ARLINGTON, Texas -- After hiring Jay Z's Roc Nation to represent him and hopefully help him become "an icon," Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said he is willing to discuss a contract extension during the season "if it's right."
That's a change of policy for Bryant, who fired agent Eugene Parker recently. Bryant said this summer that he would cut off negotiations until the offseason if he didn't reach an agreement with the Cowboys on a contract extension before the regular season started.
Bryant's rookie contract, a five-year, $11.8 million deal, expires at the end of the season. He believes he deserves to be one of the NFL's highest-paid receivers and is seeking a deal that would pay him around $13 million per year.
The Cowboys have the option of using the franchise tag to keep Bryant in each of the next two offseasons, but he hopes to be rewarded with the security of a long-term deal.
"I'm going to tell you the God's honest truth: I'd be highly disappointed," Bryant said of the possibility of the Cowboys using the franchise tag on him. "I'd be highly disappointed."
However, Bryant said that marketing was his primary motivation in joining Roc Nation, not the negotiations for his next NFL contract. Bryant, whose most prominent endorsement deal is with the Jordan brand, said he felt a personal connection with Jay Z and believes the famous rapper and entrepreneur can help him extend his marketing reach.
"I feel like it fits me," Bryant said after Sunday's 28-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. "It fits what I'm trying to do, what I'm trying to accomplish in life. I want to be the best that I can possibly be. It ain't about a contract. It's about me branding myself and being an icon for these kids. I love kids and they look up to me.
"I come from dirt -- point blank, period -- and every day I'm writing my story and it's getting better. I feel like they were the best choice for me. They can help me get to where I want to be. That's what it is."
Roc Nation confirmed it was working with Bryant via a tweet Sunday morning.
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) November 2, 2014
Prominent NFL agent Tom Condon has been in discussions with Roc Nation about being involved in partnering with them to help negotiate Bryant's next football contract, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder.
Bryant said he did not discuss changing agents with Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones. Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Bryant joined Roc Nation against the wishes of Jones.
This is the second time that Bryant has parted from Parker, whose relationship with the Cowboys dates to when he represented Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. Bryant fired Parker late in the 2011 season and hired Drew Rosenhaus, then changed back to Parker in August 2012.
At the time, Jones said he believed that "the quality person Eugene Parker is" benefited Bryant.
Bryant believes he'll benefit from his relationship with Jay Z, whose story he relates to.
"He was one of those guys who come from nothing, and look at him now," Bryant said. "He's a success, and all he wants to do is help."