Dez Bryant

Cowboys Meet With Dez Bryant

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has indeed met with veteran receiver Dez Bryant, but the club has not asked him to accept a pay reduction at this point, per Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).

Bryant is due a $12.5MM base salary in 2018, and will count for $16.5MM on Dallas’ salary cap. If he’s released, the Cowboys would save $8.5MM but still be on the hook for $8MM in dead money. Dallas could designate the 29-year-old Bryant as a post-June 1 release and in turn save $12.5MM in 2018 space, but that extra room wouldn’t be available until June. As such, it wouldn’t help the Cowboys sign free agents in March.

Bryant has managed to get into the end zone 14 times over the past two seasons, but he hasn’t topped 1,000 yards since the 2014 season. 2017 also marked the first year that Bryant was able to stay healthy for all 16 games since that 2014 season. Bryant only posted 69 receptions and 838 yards, however, which isn’t in line with a salary that makes him the NFL’s eighth-highest-paid wideout.

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Receiver Notes: Landry, Dez, A-Rob, Evans

No players have dominated the news more in the last two days than Jarvis Landry and Richard Sherman. On Friday, the Browns kicked off their trading spree by landing the Dolphins wideout in a deal for draft picks. Earlier in the day, Sherman was released from the Seahawks and then signed with the division-rival 49ers Saturday Night.

The two possibly could have been connected on the transaction wire earlier in the 2017 season if a blockbuster deal would have gone through. That’s according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who tweets that Seattle rejected a potential Landry-for-Sherman swap in 2017.

At the time of the proposed deal, presumably before the trade deadline, Sherman was healthy and the Seahawks were looking to advance to the postseason for the sixth consecutive. Trading away a key member of the secondary and an influential figure in the locker room doesn’t appear to make much sense.

Regardless, it is interesting both teams were looking to move on from their respective stars as early as October.

Here’s more receivers making news:

  • Before both of those deals went down, Mike Evans grabbed headlines by signing a five-year deal with the Buccaneers worth $82.5 MM. Breaking down the details, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry tweets the Bucs will $5 MM of salary cap space in 2018 and he now takes up $18.25 MM of cap room.
  • During a chat with the Dallas Morning News on Friday, Matt Mosley said his gut feeling is that Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant will be back in 2018. He said that could change if the team lands a receiver in the first round. Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, among others, could be on the board when the Cowboys pick at No. 19.
  • Though they didn’t place the franchise tag on him, the Jaguars do in fact like Allen Robinson and would like to have him back at the right price, general manager Dave Caldwell told Pro Football Talk. “At some point in time, just like other free agents, we’ve walked away. We don’t want to do that with Allen because he’s ours. We’ll see. We have a lot of options on the table with that.”

Cowboys Owner Wants To Keep Dez Bryant

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants Dez Bryant to be a member of the Cowboys next offseason (via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Of course, it remains to be seen if Dallas can accomplish that with the wide receiver’s $16.5MM cap hit looming large. Dez Bryant

The reason we don’t discuss contract is that it is implies there is an issue with the contract,” Jones said. “That is not fair to imply that there is anything until we sit down and announce we have done something one way or another. It takes two. It takes him and us to do anything with his contract. I’m going to leave it at that. You have asked me as I sit here do you want him on the team next year, and my answer is yes.”

Jones indicated that the Cowboys will meet with Bryant and/or his reps before free agency starts on March 14. We shouldn’t expect the Cowboys to pitch Bryant on an extension, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Rapoport’s “understanding” is that the Cowboys will ask Bryant to take a pay cut or adjust the contract in some other fashion for the upcoming year. Still, moving on seems like the last resort for the Cowboys, he says.

Bryant is due a $12.5MM base salary this season. If the wide receiver is not amendable to an outright pay cut, the team look for him to slash his base pay with an equal raise in incentives. If Bryant can come close to reprising his 2014 season (88 receptions for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns), then he’ll be well worth the money. If he falls closer to his last three seasons (an average of 50 catches for 678 yards and six scores), then the Cowboys will want to pay him appropriately.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

The Cowboys have yet to make a decision on whether veteran wideout Dez Bryant will be with the club in 2018, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.Dez Bryant (vertical)

“I don’t have a time frame just yet,” said Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones. “Obviously, it’s going to happen sooner than later. … We have to continue to work on our end and see where we are gonna end up on it.”

