Cowboys Rumors: Bryant, Lee, Hitchens

Many of the league’s top wide receivers – including Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, and Vincent Jackson – have signed deals in recent years that average at least $10MM and exceed $20MM in total guarantees. While Dez Bryant didn’t cite specific figures, he suggested to Tim MacMahon of that he thinks his next contract should reflect his place among the NFL’s best wideouts.

“Yeah, I deserve it,” Bryant said of a long-term extension. “I deserve it. I feel like I do. I put the work in, but I let that kind of stuff take care of itself. It is what it is. I let my agent talk about it and give me some feedback.”

According to Bryant, agent Eugene Parker has already engaged in preliminary talks with the Cowboys about a multiyear extension. The standout receiver is slated to earn a base salary of $1.78MM along with $250K in workout bonuses in 2014, the final year of his rookie contract.

Let’s check out a few more Cowboys items….

  • Would Bryant accept a hometown discount to remain in Dallas? He was somewhat noncommittal in his conversation with MacMahon: “I’m loyal to the squad. I’ve always been. Me and my agent are going to talk about [a hometown discount]. We’ll talk about it. You know, this is big. This is life-changing. Like I said, I’ve done everything asked of me, and we’ll see what happens.”
  • In a chat with readers at the Dallas Morning News, columnist Rick Gosselin pointed out that the next contracts for Bryant and offensive tackle Tyron Smith will likely be the biggest deals of their respective careers, so it’s not fair to expect them to accept discounts. Still, Gosselin expects Dallas to keep both players around, since they’re the “shining stars in [Jerry Jones‘] draft legacy.”
  • The silver lining in the news of Sean Lee‘s torn ACL is that the linebacker didn’t tear any other ligaments in his knee, says Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter links). That means Lee can likely have surgery sooner, which advances the timetable for his recovery.
  • As the Cowboys consider options to replace Lee, rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens admits that he may not be ready to immediately step up into the starting lineup (link via “It’s going to take time,” Hitchens said. “I’ve still got to get everything down. If we had a game tomorrow, no, but it’s a good thing we don’t. I have time to get better.”
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