- The Dallas Cowboys cut Dez Bryant on Friday.
- According to one former NFL agent, Bryant’s contract showed the importance of having a clause that pays a roster bonus early in the league year.
- If Bryant had been owed a bonus early in the league year, the Cowboys might have cut him earlier, at the height of free agency, as opposed to late in the spring when few teams have available money to sign him.
The Dallas Cowboys cut Dez Bryant on Friday, sending the star wide receiver onto the free-agent market to sign with a new team.
Bryant’s contract – he was owed $US12.5 million this season – along with his recent lack of production and occasional antics pushed the Cowboys into cutting him, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
However, Bryant’s free agency may not come at an opportune time for the 29-year-old receiver. With free agency mostly settled this far into the spring, most teams that needed receivers have already signed other free agents, and few teams have the cap space to make Bryant a big offer.
According to Joel Corry, a former NFL agent, Bryant’s contract lacked a key clause – a roster bonus paid on the first or third day of the new league year – and it may now hurt him in free agency.
The timing of Dez Bryant's release illustrates the importance of getting 1st or 3rd day of league year roster bonuses in the later years of big contracts when possible. With such a roster bonus, Bryant would have been on the open market when teams were spending wildly on WRs.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) April 13, 2018
As Corry suggests, if Bryant was owed a roster bonus early in the league year, which began on March 14, his fate may have been slightly different. The Cowboys may have cut Bryant early to avoid the bonus, thus making him a free agent at the height of free agency. Based on the contracts wide receivers like Sammy Watkins and Allen Robinson signed – $US48 million and $US42 million, respectively – Bryant may have fielded big offers from several teams.
Alternatively, if the Cowboys had to pay a roster bonus to Bryant and hadn’t made up their minds on cutting him, they may have been less likely to cut him at all.
Bryant may still get plenty of offers, but with many teams already tying up their money in free agency, his market might be smaller than expected.
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