Source: Collusion evidence comes from conversation between Dez Bryant and Stephen Jones

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Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and Cowboys COO Stephen Jones already disagree on one topic from one of their recent conversations: Whether Bryant threatened not to show up absent a long-term contract.

They’re likely to disagree on another topic that allegedly was discussed.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Jones explained to Bryant that the Calvin Johnson contract, which represents the current peak of the receiver market, has no relevance to other receivers because it was driven by the pre-rookie wage scale deal that Johnson signed when he was drafted by the Lions in 2007. And then Jones told Dez, per the source, that Jones talked to Broncos G.M. John Elway about the situation.

Because the Broncos also have a franchise-tagged receiver in Demaryius Thomas, the admission that Jones and Elway communicated about the situation constitutes evidence of collusion.

The Cowboys could not immediately be reached for comment. Given that Jones denied the report that Dez provided an ultimatum during the conversation, it’s safe to assume Jones will strongly deny that he admitted talking to Elway about the receiver market.

Collusion surely happens on a regular basis in the NFL, and it’s easy for teams to justify it. Agents and players can compare notes and coordinate strategies freely. If two or more teams do it, that’s collusion.

It’s also easy to get away with collusion, because most of it happens through verbal communications that can be denied later, if need be. Which is all the more reason for Jones to strongly deny that he accidentally said something to Dez about collusion with the Broncos.

80 responses to “Source: Collusion evidence comes from conversation between Dez Bryant and Stephen Jones

  1. Just dissolve both organizations and send a message. Nobody can stand Elway or the Joneses anyway.

  2. I love this so much. I hope Dez has a pair and actually follows through with this. Nothing better then seeing the Cowboys and their players act like a circus.

  3. GMs talk and discuss things all the time. Agents talk to each other too. That doesn’t mean they did anything illegal. You are allowed to compare notes, and even discuss negotiating tactics. There are 32 teams out there. If a player is worth the money, someone will pay for him, and most likely overpay. If a player is more trouble than he’s worth, then teams won’t pay as much. Dez might fall into that category. You take the good minus the bad to come up with value. Guys that have a lot of bad, tend to only want to look at the good.

  4. Haha. They are screwed either way. Either he holds out and a soap opera ensues, or they grossly over pay him and saddle their cap situation. Ten million for a reciever should be the ceiling if you want to stay competitive.

  5. Unless Jones actually admits to this, there is no case for collusion even though it likely took place. Either way Dez isn’t getting Megatron money, and any team that pays a WR that kind of money hasn’t been paying attention to the teams that are consistently in the playoffs and winning Championships.

  6. It’s like someone is throwing a small burning trash can into a dumpster.

    It’ll surprise me if Dez misses games. And it’ll be very difficult for the ‘Boys to make the playoffs without him producing 15+ touchdowns this season.

  7. Just asterisk the entire 2015 season for both Dallas and Denver.

    Those of you want to asterisk the Patriots should be right on board with asterisking the Cowboys and Broncos. After all, cheating is cheating, isn’t it?

  8. Quick!!! Make up something about the Pats before fans realize other teams cheat!!

  9. Both should lose first rounds picks since this is multiple infractions for both franchises. The integrity of the game is in question here.

  10. My goodness Dez will say just about anything to give himself paid! What a joke. I can see why they won’t pay him. Oh by they way you have a deal it’s called $12mill tag! The “sources” are probably his mom. Probably threatened to beat her up again if she didn’t say this haha. He’s talented bo doubt but TOO much baggage! Calvin never had this baggage Dez! DT doesn’t have it either, just his momma and granny but his nose is clean, excuse the pun!

  11. John Elway and Stephen Jones need to suspended for 4 games. Forfeiture of draft picks as well. This isnt the first time the Broncos or the Cowboys broke rules. #CollusionGate

  12. Dez’s account seems very plausible. Jones will have to say Dez is lying or mistaken. Either positioned by Jones sill be insulting.

  13. I fully believe the Cowboys and Broncos have colluded to obtain leverage and prevent either player from getting what they deserve. And I’m sure they have the support of every other team in that effort!

  14. Clearly its collusion, not just with these two but all the owners decided to put a cap on the WR position…CJ will be the last huge contract over 100 million for a WR….good luck proving it, the owners are the worst, they are greedy billionaires who are about to ruin this game just like the rich cats in baseball…..one only has to look at Goodell who is still employed, he’s not a commissioner he is letting the owners to what they want and he covers for it, a commissioner is suppose to save the owners from themselves not make as much money as possible regardless of ethics….

