Is Dez Bryant on the cusp of a big payday? Well if you were to ask him, he would tell you that he deserves such. At least that is what he told the press in a recent meeting, that he deserves to be paid like an elite receiver. Bryant told ESPNDallas.com, “I deserve it. I feel like I do. I put the work in. But I let that kind of stuff take care of itself. It is what it is. I let my agent talk about it and give me some feedback.”
Dez Bryant believes he has earned the right to rank among the NFL’s highest-paid wide receivers and hopes to sign a long-term contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys before the season begins. But before Dallas Cowboys GM, Jerry Jones unloads a Brinks truckload of money into Bryant’s account; he has to weigh the positives and negatives of rewarding Bryant’s request for a new contract.
The positives are clear to see every Sunday afternoon. In his last two seasons, Dez Bryant has taken the next step into becoming an elite receiver, by posting staggering numbers in both seasons. In his last two seasons, Bryant has produced at such a high level that pushes him into the discussion to be mentioned amongst the elite level of wide receivers that consist of: Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, etc. Since the start of the 2012 season, he is tied for first in the NFL with 25 touchdown catches, ranks sixth in receiving yards (2,615) and seventh in receptions (185). Last season, Bryant earned his first Pro Bowl berth after a strong season with 93 catches for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns.
And his passion for the game is genuine and honest, and it can be seen from his attitude on the field. Cowboy’s coaches and executives will tell you that Bryant will give it his all every play and will fight and claw until the last second of the game. When things are going right he is championing his team up and cheering them on and when things are wrong he brings that same energy into getting into his teammates faces about mistakes. He has a rage to win, and that is an attitude that coach or player will want from a player.
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Though Dez Bryant is a very talented player, his flaws have not gone unnoticed by the public eye. Since entering the NFL in 2010, Bryant has without a doubt been the most controversial player to wear a star on his helmet since former cowboy’s wide receiver Michael Irvin. His on and off the field antics have been well documented and critically scrutinized by all in the NFL community.
Prior to coming into the NFL, Bryant was highly scrutinized and questioned by the media for being ruled ineligible to finish his last season at Oklahoma State University due to a NCAA violation. Upon entering the NFL, Bryant still continued to make headlines for off the field issues that ranged from being asked to leave a Dallas mall because of his dress and behavior, jewelers asking for their money, to even a confrontation with his own mother. Bryant’s career was a soap opera in his first few years in the NFL, but it seems that in his last two seasons, Bryant has got on the right track and plans to stay there. The only question left now is, for how long?
Bryant is set to make $1.78 million on the final year of his rookie contract. In comparison to the $11 million base salary that other elite receivers are making, such as: Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Percy Harvin, Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe and Vincent Jackson. At this rate the Cowboys are literally stealing Bryant’s services, considering how much Bryant could be making. And if the Cowboys fail to resign him after this season, Bryant could gladly hit the free agent market and get $11 million or more. But for a passionate player like Bryant, it would mean more to him if the Cowboys acknowledge him for is efforts for growing up in their franchise and wanting to see them improve from being an 8-8 team for the last three years.
In a recent press meeting, Bryant had this to say about where he stands with the team:
“I’m loyal to the squad,” Bryant said. “I’ve always been. Me and my agent are going to talk about [a hometown discount]. We’ll talk about it. You know, this is big. This is life-changing. Like I said, I’ve done everything asked of me, and we’ll see what happens.”
The point being is that he doesn’t want to leave. The Cowboys don’t want him to leave. But how will that translate to when it comes time to reaching an agreement.
As Dez Bryant continues to flourish on the field and distance himself from the off the field issues of responsibility and judgment that once held him back, he has now place himself in a good position to make a lot of money over next several years. One thing is for certain, that if he is able to keep the same focus and drive that got him to this point in his career, the Dallas Cowboys will pay, whether he stays or goes.
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