An anticipated contract extension agreement between the Cowboys and Jay Ratliff is reportedly complete. According to local reports, Ratliff will receive a five-year extension worth $40 million. Of that $40 million, $19 million is reported to be guaranteed money, meaning that Ratliff will likely see the end of the contract.
Ratliff has long been regarded as one of two dominant players on the Dallas defense, along with DeMarcus Ware. He had a down year statistically in 2010 as the Cowboys defense plummetted from among the best in the NFL to among the worst, but new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has spoken in glowing terms about Ratliff, including expressing his comfort with the undersized Ratliff at the nose tackle position.
Because of Ratliff’s size, age (he just turned 30 two weeks ago) and the guaranteed money involved, the deal does carry risk. The Cowboys will have over $20 million in “dead” money on next season’s salary cap because of the releases of players like Roy Williams (29 years old), Andre Gurode (32), Leonard Davis (33), Marc Colombo (32) and Marion Barber (28). Ratliff will be older than all of those players before his deal is complete.