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Predicting what a new contract for Trevon Diggs could look like

Calculating the cost of Trevon Diggs’ new contract with the Cowboys.

NFL: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Stephen Jones spoke with 105.3 the Fan. In his radio interview, Jones discussed a litany of topics surrounding America’s Team. One subject was the important matter of addressing potential new contracts of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and cornerback Trevon Diggs.

When asked, Jones said extending both players was “on our radar.” Jones further explained:

“As we move forward, that’ll become a bigger priority here as we move past the draft,” Jones said. “We’ve historically signed a lot of guys during that training camp period to extensions. But guys like CeeDee Lamb and Diggs are certainly on our radar in terms of guys that we’d love to have around here for another five, six years, whatever that turns out to be.”

When it comes to Lamb, the Cowboys have a bit more flexibility. The team picked up Lamb’s fifth-year option and secured his rights through the 2024 season. With Diggs, however, the Cowboys do not have that luxury or time. Digg’s contract will expire at the end of this upcoming season and the fourth-year veteran is looking to cash in.

Since being taken with the 51st pick of the 2020 NFL draft, Diggs has been a steal for the Cowboys, playing far beyond his draft status. In his rookie season, the Dallas defense was abhorrent, but Diggs was one of the few bright spots snaring three interceptions in a season that was cut short by injuries.

The next season, Diggs was elected to the Pro Bowl, and earned First-Team All-Pro honors, after recording eleven interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. Diggs was the eighth cornerback taken in his draft class and so far his career has surpassed all seven taken ahead of him, having more takeaways and Pro Bowl selections than all of them combined. In such a short career, Diggs has already made himself one of the most decorated Dallas Cowboys cornerbacks in recent memory, which includes the likes of Terence Newman and Byron Jones. Diggs is certainly worthy of a new contract. The only question is how much?

In Jones’ words, he said that he was looking to retain Diggs and Lamb for five or six years. Let’s take five years in this scenario since it’s reminiscent of the last large contract a cornerback was given in Dallas. Brandon Carr signed a five-year deal in 2012 as a free agent from Kansas City which was at the top of the free agent market, and Diggs likely will ask to do the same with his new contract. As it stands, the three highest-paid cornerbacks in yearly salary are as follows: Jaire Alexander $21M, Denzel Ward $20.1M, and Marshon Lattimore $19.5 M. Each of these contracts reset the current market when signed, with Alexander’s being the most recent.

The other factor to consider is the guaranteed money of Diggs’ proposed contract. In using the contracts of Ward, Alexander, and Lattimore, the guaranteed money of their respective contracts vary but it stands to reason that health is the factor for that. For example, Ward was mostly healthy before securing his contract with the Cleveland Browns and therefore had 70% of his total contract guaranteed ($71.5M). On the other hand, Alexander played in only four games of the season before signing a four-year, $84M contract with Green Bay but only 35% was guaranteed. ($30M)

With that information as a foundation, we can take an educated guess at Diggs’ new contract. Let’s predict that Diggs’ new yearly salary is 23M annually. Plus, let’s also factor in Diggs’ age and very good durability thus far in his career. It’s not unreasonable for Diggs to demand that 60% at least of his total contract is guaranteed. That leaves us with an expected contract of five-years, $115M with $69M guaranteed.

The other question you must ask yourself is, does this deal happen? Stephen and Jerry Jones have been known to make a spectacle of contract negotiations publicly as they did with quarterback Dak Prescott. It’s not beyond reason for them to do it again and make the negotiation a daily soap opera on sports debate shows and not taking initiative to secure a deal quietly and swiftly. They could also resort to a franchise tag to prolong the negotiations.

Another possible scenario is if Diggs chooses to not play into the financial fiasco and ends negotiations during the season if a new deal is not struck before the start of the regular season. Jones’ stagnancy on contracts could backfire and the conversation of the Diggs brothers playing together could take an unexpected twist. Instead of older brother Stefon coming to Dallas, why not Diggs looking to play with his brother in Buffalo? The Joneses need to act fast and there will be a price to pay whether they like it or not.

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