Coming off a pair of seasons in which he averaged 92 receptions and 1,308 receiving yards, compiling 25 total touchdowns, Dez Bryant is entering a contract year and appears to be in line for a big extension. According to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones though, there’s no rush to accelerate contract talks with the team’s star wide receiver at this point, as Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News details.
“We have Dez for several more years, as it would be under contract as well as with the league-type structure that’s available to us with the franchise [tag] and the transition [tag] and all that,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “It’s an important thing. We think Dez has made a lot of progress, but it’s something that is going to be very impactful on our team, so it’s just not necessary to move at any faster rate than we’re moving.”
Although Jones confirmed that the two sides have begun negotiating, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that it’s unlikely a deal gets done before the season. A new contract for Bryant would be pricey at this point, but waiting until after the season could increase the cost even more for the Cowboys. Another huge season would increase the 25-year-old’s stock, and as Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap points out (via Twitter), other wideouts like Demaryius Thomas and Julio Jones could sign extension of their own soon — if they’re awarded huge money, it would be hard for Dallas to pay Bryant any less.
As Jones notes, the franchise or transition tag is also an option for Bryant. Those franchise and transition numbers will increase a little for 2015, but in 2014, the cost of franchising a receiver was $12.312MM, a figure oft-repeated during Jimmy Graham‘s fight to be classified as a wideout. The transition figure was $10.176MM.