As Cowboys minicamp comes and goes, no timetable is set for locking up wide receiver Dez Bryant to a contract extension. And even as Bryant enters the final year of his rookie contract, Jerry Jones said there is no rush to get a deal done before the 2014 season starts.
“I’m not sure we have any issues with timing there at all with any of our contracts,” Jerry Jones said.
Bryant said Wednesday that he will let the contract situation take care of itself, but knows he plays a role in how it unfolds.
“I’m going to be very involved,” he said. “I’m the one playing on the field. When it’s time for me to be up in the meeting… I’m going to speak my piece.”
“All I know is I’m going to continue to keep doing my job. That alone shows the dedication and love that I have for the game,” Bryant said.
Dez is coming off of a season in which he recorded 93 catches for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns, but he takes pride in a newfound professionalism he didn’t have when he came into the league.
“I tried to do it from day one, but I wasn’t understanding the whole process of how to be a professional player,” Bryant said. “As time went on, I started learning little by little and it all came together and still is.”
Bryant was recently left off a list of the top 101 NFL players by Pro Football Focus, with receivers Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, and even the likes of T.Y. Hilton making the list, among several others.
But his new approach to being an NFL wideout includes not comparing himself to the game’s elite wide receivers.
“It’s for other people to talk about,” he said, but he feels good when is name is included in the conversation because he’s just a fan of football and the great players in the league.
As far as his contract goes, Bryant will likely be worth close to the three-year, $30 million deal Marshall signed with Chicago this offseason. But Bryant wouldn’t comment on the prospect of receiving such a deal.
“I’m going to talk about all that when it’s time to talk about it,” he said Wednesday.
On the field, Jones said that Bryant needed to be in better shape than he has been in his four years as a Cowboy, and that he is in better shape this offseason. Bryant’s conditioning, preparation and participation in team activities have all improved, he said.
But that’s it.
“I’m not a liberty to discuss anything off the field,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t get into that.”
The 71-year-old owner said he doesn’t give details on the status of contract negotiations, but Bryant gave every indication that he has matured off the field and has done what he needs to do to earn an extension.
“I’m confident in the work that I’ve put in. Whatever happens happens,” he said.
The 25-year-old is owed a base salary of $1.78 million in the final year of his five-year rookie deal this season.