Dez Bryant will be a free agent after the season, and the Cowboys would prefer to hammer out a contract extension for the wide receiver before then. There are very few times in a career when a football player has any leverage in a negotiation with an NFL team, and Bryant is currently enjoying one such moment, which is of course why we're now hearing about his supposedly worrisome—and possibly value-depressing—off-the-field issues.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport amplified those concerns on Sunday:
Rapoport had a more extensive report on NFL Network. Via NFL.com:
"This is a genuine concern," Rapoport said. "The Cowboys, I am told by multiple sources involved in the situation, do not trust Dez Bryant off the field. They feared — and they have feared for a while — that it will all blow up in his face, that a variety of small incidents will all come back to haunt him.
"I went to the DeSoto (Texas) City Police Department. I found six instances of police coming to Dez Bryant's house — that's where he lives, in DeSoto. Among the incidents — and none of these were convictions — there was a harassment incident, there was a robbery at his house, the fire department had to come and unlock his car that had a sleeping baby inside. All of these things give the Cowboys cause for concern. He's had anger management; they have a manager with him at all times. But they are very nervous, and this is one reason they have not wanted to give him the guaranteed money that most elite receivers get."
(By the way, the Cowboys' best offer to Bryant was 10 years and $114 million. Sounds good, right? According to Rapoport, only $20 million was guaranteed.)
Why Bryant's house getting robbed represents a troubling character issue for him is beyond me. But expect a lot more of this. Chief Inspector Jerry Jones is on the case. There is a player's earnings potential to dampen.