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A.J. Green, Julio Jones & Von Miller and the next wave of NFL mega deals

Wednesday's NFL spending frenzy raises the stakes for 2016. Plus, reactions to the deals and more essential NFL news to start your day.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Four players got $258 million worth of contracts on Wednesday. It was a series of moves that will have big ramifications on the free agent market next year. How's that you ask?

NEXT MEN UP: A.J. Green of the Bengals and Julio Jones of the Falcons are scheduled to be free agents next year. They won't get that far because if we learned anything from the Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas deals, it's that teams just don't let top flight receivers walk. Green, for now, wants to avoid drama. Jones has been quiet about contracts too, for a guy who can demand as much as $15 million per year.

MILLER TIME: Von Miller had to be pretty stoked about Justin Houston's $101 million contract. He's up for a new deal next year and has a half sack more than Houston, 49 to 48.5, since both players entered the league in 2011. John Elway says the Broncos have a plan for Miller's contract too.



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PROVE IT: Houston reminded everyone that you "still has to prove yourself" after signing a nine-digit contract.

GROWN UP: The real message in Dez Bryant's deal might be just how much he's matured from his earlier days.

HIGHEST PAID: Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is now the highest paid player in the league at his position. In fact, the Patriots sign someone to record-setting contracts every year, really.

REMINDER: Broncos fans greeted happy news with a look back at why Demaryius Thomas is worth $70 million.

MOST IMPORTANT TWEET: "Sacks gets stacks."


MOVING MOMENT: Devon Still's speech from the ESPYs last night ... go watch it.

SUPER MAN: The Raiders punter wore a Superman outfit to the ESPYs.

DRAFT DATE: The NFL announced the dates for the 2016 draft and the rest of the league calendar.

STRUGGLE IS REAL: is in the midst of the franchise pain rankings, and it's a fun series (well, maybe not for fans of these teams).

KROMER COURT DATE: Bills OL coach Aaron Kromer is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 12 for beating up a 5'8, 140-pound minor. Kromer is 6'4, 215 pounds.

MATCHING GAME: Can the Steelers defense be as good as the offense? They're one of four teams with a major imbalance in offensive vs. defensive performance.