  15. The negotiating position is ridiculous. All sorts of contracts for other players were negotiated off rookie contracts that predated the rookie wage scale. Cam Newton didn’t take a discount. Andrew Luck is not going to get a lesser number because other QBs came in to the league before the scale. Tyron Smith is the highest paid tackle in the NFL, no one asked him to take discount (although he did get screwed on guarantees.)

    If Calvin is the top of the market then he is the top of the market. Where ever you think Dez is in relation to him is what he is worth. The franchise tag makes him the second highest paid player. Next year they will have to pay him nearly the same amount as Calvin if they tag him again. Then his trade value goes down because he can’t be tagged a third time.

    From what I can see the Cowboys are going through all these histrionics to save about $3 million total. Of course if he gets hurt they saved a lot more than that.

  16. if either of these teams won 4 SB’s in the last 15 years the internet Lynchmob would be out in full force. Pitch forks, axes and torches ragin’ full on thirsty for Blood.

    Better get the cell phone records and call Wells, Wodga

  17. tonebones says:
    Jul 13, 2015 6:52 PM
    GMs talk and discuss things all the time. Agents talk to each other too. That doesn’t mean they did anything illegal. You are allowed to compare notes, and even discuss negotiating tactics. There are 32 teams out there. If a player is worth the money, someone will pay for him, and most likely overpay. If a player is more trouble than he’s worth, then teams won’t pay as much. Dez might fall into that category. You take the good minus the bad to come up with value. Guys that have a lot of bad, tend to only want to look at the good.

    =============================

    When GMs do it, it is collusion. They are colluding to force the price of the receiver market down. This may never of happened but if it did, it is an open and shut case.

  18. CJ’s pre-rookie wage scale wages are irrelevant. You’re worth what you’re worth. Jones is just talking nonsense bringing that up.

  19. Gee I wonder if Mr Goodell will ask for Jones and always cell phones and the mails to see if they committed s crime. If he doesn’t then he is a hypocrite but we already know that. Let’s see if they get punished. Is it me or are the inmates running the asylum since Goidell took over. I swear he sits in his office and plays with blocks until they need him to talk tough in some phones news conference

  20. Great another she said against what he said…..Dez can sit and wait if he wants, but the clock on his career is ticking…..the Boys will still be around in 5 years….Dez will be a judge on America’s Got Talent….

  21. Who gives a crap…let’s play football. Enough of this sissified Tmz ESPN crap!! Don’t care. Des will be a cowboy and damariiyus will be a bronco. Both will be slightly over paid and dez will bep paid slightly more. Both teams will compete for playoff spots and both will contend.

  22. If they did this, both players should be granted immediate unrestricted free agency to sign with any team they like. And both teams should be docked a pick and fined.

  23. Digging the dirt. Fighting the good fight. I’d like to know how having tax payers fund billionaires efforts to build new sports venues get included into CBA’s. Is it an attempt to make it look somehow OK because it is a written bylaw?

  24. If he could prove it, he wouldn’t need to play football again…major no-no there big numbers involved in settling something like that.

  25. Let him sit and lose $795k per week. And then franchise him the next year and let him lose more. 1 receiver will not make or break the team no matter how good he is he is not the team!

  26. “Collusion”… like that whole conversation and stuff that was going on with Adrian Peterson… Jerry is Teflon, The league can’t\won’t mess with him.

  27. It’s not the admission that Jones and Elway communicated about the situation, it’s the accusation of them communicating.

  28. Big picture….

    All Bryant is doing is driving his own market down. Think about it…if the Cowboys don’t give him what he wants and he holds out indefinitely, what other team would want to deal with THIS diva attitude plus all the off field antics that he brings? Then, when no wants to sign him, he’s going to call that collusion too.

    He’s slowly headed down the Terrell Owens of being banished from the league for behavior no wants to deal with.

  29. Come on, Florio – you’re slippin. Unless the teams conspired to control prices to the disadvantage of the market there is no collusion. If they simply spoke about it – that doesn’t reach the level of collusion. The CEO of Coke and the CEO of Pepsi are allowed to talk about problems they are having with WalMart as long as they don’t form any agreement about how to deal with the issue in an anti-competitive way they haven’t engaged in collusion. The comments could have been something like “what was that idiot in Detroit thinking with that stupid CJ contract?” which would not equal collusion. If they, at all, discussed the contract terms they were offering or planning to offer, then that would be collusion.

