Bryant's agent, Eugene Parker, and the Cowboys have been talking about a new deal for the 25-year-old wideout, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
So in Bryant's mind, there's no reason to get too concerned.
“I honestly feel like what I do, sooner or later, I’m going to get what I deserve,” Bryant said. “I believe it. That’s why I don’t stress about it. There’s no need to stress about it. It’s coming. I know it’s coming, so no need to worry about it.”
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Bryant doesn't want negotiations to linger into the regular season, and the Cowboys seem comfortable with that stance. So it wouldn't be stunning to see a contract extension agreed upon prior to Sept. 7. In fact, Bryant said there was a “big chance” that could happen.
“I wouldn’t refute that. I just wouldn’t,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I think that’s the best way to respond to that. He’s got a good sense of it. He obviously feels in the right circumstances he wants to get something done. We do, too. That can be good.”
What will it cost the Cowboys? They have to start at the $10 million mark per season. Seven receivers — Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall, Percy Harvin, Mike Wallace and Vincent Jackson — are above that level, with Johnson's $16.25 million topping the per-year list.
Bryant deserves to be north of $10 milion and south of Johnson's number. Even the salary cap-challenged Cowboys have to understand and agree with that. Bryant has 25 touchdowns the past two seasons, which is tied for the most in the NFL.
“I believe a player should get paid what he deserves,” Bryant said. “If I’m top five, I’m top five. If I’m top three, I’m top three. If I’m top two, I’m top two. It is what it is.”
If a deal is not struck before Week 1's game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys could fall back on the franchise tag option in 2015. Bryant is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and it's likely he'd frown upon such a designation, but that likely would guarantee Bryant a one-year tender of more than $13 million.
Even with big extensions in recent years for Tony Romo and Tyron Smith, the Cowboys should be able to get this done. Players such as Romo, Jason Witten and Doug Free could be restructure candidates at some point for accounting purposes, and a player such as Brandon Carr ($12.7 million cap hit in 2015) could be cut to help save space.
“Do I like the wait? No, but do I understand the wait? Yeah, I understand it. I understand it clearly,” Bryant said. “But at the same time, the No. 1 goal for me is me out here with my teammates, going to war with them. That’s exactly what I’m focused on.”
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