Dez Bryant reportedly was in ‘financial distress’ before signing new deal
After an agonizingly protracted negotiation period, Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys finally came to terms on a contract extension for the wide receiver. Reports indicate that Bryant was plagued by financial issues prior to signing a five-year, $70 million deal last week.
Four sources reportedly told Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole that Bryant was in “financial distress” leading up to signing the deal, arguably compelling him to put pen to paper, even if he perhaps felt he could have gotten more money … although the $45 million in “guaranteed: money included in the deal is the second-most ever offered to a wide receiver. Although Cole does spell out how the Cowboys inserted several safeguards into the deal in order to protect themselves in the long-term.
In an odd wrinkle related to the negotiations, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and son Stephen flew to New York to meet with representatives of Roc Nation shortly before the deal was finalized, something that was considered “notably abnormal” to some in the league.
“The Cowboys have known Dez for five years,” said one anonymous NFL general manager. “They know him better than anyone knows him. They know every detail, and they have a relationship with him, yet they still needed assurances. I’ve been in that situation, but I could have that conversation directly with the player. Not his marketing people.”
The Joneses must have been concerned over the wide receiver’s practically nonexistent endorsement deals, which is surprising given his status as one of the elite players in the NFL. Bryant apparently has no endorsement deals beyond an arrangement with Nike and Jordan Brand.
The Cowboys were also weary of giving Bryant such a huge deal because he is “high-maintenance and worrisome,” Cole writes. He adds that Bryant allegedly also has “no sense of time management” and is “consistently late to meetings, team buses and other team functions.”
The wide receiver’s perceived shortcomings in these areas led to Bryant losing an estimated $400,000 and $1 million in income from endorsements, according to two sources. Given Bryant’s purported “financial distress” and lack of marketability, the so-called “guaranteed” money probably went a long way in getting the deal done.