Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Sep 2011

Cowboys Extend Jason Witten

The Cowboys decided to pay the price to lock up perennial Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten right before the season started. According to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, Witten will sign a five-year extension worth a total of $37 million. $19 million of that is guaranteed.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 11 Sep 2011

8 comments, Last at 12 Sep 2011, 12:21pm by cisforcookie


by Anonymous(not that one) (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 9:24am

For a fan, what is the relevance of learning new contract amounts?

by Temo :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 9:38am

Is that a serious question?

by erniecohen :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 10:37am

In the world where the top teams are close to the salary cap, a team wins not by hiring the best players, but by getting the best bargains.

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 11:28am

a team wins not by getting the best bargains but by getting access to talent in the first place. Teams that draft well do well. Top players almost never leave their original teams until past their primes. A million or two here or there is nice, but that money isn't nearly as important as having exclusive negotiation rights with a player during almost the entirety of his career.

by MJK :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 12:27pm

I disagree with this. Top players often do leave their original teams. Any time a player thinks he's worth more than the team does, he is usually traded or allowed to leave in free agency.

Of course, a change in scenery often reduces a player's value, so a lot of "top" players perform more poorly after moving.

by Alexander :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 11:04pm

Julius Peppers

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2011 - 12:21pm

are you trying to make my point for me? Peppers played 8 years with the panthers. He'll be lucky to still be playing well after 4 years with the bears. DEs burn out fast and hard in their early 30s, and those who keep going past 30 tend to start missing games and playing more situationally than they had when they were younger.

The exclusive negotiating window and the franchise tag force players to re-sign with their current teams. Similarly, they force teams to re-sign their current players because the options available to replace a lost free agent in free agency are limited. The players who reach free agency tend to be one or more of (1) old, (2) complementary players/unimportant positions, and (3) injury prone/underachieving/headcases.

by zlionsfan :: Sun, 09/11/2011 - 12:54pm

The amount toward this year's cap and next year's cap is good to know when thinking about which free agents might be available to sign (or which current players could be extended); aside from that, nothing is particularly relevant. Between roster turnover and renegotiation, what you see on the books for 2013 and beyond is likely to change substantially between now and then.