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NFLPA Looking Into Possible Cowboys-Broncos Collusion On Wide Receiver Contracts

The players union think something is rotten in Denver and Dallas.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys received very good news with the reduction of the Greg Hardy suspension from ten games to four. But that was soon followed by an ominous sounding bit of information. The NFLPA is reportedly looking into possible collusion between the Cowboys and the Denver Broncos involving the contract negotiations with Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. This was first reported by Adam Schefter, who has still not been arrested. He reported the following during a break from searching for incriminating Bryant videos and divulging confidential medical records.

What would collusion entail in this case? In simple terms, the suspicion would be that members of the Cowboys and Broncos staffs discussed how to keep the contracts for the two players from becoming too expensive. It has long been believed that both teams were hesitant to be the first one to sign their star receiver to a deal that would set the market for top-flight wideouts, but under the CBA, the teams are not allowed to share information with each other in order to avoid unnecessarily bidding the contracts up.

The fact that both teams are getting closer to the July 15th deadline for completing contracts is certainly the source of the suspicions, even though there have been recent reports from people close to the Cowboys that the team is comfortable with the progress towards a long term deal with Bryant.

While the delay in signing either Bryant or Thomas could be the result of illegal contacts between the team, it also can be attributed to the fact that the teams have until the deadline, and these kinds of deals often go to the last hours. Also, the two teams have placed the franchise tag on their players, and have cap space to go into the season that way. Denver has been reported to be taking a hard stance, but there seems to be real hope that Dallas is going to get their deal done next week.

The Cowboys have stated there is "nothing to it" when asked about the reports. It is possible this is just a fishing expedition by the NFLPA, who is only looking to protect its members. Further complicating things is this.

Yes, both Bryant and Thomas are clients of agent Tom Condon, who may well have given some information to the teams about what the other one is doing. This could be accurate information or flat out deception. If he has been the conduit for some numbers passed on to each side, then the teams cannot be held accountable.

The reality of things is of course still to be determined. Proving anything is going to be difficult, and it is not likely the teams are going to confess to something. Just because the deals have not gotten done does not mean something illegal is going on. It could just be the result of hard, careful negotiation. It is not surprising that this would be reported, of course.. It is a legitimate story, supposedly confirmed independently. And it is the Cowboys. News about them is always going to draw attention, especially negative things.

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