In the midst of Dez Bryant trying to work out a long term deal with the Dallas Cowboys, the former Oklahoma State star may have bigger issues to worry about. Reports of a 'Ray Rice type' video involving Dez have been picking up steam over the last few days, and things appear to be coming to a head.
Things are starting to move pretty quickly, but everything seems to be boiling down to just a few reports. Here's a breakdown of what's out there so far.
Rumors have been circulating for a couple of months, but things picked up last week when Mike Florio from NBC's ProFootballTalk.com went on Dallas' 105.3 The Fan and discussed the issue.
The alleged incident reportedly took place a few years ago at a Walmart, and exactly what's on the video is unclear other than it's supposedly 'bad', really bad.
The video was supposedly taken by a former friend of Dez's and he's apparently decided that now is a good time for a pay day. (There's some talk that it's Walmart surveillance video, but it seems unlikely that if it is surveillance video, that it would end up in the sole possession of an ex-friend.)
Screenshots of the Dez Bryant were sent to all media outlets including us to let the bidding begin. Obviously, we're not TMZ. No interest.— Jaywan Inc. (@JaywanInc) February 25, 2015
The video was recorded by his now former friends. He was hanging around some pretty dark people. Now they aren't friends anymore.— Jaywan Inc. (@JaywanInc) February 25, 2015
So his ex-friends decided it was time for a pay day. However, noone is going to have possession of that tape until they pay. Whoever it is.— Jaywan Inc. (@JaywanInc) February 25, 2015
A deadline was set by Bryant's former friends/extortionists for today for either TMZ or Bryant's team to purchase the tape.— Jaywan Inc. (@JaywanInc) February 25, 2015
Both Dex Bryant and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have been vocal about wanting to do a long term deal, but the two sides can't seem to agree on terms, and according to Terez Owens the video might be the reason for hesitation.
"According to our source, the Cowboys haven't done a huge deal with Dez because of concern over the video." Terez Owens reported yesterday. "We're being told the Cowboys have warned Dez the tape is going to be released, and from someone who has seen it, that it's five times worse than the Ray Rice Video. His football career is in jeopardy according to our source."
NFL Insider Adam Schefter has apparently been working on the story since September, and while some have claimed Schefter confirmed the existence of the video, I don't believe that's what he's saying in the interview with Carmen and Jurko on Chicago's ESPN 100. I'll let you decide though.
If you want to listen to the audio you'll want to fast forward to about the 46 minute mark. Here's the transcript of the conversation.
Carmen and Jurko: What's going to happen with Dez Bryant in Dallas?
Adam Schefter: [long pause] That's a very interesting question.
Carmen and Jurko: Are they going to franchise him? Are they not going to franchise him? There's a video out there... What's the video?... What is going on?
Adam Schefter: Um... I'll just say this, check back with me on that one.
Carmen and Jurko: Have you heard about, so you've heard this video?
Adam Schefter: Heard about it?
Carmen and Jurko: Ya. Have you seen it? Do you know what's on it?
Adam Schefter: Yeah.
Carmen and Jurko: Have you seen it? Is it less than complimentary?
Adam Schefter: I have not seen it.
Carmen and Jurko: You have not seen it, okay. Is it something... Well, first of all, how could this not have been released at this point? How could nobody... Is he doing something criminal? Can you talk about it?
Adam Schefter: Um... I'll say this, uh.. I've been working on this since September.
Carmen and Jurko: Since September?
Adam Schefter: Since September.
Carmen and Jurko: Is it criminal?
Adam 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?
Adam 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
Adam 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 then right? Did you feel like you had to...?
Adam Schefter: Well listen, whatever we've been working on is not ready for anybody, and maybe it never will be. Who knows? You know, 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.
Carmen and Jurko: So the Cowboys are dealing with this obviously, is that part of the negotiation? Is that part of the decision to either tag or not tag him?
Adam Schefter: Dallas' decision is, what they want to do with Dez Bryant? What's the best thing to do for the franchise, and I think ultimately I don't see a way in which Dez Bryant's leaving Dallas. I think that they have the tag at their disposal, they certainly can use the tag, and if they tag him he's tied to there. So, Dez Bryant's not going anywhere, and if I had to bet, I would bet that both Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray are both back in Dallas next season.
I have yet to hear of anyone that's actually seen the supposed video, and it's important to remember that we're talking about an alleged incident that took place several years ago. If it happened at all. Dez Bryant has taken to social media in an attempt to dispel the rumor.
Deadspin is offering to buy the video. If it even exists.
The video is reportedly for sale to the highest bidder, or, alternately, being used to extort Bryant. To that we would add: to anyone in possession of the video, email us at Deadspin, and perhaps we will pay you money for the video.
They go on to say that while they've received several tips claiming to know what's on the video, no one has claimed to have actually watched it.
One person claims to have heard the audio, which he says has "been floating around the celebrity hacking/trading communities of the dark web for a couple of months." Another cites his "source at Bristol." Yet another demanded that we pay him just to tell us what was on the video. (Technically, he claimed, what was on two separate Bryant videos.)
Deadspin also points out something else. It was reported that several members of the media have been sent screenshots by the person claiming to have the video in an effort to prove it's existence.
None of those screenshots have surfaced, and no one in the media we've spoken to has seen any alleged images.
We were somewhat reluctant to report on this earlier, but after reports of the alleged screenshots, and reports of Adam Schefter confirming the video's existence (although I still contend that's not what he actually said), I decided to acknowledge that there is a rumor. A rumor that at this point, doesn't seem to be holding water. So thankfully, the only confirmed controversial video surrounding Dez Bryant at this point is whether or not it was a catch. It was.