With the deadline to agree to a long-term deal coming July 15, Tom Condon, the agent for wide receiver Dez Bryant, and the Dallas Cowboys had their first face-to-face meeting in nearly four months within the past week, according to sources.
Last month, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team would make a push to sign Bryant to a deal, but much work remains before that actually happens.
Bryant has yet to sign his $12.823 million franchise tag tender in hopes of a deal with larger guaranteed money. Bryant's camp has threatened to miss regular-season games even though there would be no financial incentive. After July 15, Bryant has to play the season on the tender and the two sides could begin negotiations again after the season.
Bryant missed most of the Cowboys' offseason program, showing up for a handful of workouts and an organized team activity, according to the story. Bryant attended the final day of the Cowboys' mandatory minicamp on June 18 but did not practice. The Cowboys do not believe the threat to miss games because it would cost Bryant roughly $754,000 each week. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he believes Bryant will be "leading the way" when the Cowboys open the season Sept. 13 against the New York Giants. Bryant is ranked fourth on our WR list with an ADP of late in the first round.
A quick canvas of the league revealed 10 No. 1-caliber receivers: Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffrey, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, DeMaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton, Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown.
Robinson, the Jaguars’ second-year receiver, is below that level, but on this team at this moment, he’s the best.
Robinson averaged 5.2 catches for 61 yards and 0.22 TD from Week 2 to Week 10, which extrapolates to an 84-974-3.6 over the course of a full 16-game season. He posted fringe WR2-type numbers before suffering a stress fracture in his foot. The Jacksonville receiving corps should feature Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. If QB Blake Bortles can progress, this could be a dangerous passing game, and Robinson would be the primary beneficiary.
Williams was competing for a pass against first-round pick cornerback Byron Jones over the middle of the field in team drills and came down awkwardly on his left arm. Williams suffered a bruised left elbow, and X-rays came back negative.Williams was competing for a pass against first-round pick cornerback Byron Jones over the middle of the field in team drills and came down awkwardly on his left arm. Williams suffered a bruised left elbow, and X-rays came back negative.
The injury doesn't sound too serious. Williams has finished in the top 20 in fantasy points per target in each of his two seasons, but he doesn't see enough targets to be a reliable fantasy option. In fact, his targets dropped from 74 as a rookie to 66 in his sophomore season even though his snaps jumped 18.5% year over year. If the Cowboys move to a pass-heavy offense, then Williams should be fantasy relevant, though he's still competing with Jason Witten and Cole Beasley for Dez Bryant's leftovers.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported that Bryant was considering a holdout that could extend into the season.
"This is not a rumor," Bryant confirmed to Silver. "It's legit."
It's no surprise that Bryant would attempt to maximize his leverage and stimulate talks with just five weeks remaining before the July 15 deadline for franchise players to sign new contracts.
Bryant would sacrifice major money if he misses any games, so this sounds like posturing. Hopefully this will be resolved by mid-July. If not, we would expect that he plays for the one-year franchise tender of $12+ million.
Cowboys WR Terrance Williams has taken advantage of Dez Bryant’s absence in the Cowboys’ organized team activities. The Cowboys rave about the Williams’ off-season work, with coach Jason Garrett contending Williams has become the pacesetter for the offense “in so many ways.”
“Terrance has had one of the best off-seasons I’ve seen in a while,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “So I’m very excited about his approach, the way that he’s played up to this point in the off-season. He’s just improved, and I’m excited about that development.”
Williams has finished in the top 20 in fantasy points per target in each of his two seasons, but he doesn't see enough targets to be a reliable fantasy option. In fact, his targets dropped from 74 as a rookie to 66 in his sophomore season even though his snaps jumped 18.5% year over year. If the Cowboys move to a pass-heavy offense, then Williams should be fantasy relevant, though he's still competing with Jason Witten and Cole Beasley for Bryant's leftovers.
Cowboys site writer Bryan Broaddus on the team's WR2 competition:
Devin Street is going into his second season and the coaching staff hopes that there will be a significant jump that would allow him to compete for more of a role in the offense. I don’t see Street taking snaps from Cole Beasley and his role, but could he push Terrance Williams to the point where Williams is no longer the guy looked as the opposite of Dez Bryant? Hopefully for Street, he can use these practices to set himself up in Oxnard to really give Williams a battle. Depending on whom you talk to in the organization, there is a thought that Street is talented enough to take that job.
Williams has finished in the top 20 in fantasy points per target in each of his two seasons, but he doesn't see enough targets to be a reliable fantasy option. In fact, his targets dropped from 74 as a rookie to 66 in his sophomore season even though his snaps jumped 18.5% year over year.
Linehan: “I’m not worried about Dez, he’ll be ready to rock and roll when it’s all said and done, I’m sure of that.”
Last season, Bryant was the #3 WR in standard formats and #4 in PPR. It was the third consecutive season that he finished in the top 7 in both formats. He is one of fantasy’s most dependable receivers. The only concern heading into the season is whether he’ll be distracted by his ongoing contract negotiations.
Here are the five players who got the non-exclusive franchise tag, and the amount of the tender offer for each:
This may not make either Bryant or Thomas happy, but it ensures that they aren't going anywhere for at least one more season. Both players figure to be ranked in the top 5 at their position in 2015 fantasy drafts.
"I still think that it's probably, you know, would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline," Jones said. "Looks like we're eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but certainly won't stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal."
Bryant was the #3 WR in standard formats and has finished in the top 6 in three consecutive seasons. The Cowboys are wise to apply the franchise tag if they can't yet work out a long-term deal. The only worry is that Bryant is offended by the team's move and is distracted as the 2015 season kicks off, but the two sides still have plenty of time to work out a long-term deal before July 15.
Beat writer Brandon George answered a question about the Cowboys offense passing more if DeMarco Muarry doesn't play:
George: I think you'd see more of Tony Romo without Murray. But I don't think they'd get totally away from the run game. Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar are good enough to do well behind this offensive line. Randle has had several big runs of late and would be fine against a Colts team that struggles against the run.
If anything, the Colts may be able to play a bit more balanced and do more to prevent WR Dez Bryant from hurting them without Murray in the lineup. George added in his Q & A that he "would doubt [Murray will] practice fully at any point this week. Other running backs have come right back and played with this injury. No reason to think Murray couldn't do the same."
Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:15pm
Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 10. Romo is good to go for a so-so matchup against the Jaguars. His presence gives Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams a boost.
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:28pm
Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Romo’s limited practice is encouraging. The feeling is that he will play, so we added him to our rankings. If he can’t go, it’s a downgrade for Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams given Brandon Weeden’s woeful performance in Week 9.
“I’m anticipating him playing,’’ Jones said. “I have no reason to think that he won’t.
“Anytime he can play, we want him to play. We’re a better team, to be trite, with him playing. There’s no such thing as holding him out and foregoing the potential chance that we win.’’
Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 6:08pm
Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) did not practice Wednesday. Romo is iffy for Week 10, though the team claims optimism about his ability to play against the Jagaurs. If he can’t go, it’s a downgrade for Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams given Brandon Weeden’s woeful performance in Week 9. We currently expect Weeden to play.
QB Robert Griffin (ankle), CB Tracy Porter (hamstring)
DE Jack Crawford (calf)
RGIII is questionable and was limited at practice all week. The team said they are preparing as of Colt McCoy is starting, but leaving open the possibility Griffin will play. Seems like a longshot, and owners shouldn't count on him. On top of those risks, the Cowboys defense has been playing well this year so it's not a great matchup for Washington on the road.
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