JERRY EMRYMENA, AR
With the Wednesday deadline looming in two days, and if a long-term deal is not reached by Wednesday, does Dez Bryant have to sign the franchise tag that was placed on him? And if he does not sign the tag, how would that affect everyone's perception of him?
Rob: Technically, a franchised player has until November to sign the tag tender. But that would mean forfeiting 10 weeks of salary for not playing until then. In Bryant's case, that's roughly $750,000 per week. That'd be a whole lot of money to give up. As for the negotiations, it's simply the nature of the business; both sides want the best deal possible. If it doesn't get done by Wednesday, they'll resume talks after the season.
David:If a long-term deal isn't reached by Wednesday, I wouldn't expect Dez to show up right away. This has largely been about respect and loyalty for him, and I'm sure he intends to make his feelings known. I'd be surprised if he sits out of any regular season games, as he'd miss $750,000 per week. But I also don't expect him to be on the plane to training camp.
PERRY HAGENCEDAR RAPIDS, IA
My question is: I heard Hardy would appeal anything more than a two-game suspension. Now that it's been reduced to four, do you think he'll appeal to try and get it lowered to two games?
Rob: I don't know what Hardy will ultimately decide. Based on your hypothetical, if he were to challenge the four-game ruling and wind up with a two-game suspension, he'd collect an extra $1 million-plus in roster bonuses for playing in two extra games. He'd also have two more games to meet certain production incentives. However, maybe he just wants to put this behind him, accept the four-game suspension and get ready for the season. We'll see.
David:I don't see any reason why Hardy won't challenge the ruling. His suspension has already been reduced, and even if he can't get it knocked down to two games, it's not like it would be bumped back up. He might as well see how he can maximize his potential – not only for extra playing time, but for extra money.