NFL

NFL AM: Bryant threatens to sit out without long-term deal

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Dez delivers an ultimatum to Cowboys

Dez Bryant is willing to sit his way to a long-term contract.

On Monday the Cowboys receiver tweeted that he will not report to training camp unless he receives a long-term from the team. If he does not get the contract by Wednesday’s deadline, he would receive a franchise player tag for next season.

“As much as I love football…on my beautiful babies.. I apologize #cowboynation but I will not be there if no deal #fact” Bryant tweeted.

He said #fact, so he can’t be bluffing.

Bryant’s belief is that he should be the highest-paid receiver in football, eclipsing the seven-year, $113.45 million deal signed by Calvin Johnson in 2012. Bryant’s franchise tag for this year would be worth $12.8 million, so sitting out any portion of the season would cost him $752,000 per game.

It would also be pointless – a deal can’t be done midseason. In this high-stakes game of chicken, the Cowboys are the ones holding the better cards. If, you know, people played games of chicken with cards.

Broncos offering Thomas more than $12 million per year

Denver would like to avoid having to place the franchise tag on receiver Demariyus Thomas, and has reportedly offered him a deal that would make him the second-highest paid wideout in the league.

So far he hasn’t nibbled.

According to Denver TV station KUSA, Thomas, like Bryant, is seeking to make more money than Calvin Johnson. That would amount to more than $16 million a year. The league’s current No. 2, Mike Wallace, is making $12 million a year.

But things are a bit trickier for both sides than they are for the Cowboys and Dez Bryant. With an aging Peyton Manning, the Broncos are in win-now mode and need a happy Thomas as part of that. Should Manning come back following this season, the Broncos would owe him $19 million. They’d also like to keep Von Miller around, and he becomes a free agent after the season.

While Thomas has compared favorable to Johnson in the last three seasons, he has also benefited from playing with Manning. Settling for the Broncos’ best long-term offer is probably in his best interest – unless he’s convinced Manning is done after this season, in which case taking a franchise tag and jumping ship is possibly the best choice.

Free agent DB Bush suspended for PEDs

Any team signing cornerback Jarrett Bush will have to wait four games to actually use his services. Bush was suspended four games on Monday for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

That team was most likely to be the Packers, with whom he spent his entire nine-year career before the team declined to renew his contract in March. Bush had served as a special teams standout and backup cornerback, and with some uncertainty in the Green Bay secondary seemed like a valid choice to be brought back at a lower price tag.

Coach Mike McCarthy indicated as much in May when rookie Quinten Rollins was given Bush’s old number of 24.

“Jarrett is a nine-year player here,” McCarthy said. “If he did come back to us and things worked out in the future, he’d be wearing 24. I think it’s premature, frankly, that we did that. But Jarrett Bush is still a free agent.”

And it looks like Bush may remain that way longer than he hoped.


About Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey can vividly recall most significant NFL events going back to Walter Payton's final game in 1987, including the ones that didn't make him cry. Since 2008, his full-time job has been covering college football, specifically McNeese State, for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Free time is spent informing, amusing or annoying you for Football Insiders.