Four weeks ago, it was clear that the Cowboys didn’t believe receiver Dez Bryant’s threat to skip regular-season games.
Today, it’s still not clear that he’ll miss regular-season games.
“I will not be there if no deal,” Bryant said on Twitter earlier today.
Taken literally, this means he won’t show up at all in 2015 if he doesn’t get a long-term contract before the looming July 15 deadline. But that would merely kick the can into 2016, with Bryant still eligible for a one-year, $12.8 million contract and the Cowboys still squatting on his rights.
Under the labor deal, Bryant has until the Tuesday after Week 10 to show up, collect the prorated portion of his franchise tender for the final seven weeks of the season ($5.27 million), and then become eligible for a 20-percent raise of the base tag amount in 2016 ($15.36 million). He also can skip all of training camp and the preseason, showing up just a few days before Week One and collecting the full $12.8 million. Or he could arrive after Week One, Week Two, and so on, up until the deadline after Week 10.
So Bryant needs to be more specific when he says “I will not be there”, if not publicly on Twitter then at least privately in his communications with the Cowboys. And he needs to be prepared for follow through with whatever his ultimatum is, if he issues one.
Meanwhile, the waiting game continues, roughly two weeks after some in Dallas began to insist that a long-term deal between the Cowboys and Bryant is imminent. If a long-term deal is going to happen before the end of the 2015 regular season, it finally is imminent because it must happen by Wednesday.