ESPN and Chris Mortensen put out a report today citing sources who say Dez Bryant might hold out if he doesn't get a long-term contract. You can go ahead and put me down as very skeptical that there is any real substance to this report. All of this sounds like a classic negotiating strategy concocted by an agent. In fact, when his agent was asked about the idea of a holdout, he said:
"I'm just not going to comment about that," said Bryant's agent Tom Condon. "Our goal is still to get something done on a long-term basis by the deadline."
Negotiations 101. Put something out there, don't confirm it but just let it hang in the air. See if you can get any traction with it. The problem is, it would seem way out of character for Dez to hold out. We all know that Dez wants a long-term deal, and so do the Cowboys, But Bryant loves the game, he loves his teammates, and it's not like he's exactly going to be in the poor house this year. $12.8 million is a very nice payday.
Bryant hasn't commented on this yet. Instead it's sources commenting, likely coming straight from Bryant's agent's office.
Bryant could not be reached for comment but a source cited the option of "pulling an Emmitt Smith," referring to the Cowboys Hall of Fame running back who missed the first two games of the 1993 season.
For a more reasoned look at this whole thing, read Todd Archer, he knows the deal. Perhaps the most telling paragraph in his whole article:
In 2012 Drew Brees was given the franchise tag by the New Orleans Saints but didn't sign his deal until right before the same deadline Bryant faces on July 15. Brees' agent? Condon.
This whole thing has Tom Condon's fingerprints all over it. As Bryant's agent, he's just doing his job. But there is no way Bryant won't be suited up come the regular season.