Despite previous reports to the contrary, the NFLPA could still pursue their collusion case against the Broncos and Cowboys, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The union is still assessing whether to proceed and has not lifted the notice requiring the teams to preserve any emails, text messages, or other documents that could be relevant to the case.
Evidence of possible collusion between the Cowboys and Broncos reportedly stemmed from a conversation that took place between Dez Bryant and Cowboys COO Stephen Jones. Jones explained to Bryant that the Calvin Johnson contract, which is the most lucrative deal for a wide receiver in the NFL, had no relevance to other receivers because of the unique circumstances surrounding those negotiations. Then, according to Bryant’s account (per the source), Jones told the receiver that he talked to Broncos GM John Elway about the situation. Because the Broncos also had franchise-tagged receiver in Demaryius Thomas, the admission that Jones and Elway communicated about the situation constitutes evidence of collusion.
Florio notes that it will be difficult for Thomas or Bryant to prove that they suffered any real financial loss, given that they both signed five-year, $70MM deals. However, there’s value to all players in exposing collusion, since it could prevent other teams from doing it in the future. As far as we know, the only real evidence the NFLPA has to prove collusion would be the testimony of Bryant. However, a discovery process could unearth a smoking gun or two to benefit their side.