The tea leaves counsel Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys are transferring towards an accord.
The newest rumor comes courtesy of former Cowboys broad receiver Antonio Bryant, who took to Twitter on Thursday to “report” that he “heard Zeke gonna signal his deal quickly and play Week 1.”
Earlier than you write off Bryant, a 2002 second-round choose of Dallas who performed eight skilled seasons and isn’t named “Adam Schefter,” Cowboys reporter Bobby Belt famous the 38-year-old’s observe file with breaking information.
Hours after his tweet, Bryant fired off one other cryptic missive for followers to ponder:
Elliott’s bag is prone to have connected to it the title of top-three-highest-paid-backs. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported earlier Thursday that the Cowboys submitted a contract supply to the league’s reigning speeding champion which doubtless would test in forward of Le’Veon Bell and behind solely Todd Gurley.
“The newest supply in negotiations between holdout Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys got here from the crew,” Werder tweeted. “Elliott has been provided a contract making him one of many NFL’s 2 highest-paid RB. That might counsel crew providing greater than LeVeon Bell and fewer than Todd Gurley.”
A earlier report Thursday claimed Elliott could be able to go for the Sept. eight season-opener in opposition to the New York Giants.
The Cowboys are projected to sport lower than $20 million in out there wage cap house after signing linebacker Jaylon Smith to a five-year, $64 million extension on Tuesday, a deal that features $35.5 million in assured cash. The crew can be negotiating new contracts for franchise quarterback Dak Prescott and star broad receiver Amari Cooper, however has “much less pie left,” as proprietor Jerry Jones put it.
In saying Smith’s windfall, Jones despatched a refined message to the opposite money-seekers, together with his high-profile holdout.
“It’s neat that Jaylon understands that when you might have a stable roster and you’ve got as many high-quality younger gamers that we’ve got, it’s a must to allocate your sources correctly to maintain and have all these gamers,” Jones mentioned. “That’s referred to as crew constructing, and I’ll guarantee you that this was about crew. It definitely was useful to Jaylon however I can guarantee you this was about crew. Our objectives are to construct the perfect crew and it takes cooperation from each events if you end up doing agreements. He’s value 1,000 phrases of something we will say about contracts and the Dallas Cowboys.”
The No. Four total choose in 2016, Elliott is coming into the penultimate 12 months of his four-year, $24.956 million pact, which included $24.5 million assured and a $16.35 million signing bonus. He’s due simply $3.85 million in base wage for 2019.
Zeke Features Backing of NFL Legend
Seven-time first-team All-Professional former Cleveland Browns offensive deal with Joe Thomas, now retired and dealing as an NFL analyst, grabbed headlines Thursday by airing his sturdy help in Elliott’s battle. Thomas believes Zeke shouldn’t settle for something lower than turning into the richest RB in league historical past.
“If I’m Zeke, and the Cowboys ship me a suggestion something much less or equal to Todd Gurley, it’s going straight to voicemail,” he wrote on Twitter. “They’ll’t actually assume he would settle for something lower than to be the best paid operating again. It’s simply an insult to even begin wherever beneath that quantity.”
Elliott Topic to Fines
As Todd Archer of ESPN.com identified, the disgruntled operating again is topic to large fines as his holdout from the Dallas Cowboys continues — now at 27 days and counting.
Dallas can implement a $40,000 nice for every day Elliott misses. Moreover, the crew has authority to chase reimbursement of as much as 25 % of his $4.087 million signing bonus proration, as a part of his rookie deal.
Ought to Elliott decide to take a seat out common season motion, he would probably owe $226,000 for every recreation he skips, based on Archer, who additionally famous that Dallas can waive these charges in the event that they so select.
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Observe Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL