There has been a lot of recent talk about the possibility of Cowboys rookie receiver Dez Bryant holding out for an extended period of time. Bryant was the 24th overall selection in this year’s draft, but most would agree he is far greater than the 24th most talented player.
The Cowboys have made it clear they are not willing to pay Bryant much more than his draft slot dictates, although Bryant’s agent will likely seek extra money. Nonetheless, there are a variety of reasons Bryant will not hold out for an extended period of time:
1. The presence of Miles Austin & Co. gives lessens Bryant’s leverage.
Make no mistake about it: Dez Bryant will be a major component of the Cowboys’ offense in 2010 and for years to come. However, Bryant was still a value pick. Not many people (including us) thought Dallas would select a wide receiver so early. They probably would have been fine at the position without Bryant, but his talent was too exceeding to pass up.
With Austin, the Cowboys have a legitimate No. 1 receiver. The Cowboys would love to get Bryant signed as quickly as possible, but they are in no dire need–from a personnel standpoint–to do so (and Bryant knows it).
2. The Cowboys have a great relationship with Bryant’s agent, Eugene Parker.
The Cowboys have worked with Parker in the past with much success. Yes, Parker was Michael Crabtree’s agent when he staged a lengthy holdout last season, but Bryant’s situation is completely different.
First, the difference between top five money (which Crabtree was seeking) and top 10 money is vast–much greater than the difference in compensation for which Bryant & Parker will initially be searching and what Dallas will offer.
Secondly, no matter what you may hear, Bryant is less of a diva than Crabtree. Crabtree’s primary focus was money. Bryant’s is playing football.
3. Bryant will want to avoid the negative publicity of a holdout.
He has already been criticized over character concerns such as a poor work ethic and lack of ideal attitude toward football (both of which are unfounded). These qualms were certainly a major factor in why he dropped in the first round of the draft.
Bryant knows there are a ton of people, some even Dallas fans, who are still on the fence regarding his future. He has all the talent in the world, but is he mentally and emotionally ready for the spotlight? He’ll want to prove that is the case.
4. Bryant is itching to get on the field.
The Oklahoma State product has not played football in nearly a year after being suspended for the entire 2009 season by the NCAA. Further, Bryant has something to prove. He knows he is a top talent and he is disappointed that he dropped so far in the draft (despite apparently being ecstatic about playing in Dallas). The kid wants to prove everyone wrong, and he wants to do so as soon as possible.
5. The ‘Boys will have an extra week to work out a deal.
The Cowboys play in the Hall of Fame game (the first preseason game) this season. Thus, they are able to open camp earlier than any other team.
Dallas is generally one of the last teams to begin signing draft picks, with talks usually heating up the week prior to training camp. With an extra week of practice, the Cowboys and Bryant have more time to hammer out a deal. Even a week-long stalemate would put the Cowboys in the same position they would be in had they not been assigned to play in the Hall of Fame game.
While Bryant probably won’t be signed by the very beginning of camp, don’t expect his “holdout” to last more than a few days.