There’s always a relaxed, laid back atmosphere to a Friday afternoon at work. Bosses are less bossy, annoying co-workers call in sick, and the clock moves much faster. Friday has a giant, neon exit sign, and it’s inviting you to two days of bliss.
But you know what would be a really cool thing to do on a Friday after punching out following another week of serving the man? Sign a contract worth $40 million. Yeah, that would be neat. Cowboys defensive lineman Jay Ratliff can tell you how that feels.
In an agreement first reported by Pro Football Talk, the Cowboys will hand Ratliff that hefty suitcase of greenery and secure a key piece of their defensive front for the next seven years. The contract extension is for five years, and Ratliff has two years left on his current contract signed in 2006 that was worth $20.9 million. He’ll receive $18 million in guaranteed money.
The extension was also reported by ESPN Dallas, with Todd Archer noting that Ratliff was expected to officially sign the deal after the Cowboys’ Friday practice. To make this fun Jerry Jones should have offered more money for unique feats of strength during practice, but if Ratliff chose to accept his challenge there also would have been the risk of losing money if he fails. The first challenge would be simple: push-ups while left tackle Doug Free sits on Ratliff’s back.
This kind of behavior from Jones would not be remotely shocking. This is a man who sold stairwell tickets to the Super Bowl.
Ratliff is certainly worthy of a long-term contract, and we’re going to operate under the hopeful assumption that this deal is front-end loaded, and he’ll be paid a large percentage of the money in the first few years. That would be a smart business move to maximize the investment on a talented nose tackle who anchors a 3/4 and has 16 sacks over the last three years, which have all been Pro Bowl seasons for Ratliff.
But he’s also a talented player who’s 30 years old and is about to start his seventh season. Ratliff has only missed two games during his five seasons as a regular starter, but Father Time is a jerk, and can strike suddenly in the NFL. He’ll be 37 by the end of this deal.
DeMarcus Ware also signed an extension last year that will keep him in Dallas until 2016, meaning the Cowboys can now focus on addressing that atrocious secondary.