The Dallas Cowboys used their franchise tag designation on wide receiver Dez Bryant, and the situation is deteriorating. Teams have until Wednesday to sign such players to long-term deals. If a deal is not reached by Wednesday, a long-term extension cannot be signed until after the season.
There have been rumors Bryant would hold out into the regular season, and this tweet is another indication that he might not be messing around. Bryant has limited leverage, and threats are about the only thing he has at this point. Once Wednesday passes, he is not allowed to sign a contract extension with the Cowboys until after the season.
If he sits out the year and does not sign the tender, he does not gain a year toward free agency, and we repeat this process next year. The other option is to sign it and be back this season. That means that a year from now, the Cowboys would have to give him a sizable raise for a second use of the franchise tag, or work out a new deal, or let him walk in free agency.
I would be surprised if Bryant sat out any regular season games. Albert Breer did some research and believes Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Walter Jones was the last franchise tagged player to skip any time, missing Week 1 back in 2002. Suffice to say, Dez will likely be back at some point.