Bryant signs deal with Cowboys; McCoy, Browns reach agreement
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.