IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant is seeking to be paid like one of the NFL’s best receivers. The Cowboys are trying to make the parameters of a "Cowboys for Life" deal team-friendly. The "Dezline" for a deal that allows the parties to move from the franchise-tag one-year number of $12.8 million is 3 p.m. CT Wednesday.
And the sticking point, sources tell FOX Sports Southwest, is how to determine what a "guarantee" really means.
The Lions’ Calvin Johnson contract — a seven-year, $113 million extension signed in 2012 — is surely in Bryant’s mind. That’s $16.1 million per season, while Dallas reportedly is just now moving toward $13 mil a year. But those are big, round numbers that don’t take into account "guaranteed" money.
Dallas wishes Dez’ new deal to be reflective of the $100-mil contract it gave to tackle Tyron Smith last summer. That deal includes what the club calls $42 million in guarantees — but half of that is virtual guarantees, meaning there are stipulations attached to it.
Bryant has threatened to miss time if he doesn’t get a long-term deal to his liking, which would throw a damaging wrench into Dallas’ hopes of competing for a Super Bowl. Trying to create something near Calvin Johnson’s deal is his way to avoid that; trying to create something near Tyron Smith’s deal is Dallas’ way to avoid that.