Report: Dez Bryant has told Cowboys he's holding out
Dez Bryant is the latest in a long line of boisterous, outspoken wide receivers to wear the Dallas Cowboys uniform. As such, did we really expect he would be overly quiet about his contract status with the team?
As reported by Ed Werder of ESPN, Bryant has informed the Cowboys of his intention to not only hold-out from training camp, but also from potential regular season games if his contract dispute is not settled in short order.
The relationship between the Cowboys and Dez Bryant has grown quite contentious over the last several weeks, as the two sides work on a long-term agreement to keep the wide receiver in Dallas for the foreseeable future. That included the two sides reportedly exchanging proposals just before the 4th of July. However, since that time, there has been little to no progress made on a deal and things have taken a quick turn for the worse.
According to Adam Schefter, also of ESPN, the NFL Players Association is now involved and investigating the possibility of collusion. At the heart of the investigation is the belief that the Cowboys and Denver Broncos have had conversations in regards to the contracts for receivers Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. Discussion of the negotiations between the two clubs and their respective clients is strictly forbidden by the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players.
Bryant is currently slapped with the franchise tag, which entitles him to a contract of $12.8 million in 2015. However, Dez Bryant wants to push that deal long-term and feels he needs to be paid as the best wide receiver in the game. It would be hard to argue the case against him.
Bryant started all 16 games in 2014, reeling in 88 catches on 136 targets for 1320 yards and 16 touchdowns. Bryant's yardage total placed him 8th in the NFL last season, whereas he topped the league in touchdowns and ranked 12th in receptions. He easily led the team in all three categories, asserting himself as Tony Romo's go-to target in the passing game.
The standoff itself could be interesting. Aside from the pressure that Bryant is placing on the team, the Cowboys do not have to accommodate him in any way. If Bryant misses any games, the team saves roughly $752,000 per game. However, the Cowboys lack the depth at wide receiver to adequately replace him, with Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley only figuring moderately into the team's offensive game plan.
The two sides have until Wednesday to come to a long-term agreement before the franchise tag becomes the only deal Bryant can play under. The key will be who budges first, the Cowboys or Dez Bryant.
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