It appears free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant is getting a harsh reality check about the difference between his perceived value and his actual value.
In discussing the former Dallas Cowboy’s status Wednesday on ESPN’s “NFL Live,” Adam Schefter said it will be “tough for him to find work” in the NFL.
According to Schefter, there are “far more” teams unwilling to pay the 29-year-old Bryant the league minimum salary than teams that are willing.
Bryant, whose self-admiration stands out even among the ranks of diva receivers, made it clear in the offseason he wasn’t interested in working with the Cowboys to restructure his contract. The former All-Pro was slated to be the highest-paid player on the team, making $12.5 million in 2018, but his waning productivity made that a tough pill for Dallas to swallow.
“I haven’t heard no talk about that but if it comes, I don’t know, probably not,” Bryant told reporters when asked in December about taking a pay cut. “Hell no, man. I believe in me.”
Despite his declining totals in receptions, yards and touchdowns, he said his greatness was still evident on tape.
“Some of the film I see, damn, I’m running routes a lot better than this person and this person,” Bryant said. “It’s all about the opportunities. Hey, it is what it is. Hey, I’m Dez Bryant baby all day.”
The Cowboys released him April 13. “This was not an easy decision,” owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. “It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys.”
Even as Bryant was leaving the team facility that day, he was picking his landing spot: He indicated he planned to sign with another NFC East team so he could face Dallas twice each season.
If I didn’t have my edge I got it now… I’m sorry they got to feel me it’s personal… it’s very personal
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) April 13, 2018
The receiver-hungry Baltimore Ravens immediately stepped up. They reportedly offered him a contract in the neighborhood of the three-year, $21 million deal they had given to receiver Michael Crabtree in March.
Bryant wasn’t interested.
Now, Schefter said, “I cannot find a team out there that will pay Dez Bryant anywhere near that.”
He also said Bryant’s plans to sign with a Cowboys rival aren’t looking great.
“The NFC East, which Dez Bryant has talked about wanting to play in, does not seem to be offering any opportunities to him,” Schefter said. “Nothing from the Eagles, nothing from the Redskins, nothing from the Giants.”
With most teams reportedly not interested in paying the volatile receiver even $1 million a year, he might want to adjust his expectations.
“Eventually Dez Bryant will find work,” Schefter said. “But it’s not going to be, I would imagine, anywhere near the contract that many thought he would get.”
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