When asked on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Friday, Bryant was asked if he would be willing to take a cut in pay to remain with the team.
“That’s a discussion for me, for myself and my agent and Mr. Jones and the Joneses, the Dallas Cowboys,” Bryant said.
Late last season Bryant said he would not take a pay cut. He is set to make $12.5 million in 2018 and counts $16.5 million against the cap. If the Cowboys were to release Bryant, who is the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown catches, they could save up to $12.5 million against the cap depending on the designation.
If he is designated a post-June 1 cut, then the Cowboys would save $12.5 million against the cap, but he would be on the books in 2019 for $4 million. Without the designation, they would save $8 million and they would be free from a salary-cap perspective in 2019.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones has said the Cowboys will have to look at Bryant’s contract. It is likely they will meet with Bryant’s agent, Kim Miale, next week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“No one wants to compete and get after it more than Dez,” Jones said at the first Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award dinner. “At the same time, we all know this is a business where everyone has to be accountable. Certainly, everybody knows that. You know, that’s a tough one. Certainly, we’re going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business.”
“Dez understands this is a business. No one thinks more of Dez Bryant than, starting at the top, Jerry [Jones], and certainly me, his teammates, coach [Jason] Garrett, Will McClay,” Jones said. “We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Dez. But that’s one of the things we’re going to have to work through as we move into our future.”
On The Fan, Bryant said he played hurt through part of last season. He said in the final month of the season he dealt with tendinitis that impacted his performance, but he did not miss a game for the first time since 2014. He finished with 69 receptions for 838 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was 28th in the league in yards and tied for 24th in catches.
Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has not recorded a 1,000-yard season. He battled through foot and knee injuries in 2015 and 2016.
“I don’t even want it to sound like an excuse, but it is the truth,” Bryant said of being compromised by injury. “It’s like one thing that I know — [head athletic trainer Jim Maurer] will tell you — I hate going in that training room. I don’t like going in that training room, especially when I needed to be in that training room.
“But this time around, I want to take care of my body. I want to get it all the way right. I want it to be right. I promise you I ain’t having nobody questioning me again. This is what I love, and I accept everything that’s coming my way right now. That’s OK. That’s fine. I just want to work. That all I want to do. I want to work. I want to stay out of the way. I want to control what I can control and I want my respect. That’s it.”
Bryant said he could not picture himself playing for another team.
“It don’t seem right,” Bryant said on The Fan. “It wouldn’t be right.”
Bryant grew up a Cowboys fan in Lufkin, Texas. The Cowboys selected him with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 draft.
“Man, honestly, it means everything to me,” Bryant said of playing in Dallas. “It means everything. I do want to bring this city a championship. We ain’t had one since the ’90s, and it really is about that time. That’s where my mind is. And we haven’t done it and I want to be a part of that because I do believe that it can happen, and we’ll just have to see.
“Like I said, I’m still working. I’m still grinding. I feel like I’m grinding more than I ever [have] because of me, not because of nobody else. It’s something that I want to do, something I feel like I have to do. I let a lot of things get in the way that shouldn’t have never got in the way. I really didn’t make my mark. I don’t care what nobody is talking about. I could care less. Everybody ain’t with Dez Bryant, they can kiss my ass.”
Cowboys agree to one-year deal with punter Bryan Anger as part of special teams reshaping, source says
The Cowboys signed long snapper Jake McQuaide in free agency over retaining veteran L.P. Ladouceur for a 17th season and released punter Chris Jones, who played in just eight games in 2020 before undergoing core-muscle surgery.
Anger, 32, was released by the Houston Texans last month. He averaged 46.4 yards per punt with a 41.8-yard net average in 2020. He has also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has averaged 46.2 yards per punt with a 42.1-yard net average for his career.
After Jones’ season ended, the Cowboys used Hunter Niswander for eight games. He averaged 47.2 yards per punt and had a 42-yard net average. Of his 26 punts, 10 were downed inside the 20.
