With the 2010 NFL season quickly approaching, teams are making a push to have all of their players signed to contracts and in training camps. Rookies are also making an effort to start off on the right foot with their new teams, and perhaps no player needed to more than the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant. The wide receiver signed a deal with the team that will set aside past distractions, and allow him to focus on winning a starting role on the team.
The five-year deal Bryant signed with the Cowboys is worth $11.8 million, with $8.3 million guaranteed. He will start the 2010 season making $320,000 and received $2.5 million to sign. There are also incentive base bonuses connected to playing time. NFL point spreads might favor the Cowboys a lot more if Bryant sees significant playing time.
Bryant’s agent Eugene Parker says they are still ironing out the details of the contract, but his client will still be able to report to camp on time. Surprisingly, Bryant is the first first-round draft pick to be signed to a contract. No. 1 overall selection Sam Bradford has yet to reach a deal with the St. Louis Rams.
“This was very important to me to be able to get this done in time for the first practice,” Bryant said. “I want to help this team. I want to compete. I can’t wait to start playing football again.”
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones says that Bryant may play a key role in the offense next season, and that it was important to get him into camp as soon as possible. Now that the deal is in place, NFL betting trends could swing in the Cowboy’s favor at the start of the ’10 season.
“It was important to get Dez in on time,” Jones said. “We think he can be helpful to us. He knows we have a good football team and we’re counting on him to be a big part of it.”
Parker is also the representative of Mike Jenkins and Felix Jones, two players that reported late to Cowboys camp after being selected in the first round. Last season, another Parker client, Michael Crabtree, didn’t sign with the 49ers until October.
It was reported that Parker told Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones that if the team selected Bryant in the first round, he would avoid a drawn-out contract process.
“It helped to have a sense of urgency because it made the deal get done,” Parker said. “Jerry and Stephen and I have a relationship of trust in doing deals and we give each other the benefit of doubt.”
Bryant was the at the center of controversy in his last season with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, only playing three games due to a suspension for violating NCAA rules. He lied to NCAA investigators about a conversation he had with former Cowboys defensive back Deion Sanders.
The Cowboys advanced to the playoffs four years in the 2000′s, but have failed to advance to a Super Bowl since they won Super Bowl XXX in 1996. Those setting NFL odds have the Cowboys’ pre-season chances of winning Super Bowl XLV at +1000.