The Cowboys claim they have offered receiver Dez Bryant some “really nice contracts.” Bryant doesn’t think they’re nice enough to sign.
He’ll know when he gets an offer that he likes.
“I just know what I’m going to accept and I know what I’m not going to accept,” Bryant said, via Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “You know, it’s not about the money. It’s not about none of that. I just feel like a little respect should play a factor in that. I love it [here]. I really do. But every day you grow. Let’s see what happens. It’s all about respect. It’s all about respect. I am a very loyal person, but just don’t test my loyalty.”
The Cowboys possibly have been testing his loyalty by leaking to the media company the Cowboys partially own that the team remains concerned about Bryant away from the field. Coincidentally (or not), Bryant’s decision to hire a new agent was followed within a week by a report that police had been to his house six times in four years.
While Bryant has yet to accuse the Cowboys of trying to smear him, the leaks have yet to soften him up to take whatever the Cowboys have offered.
“I’m not accepting what’s given to me,” Bryant said. “We’ll have to see. If it’s right, it’s right, I’ll sign my name on the dotted line. If it’s not, it’s not. At the end of the day, I want to win. But at the same time, I have a family and that’s what is important. I feel like, hey, I put the work in, I got to give myself some kind of credit.”
It’s an incredibly mature position from a guy who has a reputation for immaturity. Perhaps the Cowboys have underestimated him.
“What we want to do is have an agreement for the rest of Dez’s career,” owner Jerry Jones has said. But a contract that isn’t fully guaranteed operates as a one-way street, with the player bound for the duration of his career and the team able to walk away, pretty much at any time.
If that’s the structure the Cowboys propose, then Bryant should force the team to use the eight-figure franchise tag in 2015, force them to use it again (at a 20-percent raise) in 2016, and then force them to give him a market-value contract or let him leave via free agency, since there’s no way they’ll offer another one-year deal at a 44-percent increase of his 2016 salary.