DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — Teams can begin placing the franchise tag on players on Feb. 16. NFL insider Jason La Canfora says the designation is inevitable for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.
“I’d be pretty surprised at this point if they got something long term done with Dez anytime soon,” said La Canfora with Shan & RJ on 105.3 The Fan.
By placing the tag on Bryant, Dallas would have a window to continue discussing a long-term deal with its star receiver — and possibly some leverage.
La Canfora believes that Bryant is a “physical specimen” and has the “total package” as a No. 1 receiver. The fact that Bryant and the Cowboys have yet to reach an agreement — it signals hesitation on the part of the Cowboys.
“There are some off-field issues. There are some concerns in that regard,” said La Canfora. “They’ve been talking for a long time, and it’s gotten nowhere.”
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
When pressed on whether or not the off-the-field issues are real or fabricated, La Canfora confirmed that the doubts represent a mindset from within Valley Ranch.
“If they were willing to make the kind of commit that top-5 wide receivers in the league get, then this would be done.”
Bryant is likely to command a contract in the range of $15 million per season. A franchise tag for the 2015 season would cost the club around $12.7 million.
If the Cowboys can avoid placing the tag on Bryant, the team could explore retaining Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray via the tag. However, that’s not the team’s only option.
La Canfora believes Dallas has its eyes on another star ball carrier — Vikings running back Adrian Peterson — who must apply for reinstatement in April.
While Peterson’s status is unresolved and could change, La Canfora projects Dallas as a likely destination for the 6-time Pro Bowl running back.
“All things being equal, I see him as a Dallas Cowboy — whether that’s via trade, or a straight up free agent signing because he gets cut.”
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)