Dear Dez Bryant,
This might get me in trouble with our readers, but you're the best wide receiver in the game. It takes a lot for an Eagles fan to say that about a Cowboy. That's how good you are. And you deserve to be paid like the best. Which most definitely isn't the franchise tag and what the Cowboys are offering you in a long term deal. $12.8 million just isn't enough for a player of your caliber. Not even close. That's basically Mike Wallace money. Mike Wallace. Do you know how much of an insult $12.8 million is? Of course you do, but let's review what kind of players the Cowboys spend that type of money on. Brandon Carr has a $12.7 million cap hit this year. That's not a typo, I know this because I originally wrote it as $12.1 million, which is absurd enough. They will give Greg Hardy $11.3 million, pre-suspension, which is the sixth-highest average annual value for a DE who isn't the sixth best. But they won't give you top dollar for your top talent. That's disrespectful.
Jerry and Stephen Jones are making money hand over fist because of you. I know you saw Sunday's Last Week With John Oliver where he absolutely torched greedy owners for robbing taxpayers to pay for stadiums and then sharing absolutely none of the profits. And now they're trying to rob you. You have the 6th highest selling jersey according to NFL.com. More than Peyton Manning. More than JJ Watt. More than Tony Romo. The Cowboys are going to make a fortune off of you, and for it, they want to pay you a pittance. Oh and see way more of your jerseys sold than Calvin Johnson. Just another area where you're better than him.
Because make no mistake about it, you are better than Calvin Johnson. Since you entered the league in 2010, you are 5th in yards and 1st in touchdowns. And you did that being thrown to less than Steve Smith, who made the Pro Bowl only once during that time. You did that without being the only guy on your team worth throwing to, because you've had Romo's best friend in the whole wide world Jason Witten siphon passes away from you. Calvin Johnson racks up the stats because the Lions have no one else, he's been thrown to 174 more times than you have, yet you have more touchdowns than him in that span. And that timeframe, like the Cowboys, isn't fair to you. Johnson was a three-year veteran when you were a rookie. In your first five years in the league you have 381 catches for 56 touchdowns, in Megatron's first five years he had only 366 catches and 49 touchdowns despite being targeted 75 more times than you. You were better than him then, you're better than him now.
Torrey Smith had 49 catches for 767 yards last year, he got $8 million a year. You're twice the player he is, you deserve twice the money. You had more touchdowns and yards per reception than Demaryius Thomas, why should you make the same as him?
So why won't the Cowboys pay you like that? Because they're being cheap. They wouldn't pay DeMarco Murray what he deserved, and instead opted to sign Darren freaking McFadden because he cost less than a backup linebacker. They've doled out money to players nowhere close to your level without a thought such as Miles Austin, why are they suddenly getting frugal now? To keep your cost down. They colluded with the Broncos to keep your franchise tag down. That's offensive and illegal. In your contract year, they ran the ball 172 more times in 2014 than they did in 2013, resulting in your fewest targets the past three years. That's insulting. They artificially capped your statistics to deflate your value, then they illegally deflated your value in a closed market. The gall it takes to do that is stunning. Look at the arrogance they use to straight up lie about your value.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Jones explained to Bryant that the Calvin Johnson contract, which represents the current peak of the receiver market, has no relevance to other receivers because it was driven by the pre-rookie wage scale deal that Johnson signed when he was drafted by the Lions in 2007.
That's an affront to reality. Do they think we're fools? I think they think you're a fool. Dez, you know who else was drafted pre-rookie wage scale. Your agent knows. You were. Calvin Johnson's contract absolutely applies to you. It's disgracious that they are so flagrantly ignoring precedent. The Cowboys have changed their ways, to one of a cheap ass organization and they want to profit off of you. Take your money. Take your children's money.
Make them pay, if not figuratively then literally.
Preferably figuratively. Do you really want to work for a team that has spit in your face? That has two good players one of which is you, the other is a 35-year-old with a bad back? So you sign for six years, for four of them you won't have Tony Romo throwing you the ball. Or you could wait a year and choose your quarterback. How about Andrew Luck? Or Cam Newton? Or whoever the hell the Eagles QB will be in 2016? You can choose. You have that power. You've earned it. You deserve it.
You deserve over $115 million with at least $50 million guaranteed. Accept nothing less.
p.s. you totally caught the ball