- A source tells Silver: “This is no rumor; it’s legit.”
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is contemplating not reporting to the team for the start of the regular season opener unless they are able to get a long-term contract in place before the July 15 deadline.
Bryant has yet to sign his franchise tender, but his agent Tom Condon stressed that their goal remains to get a long-term deal in place.
“I’m just not going to comment about that,” said Condon. “Our goal is still to get something done on a long-term basis by the deadline.”
A source tells Mortensen that “pulling an Emmitt Smith,” which is a reference to Smith holding out of the first two games of the 1993 season for a new contract, could be a possibility.
Cowboys VP of player personnel Stephen Jones said last week 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.