Dez Bryant needs to get paid. He knows it and Jerry Jones knows it. There are rumors floating around that Bryant and his agent, Eugene Parker, have had an extension offer on the table for weeks. Since Training Camp has heated up, talk of an extension has cooled off, but there is still time to work it out.
Bryant is in the final year of his five-year, $11.8 million deal he signed as a rookie out of Oklahoma State. His average salary of $2.3 million ranks 57th among wide receivers. In 2013, Bryant finished 13th in receiving yards (1,233) and tied for third in touchdowns (13). Bryant's 67 receptions for first downs were fifth in the NFL.
Bryant reportedly wants top-5 receiver money (at least). Should he get it?
Consider this, a comparison of Bryant's first four years in the league to the highest paid wide receiver in the league, Calvin Johnson:
*Does not include Bryant's two punt return touchdowns in 2010.
Johnson is in the middle of a seven-year, $113 million deal with $48.75 million guaranteed. He is a free agent in 2020.
So what does a top-five paid wide receiver look like?
Average Salary (millions)
Calvin Johnson - $16.2
Larry Fitzgerald - $16.1
Mike Wallace - $12
Dwayne Bowe - $11.2
Vincent Jackson - $11.1
Guaranteed money (millions)
Calvin Johnson - $48.75
Mike Wallace - $30
Larry Fitzgerald - $27
Vincent Jackson - $26
Brandon Marshall - $22.3
Contract Value (years, millions)
Calvin Johnson - 7/$113.45
Larry Fitzgerald - 7/$113
Andre Johnson - 7/$67.8
Percy Harvin - 6/$64.2
Mike Wallace - 5/$60
With the low end of the spectrum being Wallace and the high end being Johnson/Fitzgerald, Bryant should expect something along the lines of seven years and $83 million with $30 million being guaranteed.
Now, I would expect Bryant to want something closer to Johnson/Fitzgerald money and I would predict the Jones' and Bryant agree to a seven-year, $91 million deal with $35 million guaranteed. That would make him the third-highest paid wide receiver with the second-most guaranteed money.
Should the Cowboys extend Bryant? What is your prediction for his new contract?
Eddie Middlebrook can be reached on Twitter @emiddlebrook.