Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant personally informed Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones that he intends to miss training camp and sit out regular season games if he does not receive a long-term deal by Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Jones first denied it:
But then Bryant took to Twitter Monday afternoon to confirm he will not join the Cowboys until he receives a new contract:
The Cowboys placed the franchise tag — effectively a one year, $US12.8 million contract — on Bryant earlier this offseason, and Wednesday marks the last day teams can sign tagged players to multiyear contract extensions. If Bryant doesn’t get a long-term contract in the next 48 hours, he can’t get one until the summer of 2016.
While Bryant would make nearly $US13 million this season if he played on the franchise tag, he’s repeatedly reaffirmed his desire to receive a long-term contract extension. Throughout the process, Bryant has posted on Twitter defending his stance:
Bryant’s representatives have reportedly only had one face-to-face meeting with the Cowboys, and have exchanged proposals just a single time — right before July 4th weekend, according to Werder. Bryant can’t be fined for missing training camp if he does not sign his franchise tender. He will, however, lose $US752,000 for each regular season game he misses.
Threatening to sit out regular season games is one of the only tools Bryant can use to get leverage in negotiations with the team. The Cowboys let running back DeMarco Murray go in free agency, and losing Bryant for any games at all would leave them devoid of playmaking options.
Bryant led all receivers with 16 touchdowns last season. If he does miss regular season games, the Cowboys will open the season with Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley as their top receivers.
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