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Reporting On Bryant Incident Gaining Traction... With Or Without Video
If you enjoy both fantasy football and off-season drama, 2015 is shaping up to deliver plenty of both. Unfortunately, it appears the drama aspect will be moving front and center for the time being.

The latest saga involves Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys "have balked at handing Bryant a long-term contract extension with significant financial guarantees, in part because of their lack of off-the-field trust in the Pro Bowl receiver."

This report comes in the wake of increased chatter involving a rumored video of an incident in which Bryant is, as put it, "doing something he shouldn’t have been doing."

While nobody has seen the rumored video at this point -- or at least nobody has admitted to seeing it, Rapoport moved the ball forward this morning.

"In November during an appearance on NFL GameDay Morning," Rapoport wrote in an article appearing on this morning, "I reported on six separate incidents since 2011 of police being called to Bryant's home in DeSoto, Texas. None of the incidents I described, based on reporting using police records, resulted in any arrests, but they are emblematic of why the Cowboys are concerned about Bryant's behavior and some of the people he has associated with.

"I have learned via another open-records request that in mid-2011 there was an additional incident involving Bryant. A report filed by the Lancaster (Texas) Police Department described the response by an officer to 'an unknown disturbance' in a Wal-Mart parking lot during the early morning of July 11. Vehicles registered to Bryant were at the scene in the parking lot, and Bryant later arrived in another car, when he was spoken to by a Lancaster PD officer. Upon further investigation, 'it was determined that there was no offense' and 'all parties were advised they were free to go.'

"Cowboys officials have been aware of this incident for some time."

As PFT's Mike Florio notes, the report doesn’t mention the availability of Wal-Mart surveillance video, or the contents of it. Instead, it appears that the responding officer accepted the version(s) supplied by members of Bryant's entourage and the alleged victim, and closed the case.

Florio went on to contend that "Most if not all Wal-Mart stores have surveillance cameras blanketing the property. Indeed, the longstanding rumor making the rounds among NFL reporters has been not just that an incident occurred at a Wal-Mart parking lot, but that there is video of it."

As Florio went on to suggest, if video exists, it's going to come out.

In the meantime, speculation and rumor will pretty much rule the day. You should steel yourself for the onslaught of information -- right, wrong or indifferent -- that's going to come.

Worth noting: ESPN insider Adam Schefter said earlier this week he's been working on this story since last September.

Of more immediate interest in football terms, with no new negotiations scheduled between Dallas and Bryant's agents, Tom Condon and Kim Miale of Roc Nation, the franchise tag is almost a certainty.

Although Bryant is clearly a large part of Dallas' offense and a key to the team's continued progress, Rapoport's contention the pattern of off-the-field issues is a reason the Cowboys haven't improved their long-term extension offer of $114 million over 10 years with a $20 million guarantee, an average of $10 million a year during the initial six years and a signing bonus of just $5 million doesn't seem like a reach.

I'll be following up as needed here or in the News & Views section of the site.