Cowboys VP Stephen Jones tells FOX Sports Southwest that it “would be a stretch” to think they could hammer out a long-term deal with WR Dez Bryant before Monday’s deadline to use the franchise tag.
Jones confirmed that their plan is to use their franchise tag on Bryant and ensure he’s back in Dallas next season.
“I still think that it’s probably, you know, would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline,” Jones said, via FOX Sports.com. “Looks like we’re eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but certainly won’t stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal.”
Jones also mentioned that they met with Bryant’s agent earlier in the week regarding a long-term contract.
“Jerry Sr. and myself actually had a meeting with Tom Condon, his agent, Tuesday night.” Jones said. “Had a good long visit.”
According to Jones, retaining Bryant long-term is their priority, so they view this move as a way to extend the negotiating period with their star receiver.
“We just don’t want to lose his rights,” said Jones. “We think Dez is a, you know, unique player and certainly a big part of what we do in terms of what we’ve done, our success, and certainly going forward.
“You know, we got a long period of time there where we can work, continue to work on doing something long term for Dez.”
Franchising Bryant would run them close to $12.321 million fully guaranteed for the 2015 season. However, there have been reports that Dallas could use the tag on Bryant again in 2016, even though it would cost them an additional 20 percent on top of the 2015 figure.
Bryant, 26, has solidified himself as one of the best receivers in the game today and is in line for a massive contract extension at some point that will leave him among the highest paid receivers in the game.
in 2014, Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns over the course of ten games. Pro Football Focus has Bryant rated as the No. 2 wide receiver in the league.
We have Bryant listed as the No. 3 player in our Top 100 Free Agents list.