When people are negotiating a deal, they often have one thing that matters most. For NFL football players, that one thing is usually guaranteed money. This is as it should be because once that amount has been paid out the player's security diminishes. The players call this guaranteed money....security.
So, with that background we can begin to analyze what the agents who are negotiating for Dez Bryant are going to be focused on and how that may affect the tone of those meetings. On the surface it may appear that it is about both sides meeting a happy medium over the price, but it is much more detailed than that.
Dez Bryant wants to be either the richest or second-richest wide receiver in the NFL and so we should begin by looking at what Calvin Johnson got on his last deal if we are to get an idea of what Dez may be looking for.
According to this article, Calvin Johnson received an eight-year deal, with a guaranteed $60 million. While the total was placed at $132 million, only the $60 million really matters. So, with those numbers we may be able to glean some insight into what may be happening on what Dez may be seeking.
It would seem that the Cowboys want a ten-year deal with Dez and perhaps one of the other terms they want is to be able to re-do the contract at their discretion to move money around in order to manipulate the cap dollars in different years. In other words, Dez gets the dollars, while the Cowboys get what they want which is the terms.
With this in mind perhaps Dez may be happy with something close to what Calvin Johnson got for guaranteed money, say $52-$56 million and the Cowboys would then ask for the ability to pay that out in their terms.
I think it is in both the Cowboys best interest and in Bryant's best interest to get this settled quickly since the $12.8 million cap hit will need to be reduced as soon as possible so that the Cowboys can have money to spend in free agency and from Bryant's perspective to be able to report to the O.T.A.s and training camp without having to worry about injury. What this also means is the Cowboys will not have to fear Bryant holding out until 10 games into the season before he reports because of this fear of injury affecting his guaranteed money and his career, which is one more reason for this to go quickly.
It would appear to me that one of the reasons that the Cowboys used the non-exclusive tag was to allow other teams to make offers (which can begin this weekend). If other teams will offer Dez more guaranteed money than what Johnson got, that could make the Cowboys job of settling that part go rather quickly and without much argument from the other side.
Let us know if you think Dez may want more than Johnson or if Dez will not get an offer of anything close to that amount of guaranteed money.