Dez Bryant's Deal Gives First Clue For Jermaine Gresham Contract

With less than a week to go until the Bengals meet in Georgetown to kick off the new year -- with fans reminding anyone that will listen that the Cincinnati Bengals and NOT Baltimore Ravens are the reigning AFC North Champions -- the team remains short five drafted players. It shouldn't be long before players like Jordan Shipley, Roddrick Muckelroy and Brandon Ghee are signed with Carlos Dunlap following up before training camp. There's rarely any concern there.

And there's probably little concern regarding the Bengals first round pick, Jermaine Gresham, outside the obvious issue of some first rounders signing late. And there's little reason to believe that if he's not signed and practicing by the time training camp kicks off, it's a good bet that his absence will be short-lived.

But for the sake of having some Friday Fun-day Fun, let's guess as what deal that Gresham could sign. We're not going for specifics; just relatively in the neighborhood type of numbers.

There's several ways to figure this out -- one of which is having more adjusted numbers of players that signed contracts before and after Gresham. Dez Bryant, the first player signing a contract that was drafted in the first round, has established the first layer in the floor by inking a five-year deal worth $11.8 million with $8.3 million guaranteed. For those that do not understand what the floor means, each drafted player is slotted where they were drafted. Save for the "quarterback premium", players rarely get contracts better than those drafted before them (the ceiling) or worse than those drafted after them (the floor). Gresham won't get a deal better than defensive back Kareem Jackson or worse than what wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will sign. With Thomas and Brian Bulaga drafted after Gresham, Bryant's five-year deal won't be the floor for very long; neither player will sign a deal worse than Bryant's. However, if anything, at least we (and more importantly the procrastinating Bengals) have an idea of the floor's zip code.

On the other hand, the monetary value that Bryant received is truly null when figuring Gresham's deal. Rarely do players sign contracts worse than what the player signed slotted in the previous draft. Defensive tackle Peria Jerry was drafted 24th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and signed a five-year deal worth $10.35 million with $7.55 million guaranteed; Bryant received more overall money and guaranteed money. Where Bryant's deal could be a clue as to where Gresham may land, it's the increase Bryant received over Jerry; 12.3% base salary increase and 9% guaranteed money increase. In 2009, Alex Mack, the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, signed a $12.2 million deal with $8.3 million guaranteed.

21st Pick Year Contract Guaranteed
Alex Mack Five $12.2 Million $8.3 Million
Jermaine Gresham ? ? ?
24th Pick Year Contract Guaranteed
Peria Jerry (2009) Five $10.35 Million $7.55 Million
Dez Bryant (2010) Five $11.8 Million $8.3 Million

Factor in Mack's deal with the percentage increase that Bryant received over Jerry, and we're looking at a deal for Gresham that could be roughly a five-year deal worth $13.7 million with $9 million guaranteed. How's that for math unpracticed for nearly 15 years?

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