Monday, April 1, 2013

Quarterback Tony Romo signs six-year $108 million extension with Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys roped in a six-year contract extension on March 29 worth a total of $108 million. Reports said that he received a bonus signing of $25 million and $55 million of the contract is guaranteed. The new contract will kick in after the completion of the 2013 NFL season. Romo’s still under contract for the upcoming season and will make $11.5 million this year. The new deal will see him with the Cowboys until the end of the 2019 season.

The 32-year-old Romo now becomes the highest-paid player ever in the history of the Cowboys and the $55 million of guaranteed money is a few million more than the $52 million guaranteed that Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco signed for earlier this year when he was awarded with a six-year deal worth a total of $120.6 million.

Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, said he believes the team invested wisely in Romo and he’s confident that he will be able to help lead the club to its goal of a Super Bowl win. Romo is set to earn $19 million in each of the first three years of the new contract for a total of $57 million. After those three years have passed Romo will be 35 years old and it’s likely that the Cowboys will reevaluate the situation.

It’s highly possible that Romo will never see out the entire contract with the Cowboys. He’ll be 37 in 2017 and the Cowboys will probably ask to restructure the contract when he reaches that age or could simply release him. This is why the structure of the contract extension is important to the football team. Romo will be making the big money during the first three years of the deal while he’s still relatively young.

The Cowboys have saved themselves some salary cap room here due to the length of Romo’s new contract. Since Dallas wouldn’t have been able to tag Romo as their franchise player following the 2013 season it was important that the deal was made now. The club had to hold off on signing free agents up until Romo signed since they were worried about their salary cap space. Before Romo signed, his salary cap cost was close to $17 million for 2013 and with the extension it will be $5 million lower.

It’s unfair to judge NFL quarterbacks on playoff success and while Romo hasn’t been able to prove his worth in the postseason with just one victory in nine years, he’s certainly in the top 10 at his position. If he had played for any of the past few Super Bowl winners he also would have earned himself a ring. Romo has his critics and they will undoubtedly claim that he’s being overpaid, but the fact is that he’s an above average player and quarterbacks generally receive the best deals.

The Cowboys started to talk to Romo and his agent last summer about signing a new deal because there was a clause in his current contract that said the club couldn’t tag him as their franchise player if they hadn’t reached an agreement on a deal by the end of the 2013 season. This would have enabled Romo to test the free agency market at the completion of 2013.

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