On the surface, the ingredients have been placed into the pot for a protracted holdout by Cowboys first-round rookie Dez Bryant.
For starters, Bryant is represented by Eugene Parker. Over the past decade, Parker has represented 18 first-round picks. Only one of them signed his contract and reported for training camp on time.
Next, the Cowboys open camp before any other team, on July 24, given their involvement in the Hall of Fame game.
Then there’s the fact that the Cowboys have been telling the world, Rex Ryan-on-Darrelle Revis-style, about the wonders of Dez Bryant. That kind of stuff serves only to make a guy want to be paid accordingly.
Finally, that thing that makes receivers the look-at-me lot they are could make Bryant want to get more money than the receiver taken two spots before him, Broncos receiver Demaryus Thomas.
But there’s a sense in league circles — as Adam Schefter discussed on ESPN’s NFL Live today — that a deal will get done sooner than later. The thinking is, as Schefter said and as we’ve separately heard, that the Cowboys and the player want to avoid a holdout. The agent also would benefit from having his name attached to a negotiation that goes a bit more smoothly than the Michael Crabtree clusterfudge from last year, especially since at the end of the day Crabtree gained nothing by sitting.
Schefter said the two sides plan to work late into the night on Friday to make it happen.
Now, if only the NFL and the union would demonstrate similar urgency.
UPDATE: In what could be a subtle case of ESPN-on-ESPN crime, John Clayton said during the 6:00 p.m. SportsCenter that Bryant “is probably gonna want top-ten numbers,” despite being the 24th overall pick. If Bryant wants top-ten numbers from the 24th slot, the deal won’t be getting done in the short term.