The contract saga between Dez Bryant and his Dallas Cowboys is hitting its stretch run, at least for this year. Bryant has until July 15th to sign a new deal with the Cowboys or play under his franchise tender. He could also make the decision to sit out into the 2015 season—something he’s threatened in the past.
Like any ugly contract situation throughout the professional sports world, there are two end games here. The first one suggests that Bryant and the Cowboys come to an agreement on a long-term deal.
The second possibility is more convoluted and is something we have seen far too often around the NFL. A deal that gives Bryant the security he seeks isn’t agreed to, at which point the embattled wide receiver continues to use the media as a tool to get his point across. That in and of itself would be a bad look. Now imagine Bryant actually making good on his promise and holding out into the season. While it would likely be a short-term holdout on Bryant’s part, it would then set into motion an even more protracted issue when the contract problem arises again next March.
Short of the two sides bucking what has been a two-year long trend in the next week, all of these possibilities remain on the table.
And while some sort of progress has been made between the two sides, recent reports suggest that nothing is in the works:
“Despite reports that they think a deal could be coming down this week,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Monday, (h/t The Dallas Morning News). “Today, a deal doesn’t sound like it’s close. It doesn’t sound like anything’s close.”
That could spell big problems for the Cowboys as they prepare to defend their NFC East title. A malcontent like Bryant stirring up issues publicly is not the type of drama this historically drama-filled franchise needs.
Should the Cowboys Trade Him?
Most of this will depend on how the situation plays out over the next several weeks. If Bryant continues to take to the media as a negotiating tactic or loses his cool when a long-term agreement isn’t finalized, the Cowboys could very well make the decision to part ways.
The impact this would have for Dallas on the field is undeniable. Contract issues aside, Bryant is one of the most-talented receivers in generations. He’s also one of the most-valuable receivers in today’s NFL. With this type of value to the team comes the same level of value to other teams, if not more.
The current price for signing a player that was given the franchise tag is two first-round picks. That capability comes early in the offseason when teams have other avenues to pursue.
If another squad were to offer the Cowboys a larger bounty, including a receiver, would the team consider it?
An example here, and it’s pure conjecture, would be the San Diego Chargers. What’s to stop them from offering up Keenan Allen and a couple picks for Bryant should things escalate between the receiver and his team? Heck, a team like the Buffalo Bills could offer up Sammy Watkins and picks to team Bryant up with former NFC East rival LeSean McCoy.
While it’s fun to speculate, you get the point. The Cowboys would potentially take a step back in 2015 by offering Bryant up for a trade, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the worst-case scenario. Jerry Jones and company don’t appear to be too enthralled with the idea of committing a large amount of guaranteed cash to the receiver. Why not remove the headache while accumulating assets to make the team competitive over the long haul?
This is something that’s likely run through the minds of the powers to be in Dallas. It’s also something that could become more realistic should the two sides fail to close in on a long-term deal within the next week.
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