Football Perspective has a look at the wide receivers from 2017, looking at production and the cap charge. Tavon Austin comes up as easily the most overpaid player at the position, with a top 5 cap charge but only having 61 receiving yards. Second, though, goes to a big name who is often considered part of the elite at the position, but whose production has been lagging in recent years: Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys.
Why is Bryant rated so low? Well, you start with the $17 million cap charge, which is the second-highest in the league. If you look at the other highest-paid guys who are generally considered the best of the best, Bryant comes up way below all of them (outside Austin).
Here is Bryant compared to the other #1 wide receivers with cap charges above $13 million:
And lest you think we shouldn’t look at one year, here is the production over the last three years from that group:
All those other elite receivers are in the Top 8 in receiving yards over the last three years combined. Dez Bryant is 37th. It’s pretty clear he’s not part of that group, even though his paid like it.
The most similar players, by 2017 stats, to Bryant’s production, were Devin Funchess, Marquise Goodwin, Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs, and T.Y. Hilton. Combined, that group had a cap charge of $16.13 million (most of it Hilton) — still less than Bryant cost the Cowboys a year ago.
Jerry Jones is going to meet with Dez Bryant about his contract situation soon. There’s a decent chance he’s out in Dallas if they can’t reach a reduction in his cap charge. The reason Dallas is considering it is pretty obvious–Dez Bryant hasn’t been worth the money and teams can get the production he has provided for much cheaper.