For the most part, signing first-round picks had become a pretty straightforward process -- unless Michael Crabtree was involved. Teams simply waited for the draft picks around them to get signed and then it was relatively easy to arrive at a dollar figure.
But because the Cowboys are playing in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 8, they're beginning training camp about four or five days earlier than usual. That means the club might not have any first-round contracts to work with while attempting to sign wide receiver Dez Bryant, the 24th overall pick.
Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com thinks the Cowboys might work off Percy Harvin's contract with the Vikings from last season. Harvin, the No. 22 overall pick, received $8.4 million guaranteed. But Watkins also indicates that Bryant is probably expecting top-10 money, which seems like a farce.
If the Cowboys wanted to pay Bryant top-10 money, perhaps they would've moved up the board and selected him in the top 10. Instead, they waited for him to fall into the 20s before moving up three spots. I'm not sensing that we have another Crabtree holdout on our hands, even though Eugene Parker represents both Crabtree and Bryant.
But it wouldn't surprise me all that much if Bryant missed the first four or five days of training camp in San Antonio. By that time, the Cowboys will have more contracts to work with. But if anyone in Bryant's camp truly thinks he's getting top-10 money, this could be a long, painful process.
The good news for Cowboys fans is that Jerry and Stephen Jones have an excellent relationship with Parker. But this is something that bears watching. Hopefully Bryant will at least show up for the Southern California portion of training camp.