The Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant are reportedly close to a deal that would keep the playmaking receiver in Dallas for the long term — and pay him very well for it.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been on record saying he wants Dez Bryant to be a Cowboy for life, and this week the sides came close to finalizing details on a long-term contract extension that would do just that.
Dez Bryant has been open in the past about his desire for a contract — and how he believes he deserves it.
“I deserve it. I feel like I do,” Bryant said in minicamp. “I put the work in, but I let that kind of stuff take care of itself. It is what it is. I let my agent talk about it and give me some feedback.”
Jones isn’t the only Dallas Cowboys brass big on Bryant. Coach Jason Garrett has also sung Bryant’s praises.
“He’s always been someone who accepts coaching, and he understands it,” Garrett mentioned. “The film is a great tool. It doesn’t lie, and there’s rarely an instance when you as a coach put something up on the screen and say, ‘What do you think? You coach yourself.'”
The Dallas Cowboys have actually been working with Bryant since last year, and it now appears the clock is ticking to reach a deal. Bryant said he would not engage in any contract talks once the regular season starts in a little more than a week.
Dez Bryant is likely due for a big pay increase. He is in his final year of a rookie contract that pays him just over $2 million in 2014, and has been Tony Romo’s top target pretty much since Day 1 in Dallas.
He could have quite a big payday when compared to peers, The SportsXChange notes:
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension last week. Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions (eight years, $132 million) and Arizona Cardinals’ standout Larry Fitzgerald (seven years, $113 million) set the bar at stratospheric heights for the position. Recent deals for high-profile free agents Vincent Jackson (five years, $55.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Mike Wallace (five years, $60 million with the Miami Dolphins) average more than $11 million per season and included guarantees over $20 million.
Now entering his fifth season, Bryant will turn 26 this year and has 293 career catches with 40 touchdowns.
Bryant has said he wants to go down as a lifelong member of the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’m loyal to the squad,” Bryant told ESPN in minicamp. “I’ve always been. Me and my agent are going to talk about (a hometown discount). We’ll talk about it. You know, this is big. This is life-changing. Like I said, I’ve done everything asked of me, and we’ll see what happens.”
Though the deal is not yet finished, sources say Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys are very close to making the receiver a member of the team for the rest of his career.