FRISCO, Texas – There is a lot of talk swirling around Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. Many are wondering if Bryant will take a pay cut next season, or if he will be cut entirely from the 2018 roster. If the Cowboys select a wide receiver with their 19th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, what does that mean for veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant?
In 2015, Bryant signed a $70 million dollar 5-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys, with $32 million guaranteed at signing. He will be a free agent in 2020. He is set to make $16.5 million in 2018 at his cap hit. His cap hit is currently 3rd in the NFL behind Antonio Brown at $17.7 million, and Larry Fitzgerald at $16.9 million. There has been talk of the veteran taking a pay cut this year or being cut altogether. This past year, Bryant had 69 receptions, 838 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns.
Bryant is being paid to be an elite wide receiver on the field week in and week out, but there has been issues this past year with his chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott and his productivity on the field. His effectiveness and playmaking ability have decreased in the past few years. The Cowboys are beginning to explore other options.
Vice President Stephen Jones commented on Dez, “ We pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He’s aware of it as anybody when he talks to Jerry and myself. He knows when you get paid that kind of money, there’s high expectations in terms of the productivity. Those are all things we have to look at as a team, as an organization, when we start to put our team together for next year.”
Unless Bryant is willing to take a pay cut in 2018, the Cowboys need to let him go. He is being paid to perform at the NFL’s highest level for a receiver, and this past year Bryant did not. The Cowboys have many other players they have to think about keeping under the salary cap including defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and right guard Zack Martin who were both named to the Pro Bowl this year. The Cowboys need to extend both of their contracts to keep the solid structure in their offensive and defensive lines. The Cowboys will have big decisions to make in the draft and during the off-season before the 2018 season begins.
Brianna Dix graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communications. She is a reporter, writer, host, and avid sports fan with a passion for sports.