With training camp starting Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys are once again the center of attention in the football world, with everyone focused on whether they'll get one of Trevon Diggs or CeeDee Lamb extended before the end of camp.
It doesn't help that Zack Martin is officially holding out due to his contract, but that's not worth panicking about just yet. As long as Martin is with the team Week 1, there's no reason to pretend the sky is falling. If there's anyone on the roster who doesn't need a perfect attendance rate at camp, it's the eight-time Pro Bowler.
Diggs was always the more pressing matter, and the Cowboys ended any and all speculation about the star CB's future by agreeing to a five-year, $97 million extension on Tuesday. The deal could reach $104 million in max value with incentives and Diggs received a $21.25 million signing bonus upfront.
It can't be overstated how monstrous it is that Dallas got this done, and one can't help but wonder if Dez Bryant helped get it over the line.
Did Dez Bryant influence the Cowboys' contract negotiations with Trevon Diggs?
"I'll say this, he [Diggs} is not trying to knock them [the Cowboys] across the head, I will say that," Bryant said last week during a Twitter Space. "And I will say they're not trying to be fair to him. And I feel like what he's asking for, he is rightfully deserving of that contract. You know, I believe it should all be guaranteed."
It appears Bryant and Diggs kept in touch during the latter's negotiations. There's no way to know for sure how much Dez knew, but it's not surprising a former player went to bat for a current player, especially with NFL running backs recently meeting on Zoom to discuss the position's declining market.
What's very eye-opening, though, is Bryant using the phrase "all guaranteed" to reference Diggs' contract. Could this have hinted at Diggs' demands? Could the two-time Pro Bowler have been seeking a short-term deal with a healthy chunk of it guaranteed?
It's all open for interpretation. Denzel Ward of the Browns makes the most guaranteed money amongst corners at $71.25 million. Jalen Ramsey is second at $72.203 million, followed by Marshon Lattimore at $68.34 million.
Per ESPN's Todd Archer, Diggs will make $42.3 million in guaranteed money.
Was Diggs' guaranteed money the root cause of potential stalled negotiations? A number of folks figured Diggs' annual salary would cause possible contention, but that's clearly not the case after Diggs agreed to less than what Ward and Jaire Alexander make per year.
Whatever the case, it appears Bryant was in Diggs' ear throughout the negotiation process, though it's impossible to say how much influence -- if any -- he had on the end product.
What a day for the Cowboys.