2:56pm: A source with knowledge of the situation tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that “nothing would be happening soon” in regard to Bryant’s contract. That suggests no deal is imminent, though it doesn’t necessarily mean that the two sides won’t work it out prior to the July 15 deadline.
12:04pm: Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan (link via CBSDFW.com) paints a more positive picture of Bryant’s negotiations with the Cowboys, suggesting that the two sides have a good chance of finalizing a long-term agreement sometime after the holiday weekend and before the July 15 deadline. Sources tell Fisher that the Dallas front office, led by owner Jerry Jones, wants to avoid any negativity or potential unhappiness for Bryant, and hopes to make a “positive mark” heading into the 2015 season.
The two sides essentially agreed to take a break from contract talks during the long weekend, but are optimistic that an agreement can be reached soon, according to Fisher, who adds that one sticking point is the guaranteed money involved — when it will be paid and how much of it will be fully guaranteed.
8:55am: Last weekend, we heard that the Cowboys had a face-to-face meeting with Dez Bryant‘s agent Tom Condon for the first time in months, which was considered a positive sign for the possibility of the two sides working out a contract extension for the star receiver. However, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), the sitdown didn’t necessarily result in any forward momentum toward a deal. Here’s the latest on the Bryant negotiations:
- A source tells Cole that “no progress” was made between the Cowboys and Bryant’s camp at last week’s meeting. Per Cole, the Cowboys are – at least for now – unwilling to budge off their standing long-term offer, which features about $20MM in guaranteed money. That proposal also includes additional money becoming guaranteed in later years.
- According to Cole, the Cowboys believe they have the leverage in negotiations, since they don’t think Bryant would actually sit out a regular season game. Not only is Dallas skeptical that the wideout would miss regular season action after he couldn’t entirely stay away from the team’s offseason activities, but the club also believes Bryant can’t afford to miss out on pay checks. Based on his $12.823MM franchise tender, the 26-year-old would forfeit about $754K per week if he holds out during the regular season.
- July 15 is the deadline for the Cowboys and Bryant to work out a multiyear extension, so the two sides have just under two weeks to reach an agreement. Otherwise, Bryant will have to play on his one-year tender in 2015, if he wants to play at all.