The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Dez Bryant have until July 15 to iron out a contract extension. If that doesn’t happen, then Bryant will be paid under his franchise tag salary, which equates to $12.823 million for 2015.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones commented on Bryant’s status, exuding confidence that a deal will eventually be worked out:
“We know he will be a Cowboy this year. If he ends up playing this year under the tag we will go right back to work again next year. Now would we like to get a long term deal on him? Of course we would.“We’ll work hard to do that and I’m sure we’ll make a push at some point and see if we can make it work. If not, hopefully he will understand it’s difficult to make a deal at this point and he’ll come in and get ready to play.”
Bryant is playing his cards right thus far in the preseason. He made an appearance at the team’s organized activities, participating in some individual drills. The Cowboys’ mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 16-18. Up to this point, Bryant has not signed his franchise tag tender, which means he wouldn’t have to attend that otherwise mandatory camp.
It does appear that talks between the two sides were closer earlier in the year. However, Bryant and the Cowboys have not officially spoken since Bryant changed agents back in February. Bryant isn’t likely going to settle for anything less than top dollar due to a brilliant four-year span that has seen him tally 4,863 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns.
The Cowboys already let star running back DeMarco Murray walk earlier this year — a decision that was based on money more than anything else.
If the two sides cannot come to an agreement prior to next March, it’s going to put the Cowboys in an awkward position. Do they franchise him again or let him test free agency? Bryant may be displaying professionalism right now, but that might not be the case the longer this process move on without a new deal.