Bryant signs deal with Cow­boys; McCoy, Browns reach agree­ment

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - from wire re­ports

IRV­ING — With all the sto­ries about Dez Bryant be­ing a char­ac­ter risk, and then with Bryant pick­ing the same agent his buddy and fel­low re­ceiver Michael Crabtree had dur­ing a hold­out that lasted nearly un­til Hal­loween last sea­son, plus all the la­bor un­cer­tainty com­pli­cat­ing the sign­ing of draft picks, some Dal­las Cow­boys fans wor­ried whether Bryant would ever show up.

Fear not, Dal­las fans: Bryant signed Thurs­day, be­com­ing the first first-round pick in the en­tire NFL to strike a deal. The con­tract is for $11.8 mil­lion over five years, with at least $8.3 mil­lion guar­an­teed.

For­mer Texas Longhorns star Colt McCoy, mean­while, agreed to a four-year con­tract worth up to $5 mil­lion with the Cleve­land Browns, ESPN.com re­ported.

McCoy, a third-round pick, will get $1.07 mil­lion guar­an­teed. The slot usu­ally pays $3.275 mil­lion, but McCoy got the “quar­ter­back pre­mium.”

McCoy is ex­pected to be­gin train­ing camp as the third quar­ter­back be­hind starter Jake Del­homme and vet­eran backup Seneca Wal­lace.

The key for Bryant is that the deal is done in time for him to be in San An­to­nio for the start of train­ing camp to­day. By the end of train­ing camp, he might even be push­ing Roy Wil­liams for the start­ing job op­po­site Miles Austin.

“This was very im­por­tant to me to be able to get this done in time for the first prac­tice,” Bryant said in a state­ment re­leased by the team. “I want to help this team. I want to com­pete. I can’t wait to start play- ing foot­ball again.”

Bryant played only three games for Ok­la­homa State last sea­son, then was dogged by all sorts of ques­tions about his in­tegrity, start­ing with an NCAA sus­pen­sion for ly­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors about a meet­ing with for­mer Cow­boys star Deion San­ders.

There was talk of him skip­ping meet­ings and classes, and be­ing late to games. Af­ter he skipped the NFL com­bine and held his own pro day, there were whis­pers that he for­got to bring the right cleats.

But the Cow­boys did their home­work and wanted Bryant so badly that when they saw him slip­ping in the draft, they moved up to No. 24 and nabbed him.

There is no col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment start­ing in 2011. That un­cer­tainty is among the rea­sons none of the other first-rounders has signed.

Jerry Jones al­ready has given Bryant No. 88, a cher­ished jersey in Cow­boys his­tory be­cause it was worn by Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson.

Chil­dress doesn’t know if favre will play

MINNEAPOLIS — Min­nesota Vik­ings coach Brad Chil­dress re­cently paid a visit to Brett Favre in Mis­sis­sippi, but says he still does not know if the quar­ter­back will re­turn for an­other sea­son.

Chil­dress told KFAN ra­dio in the Minneapolis area: “I don’t know if he’s go­ing to play next year and I don’t know if he knows if he’s go­ing to play next year.”

The coach also be­lieves that Favre’s sur­gi­cally re­paired an­kle will not fac­tor into the 40- year-old’s de­ci­sion. Chil­dress says Favre is run­ning sta­dium steps in a weighted jacket to slim down.

for­mer Brown Bent­ley sues team over staph

CLEVE­LAND — For­mer Cleve­land Browns cen­ter LeCharles Bent­ley sued the team over a ca­reer-end­ing staph in­fec­tion he says he con­tracted at the team’s train­ing fa­cil­ity.

Bent­ley’s at­tor­ney, Shan­non Polk, said the law­suit filed in Cuya­hoga County Com­mon Pleas Court seeks at least $25,000 in dam­ages for al­leged fraud and neg­li­gent mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Bent­ley could seek more money in court.

Polk said Bent­ley nearly died from the in­fec­tion while he was re­hab­bing from a knee in­jury.

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