When Dez Bryant fired his agent, Eugene Parker, and signed on with the high-profile group led by the king of all things high-profile, Jay Z, there was more to the decision than what's on the surface.
Glaring in Bryant's face is the expiration of his rookie deal after this season, and he believes (rightfully so) he should be paid like a top receiver in the league. With the NFL's salary structure, each team gets to franchise one player twice, and Bryant would be a a prime candidate to play on a one-year deal in 2015 and another in 2016, and there's nothing his agent can do about that.
But Bryant signed on with Roc Nation, led by the famous rapper and entrepreneur, in order to improve his brand and possibly help him land some more endorsement deals.
"I feel like it fits me," Bryant told Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas. "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."
And while the Cowboys could control Bryant at an affordable rate for two more seasons, he made a point to X out the idea of him getting the Cowboys' franchise tag, saying he hopes to get a long-term extension instead.
"I'm going to tell you the God's honest truth: I'd be highly disappointed," Bryant said. "I'd be highly disappointed."