1:00 PT marked the deadline for NFL franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals to avoid playing on the one-year tag, and wouldn't you know it, the biggest three of those tagged players all inked big-time contracts. Justin Houston (6 years, $101M with $52.5M guaranteed) re-upped with the Chiefs, Dez Bryant (5 years, $70M) signed on with the Cowboys, and Demaryius Thomas (5 years, $70M) with the Broncos.
It's almost as if deadlines play a part in negotiations...
Jason Pierre-Paul, who lost a finger in a July 4th fireworks accident, did not sign a deal and the uncertainty around his situation going forward was a big part in that. He'll play under the tag in 2015, hoping to prove his finger isn't an issue and that he's deserving of a big-time contract.
Both Bryant's and Thomas' contracts fall below that of Calvin Johnson, which was the benchmark for both players, but the guaranteed money they're set to make should make them happy in the long run (we're still waiting for exact numbers on that). Bryant and Thomas are two of the top young receivers in the league and the market has been re-set for their position going forward.