Dallas Cowboy Wide Receiver and First Round Draft Pick Dez Bryant has signed the first contract by a 2010 First Round Draft pick. Bryant missed the previous year of college football, but was still the best wide receiver prospect entering the draft. His contract deal for the 24th overall pick is for 5 years, $11.8M and $8.3M guaranteed. The number that should stand out is the $8.3M guaranteed, which marks a 9.86% increase in guaranteed money over what the 24th overall pick of the 2009 Draft received.
In further comparison to the 2009 Draft 24th Overall pick, the total value of the 24th Contract decreased from $13.25M to $11.8M, which means that Bryant's contract is more about guaranteed money and less about total money. I believe that this contract style is due to the questionable character issues associated with Bryant, similar to the contract that our own TE Aaron Hernandez received. The difference is that Hernadez received less guaranteed and more possible money, while Bryant will receive more guaranteed and less possible money. Because Bryant is a first round selection and will most likely play out the length of his rookie contract, I believe that's why his total contract value is less than normal- Hernandez has a chance of being cut, which is why is guaranteed money is less.
So how does this contract affect the Patriots first round pick CB Devin McCourty? As the 27th Overall Pick, I believe that McCourty could be looking at a contract of greater total value than Bryant (the 27th Overall of 2009 received $12.835M), but less guaranteed money. While there may not be a direct relationship between Bryant and McCourty's contract values, I do believe that Bryant's contract has set the stage for the rest of the late first round selections to be given contracts.
I believe that the Patriots will give McCourty the basic contract that first rounders usually receive- less guaranteed and more possible. The Patriots rarely stray from the basic contracts and I believe Hernandez's deal is due to his off-field concerns. McCourty looks to be a model citizen and should receive the basic deal. Now that Bryant has signed, the dominoes have been started for the rest of the first rounders.
Look for McCourty's contract to emerge over the next week.