The new contract is an extension, starting in 2014, for six years. Total money is $108 million, with $55 million guaranteed, and including a $25 million signing bonus. However, in actuality, since this is an extension, it actually looks a bit different.
For Romo, six years, $108M sounds better than the real duration and dollars:seven years, $119.5M.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 29, 2013
ESPN has a more detailed breakdown of the deal up. This now makes Romo the highest paid player in Cowboys history, and the team is clearly staking the immediate future on him.
The total figure is not the important number. The new deal is only guaranteed for the first three years, which is to say the Cowboys can likely void the last half of the extension. For both sides, the important number is the $55 million guarantee. Also, this was just one of a series of contracts being negotiated this offseason. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Joe Flacco have all completed contracts, with Aaron Rodgers still working on his. While there are some negative comments about the amount of money spent, the guarantee actually slots in quite nicely with the deals that have already been done.
Most guaranteed money in NFL history: Tom Brady, $57 million; Tony Romo, $55 million; Drew Brees, $55 million: Joe Flacco, $51 million.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 29, 2013
This does look like a case where the negotiations were indeed based on the market. By putting Romo where he is, the team also made a clear statement about how they value him. Obviously, many out there disagree, but that looks about right to a lot of others.
It also helps the Cowboys with the cap issue. Several people have tweeted that the team saved $5 million in cap space, with Romo's hit gong from $16.8 to $11.818 million this year. That is not quite the $8 million being discussed earlier, but it greatly alleviates the cap restrictions the Cowboys were facing. It also explains this remark from a regular here at BTB.
Hearing celebration is short at VR. FO working through weekend.— Birddog26 (@Birddog26) March 29, 2013
The team, or more specifically Stephen Jones, is moving on. Anthony Spencer can still be signed to a new contract that will lower his cap hit, and that appears to be the next big goal.
In following the breaking story today on Twitter (which is now the only way to go when trying to keep up with developing events), it was fun to see how a lot of the same old memes are still prevalent. Multiple comments were made about how Jerry Jones overpaid his quarterback. And yet, knowledgeable writers made it clear this was not Jerry's show.
Jerry did not become directly involved until Romo met with him to sign the deal (picture here). Jerry is in charge of the team, but Stephen Jones handles the figures. And while so many are convinced that this is overpayment, it is actually right in line with franchise quarterbacks. If the Cowboys had not gotten this deal with him, he could have gone on the market.
Graziano makes the point that no one he writes about (he covers the NFC East) is as polarizing as Tony Romo. For whatever reason, he and the Cowboys are a national obsession. Any move they make is major news. If you want an idea of some of the good responses, and one particularly bad response to the news, you can check out this article at the Dallas News.
But for now, the Dallas Cowboys have one more piece taken care of. All indications are that Romo, his agent, and the Cowboys, primarily Stephen Jones, stayed calm and made steady progress all along. Romo's agent, R.J. Gonser, was quoted by Brandon George as saying that there was never any real doubt this would get done, and that Romo always intended to complete his career as a Cowboy.
The deal looks to be perfectly in line with the market, and sorts out at least some immediate cap issues. I think we should let one of his teammates have the last word.
Congrats Big Tony on the contract extension— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) March 29, 2013