Bryant is due a $12.5MM base salary in 2018, and will count for $16.5MM on Dallas’ salary cap. If he’s released, the Cowboys would save $8.5MM but still be on the hook for $8MM in dead money. Dallas could designate the 29-year-old Bryant as a post-June 1 release and in turn save $12.5MM in 2018 space, but that extra room wouldn’t be available until June. As such, it wouldn’t help the Cowboys sign free agents in March.

Bryant has managed to get into the end zone 14 times over the past two seasons, but he hasn’t topped 1,000 yards since the 2014 season. 2017 also marked the first year that Bryant was able to stay healthy for all 16 games since that 2014 season. Bryant only posted 69 receptions and 838 yards, however, which isn’t in line with a salary that makes him the NFL’s eighth-highest-paid wideout.

Speaking at the scouting combine today, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett also sidestepped the issue of Bryant’s roster status. “We have a tremendous amount of love for Dez Bryant,” said Garrett, who indicated Dallas has yet to discuss personnel decisions (Twitter link via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “He’s been a great player for us for a long time.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dez Bryant Discusses Contract Situation

There have been recent rumblings that the Cowboys could approach Dez Bryant about taking a pay cut. Appearing on the Ben and Skin radio show on 105.3 The Fan, the wideout said the organization hasn’t yet approached him about his contract.

Dez Bryant“I just think it’s crazy,” Bryant said (via Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram). “I’ll be straight up honest. I think everything I’ve got, I deserve it. And I can get into way more details with that, but I’ll leave that up to when it’s time for me to sit down and talk with the Joneses – whenever that is.”

After signing a five-year, $75MM deal back in 2015, Bryant is set to earn a $12.5MM base salary next season. He’ll also have a $16.5MM cap hit in 2018, the third-highest mark among wide receivers.

Bryant made it clear that he wants to stick around Dallas, and he admitted that he was frustrated with a lackluster 2017 campaign. The 29-year-old did play in 16 games for the first time since 2014, but he only hauled in 69 receptions for 828 yards (leading to a career-low 12.1 yards per reception) and six touchdowns.

This isn’t the first time Bryant has addressed his contract situation. Back in December, the receiver said he had no interest in taking a pay cut. However, the organization will surely consider the move, and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones said those conversations are coming.

“No one wants to compete and get after it more than Dez,” Jones said. “At the same time, we all know this is a business where everybody has to be accountable. Certainly, everybody knows that. That’s a tough one. Certainly, we’re going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business.

“Dez understands this is a business. No one thinks more of Dez Bryant than, starting at the top, Jerry, and certainly me, his teammates, coach [Jason] Garrett, Will McClay. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Dez. That’s one of the things that we’re going to have to work through as we move into our future.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rapoport On Bryant, Cobb, Nelson, Murray

It’s cutting season, and there are several big name veterans on the chopping block. Here’s the latest from’s Ian Rapoport (video links):

  • Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is a candidate for release, but Rapoport’s understanding is that Dallas plans to move forward with him, in part because of all of the resources they have already invested in him. It’s far from a lock that he’ll return under his current contract, however. Bryant, who will turn 30 during the upcoming season, is due a base salary of $12.5MM in 2018. The Cowboys could ask Bryant to accept a pay cut/extension that will make his contract a bit more palatable.
  • The Packers have two big-name WRs of their own who could be cap casualties. Rapoport gets the sense that either Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson will be shown the door. Based on recent production, it could be Cobb who is cut loose. Cobb is slated to carry a $12.72MM cap hit in the final year of his deal, but the team can save $9.47MM with just $3.25MM in dead money if they release him.
  • Rapoport speculates that the Titans could cut running back DeMarco Murray, which makes sense given the presence of Derrick Henry. Murray is slated to count for $6.75MM against the cap this year and next, but those are completely non-guaranteed seasons. In 2017, the 30-year-old finished with 659 fewer rushing yards than he amassed in 2016, a Pro Bowl campaign. His yards-per-carry average also dipped from 4.4 to 3.6.
  • Tyrod Taylor is a release candidate for the Bills, but Rapoport rightly notes that the team is more likely to trade him given the need for quarterbacks around the league.

