Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is entering the final year of his contract and is poised to cash in one way or another once the season comes to an end.
Bryant has caught 185 passes and 25 touchdowns over the last two seasons and should have another big season ahead of him if he remains healthy, but owner Jerry Jones says that he isn’t feeling much urgency to get a deal done before Bryant adds to his case for a lucrative deal. While the team is working toward an extension with Bryant, Jones says the existence of the franchise tag means there’s no rush.
“I don’t talk about these contracts that are in this particular stage, which is a negotiation, whether it be preliminary or whether it be at some advanced stage in the negotiation, so let’s just say we’re working towards those kinds of things,” Jones said on KRLD, via the Dallas Morning News. “We have Dez for several more years, as it would be under contract as well as with the league-type structure that’s available to us with the franchise [tag] and the transition [tag] and all that. It’s an important thing. We think Dez has made a lot of progress, but it’s something that is going to be very impactful on our team, so it’s just not necessary to move at any faster rate than we’re moving.”
It cost over $10.1 million to use the franchise tag on wide receivers this year, all of which counts against the cap, and the number is likely to be higher next year as the price tags of the top receivers in the game grows. That could be tough on the perennially cap-challenged Cowboys, although negotiations with a 26-year-old receiver playing at a high level may not be any easier for the Cowboys.