Anger becomes the ninth free agent the Cowboys have added this offseason, joining McQuaide, safeties Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee and Jayron Kearse, pass-rusher Tarell Basham, defensive linemen Carlos Watkins and Brent Urban, and offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe. Because he was released by Houston, Anger does not count toward the compensatory-pick formula.
NFL Network first reported on the agreement with Anger.
Jim Schwartz returning to Tennessee Titans as defensive assistant
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans announced Wednesday that they have added Jim Schwartz to the coaching staff as senior defensive assistant.
“We are excited to add Jim to our staff,” Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said in a prepared statement. “He has a deep level of football knowledge and has overseen a great deal of success on the defensive side of the ball, so it always good to add a quality coach to our staff. This role will provide our defensive staff with Jim’s experience and perspective in the staff meetings and on the practice field.”
Schwartz spent 10 years (1999-2008) with the Titans as an assistant coach. Eight of his 10 seasons in Tennessee were as the Titans’ defensive coordinator. During his time with Tennessee, the Titans earned six playoff berths, played in two AFC Championship Games and appeared in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Schwartz’s return to the Titans comes after he was the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past five seasons (2016-20). A source told ESPN earlier this year that Schwartz had intended to take the year off as he contemplated retirement.
“Although my passion for the game remains strong, it is best for me to step back from the day-to-day of coaching for the time being. I have too much respect for the game and for everybody involved to compromise the level of commitment that I believe is necessary to do the job,” Schwartz said when he stepped away from his duties with the Eagles. “I don’t know what my future holds, but I am willing to do anything I can to help this organization in any way.”
ESPN’s Tim McManus contributed to this report.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady realized ‘another way’ to achieve NFL success
For 20 seasons, Tom Brady only knew one way — the “Patriot Way” — but it took just one additional season to realize that it wasn’t the only way to achieve success.
“When you’re in one place for 20 years, you think that’s the only way,” Brady told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired Wednesday. “And I think when you go to a different place, you realize, ‘Wow. There’s another way that people do things.'”
He later added: “I was the new guy for the first time, you know. And that was a really different experience.”
Those new experiences resulted in a familiar outcome, as Brady won another Super Bowl championship — his seventh overall — in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He signed with the Bucs as a free agent last offseason, leaving behind the legacy he built with the New England Patriots
“I think that’s a great part about football,” Brady told GMA. “It’s not really about what you did last year. It’s kind of, what you’re going to do this year. So, for me, it was what I was going to do for the Bucs last year. I still feel that way.”
“That’s a big part of what I understood last year: Things are gonna be different. I try to work within what’s currently happening, but still try to do the best I could do. All of it was really, really amazing – obviously with the way the season ended – so it was a great year.”
It was also the first season that he had played for a head coach other than New England’s Bill Belichick.
“[Bruce Arians] is a great motivator,” Brady said of the Bucs’ coach. “He’s got a great feel for the team … a great pulse for what’s going on in a locker room, great intuition, great evaluation of talent.”
And at age 43, Brady relied on motivation to keep his competitive fire stoked en route to winning his fifth Super Bowl MVP award.
“I was always kind of motivated by people that say, ‘You can’t do it,” Brady said. “You know, ‘you’re not good enough, you’re not fast enough, not big enough, not good enough arm.’ I’ve had a body of work over a period of time and … quickly you forget.”
That body of work isn’t finished. Brady is tied with the Bucs through the 2022 season after agreeing to an extension this offseason that saved $19 million against the salary cap for 2021. And with that money, the Bucs kept the band together, with all 22 starters on offense and defense returning to the team to defend its title.
“I don’t think proving it, for me, is the motivation,” Brady told GMA. “I still want to play. I got like a little sickness in me that just wants to throw a frickin’ spiral, you know what I mean?
“Once you stop, you can’t go back and do it. I got some more football [left in me]. I mean, not a lot – and I know that. But what I got left, I’m gonna go and give everything I got.”
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