Cowboys Notes: Dez, Lawrence, O’Quinn

Speaking to the media today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he intends on wide receiver Dez Bryant being part of the club’s roster in 2018, but wouldn’t comment on a possible pay cut for the mercurial pass-catcher, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Bryant will turn 30 years old during the 2018 campaign, and is coming off a disappointing season in which he managed only 69 receptions, 838 yards, and six touchdowns, the third straight campaign in which Bryant has failed to top 1,000 yards receiving. He’s due a base salary of $12.5MM next year, so while Jones refused to touch the subject of a pay reduction, the topic figures to come up this offseason.

Here’s more from Dallas, with all links going to George’s Twitter account:

  • While Bryant’s contract will be on the Cowboys’ docket over the next several months, the team’s “first goal” is to sign defensive end Demarcus Lawrence to a long-term extension, said executive vice president Stephen Jones (link). A multi-year pact is always preferable to the franchise tag from a team’s perspective thanks to the salary cap implications of each contract, but Lawrence holds all the leverage after a posting a 12.5-sack performance in 2017. A one-year franchise tender for the 25-year-old Lawrence will cost the Cowboys nearly $18MM.
  • Jerry Jones confirmed reports that the Cowboys have re-signed running backs coach Gary Brown and hired the recently-retired Kellen Moore as the club’s quarterbacks coach (link). Both the Raiders and Texans expressed interest in hiring Brown this offseason, but Dallas had always maintained dialogue with the longtime coach, who joined the Cowboys in 2013. Moore, meanwhile, has a backer in Dallas offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who has called Moore a “machine” in terms of learning and communicating.
  • The Cowboys are closing in on a deal to promote assistant special teams coach Keith O’Quinn to the lead role, per Jones (link). O’Quinn would replace Rich Bisaccia, who left Dallas to become an assistant head coach/special teams with Jon Gruden‘s Raiders. This was one of two possible outcomes, as reports had indicated O’Quinn would either be promoted to the full-time special teams role or take over as the Cowboys’ tight ends coach.

Dez Bryant Won’t Take Pay Cut

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said he would not accept a reduction in pay going forward, the pass catcher told reporters including ESPN’s Todd Archer on Wednesday. Dez Bryant

“I haven’t heard no talk about that but if it comes, I don’t know, probably not,” Bryant said. “Hell naw, man. I believe in me.”

Archer notes the three-time Pro Bowl receiver is set to make $12.5 MM while counting $16.5 MM toward the team’s salary cap in 2018. If the Cowboys release him, the team can free up $8.5 million or $12 million if he is cut after June 1.

Between 2012-14, Bryant was among the game’s best wideouts, posting at least 85 catches, 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in each season. This season has been one to forget, however, with No. 88 amassing just 66 grabs for 815 yards and six touchdowns through Week 16. While the team focuses more on the run now than it did in years past, Bryant has still been inconsistent with frustrating drops and an inability to get open. The receiver placed most of the blame on the scheme rather than his chemistry with second-year quarterback Dak Prescott, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports (Twitter link).

Bryant said he plans on sitting down with owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett to discuss his fit in the team’s scheme. This will be a situation to keep tabs on in the offseason.


Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Cowboys

In theory, Eli Manning could be back in New York next year. But former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride doesn’t see that happening.

It is hard for me looking in from the outside seeing that happen just knowing the guy,” Gilbride told PFT. “I know he comes across and people look at him like he’s an ‘aww, shucks’ country boy, Huckleberry Finn-kind of guy, but I can assure you that beneath that facade lies the personality of a warrior. He’s going to compete and fight and do everything he can to play at the very highest level and represent himself at the very best and so that’s an investment of tremendous personal sacrifice and time and all that goes into being ready to play the game at the NFL level. So to do that, you’re a prideful guy — and he is — and so his pride has been attacked. I’m sure anything can be repaired but, boy, it would be very very difficult. . . . I don’t see it happening.”

Where could Manning go next? Gilbride, like many, is envisioning a reunion between Manning and Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville.

