IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Dez Bryant is sending another signal that he won’t play for the Dallas Cowboys without a long-term contract.
The unsigned All-Pro receiver posted a message on Twitter to Dallas fans Monday, apologizing while saying he “will not be there” if he doesn’t have a new deal by Wednesday’s deadline.
Bryant, who led the NFL with 16 touchdowns receiving last season, has a one-year offer of $12.8 million under the franchise tag. Because he hasn’t signed a contract, Bryant can’t be fined for missing training camp, which starts July 30. He would lose about $750,000 for each regular-season game he skipped.
“As much as I love football … I apologize (hash)cowboynation but I will not be there if no deal,” wrote Bryant, who skipped offseason workouts and has said he would consider missing games.
Bryant showed up on the sidelines at offseason practice a couple of times, including the final mandatory minicamp workout at AT&T Stadium in June. He had about a 15-minute chat with owner Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys are not commenting on negotiations with Bryant, who was trending after his tweet. Actor Rob Lowe chimed in on Twitter, writing, “Pay Dez. (hash)Cowboys (hash)NFL This is a no-brainier (sic).”
If the 26-year-old Bryant doesn’t sign the franchise tender by 4 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, he can’t sign a long-term contract until after the season.
That makes his situation different from former Dallas running back Emmitt Smith. The NFL’s all-time rushing leader missed the first two games in 1993 in a contract dispute, and signed a new deal after the defending Super Bowl champions lost both.
The contract is guaranteed if Bryant signs, but he has indicated that long-term financial stability is important to him. Bryant just completed his five-year rookie deal that paid him a total of about $11.8 million.