The Dallas Cowboys have a somewhat big decision to make about wide receiver Dez Bryant, who has 3,935 receiving yards and 41 touchdown catches over the past three seasons. The team can either slap its franchise-player tag on him for next season and 2016, probably paying Bryant around $28.6 million in guaranteed money if they do it both years, or try to work out a long-term contract extension.
But some are suggesting that they’ll do neither and let him walk as a free agent, perhaps because of rumors about a video showing Bryant doing … something.
ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter appeared Wednesday on the “Carmen & Jurko” show on ESPN Chicago 1000 to talk about a number of issues, including Bryant’s status with the Cowboys. The hosts asked him about the alleged video, and he cryptically revealed that he’s been pursuing this story for months now and that “there’s a lot involved.” It was a curious admission from one of ESPN’s most prominent NFL voices. Rarely do reporters talk about stories they are pursuing but have yet to nail down, especially to a radio audience.
[Other NFL news: Ravens release Jacoby Jones]
Here are Schefter’s full comments (they start at about the 46th minute here). For clarity’s sake, I’ve combined Carmen and Jurko’s questions and comments.
C&J: What’s gonna happen to Dez Bryant in Dallas?
AS: [long pause] That’s a very interesting question.
C&J: Are they gonna franchise him, are they not gonna franchise him? There’s a video out there? What’s the video? What is going on?
AS: Um, I’ll just say this: Check back with me on that one.
C&J: Have you … so you’ve heard about this video?
AS: Heard about it?
C&J: Yeah. Have you seen it? Do you know what’s on it?
C&J: Have you seen it? Is it less than complimentary?
AS: I have not seen it.
C&J: Okay, you have not seen it. … First of all, how could this not have been released at this point? … Is he doing something criminal, can you talk about it?
AS: Um, I’ll say this: Uhhhh, I’ve been working on this since September.
C&J: Since September?
AS: Since September.
C&J: Is it criminal?
AS: Like I said, I’ve been working on this since September. There’s a lot involved.
C&J: Is this going to come out?
AS: Don’t know. Don’t know yet.
C&J: Okay, wow. I have never heard about this until the weekend, and now it’s all over the Internet.
AS: It’s taken up a lot of my time this season, I’ll say that.
C&J: And you did it in a very clandestine way it sounds like then.
AS: Well listen, whatever we’ve been working on is not ready, and maybe never will be. Who knows? You know, you gotta be very careful on these things. So people can talk about videos, they talk about this, they can talk about that, the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t mean anything, and it’s really not fair to him right now until you have all your facts in line. Which, um, we spent a long time trying to do.
C&J: The Cowboys are dealing with this, obviously. Is it part of the negotiations, part of the decision to tag or not tag him?
AS: Dallas’s decision is what they want to do with Dez Bryant, what’s the best thing to do for the franchise, and ultimately I don’t see a way in which Dez Bryant is leaving Dallas. I think they have a tag at their disposal, they certainly could use the tag. … Dez Bryant’s not going anywhere, and if I had to bet, I would be that both Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray are both back in Dallas next season. … That’s how I see this playing out, but look, these things change on a day-to-day basis, so, you now, what I believe now might be entirely different next week. These things are always very fluid, it’s part of the ebb and flow of the offeseason. But I’ll say this: Dez Bryant is gonna have a tough time getting out of Dallas because of the tag.
Dallas has until March 2 to make a franchise-tag decision on Bryant or running back DeMarco Murray, who is also eligible to receive the Cowboys’ lone franchise-tag designation but is seen as less likely to receive it.
More from Post Sports: