The Cowboys and Dez Bryant have less than 30 hours to reach a long-term contract agreement before Wednesday’s deadline, and the wideout has threatened to miss training camp and regular season games if the two sides don’t come to terms. Here’s the latest on Bryant’s contract situation, with the clock ticking:
- The Cowboys’ offer to Bryant is more than the $12.8MM/year tag number, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That marks a significant climb from their original offer of $10MM per year over six years. Bryant, meanwhile, still wants Calvin Johnson money and one source says there’s still a “long way to go” (link). Echoing earlier reports, Rapoport says the Cowboys aren’t buying Bryant’s threat to miss regular season games (link).
- If Bryant and the Cowboys can compromise on a total dollar value that both sides find acceptable, the language regarding the voiding of future guarantees figures to become a major factor, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. According to Florio, though Bryant has avoided off-field trouble for several years, the Cowboys will likely push for language that would allow the team to void guarantees if the star receiver is suspended, or if he even just misses a practice or meeting. Bryant’s camp, of course, will attempt to restrict that sort of language.
- While not many people are taking Bryant seriously when he talks about missing regular season action, Florio suggests in a separate PFT piece that it could make sense for the Cowboys wideout to threaten to sit out 10 weeks, rather than just one or two. That would still allow Bryant to earn more than $5MM in the season’s final few weeks, which is more than he has ever made in a season before.
- Of course, Florio’s argument hinges on the fact that he believes Bryant would still be in line for a 20% raise if he sits out most or all of the season and gets the franchise tag again in 2016, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That’s not how I read the CBA — it looks to me like the 20% raise only applies if Bryant earns his full $12.823MM salary in 2015. As Florio observes though, the language in convoluted enough that it could result in a grievance, if necessary.
- Having already informed the Cowboys and Broncos that they need to preserve emails, phone records, and other records of communication, the NFLPA intends to move forward with collusion charges against the two teams if Bryant and Demaryius Thomas don’t sign long-term contracts this week, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. Based on Graziano’s report, it sounds like the NFLPA plans to go ahead with its complaint even if one of the two receivers lands a new deal this week.