  30. The ability of upset Patriot fans to turn any article into an opportunity to further complain about the perceived injustice heaped upon them is truly impressive. Well done Pat fans, you have become the whiny teenagers of the NFL.

  31. I don’t get it, just because two GM’s talked doesn’t mean they colluded. I would think to prove that, you need to show they both agreed on the same strategy to keep the salaries down and further more, followed those strategies to their successful conclusion.

    Go ahead, prove that and I’ll listen.

  32. We need a Wells Report 3! It’s becoming like Sharknado, a new one every summer. Exponent is on retainer ready to find whatever needs to be found. Someone pick up the phone!

  33. If you believe Dez Bryant’s version and it doesn’t make any sense, why would Jones admit to Bryant he talked to Elway about the salary for Bryant, the NFLPA is basing this on their investigation? This sounds like something an agent planted. The commenters thinking this is a smoking gun are the same ones that think Brady was leaking air from footballs in the tunnel before introductions, I have no doubt.

  34. There might be collusion. There might not. John Elway might have robbed a bank. Maybe he didn’t. Stephen Jones might have stolen a car. Maybe he didn’t. Anybody could have maybe done something. I guess there could be all sorts of maybes, but you have to prove something.

  35. Tony Romo got paid. Demarco Murray and Dez Bryant aren’t. Hmmm. Romo is white and Murray and Bryant are black? What could possibly explain the difference in treatment by a team located in the old Confederacy?

  36. Where’s the investigation? Collusion is a strong word. Isn’t that exactly what the Pats were accused to, colluding to tamper with footballs?

    And if people are found to be releasing inaccurate details they should be driven out of the league the same as those that released bad details about those footballs.

  37. Funny how these Lucky Sperm Club second generation sons-of-owners only seem to learn by first crashing the Rolls Royce into a tree. Expensive to be learning your job by mistakes: Dallas, Chicago, Oakland

  38. Unless Jones actually admits to this, there is no case for collusion even though it likely took place. Either way Dez isn’t getting Megatron money, and any team that pays a WR that kind of money hasn’t been paying attention to the teams that are consistently in the playoffs and winning Championships.

    *****************************************************

    The standard is more probable than not. In this new NFL, actual evidence is not necessary. Your play Rodger.

  39. Add an asterisk to the Cowboys* and Broncos*. Take away the Broncos* Super Bowl Win last year….oh wait…the Seahawks* took care of that.

  40. how much hand holding are the cowboys having to give to dez? for a while they had a staffer dedicated to following dez around to keep him from doing something stupid. If that nanny is still available then he shouldn’t get top money either. Frankly I think the boys are in the right here not dez considering his history.

  41. I must be dreaming. We are talking about other teams cheating in the NFL other then the Patriots… Must be a mistake. Make it go away !!!!

    The other 31 teams and their fans already feel inadequate..

  42. NFL is too much drama. How about players go back to the field, reporters back to reporting on on field football and fans go back to their beers and barbeques?

  43. “There is nothing to this baseless accusation. In fact, there are five NFL refs that will tell you I was handing them paper bags filled with money on my party bus at the same time I was supposedly colluding with Elway. I have nothing to hide.” — Jerry Jones

  44. Quick, someone alert Ted Wells. We need someone to make a vague determination within the next 6 months.

  45. richiethegreek says:Jul 13, 2015 6:58 PM

    Haha. They are screwed either way. Either he holds out and a soap opera ensues, or they grossly over pay him and saddle their cap situation. Ten million for a reciever should be the ceiling if you want to stay competitive.
    ————————————————–

    Are we gonna start putting a cap on what QBs can make also or just the other skill positions?

    Dez Bryant is the best player on the Cowboys (one of the best in the league) and he deserves to be paid as such.

  46. pacificdan says:
    Jul 13, 2015 10:43 PM

    The ability of upset Patriot fans to turn any article into an opportunity to further complain about the perceived injustice heaped upon them is truly impressive. Well done Pat fans, you have become the whiny teenagers of the NFL.
    ___________________________________

    you’re so right PACIFIC dan (seahawks? hmm), because it was PATRIOTS FANS who CRIED about 1 PSI RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!

    Collusion is another word for cheating….THROW THE BOOK AT THEM GOODELL

  47. I’m not sure that GM’s (using that term very loosely to cover Stephen Jones) talking about contract negotiation approaches amounts to collusion. If they said, “If you only pay your guy X then we’ll only pay our guy X,” then that would amount to collusion.

