Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Saturday that he wants free agent WR Dez Bryant signed to a long-term, rather than franchised this offseason, per Clarence Hill.
However, Jones acknowledged they have not had any real contracts talks in months. Jones did say that they’ve spoke to Dez this week, but they haven’t talked to his agents.
Both Hill and Ian Rapoport have confirmed that there are no meetings scheduled between the two parties.
Numerous reports have said that the Cowboys will use their franchise tag Bryant in the coming weeks.
Jason Cole expects Bryant to sit out for most of the offseason if/when he receives their franchise designation.
However, Cole added that the Cowboys are not only prepared to franchise Bryant this year, but also in 2016 because aren’t interested in meet his current asking price.
Bryant is reportedly seeking a similar deal to Calvin Johnson‘s eight-year, $150.5 million contract that includes $60 million guaranteed.
Cole adds that while Dallas does love him as a player, they still don’t trust him as a person.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones recently confirmed they’re “leaning” more towards franchising Bryant in the coming weeks, but added that they haven’t closed the door on reaching an agreement on a long-term deal.
“Right now all things being equal, it’s leaning more Dez with the franchise than it is not,” Jones said, via Rainer Saban of the Dallas Morning News. “But that doesn’t mean it will stay that way.
“We don’t ever want to give up on a long-term deal,” Jones continued. “It’s something we worked on all of last year and it kind of cooled off once we got into the season. We’ll continue to see what our options are and things happen quickly as you go along. Things can go along with a lot not going on, but all of a sudden it happens.”
Franchising Bryant would run them close to $12.321 million fully guaranteed for the 2015 season. To do it again in 2016, they would be looking at a 20 percent increase.
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.
This season, 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.