Dez Bryant is prepared to sit out regular season games if he doesn't get a new contract by Wednesday. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver personally called the team's executive vice president, Stephen Jones, to deliver that message as the deadline to extend franchise players approaches.
Jones, however, denied that Bryant had issued an ultimatum to him. But on Monday afternoon, Bryant left no doubts about his intentions.
If the Cowboys are unable to sign Bryant to an extension before the Wednesday deadline, he will be forced to play the 2015 season under the franchise tag and wait until the 2016 offseason to receive an extension.
Playing under the franchise tag would mean a one-year deal worth just over $12.8 million for Bryant, but he would forfeit $752,000 per regular season game missed. He can, however, miss all of training camp without being fined, which is his plan if a deal isn't reached.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is in a similar situation after receiving the franchise tag earlier in the offseason. The NFLPA is currently investigating whether the Broncos and Cowboys contacted each other to discuss the comparable contract situations for the two receivers, which is prohibited as a form of collusion.
Bryant's touchdown numbers have increased in each of his five seasons in the NFL and he led the league in the category in 2014 with 16 touchdown grabs. He has 273 receptions for 3,935 yards and 41 touchdowns in the last three seasons.