The Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant’s agents met for the first time in months Friday, a source confirmed.
How productive those talks were between the two sides regarding an agreement on a long-term contract extension remains to be seen, and the source declined to go into specifics of the meeting.
Bryant showed up for Dirk Nowitzki’s charity baseball game on Saturday at Dr Pepper Ballpark, receiving a rousing ovation from the crowd when introduced before the game, but a Cowboys public relations representative would not make Bryant available for comment on his contract situation when he arrived.
Bryant signed a few autographs for fans before heading to the clubhouse. After making a catch in left field, Bryant entertained the fans by celebrating with a back flip.
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But the two sides meeting is news, considering that they hadn’t talked in nearly four months. They have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal, or Bryant will have to play the 2015 season under the franchise tag.
Bryant has expressed his displeasure with doing so, which would guarantee him $12.8 million next season. He would like to reach a long-term deal with more guaranteed money by the deadline.
Bryant, 26, has threatened to go as far as missing regular-season games without an extension, although the Cowboys feel that is an empty threat. Jerry Jones said earlier this month that he expects Bryant to be “leading the way” when the team opens the season Sept. 13 against the New York Giants.
Bryant would forfeit approximately $754,000 every week he sits out, and, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the two sides are barred from further negotiations until after the season once the July 15 deadline passes.
Bryant would sit out in hopes he forces the Cowboys to put in a clause that prohibits them from using the franchise or transition tag on him a second consecutive season in 2016.
The Cowboys gave Greg Hardy that luxury when they structured a one-year contract for the troubled defensive end, an All-Pro with the Carolina Panthers.