Here’s more out of the NFC East:

  • Manning might not be the only star leaving the NFC East this offseason. Longtime Dallas beat writer Charean Williams of PFT believes that the Cowboys will have a hard time justifying Dez Bryant‘s salary in 2018. She rightly notes that Bryant hasn’t played up to his contract, which calls for a $12.5MM salary next year with a $16.5MM cap number. The Cowboys may ask Bryant to take a pay cut, but Bryant – who is regarded as one of the league’s most talented wide receivers – may not be on board with that. So far this year, Bryant has 58 catches for 639 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games, putting him on pace for roughly 72 catches, 799 yards, and six TDs. Those numbers aren’t quite on a par with his best work from 2012-2014.
  • The Giants have a plan for increasing rookie quarterback Davis Webb‘s reps and getting into a game, coach Ben McAdoo tells reporters (Twitter link via’s Jordan Raanan). However, McAdoo declined to share the details of how and when he intends to get Webb involved. What we do know is that Webb will not be the QB1 or QB2 this weekend when the Giants face the Raiders in Oakland this weekend.
  • The Redskins should consider using the non-exclusive franchise tag on Kirk Cousins, one beat writer opines.
  • There’s still no timetable for Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones to take the field.
  • The Cowboys could be without cornerback Orlando Scandrick for a bit.

NFC Notes: Panthers, Norman, Dez, Trubisky

Dave Gettleman‘s ouster as the Panthers general manager stands as this week’s most shocking NFL story, and Joe Person and Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer detail some of the reasons behind his firing. Gettleman’s “brusque management style” and his reshaping of Carolina’s roster after its 15-1, NFC-winning campaign in 2015 contributed to his demise, with his decision to rescind cornerback Josh Norman‘s franchise tag in 2016 helping to decide his fate. Letting Norman loose on the free agent market meant allowing a No. 1-caliber corner to walk away without the club receiving compensation, and it irked some of the team’s players.

A year later, the departure of ex-assistant general manager Brandon Beane also weakened Gettleman’s grip on the GM job. Beane took over as Buffalo’s GM in May, which cost Gettleman the good cop to his bad cop. The loss of Beane negatively affected Gettleman’s work relationships, according to Person and Fowler, as the former “acted as a go-between among the front office, coaching staff and locker room,” the reporters explain. Former Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, who signed with the Bills after Gettleman released him in February, confirmed that Beane was a valuable figure in Carolina. “As players we all love Beane. We all love being around him,” said Tolbert. “He’s part of the reason we did what we did. I’m happy to have him in Buffalo now, I can tell you that much.”

More from the NFC:

  • Speaking of Norman, who’s now with the Redskins, he could end up as a cap casualty next offseason if he doesn’t make more of an impact this year, suggests Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic. With 14 infractions, Norman led the league in penalties last year, Tandler points out. However, it seems he has otherwise lived up to Washington’s five-year, $75MM investment thus far. Norman picked off three passes and forced two fumbles last season – a slight drop-off from four and three, respectively, in 2015 – started all 16 games, easily led Redskins defenders in snaps (1,057) and ranked 24th among Pro Football Focus’ 109 qualified corners. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that designating the soon-to-be 30-year-old Norman a post-June 1 cut in 2018 would save the Redskins a healthy $14MM and leave them with a manageable $3MM in dead money next season.
  • A lack of punctuality has been a problem for Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant throughout his career, and his issues with reporting to team functions on time have already cropped up this year. Bryant made it to training camp three hours late on Friday, relays Ian Rapoport of, though the player informed Jane Slater of NFL Network that he has been dealing with sinus infections and headaches. He’s now working with the Cowboys’ training staff to alleviate his sinus troubles, adds Rapoport. Further, Bryant apologized to Cowboys coaches and “took full responsibility” for his tardiness, writes Slater, but it’s still likely the team will fine him, reports Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram (Twitter links here).
  • Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky‘s rookie contract contains partial offsets, tweets Albert Breer of The MMQB. His deal is similar to the one Marcus Mariota signed with the Titans in 2015, when he, like Trubisky this year, entered the league as the second overall pick in his draft class. Mariota and the Titans agreed to make his base salaries (a total of $2.28MM) subject to offsets, but the vast majority of his $24.214MM pact is protected.
  • Cardinals running back Chris Johnson‘s one-year deal includes a $1MM base value, $200K in guarantees and a chance to earn more in incentives, per Tom Pelissero of (Twitter link).