- Fisher mentions that the two parties are comfortable enough with the ongoing contract talks that they’re willing to take a break for holiday weekend.
- Dallas management is reportedly concerned about the negative impact that could be created by allowing Bryant to play out the year under the franchise tag while he leads a contending team, per Fisher.
It’s worth stressing that there is no agreement in place right now, and the team may not have an announcement prepared for next week, but it sounds like it’s at least a possibility.
There hasn’t been any reported progress between the two parties before this, so it’s at the very least a mildly encouraging sign that talks could continue in the weeks leading up to the July 15 deadline to negotiate with franchise players.
Bryant previously threatened to hold out of Week 1’s game unless they were able to reach an agreement on a long-term contract. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that sources around the league aren’t buying Bryant’s threat.
Cowboys VP of player personnel Stephen Jones said a few weeks ago that they are still planning to make a push to get Bryant locked up this summer, but there hasn’t been any reported progress between the two parties.
“We know he will be a Cowboy this year,” Jones said, via Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “If he ends up playing this year under the tag we will go right back to work again next year. Now would we like to get a long term deal on him? Of course we would. We’ll work hard to do that and I’m sure we’ll make a push at some point and see if we can make it work. If not, hopefully he will understand it’s difficult to make a deal at this point and he’ll come in and get ready to play.”
Dallas used their franchise tag on Bryant a few months ago, which means they’re looking at paying him a salary of $12.823 million fully guaranteed for the 2015 season. A long-term extension would offer them some immediate cap relief, but all indications have been that the Cowboys are approaching this situation with a great deal of caution.
Bryant, 26, caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns over the course of 16 games for Dallas last year. Pro Football Focus has Bryant rated as the No. 2 wide receiver in the league.
We’ll have more regarding Bryant and the Cowboys as the news is available.