The biggest names on the free-agent market are not driving a ton of excitement,, but in a few short days and/or weeks we could end up seeing some bigger names hit the open market.
One name to keep an eye on: Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant. Drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Bryant is on his second contract ( ) and will have a cap hit of $16.5 million in 2018. The Cowboys would save $8.5 million by releasing Bryant and could save another $4 million if he was designated a post-June 1 release.
That is a lot of money when you compare it against Bryant's production, which has waned since he was drafted. Last year Bryant finished with just 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns, despite playing a full 16-game season. He has not topped 1,000 receiving yards since 2014 and will turn 30 in the middle of the season.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones hasand in comments recently, Jones also said that Bryant "understands this is a business," which is exactly the sort of thing you say when you want to send a message to a player about his contract status and the upcoming season.
"No one wants to compete and get after it more than Dez," Jones said. "At the same time, we all know this is a business where everybody has to be accountable. Certainly everybody knows that. That's a tough one. Certainly we're going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business.
"Dez understands this is a business. No one thinks more of Dez Bryant than starting at the top, Jerry, and certainly me, his teammates, coach [Jason] Garrett, Will McClay. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Dez. That's one of the things that we're going to have to work through as we move into our future."
Here's the thing: Bryant Friday night on 105.3 the Fan in Dallas, a CBS Sports Radio affiliate, Bryant called all the talk about his deal "crazy."when it comes to 2018. He loves Dallas and he knows there is the potential, if everything clicks again, for the Cowboys to have a special season. During an appearance
"I just think it's crazy," Bryant said. "I'll be straight up honest. I think everything I've got, I deserve it. And I can get into way more details with that, but I'll leave that up to when it's time for me to sit down and talk with the Joneses – whenever that is."
Bryant also wavered a little bit over the weekend when discussing whether or not he would take a pay cut, emphasizing again that any sort of discussion on that front was between him and Stephen/Jerry Jones.
It's also possible this entire situation leads to Bryant trying his hardest to prove people wrong. That's certainly the vibe he put out there during the interview with the "Ben and Skin Show," with Bryant saying he's "grinding" and everyone who is against him can "kiss my a--." Fun times!
"I'm still working. I'm still grinding," Bryant said. "I feel like I'm grinding more than ever because of me, not because of nobody else. It's something that I want to do. It's something I feel like I have to do.
"I let a lot of things get in the way that should have never got in the way. I'm ready to make my mark. I don't care what nobody is talking about, I couldn't care less. Everybody that ain't with Dez Bryant, they can kiss my a--."
And Bryant knows that he's linked with the Jones family and the Star. He doesn't think it would be "right" to play anywhere else.
"It don't seem right," Bryant said. "It wouldn't be right."
Seeing Bryant in a different uniform would definitely be a weird sight. But it sounds increasingly likely that if Bryant wants to stay with the Cowboys, he's going to need to figure out some sort of different financial situation to make it happen.