Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones mentioned earlier in the week that the holdup in regards to a long-term contract extension for WR Dez Bryant has more to do with the market for solid young receivers slowing developing.
“I think a lot people want to naturally assume it’s a Dez Bryant-Cowboy issue. I think it’s a bigger issue than that right now,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “There’s three or four young receivers in this league other than Dez that are going to be looking for long term contracts.”
“No one has been able to really figure out what they think the market should be,” Jones said. “I think ultimately we’ll get this done. No one wants to have Dez long term involved with the Dallas Cowboys more so than our organization, Jerry and myself. Our goal is to get it done, get it done long term, so we can move forward and let Dez continue to make all the great plays he’s made up until this point.”
Lions WR Calvin Johnson set the bar for the receiver position at eight-years, $150.5 million and $60 million guaranteed.
Whatever deals are eventually struck with any of the aforementioned players will take into account Johnson’s contract, even if they ultimately come up short of these figures in the end.
It’s hard to speculate as to who will be the first domino to fall, but Jones’ point is well taken that teams could be reluctant to be the first team to sign a receiver, unless the deal is in line with what they’re comfortable paying.
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 ten games for Dallas last year. Pro Football Focus has Bryant rated as the No. 2 wide receiver in the league.