Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant tweeted on July 13 he will not report to the team if no long-term deal is in place.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant has made his sentiments regarding his future known to the Dallas Cowboys.
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Bryant tweeted on July 14 he will not report to the team unless a long-term deal is already in place:
According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the tweet follows a phone call Bryant made to the Cowboys last week which relays the same message.
Bryant told Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones he will skip training camp and even regular-season games if both sides fail to reach a long-term agreement before the 4 p.m. ET deadlline on July 15, per ESPN.
However, Jones texted Werder denying Bryant ever threatened to miss training camp and regular-season games in the event of a holdout.
Werder stresses the Cowboys and Bryant's representatives -- CAA's Tom Condon and Roc Nation Sports -- have met face-to-face once. They exchanged proposals on the Fourth of July.
Bryant told Jones he understands the NFL's franchise player designation. He also added he wants to spend his career in Dallas, per Werder.
However, Bryant cites his performance in the last five years which gives the Cowboys reason to give him a lucrative, long-term deal, per ESPN.
During that span, Bryant caught for 5,424 yards and 56 touchdowns on 381 receptions, per ESPN stats.
Should the Cowboys not come up with an offer for Bryant by Wednesday, he will earn $12.8 million in the 2015 NFL season as their franchise-tagged player.
Werder says the other franchise-tagged players include Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston and New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Wide receivers A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons also have franchise tenders for 2015, per The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota.
Machota's league source told him on Monday the NFL Players Association believes Dallas and Denver contacted one another regarding the contracts of Bryant and Thomas, something which is prohibited under the league's collective bargaining agreement.
The NFLPA is currently investigating if collusion occurred between the two sides, per The Dallas Morning News.
For their part, the Cowboys cannot fine Bryant for sitting out training camp if he does not sign his franchise tender. On the other hand, he would be docked $752,000 in pay for every regular-season game he misses next season, per ESPN.
If Bryant does sit out several regular-season games, he joins defensive end Greg Hardy and linebacker Rolando McClain on the Cowboys' sideline. The league suspended Hardy and McClain for the first four weeks of the 2015 NFL season, per Werder.
Despite the brewing Bryant controversy, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones told David Helman of the team's official website in June during minicamp he remains confident his star receiver will play for the entirety of 2015:
"If we're still in a franchise situation with Dez, I have no doubt that he'll be leading the way against the New York Giants (for the 2015 season opener on Sept. 13). We just know how competitive Dez is and how much he wants to beat the Giants and how much he wants to support his teammates."
Machota reported on Monday that Bryant was on hand for the Cowboys' final minicamp session last month. He chatted with Jones for approximately 15 minutes and concluded their short talk with a hug.
Prior to that minicamp session, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told Machota he also believes Bryant will be able to suit up sooner than later:
"Dez is preparing himself to play football. There is a business side to the NFL that's real, that's real for our team, it's real for every team in this league. But I know Dez, I know his mindset, I know his mentality, I know he's working and hopefully we can get the business stuff resolved and he can get back to playing football."
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