  48. Is this what the pft comment section has been reduced to? Some pats fans comparing everything to deflategate? Did you rag on saints fans for bounty scandal? How about skins and ‘boys fans for BS cap violations? More probable than not that you did! You claim league is out to get the pats when they’ve actually been changing rules and burning evidence for the pats for years! Feel free to bask in the glory of their accomplishments because that’s what fandom is all about but give the whining a rest!

  49. So…. It wasn’t collusion when Dallas and Washington was penalized for salary cap violations in an uncapped year, spear-headed by Goodell???

  50. ” It wasn’t collusion when Dallas and Washington was penalized for salary cap violations in an uncapped year, spear-headed by Goodell???”

    IIRC, that punishment was spearheaded by the Maras. You know, the owners of the Giants, divisional rivals of the Cowboys and Redskins.

    I’m not kidding.

    (And yes, that was collusion.)

  51. whatjusthapped says:
    Jul 13, 2015 10:45 PM
    I don’t get it, just because two GM’s talked doesn’t mean they colluded. I would think to prove that, you need to show they both agreed on the same strategy to keep the salaries down and further more, followed those strategies to their successful conclusion.

    Go ahead, prove that and I’ll listen.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well, if the two GMs talked about how Calvin Johnson’s deal was from the pre rookie wage scale era, and that the ceiling for a contract is below his deal, that is price setting. Which is collusion. Now, in order to prove that you would need to either have one of them admit it, which is highly unlikely, or have a recording of the conversation.

    Personally, I don’t find it difficult to believe that Jones and Elway had a conversation about their contract situations. And I also don’t find it difficult to believe that they were in agreement on how much their star receivers are worth. I do find it unbelievable that Jones would mention it to Bryant if it actually did happen.

  52. pacificdan says:
    Jul 13, 2015 10:43 PM

    The ability of upset Patriot fans to turn any article into an opportunity to further complain about the perceived injustice heaped upon them is truly impressive.

    Well done Pat fans, you have become the whiny teenagers of the NFL.

    Well said! They’re beyond boring for the rest of the world.

  53. Since 2011 know receiver in the NFL has caught more TD than Dez Bryant. How the hell is he being selfish. I love the Cowboys, but you can find $$$ for everybody else. Where is Dez’s $$$? If they go another 8-8 I’m not gonna have a problem with it. This team is knocking on the front door of a SB. If you’re going to win one, I mean really “WIN” one. You have to be all in. And there is know all without Dez.

  54. I think Dallas gets a free pass on this because it was John Elway that he was talking to. It’s not like he is a “real” football mind.

  55. Patriots fans to raise a fair question. How would their team, owner, GM be scrutinized in this instance? They do seem to be treated differently. Whenever they bring this to light an abundance of exaggerated or non existent past transgressions are used as justification.

  56. There was a time when the cowboys and broncos “more probable than not were generally aware of inappropriate activities related to collusion…”

    Coming soon, Ted Wells 2: Collusion-gate

  57. Realistically, NFL GMs are talking to each other almost daily. I am sure they are discussing a number of things that could be borderline, but Stephen Jones is the only one who was sloppy enough to call it out in public.

    This should not be a big deal, but the NFLPA is getting a lot of heat for how bad this deal is for the players, even though the salary cap is rising rapidly, and they are looking for any loophole they can find to try and negotiate a new agreement.

    It shouldn’t be more than a 2 minute conversation to resolve, but I would like to see Denver and Dallas punished for their repeated issues. If nothing else, Bob Kraft should be campaigning for someone else to take some heat.

  58. bchap17 says:
    Jul 14, 2015 9:10 AM
    richiethegreek says:Jul 13, 2015 6:58 PM

    Haha. They are screwed either way. Either he holds out and a soap opera ensues, or they grossly over pay him and saddle their cap situation. Ten million for a reciever should be the ceiling if you want to stay competitive.
    ————————————————–

    Are we gonna start putting a cap on what QBs can make also or just the other skill positions?

    Dez Bryant is the best player on the Cowboys (one of the best in the league) and he deserves to be paid as such.

    0 6
    Report comment
    —————————————-
    Your missing the entire point. What he “deserves” to be paid is not at issue here. The operative phrase is “if you want to stay competitive. The Cowboys or any other team for that matter can pay him whatever they want.

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