If you haven’t heard, there is a rumor among NFL reporters of a rumor among NFL insiders that a video may or may not exist of a damning incident that may or may not have happened that may or may not have involved NFL star Dez Bryant.
Confused? So are we! Nevertheless, let us try to break down what we definitively know and don’t know about the situation at current moment.
We know that a rumor about an alleged Dez Bryant video went mainstream last Friday. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio “let the cat out of the bag” (his words) when he confirmed the existence of a rumor of a tape that could damage Bryant’s career.
"It's one of the … best kept secrets in the media because no one's reported it yet," he said during a radio interview. “But there is a story that all of the major insiders know about ... it involves a videotape and I don't know that it exists.”
Here’s the audio of the interview if you’re interested.
And we know that ESPN’s Adam Schefter has been working on a story about the alleged video tape since September. He told a Chicago radio station on Monday that he knows what’s on the video, but that he has not seen it himself.
We know that the Cowboys have yet to sign Bryant to a long-term extension. Florio said the supposed tape is one of the reasons the team is “very reluctant to commit major money to him,” despite the wide receiver’s 2014 All-Pro selection and 41 touchdown catches in three years.
Some expect the team to use the franchise tag to claim him for two years at $28.6 million or even one year at $13 million, but others expect the team to let him just walk away. So, really, no one really knows, probably not even the Cowboys.
We don’t know why Bryant has sent out two extremely cryptic tweets (and deleted one). They could have to do with the alleged video, or they could not! Who even knows!? From last Friday:
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) February 20, 2015
Then from Wednesday (later deleted):
Seems like he deleted it. If you missed the last Dez Bryant tweet. pic.twitter.com/PWINLl46O6
— Justin Brumit (@JustinBrumit) February 25, 2015
We don’t know what’s on the alleged video tape. One supposed source told the sports gossip blog Terez Owens that he or she has seen it, and that “it’s five times worse than the Ray Rice Video.” But another “source” told the same blog that Bryant has been “brainwashed by Jay Z and Roc Nation Sport,” which makes me question the validity of their sources to be honest.
But we know there are hints it might have to do with a 2011 incident at a Walmart. Florio wrote Wednesday that his “understanding” is that it is related to a 2011 video that “may contain footage of someone other than Dez Bryant.”
Then on Thursday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that Bryant was involved in an incident that occurred at a Walmart parking lot on July 11, 2011. It’s sort of complicated and hard to decipher Bryant’s level of involvement, but we’ll break it down quickly, according to the police report:
1. Someone called the police after they saw a black man dragging a black female from a white Mercedes-Benz, registered to Dez Bryant, and into another car.
2. When a security guard went to check out a reported “disturbance,” “no one was there except the white Mercedes-Benz [registered to Bryant] with the door open and a child’s toy on the ground,” according to the police report.
3. A few minutes later, a black Cadillac Escalade driven by two black men and also registered to Bryant parked next to the white Mercedes.
4. The two men in the black Cadillac told police that that Ilyne Nash (Bryant’s girlfriend) asked them to pick up “her white Mercedes.”
5. Soon after, Bryant and Nash drove up. Nash told the police that she had gotten in a fight with someone named Alex Penson, then got into a car with him, left her car and told one of the men in the black Cadillac to go pick it up.
6. Nash said she was not “assaulted or injured in any way” and that one of the men in the Escalade convinced her to come back after she was dropped off at “friend’s house” with an “unknown address.” She said she called Bryant to pick her up.
No, we don't completely understand this story either. For what it's worth, a city official has told The Dallas Morning News that the police don't have a video of the incident.
We know that people are trying to make money off the video. Supposedly, people are sending a pitch around to media outlets with screenshots of the video.
We can’t say whether that’s true or not. But at a minimum, multiple people are going to Deadspin and demanding money in exchange not for the video, but information on the video, which really shows just how insane this situation has become.
But remember -- and this is important! -- we don’t even definitively know the video exists. Lots of people have said they know people who know it exists, but no one of any authority has said they themselves have seen it. Nevertheless, people seem more and more convinced it's going to get out, maybe soon.
“Eventually, the video is coming out,” ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio wrote Thursday.
Do you know anything we don't? Email email@example.com.
This post has been updated to include new information.