The rumors about a video involving Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant have been going around NFL insiders circles since at least last year, but entered the public consciousness last week when Mike Florio mentioned it on a Dallas radio station.
The rumor is there is a video from several years ago(2011) that involves violence against a woman and was caught on a Walmart surveillance video. There are also rumors that the video came from people that used to be friends with Dez Bryant. The video was labeled '5 times worse' than the infamous video showing Ray Rice knocking out and dragging his fiance in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Dez Bryant was reportedly desperately trying to get the video so it would not get out, and the video was being shopped to media outlets. That's a pretty juicy rumor, that had little to no substance to it so it was not being reported on by mainstream media. Rumors like that can ruin people's careers and reputations, and most responsible journalists wouldn't touch the story without proof.
Dez Bryant even commented on the rumors last week via twitter:
Mike Florio then shared that ESPN's Adam Schefter had talked about the video on the Carmen and Jurko show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago and shared a link to the audio which starts around the 46 minute mark. The conversation was transcribed by the Dallas Sun Times and can be read below:(h/t BleedingGreenNation)
Carmen and Jurko: What's going on with Dez Bryant?
Adam Schefter: That's a very interesting question. I'll just say this - check back with me on that one.
Carmen and Jurko: Have you heard about this video? Do you know what's on it?
Carmen and Jurko: Have you seen it?
Schefter: I have not seen it.
Carmen and Jurko: Is he doing something criminal? Can you talk about it?
Schefter: I'll say this: I've been working on this since September.
Carmen and Jurko: Is it criminal?
Schefter: Like I said I've been working on it since September. There's a lot involved.
Carmen and Jurko: Is this going to come out?
Schefter: Don't know. Don't know yet.
Carmen and Jurko: Okay. Wow. I have never heard about this until the weekend and now it's all over the internet
Schefter: It's taken up a lot of my time this season I'll say that.
Carmen and Jurko: And you did it in a very clandestine way it sounds like. Did you feel like you had to?
Schefter: Well listen, whatever we've been working on is not ready and maybe it never will be. Who knows? You've got to be very careful on these things. People can talk about videos, they can talk about this they can talk about that. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't mean anything and it's really not fair to him right now until you have all your facts in line. Which we spent a long time trying to do.
Schefter says he's been investigating the story since September, but hasn't seen the actual tape. He seemed hesitant to get into too many details since the story hasn't been published and he wants to get the evidence needed to make a credible report. Dez Bryant took to twitter again yesterday after the numerous reports that the tape was going to be released, but quickly deleted the tweet.
This morning NFL.com's Ian Rapoport revealed that he has a police report from an incident involving Dez Bryant, some of his friends, and a woman in a Walmart parking lot in 2011. The incident happened during the NFL lockout, and according to Albert Breer, the Cowboys were concerns for Bryant's off the field behavior were at their highest point due to his location(Texas) and access to people that weren't good influences. The Cowboys had placed multiple safety nets in place for Bryant the year before. Rapoport also detailed the high amount of times the police had been called to Bryant's home in 2011.
The Cowboys reportedly know about this report and don't trust giving Bryant a large, guaranteed contract and have offered him $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. That's a slap in the face as far as guarantees for Bryant, and contract negotiations are stalled indefinitely. The deadline for the franchise tag is Monday, at the Cowboys have indicated that's what they will do to keep Dez Bryant on the team, but the tension is building and Bryant could boycott all voluntary offseason activities.
Jason Cole reports that Dez Bryant's people believe the tape is out there, the NFL is aware of the incident and is investigating it, and there are questions about whether the NFL can discipline Bryant for any incidents on the tape.