. The deal includes a $20 million signing bonus, according to that person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because contract terms had not been announced publicly.
The agreement between Bryant and the Cowboys beat Wednesday's deadline for NFL teams to agree to long-term deals with players who were given the franchise tag earlier this year. Bryant had threatened to sit out training camp, the preseason and regular-season games if he hadn't been signed to a long-term contract by the deadline.
Last season Bryant had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns.
"There was never a doubt in my mind that we wanted a long-term deal with Dez," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "We just had to get the pot right."
Houston becomes highest-paid LB
The Kansas City Chiefs and Justin Houston agreed to a six-year, $101 million contract, making Houston the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.
Houston's massive new deal includes $52.5 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the terms told the Associated Press.
That makes Houston's contract the richest in franchise history, too. The only defensive player to sign a larger deal is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who agreed to a six-year, $114 million pact with the Miami Dolphins earlier this year.
The big deal is the payoff for a big season: Houston broke Derrick Thomas' franchise record with 22 sacks. He had four alone in a dynamic season-ending game against San Diego, leaving him a half-sack short of the NFL's single-season record set by the New York Giants' Michael Strahan.
Broncos' Thomas: five years, $70M
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas signed a five-year, $70 million deal. It's the richest contract in franchise history and includes $43.5 million guaranteed.
Thomas set career highs with 111 catches for 1,619 yards — a franchise record — in 2014, when he scored 11 times. Since Peyton Manning's arrival in Denver in 2012, Thomas has caught 297 passes for 4,483 yards and 35 TDs.
In that three-year span, Thomas has ranked first in the league in yards receiving, second in catches and second in touchdowns.
Pierre-Paul in limbo
As expected, injured defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul did not sign a long-term contract with the Giants.
Pierre-Paul was released Tuesday from Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital after sustaining serious injuries to his hand from a July 4 fireworks accident.
Though his franchise tag also came with a one-year, $14.8 million offer, it is unknown when Pierre-Paul will be healthy enough to return, and he has yet to sign that contract.