Jerry Jones said he wants to make wide receiver Dez Bryant a part of the Dallas Cowboys for life, and the Dallas Cowboys owner could be ready to show it with a long-term contract extension.
Discussions aimed at a new deal for Bryant began in 2013, but as recently as Monday the Pro Bowl wide receiver said he would turn off contract talks when the season begins.
That time is near with Bryant entering the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him just over $2 million including a $250,000 workout bonus in 2014. NFL Network reported a deal for Bryant could be imminent, with an announcement possible as soon as Thursday.
"I deserve it. I feel like I do," Bryant said in minicamp . "I put the work in, but I let that kind of stuff take care of itself. It is what it is. I let my agent talk about it and give me some feedback."
Entering his fifth season, Bryant turns 26 in November and has 293 career catches with 40 touchdowns as quarterback Tony Romo's No. 1 target. Bryant was drafted 24th overall in the 2010 draft because of off-field concerns and has run into issues since joining the team out of Oklahoma State.
Bryant caught 93 passes for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns last season and leads the NFL with 25 TD catches since 2012.
"I'm loyal to the squad," Bryant told ESPN in minicamp. "I've always been. Me and my agent are going to talk about (a hometown discount). We'll talk about it. You know, this is big. This is life-changing. Like I said, I've done everything asked of me, and we'll see what happens."
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension last week. Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions (eight years, $132 million) and Arizona Cardinals' standout Larry Fitzgerald (seven years, $113 million) set the bar at stratospheric heights for the position. Recent deals for high-profile free agents Vincent Jackson (five years, $55.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Mike Wallace (five years, $60 million with the Miami Dolphins) average more than $11 million per season and included guarantees over $20 million.