The Dallas Cowboys are giving themselves a collective pat on the back this week after securing star wide receiver, Dez Bryant, to a new long-term contract.
Getting the deal done in time before the franchise tagged player's deadline expired on Wednesday evening was no small feat and Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, knows that more than most.
Making things tough
Speaking to the media in the aftermath of a successful negotiation, Jones revealed that it was the situations of two fellow NFL stars that caused a major headache when it came to securing Bryant's Dallas future.
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"They were problematic," explained Jones when asked how the mega contracts of Larry Fitzgerland and Calvin Johnson had impacted his own situation with Dez Bryant.
"They did set a false financial perspective as it relates to the NFL pay structure. That was a big part of the issue, and that was part of the challenge as late as three o'clock in the morning Tuesday night."
The deals Jerry Jones is referring to are the eight-year, $120 million contract signed by Fitzgerald back in and the eight-year, $150.5 million Megatron deal that remains the biggest in NFL history for a wide receiver.
A different game
With Dez Bryant having been far out in front of the duo in terms of touchdowns scored over the past two years (Bryant - 29, Johnson - 20, Fitzgerald - 12) the number 88 was well within his rights to demand a contract nearing those huge figures.
The Johnson and Fitzgerald's deals, though, were for players drafted into the NFL before the collective bargaining agreement put pay to wild rookie pay checks. So, whilst the current crop of top WR talent may feel they deserve parity, in reality that simply isn't possible at this point.
Getting that point across a negotiating table cannot be easy.
Bryant's team, of course, were aware of the financial implications but using Johnson and Fitzgerald's deals as leverage was always going to make the Cowboys' task more tricky.
As it stands though all sides are now happy and concentrating on several more years together.
Another interesting revelation from Jerry Jones regarding Bryant's eventual five-year, $70 million deal which goes some way to showing how the wide receiver has developed in recent seasons is that there are no "Dez Rules" in the 2015 deal.
Bryant's supposed off-field issues in his early career had led the Cowboys to treat him with kid gloves. Now a proven star of the league however it looks like Dallas are ready to cut Dez Bryant a little slack.
NFL fans: Will any player ever get a deal as big as Calvin Johnson's again? Have your say in the comments below...
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